OCTOBER 13, 2012

Alarm clock - 3:45 am.  Up and at em.  Finally, the day had come and I am cool as a cucumber, relaxed, and ready.
Getting here has been like no other Ironman Journey.   This go round included lots of injury adjustments to my training and taper so I am eager to see how the day unfolds and wether or not my base and major training adjustments have worked well enough to carry me through the day.  I have had the pleasure of consulting with a couple of other coaches I know from Texas (Trent Stevens - Houston and Todd Codish- Dallas) to discuss my change in training and taper because of my non existant running miles and see what their opinion was on the adjustments. I was very pleased to hear that much of what they said was in line with what I was doing.  That's always good for confidence... and speaking of which, I have enough confidence in my experience and base fitness that barring no major issues like crashes or unforseen circumstances, I will make it to the finish.   The question is... how long will I be out there?

The morning ritual was smooth.  By 4:40 I was in my race kit ready to hop on the shuttle to get down to the race site.   Special needs drop off, race number stamping, pre/post race clothes bag drop off, sunscreen table (actually, the lady who was directing us called it the "sun tan oil" station which made me and a few others who maybe weren't so intensly focused this morning crack up..... sure, lets all lube up in coconut oil and bake in the lava fields all day.  Hahaha!!!doesnt that sound like fun!!!) 

After that it was into transition to the bike to get her all squared away.  I soon ran into fellow ZOOT Ultra Age Group Athlete Cathy Tibbets and she had her pump with her, so she came over with me to help get air in my tires.  After that, I was off to the sidelines to stretch and chillax (and visit a little too) and wait for things to get under way.

After the Pro men and women started, it was our turn to get into the water.  The masses of age groupers being funneled down one set of stairs onto a tiny little beach...no one wants to be first out there because then you are in the water so long before the start...well, I guess someone does want to do that because there were age groupers in there swimming around....but the grand majority of us are trying to time it just right so the time spent treading water is minimized. After much urging from Mile Riley over the loudspeaker, I finally made it to the beach about 10 minutes before race start and was into the water about 7 minutes before race start.  I chose to go far to the left where I started back in '07 and had good success - but the swim start this year was laid out differently. (I have reflected A LOT on this since the race)   In '07 there was a huge buoy to the left that we were not allowed to line up past - a border to contain the swimmers.  This year, there was no border, and athletes lined up way wide.  When I got out there, I was way to the left and in front....a good choice I thought at the time.  (This would prove to be untrue however....)  I looked around me and there were blue caps everywhere (the men wore blue, women wore pink).  I never like to be around all those men because it means if I can't out swim them, it's gonna be a stupid slugfest.  Oh well, hopefully they are slow and not too mean...

