Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Honu...from a different perspective

This last weekend was Honu 70.3 over on the Big Island. I LOVE THIS RACE! It's not an easy race by any means, but I suppose no race is an easy race if you are truly racing. Anyways, if you read my last post, you know I wasn't able to race. But I was able to be there to support these guys, who have been putting their hearts and souls into training and preparing for this day. And it was great to be out there supporting, cheering and watching all their hard work pay off! I couldn't be prouder of this group!
I was however able to swim. As always, the swim at Hapuna Beach is amazing! I absolutely love swimming there; this is one of my most favorite places to ocean swim. The swim was a bit different this year as there were no pros racing and they decided to format the swim as a wave start. Nothing new here, I'm always starting from the back of the pack and get to swim through people. Aaron has helped me realize (or at least believe in my head so I don't go crazy and get pissy about having to swim through literally thousands of people) that swimming through moving water is faster than swimming through open, clear water. Well, Saturday it most definitely was. I was in the 4th wave out of 5 and the waves were about 4 minutes apart. I immediately had clear water and took the inside line the whole way through the course. The only time I ran into people was around the three turn buoys, which are always a cluster, but I hugged the buoys tight and got in and out as quickly as possible. I felt strong and smooth the entire way and before I knew it I was rounding the final turn buoy. This is where it usually gets a bit dicey as you are swimming directly into the sun and can't see a thing. I made an excellent choice and went with the new ROKA F1s in Dark Grey Mirror and was able to see perfectly. Made that final turn and booked it in to shore. Toward the end I got a little disappointed that I wasn't going to be able to continue (but I know this was the right decision for me and my body). I knew I was having a good swim, but didn't know how good it really was until I got out of the water. The final approach to the beach could have been super fun had you been able to time it right, there was a pretty decent swell and if you were able to catch a wave, your swim finish would have been riding a wave in to the beach, the waves were not in my favor and I just swam right in to shore. I exited the water and didn't know where the timing mat was so ran ALL THE WAY up to transition. I heard Guy Hagi announce that I was first woman out of the water and had had the fastest swim time on the day for both men and women! Since I had to pull out of the race, it won't stand as the course record (26:46), but it was still the fastest time of the day, which is pretty exciting and I'll be back next year!
On to the rest of the day.....Let me tell you, if I had the choice to be a spectator or to race, I'd always choose to race. It's hard out there in the hot sun watching everyone suffer (I guess maybe a bit harder when you wish you could be there suffering right alongside everyone else!). But it was fun to be on the other side of things for once and when you have Super Sherpa Extraordinaire Bonnie who knows all the best spots to watch from and how to get there it makes the logistics a breeze.
We definitely had fun out there and hopefully our signs (thanks Amy!) and cheers got some people to run a little harder, longer or faster!
I have a few fun pictures from spectating and I'm going to post them, but for some reason they won't align properly and are formatting in the wrong direction, so do with that what you would like. 

Here's a few snaps to sum up the day! 

Great stuff out there and I was fortunate enough to be able to witness some stellar racing! Congrats to everyone that was out there on Saturday! It was a tough day and you all pushed through some hard times and came out the other side stronger, happy and 70.3 finishers! 

Post Honu, sunset at the Grotto. Always a nice way to end the day. Gorgeous sunset, dinner, drinks and friends. 
Sunday morning, I was able to drive into Kona and have the most fun ocean swim!! I met Bree and a few of her swimming buddies and we went and swam the Ironman course. We got to swim with dolphins! The one time I don't have a camera when I'm ocean swimming!! I've been on a boat cruise to Capt. Cook's Monument and we swam with the spinner dolphins there, but this was so much better than that. The dolphins were literally fingertips away from us, they were so playful! Jumping out of the water, spinning around, doing their thing! It was AMAZING!! Most definitely the coolest experience I've ever had ocean swimming (apparently this happens almost daily here!). The dolphins lead us on our course for a while and were actually swimming WITH us! How cool is that?! Words can't even describe how much fun this was! Thanks Bree and co. for letting me join in on a little piece of heaven you guys have here in Kona! Can't wait to do it again! 

And this is just a PSA: Don't drop your phone from a table at Huggo's in Kona, it might just slide right off the table and under a tiny, tiny crack between the deck and the groups and then you'd have to spend an hour trying to get it out before the maintenance man comes with an electric screwdriver and has to remove a wood panel in order to get your phone back.  

 Until we meet again Big Island!

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