17 more days until Kona...I may have just gotten goosebumps writing that. I can't believe we are so close. A week ago, it seemed like October 11 was very, very, very far away, now notsomuch. I'm super excited and can't wait for the day. But first.....
These past few weeks/months would not have been possible if it weren't for some amazing, fast, fit friends.
Getting in the long miles on the Big Island with the Kona crew. Long miles are longer and harder alone, even though we all ran basically alone, it was nice knowing there were others out there suffering as well.
Friday night track session with Raul and Mariane. Cold water, fresh fruit and good times. The family and work time Raul has missed to spend time at the track with the two of us has been invaluable, I can't say "Obrigado" enough. (we even convinced Tim, Gary and Michelle to join us a few times...and now it's running season, so hopefully Aaron can join us in these last few sessions..track is always better with friends!).
100+ mile ride with Mariane and Michelle (her longest ride ever!!!). Who gets up at 5:30 on a Saturday and says, sure I'll ride 100+ miles with you guys?....even though I've never done it before and was planning on *only* riding 70. Michelle does! And then goes on to run 20 miles with you the next day....not many people would do that just because and that's one reason why she's amazing! "Wanna ride 100 miles and then run 20 (not slow miles) the next day?" Who says yes to that justforfun!?
Loooooooooong Big Island miles.
Thanks, Dr. Zen for putting me back together and keeping me from falling apart!
The Wednesday morning swim gang..Michelle, Nalani, Mark, Sergio, Marcy, Kendra. You guys make the laps much more enjoyable.
Can always count on these two to join us for trips around the island on our bikes. Only a few more rides left. Thanks boys!
As the days dwindle, I'm thankful for everyone who has helped me get this far. Definitely wouldn't have been as fun without you all. I know there have been many, many more people and for everything, I am grateful. Thanks for all the kind words, delicious smoothies, not getting annoyed with me for riding the trainer in the house when it's 90+ degrees outside and I make being in the house loud, hot and just altogether not pleasant (Aaron, sorry! and thanks), words of encouragement even when I didn't want to hear them and they probably just made me angry and the list goes on....
Just got home from spending the last three days in Kona for a big training block. Mahalo to Jodie Duvall for being super sherpa, without you, this weekend would not have been possible. Marcy, thank you for organizing everything, the house, the food, the company. Excited to see you rock it in a few short weeks! Noel, glad you got to enjoy the weekend with us and thanks for all the airport rides! Mariane, training partner, friend, lululemon model extraordinaire, without you, this would have been a much lonelier weekend. Tim, your stories always keep things entertaining, never boring with you around. Art, thanks for the bike help, airport pickup and shuttling the boys around when they needed it. Vern, thanks for the bike fixing help. Aaron, as always, you rock and are super supportive of all my endeavours, I'm so very lucky to have you in my life. So very happy you were able to enjoy the training weekend with us (and you got to bike race race, (even though it is running season now)!)
Mariane and I arrived in Kona bright and early Friday morning, got our bikes ready to go and headed out for a ride. Rode from Kona to Kawihae. It's been a while since I've ridden that stretch of road in Kona and it sure is loooooooooong. I'm delighted we got to spend the weekend over there getting to know/remembering what this course is going to dish out to us in a few, 5 weeks.
A very long, but beautiful morning on the bike was followed by Aaron's arrival (YAY!), a short run and a quick dip in the ocean for some splashing around.
Saturday..BIG BIKE day. Saturday was the day we got to experience the race course, some of us for the first time, others had a little reminder of what's in store. We couldn't have asked for better weather. Probably not a good idea to bank on the winds being as forgiving as they were to us on Saturday. Again, I forgot, or blocked from my memory how long 112 miles really is and how long and never ending the Queen K can seem...if you let it. However, after this weekend, there are a few sections on the bike course that I cannot wait for come race day!!! Bring it!
So, so grateful I got the opportunity to spend the weekend here preparing and remembering. Mariane and I were able to spend the day riding together, while riding alone and doing what we each needed/wanted to do on the course, with no major mishaps, just a broken shifter cable, no big deal.
4 mile brick run after the 115 mile ride, also no big deal, it's not like it's hot in Kona or anything right? It wasn't pretty, but we got it done and that's what this weekend was all about. Quality with a little bit of grinding our teeth and pushing through to come out stronger on the other side.
Saturday evening sunset on the beach. Me: "Hey, Aaron, let's take a picture" Aaron: "Look at those waves, body surfing seems much more fun than picture taking"
Not, really, well kind of.
We did get our sunset picture and he did get in his body surfing, but this picture is just more fun.
There might have been some time spend in the boots on Saturday night before bed.
Sunday, runday. In case you don't know, Kona is hot, hot, hot and running on the Queen K is hot, hotter, hottest. But we were here to experience Kona in all it's glory, so running on the Queen K and into the Energy Lab was what was on tap for Sunday. Once again, for the 1,000,000th time over the weekend, this run would not have been possible without Jodie. Many, many Mahalos for driving back and forth and all over the place to make sure we all had what we needed to finish our runs. 18 miles, an obligatory picture with the Ironman sign and a cool down swim at the pier and our training for the weekend was pau.
Sunday evening before our flight out, Mariane and I decided to go on a little walk. Two miles in an hour!
I'm so fortunate to be able to take these little trips and spend time training and hanging out with like-minded, strong, kind-hearted, confident, loving, competitive, funny individuals. I'm looking forward to the next 5 weeks and seeing what everyone will accomplish next time we are back on this little, Big Island in October. What a great weekend. Thanks to everyone that made this weekend possible.
I spent the last six days back on the mainland...what a trip.
One of my best friends got married. Time with friends who live all over the country is never taken for granted. I also got to see my whole family! I can't even remember the last time the four of us were able to spend any real time together, so as much as I dislike traveling back to the (east coast) mainland (ten hours on a plane is a looooooooooong time), this trip was totally worth it. AND when I get to spend quality time with my friends and family that I don't get to see often, these trips will always happen.
A few pictures that capture the weekend
Getting our nails did
Lobstah Rolls with the fam, Two Lights Lobster Shack
Misty morning trail run at Back Bay, ME
Maine Mead Works
Sunset Cruise on Casco Bay
Was a great week away, but I'm glad to be back home. Off to Big Island in the morning for a killer Kona training weekend. October 11 will be here before I know it.