7am. The start.  I took a few strokes, and felt fine and relaxed....and then the mayhem began.  It was a slugfest.  Bodies everywhere.  I kept swimming, but I was getting knocked in the head, face, ribs...I had people swimming on top of my legs and sideways into me.  OMG, this is sooo UNCOOL.  I kept going as long as I could, but after I took an elbow into the area just above my hip that knocked the wind out of me, I started to panic a bit because I had to stop to breathe but the masses were still coming at me from the rear.  At that time, I decided I needed to get out of this mess so I b-lined it towards a kayak.  And his was no easy task mind you.  I swam over people to get there.  And when I say over people, I mean on top of them.  I didn't care, and they weren't gonna stop anyway, so that's what needed to be done.  By the time I got out of the masses and near the kayak, I was fine.  And other than the bangs and bruises I will surely have, I had no need to hang there.  I decided I would swim along the outside barrier by the kayaks, but no sooner than a minute later, I was in the masses again.  What a cluster f*#! At this point I realized I may have sabatouged myself by going way out to the left for the start.  There was more of a current there as I remembered seeing the waves crashing on the rocks to my left...and, well, there was no buoy in sight..so I was just swimming along in the crowd, blind - which I have NEVER done before.  I am usually the one who swims on her own time, her own effort, and her own line to the buoys.  All I  wanted to do was get around and away from the bodies in front of me and find a rhythm, but I was being blocked by them on all sides...and there was no way around.  And the kayakers on the left were not allowing us to go wider to the left...as a matter of fact, I think they were pushing us into the masses to the right and that was making the situation worse...for me at least.   OK... so just swim.  bleh.  So I kept swimming.   Regular pace made me swim up onto people's legs so I would have to slow down until the people behind me would swim unto my legs....and round and round we went.  UGH.  You can only imagine the frustration.  over and over...And to add to this, I could never see a buoy because there were kayaks everywhere and too many people (and i was way out to the left where there were no buoys to be seen anyway..haha).  and oh, did I mention the rough water?  there were swells too.  Nice swells at that.  Hey, I like swimmig in rough water, but today, I was getting my serving of an Ironman swim from hell.  I suppose after doing as many as I have done, I am due a crazy one.  So today, from the beginning, it was my day to overcome.  Heck, this whole experience is about overcoming.  And the harder the day, the bigger the feat and the greater the satisfaction.  This is the hand I was dealt in the swim today, so roll with it.  By the time I made it to the boat to turn, the water was rolling and boats were too.  By now, things have thinned out a little, and it seemed like I was passing some slower swimmers.  This is NEVER a good sign.  Yup, confirmation.  It looks like I really did get cought up in some slower swimmers and perhaps went way off course to the left to avoid something I couldn't avoid afterall.  Hmmmm....I made the turn past halfway to swim back to the pier- about a mile or so to go.  Things were pretty uneventful at this point.  There were still swimmers everywhere, but a little thinner and no one wanted to fight - thank God!  And I could see the buoys fine by now, and swam perfectly straight as normal.  At this point, I was especially focused on keeping my legs relaxed because after about 1.5 miles in any open water is the point where my legs start to lock up.  I have been through this so many times before - something that happened in my very first Ironman back in 2003, and has reoccured in every single one I have ever done since.  I have learned through the years that if I swim too intensley, or kick a lot, or get my HR up, the legs will bilaterally lock up from the foot to the quad and hams.  And I do not want that misery to ever happen again, especially without a wetsuit on in the middle of the Pacific, so I was swimming ez and realxed.

On the way in, I peeped at my GARMIN 910XT as I was just curious to see the time and distance at this point.  It seemed like a long swim to me, but perception and reality can be a little off sometimes....well, for me, it actually was a long swim.  I was right at an hour, and at 2.2 miles, and there was no way I had only .2 miles to go to the exit.  Hmmmmm.  OK, so now, I was super curious, so I kept an eye on the garmin while I swam in.  It's ez to see the BIG NUMBERS under water :)  LOVE my Garmin 910XT!!....at 2.4 miles, I was a 1:03.  at 2.7 miles my watch read 1:11 and I was at the beach.  An extra 500 yards of swimming off course....geesh.  And a swim 7 MINUTES SLOWER than in any other Ironman I've ever done.  But, thanks to my Garmin, at least I know I didn't just go slower, I just swam more!

OK....So today, I would go 140.9 instead of 140.6.  Why not?  it was crazy swim day...LOL!!!  ...roll with it.  It's a long day anyway.

Into Transition I go.  In the final 500 yards or so in the swim, the water went from cool to cold.  I am not a big fan of cold water - my body goes into frigid mode and I slow down to almost a snails pace when I get too cold.  I am not sure why this happens (and I catch a lot of flack from people about being a wimp, but I can't help it :) but by the time I made it to the beach, I was shivering and ready for the hot hawaiian sun.  So up the stairs and into the "hose off" section (which I used sparingly since I was still shivering and that water coming out of the hoses was freezing too!! Ok enough whining..)  through the T1 bag area and into the tent to prep for the bike...then the long haul around transition to go get 'er.

Onto the Bike - seamless.  I was happy to be out of the swim and ready for the long ride.  My training this year had been so limited on the run that I substituted a lot of my training miles with biking and I have really become fond of my bike again.  Last years bike didn't fit me so well, so I have been back on the Orbea I rode in '09 and '10, and it just felt so at home...

