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!


With all the social media outlets around these days, we usually only see the warm and fuzzies of everyone's lives, people tend to not want to share the ugly things that are happening. But that's life and let's be honest, not everything is rainbows and butterflies. AND with where I'm at and what's going on with me right now, I think it's important to keep it real.

Sometimes life give you things you wish you didn't have to deal with and you wonder why this is happening now, of all times, but it's important to put things into perspective and remember, there's usually a light at the end of the tunnel and as bad and unfortunate the timing of life's circumstances, things could be worse.

Let me back up. I've had a few posts lately about all of the good things that have been going on swimbikerun related (South Shore Swim, North Shore Tri, adventure swimming to the Mokes, Honu (will update about that in the next post), to name a few), yet there has been some yucky stuff going on beneath the surface that I haven't talked about.

Long story short, I somehow injured my knee, no trauma was experienced, it just happened, still not sure how. I went from crossing the finish line at a local race two weeks ago to not being able to walk. I'm back able to walk and am in less pain and the swelling has gone down a bit. I'm hopefully on the road to recovery as long as I take care of myself and give my body the time it needs to heal.

However, I had this little, not little, kinda big race on the schedule. Hawaii 70.3, our local big race. I've been set on this race as a tune up and pre-race, race before the big, big race IM Whistler at the end of July. What to do? Could I do the race, absolutely I could. I'm in great shape (in my opinion) and I'm race ready. I can push through a pretty good amount of pain if need be (but that could be what got me into this predicament....funny how you can go from feeling no pain at all to being incapacitated, the mind is a powerful thing, but you need to be aware of what's going on in your body). But is doing the race going to jeopardize my body for Whistler and/or the next 20+ years? It could and that's not a risk I'm willing to take.

Triathlon is something I'm passionate about, I truly enjoy it: the physical stuff as well as the relationships gained from this close-knit community, but it's not my money maker, right now it's my hobby. Something that I love to do.

I'm not one to make excuses and doing this race was part of the plan all along, but in doing this race could I jeopardize the rest of my season, maybe, maybe not, but that's not a chance I'm willing to take.

I opted to not even bring my bike over to the Big Island for the weekend as I didn't think I could swim, ride and then not run. So the plan was to swim and then be super Sherpa Cheerleader for the rest of the day. It was a difficult decision to make, but one that I think is best for me.

As cliche as it is, life gave me some lemons, but I was able to make some lemonade by watching and cheering for everyone else that has worked so hard to get to this race!!

As a good friend told me, "Life is a series of temporary situations." Thanks Amy!!