Early on, we had some technical riding - corners, hills, and lots of athletes and packs and crowds.  Basically, everyone is all around everyone else until you can get to the Queen K which happens at about mile 8.  At this point, it's all about staying upright and watching out for everybody else so you don't get caught up in something ugly.  By the time I got to the Queen K, I had stopped shivering and was feeling great.  I had gotten to Kona early enough before the race so I had ridden this section a couple of times to Waikoloa - about 25 miles.  I was just cruisin along in what seemed like a bit of a cross-tail wind, keeping my HR under control (actaully lower than what I would have desired if I was racing hard, but again, because I haven't been able to run in so long...the goal is to finish today).  At this point into the bike, the wind was tolerable.  It was there, but not all too bad.  I knew it was gonna get worse though- I remember in 2007 the ride back from Waikoloa to transition was sooo hard.  I was staying conservative and mentally prepared for that pain later on.

Today, I was taking it all in.  My spirits were high and I was happy to be here absorbing everything. Checking out the views (which for about 80 miles of the bike was lava rock and water on one side, and lavarock and mountains/valleys on the other).  I was mesmerized but the beauty, the heat, the winds, the lavatubes, the other bikes...This year, I was sure to take the time to thank the volunteers - something I didn't get to do last time as I huffed and puffed racing to the end.

One funny tidbit that still stays with me as I write and review this post because it gave me the giggles for at least the first few miles on the bike were the large amount of men riding past in white see through tri shorts, or just downright see through worn out black tri shorts.  I saw entirely too many male butts (and cracks) in the get go...LOL!!  What's up with that??  I assumed they must be european...no offense...ok, back to the report...

On the way out after Wailkoloa, those cross winds really started to pick up.  And the tail wind - well, I think that was gone.  My speed and effort all seemed in line to indicate that there was no more tail...but this is when the cross winds started pushing me around from side to side.  My 808 in the front was a little too much wheel for the cross winds today, but oh well, it was the only wheel I brought.  Time to hold on tight!!  The winds progressively got worse as the ride went on, as winds typically do durring daytime hours out here.  One thing I really remember is the garbage bags at the aid stations every 10 miles.  They were blowing sideways - WITH garbage in them.  If the volunteer let those bags go, they would have taken flight for sure.  There was always a hope of a tailwind somewhere, but that only happened for about 15 minutes or so coming out of Hawi - and if you know anything at all about wind - if you have a nice tailwind, there MUST be a brutal headwind at some point.  Heading into Hawi at about mile 50 or so, the bike went from hold on tight hard with strong cross winds to downright brutal and ugly with a dead on headwind.  I already thought the wind was bad...so I wasn't expecting the wind to get that much worse, but it did.  It was a BLOWIN!!.  The bushes were laying on the ground.  I hear the winds were at about 40 mph and that's from what Mike Greer told me (he's the BSLT 70.3 Lubbock Tx race director..I saw him the day after the race running down Ali'i).  And, of course, there were still cross winds, so mashing into a constant 40mph wind and doing your best to stay upright with the cross winds became a difficult, tiring, and tricky task.  But one we all just did.  Because we get to, right?   This is Ironman Hawaii.  It is supposed to be a hard day.  No whining, just overcoming.  Always moving forward, even if it's slow :)

Leave your ego at home, and deal.

I was soo happy to get to Hawi.  FINALLY, a tail wind was in order.  It was a nice break, but those cross winds didn't let up so we were still getting knocked around a little - but now we were  moving a LOT faster THANK GOD!!

After about 15 minutes the tailwind subsided.  It seemed like the headwind was back almost instantly, and after the turn back on the Queen K, it was there blowing in our face the entide ride home.    I love this race.  It seriously seems like most of the race is uphill and into the wind.  And as silly and impossible as that seems, it is true.  The final 30 miles home took forever.  Slow - sometimes just mashing at 9-10 mph when the winds gusted hard.  I was prepared for that though - as much as I hoped for a tailwind home (HAHA), I knew it was gonna be a bear of a headwind - and it was.  I wanted nothing more than to be off my bike by the time I hit Waikoloa again...but I still had 25 more miles.  I'm certain everyone else felt the same way!  I remember that last 20 miles taking FOREVER!! one mile at a time.  One fun note from the final 20 miles - I passed up a friend Eileen in that stretch, so it was good to see her out there!!  Somehow I figured I would see her again on the run...

Into T2...everyone was in such a hurry.  Everyone but me that is.  I knew on a day like this, with my hip/foot injury leading up to this race, that a podium finish was unlikley...so why kill it in T2, right?   I knew I wasn't gonna run a sub 3hr marathon...  I don't understand why so many people around me were outright sprinting, but they were.  I jogged through, sat down, took my time.  As good as the volunteers were, they were pretty intense in T2, and I had to actually ask them to leave me alone and give me a minute.  I just wanted to sit a minute, and methodically get my stuff together without dumping it all on the wet sandy nasty ground and towel off the sweat, salt, and grime.  The volunteers kinda stressed me out with their hovering!  After being asked "sunscreen?" 4 times, I finally announced that when I was ready for sunscreen, I would ask for it!!  LOL...and I did just that when I was ready!!   Maybe I took an extra 30 seconds to a minute in there than the average joe, but I felt good heading out, and really?  who cares about 1 minute in a long race day - again...it's not like I was gonna run a sub 3 marathon and win it from here!!!!

Off to the run.  Now was the time to answer the question I have been asking since the last day I ran long in August - 6 weeks prior to today.  What was going to happen here.  I was my own experiment.  I had no expectations, but wondered - could I pull it off?  with or without permanent or long term injury?  LOTS of unknowns going on here.  I said a prayer.  My mind was racing as I exited T2 and I pressed the "LAP" button on my 910XT Garmin.  It read "begin running".  So I did.

I started with a light trot.  The first mile was ok - about 8:30 - no pain, but tight in my hips.  The foot hurt, but not too terrible.  Mile 2, still no hip pain.  I decided to walk through every other aid station in the beginning, and I already knew I would walk up and down any big hill I encountered just as a precaution.  By the mile 5 turnaround, I still felt pretty good, no fast running, keeping my HR under 130 and just cruising.  I was feeling more confident about finishing in a respectible time at this point, yet extermely aprehensive about overdoing it and causing bigger problems.

Now, for those of you reading this that have never done an Ironman, I have a question for you --imagine exercising (biking and running) for hours on end WITHOUT and IPOD or a TV.  Could you do it?  What would you think about?  Are you mentally trained to control your thoughts - positive and negative- and push through anything?  To pass up the excuses, bury the doubts, and follow through?  The mental strength and focus I have gained from Ironman training and triathlon training and racing through the years is priceless.  It is second nature for me to press on now...and I think that has been the best part of this sport for me.  I have learned to be patient and persevere without external distraction no matter what obstacles lie in the way...and it spills over into all facets of my life.  I think that's why this sport has grown so big.  It's the challenge at first, That's why you sign up.  But then once people get a taste of how the entire experience changes them, they "get it" and embrace the lifestyle and want more..and I think that's pretty cool.
So...as in every Ironman, you seem to be around some of the same people throughout the day as you ride and run along in your journey to the finish line. This is especially true durning the run.   There are times when you try to take your mind off of the "limitors" ( like aches and pains, or how hot you are, or how the foot hurts) and focus on something else - somethng that redirects your mind and makes you smile or laugh.   The aid stations are a good way to break things up - walk through and thank the volunteers, interact.....but another way is to focus on silly thngs -- I had funny moment (or several actually) in my day today that still cracks me up as I write about it  - is this one guy in particular I couldn't escape along the run seemed to be having gut issues as he was burping and farting NON STOP!!  LOL!! I could not run fast enough to get away from him, and any slower I would have been walking too much...but the FUNNY thing is, when he passed me at one point early on, I noticed the back of his jersey had the exclamation in big letters "plop"! (he was european, so I wasn't sure what the real meaning of "plop" was...) All I could think is that this guy needed a porta potty to "plop!!"  hehehe... In his defense however, he did apologize for all the noise he was making...and we laughed about it and I told him not to worry about it.  If you do enough of these, it happens to all of us at some point wether you admit it or not.  I felt kinda bad for him, but at the same time, grateful that it wasn't me :)  and I'll probably never forget him...

Ok, back on track...9 miles done, there was Mel and Rob on the corner!  And Amy Simonetta too!!  WOOT!!  I stopped for some hugs :).  10 miles done - up the hill to the Queen K.  I walked this big one.  16 miles to go, no need to kill it on this big hill.  Once on the Queen K I was back to running.  Aid station to aid station - walking through them, and then some more walking occasionally.  Today's motto - keep moving on.  One good thing about not racing at all out effort was that I got to see some friends and fellow ZOOT athletes who were racing for the overall pro and age group spots AND have the breath to cheer them along - wether they were having a good or bad day.  OK, down into Energy Lab.  Out of Energy Lab - walked up the hills again....back to the Queen K.  A little over 10k to go.  I decided at this point that I have been conservative enough today.  My hip still feels ok, so I decided turn it on - I was going to RUN home!!

The sun was falling in the sky and I knew I wasn't going to finish in the daylight like my last time here. Kind of a bummer to not be part of the "daylight finisher group", but this was a different day.  So I watched the beautiful big red sun go down along the Queen K, and focused on that finish line.  Run.  I remember thinking how I have been so blessed to be able to run at all - so who cares how slow it is.  I just focused on how I am blessed to be here now in this monent.  Blessed to swim, bike, run or walk.  Blessed to have the support from good people all around the world to help me get here, and experience this day - this event.  I am always reminding myslef how " i get to do this", no matter how pretty or ugly, or fast or slow it may be.  There are lots of people out there who quit when it's "not their day".   bleh.  poor sports.  whiners.  Yes, it's difficult, it's HUMBLING to continue without winning or being "fast" enough, but if you can put your ego aside and open your eyes to process what's happening around you and INSIDE of you while you muddle through the tough times, it's enlightening.  I know there are people out there who would give anything for this very experience I get to have out here in Ironman Hawaii.  I press on for them.  They are with me.

A million thoughts raced through my head while on the course today.  I thought a lot about my life over the past 10 years and my journey through triathlon. This sport, unlike any one person in my life, has seen me at my best and at my worst.  (maybe this sport is my boyfriend...lol?)  It has been one hell of a rollercoaster ride with plenty of up's and downs, and even times I felt like I was stalled hanging upside down with all the blood rushing to my head for a while....Today, as I run along the Queen K, I am at my best.  I am in an awesome place today - ON TOP.   Physically, emotionally, spiritually - in every way....except my injury, but that's so not important in the big picture.

I thought a lot about my late friend Donnie.  He is one of those people who would have given anything to be here today.  His words and spirit are inside of me forever, and I am so grateful for the time I got to share with him before he died from ALS back in '05.  I know he was smiling while I was cruizing into that wind in Hawi saying "wind is your friend"!  All day, every day, his words ring true..."Energy follows thought..", "I GET to do this" (yep, I got it from him :), "Do what you can and SUPRISE yourself"...I miss him, but he is here pulling me along to the finish line. 

I also thought a lot about the people who have both come and gone in my life over the past 10 years...kind of a rollercoaster on the rollercoaster of my life. Some have been supportive, some not.  Some have lifted me up, while some have done every thing possible to tear me down.  It's the ugly ones that I am happy to have gone away and left me at peace.  Thank God for that.  And as people have floated away, others have drifted into their place.  Some really GREAT people.  These are the ones God has put smack down in front of me and said "these people are good for you"!!!  LOL!!!  And they are.  There are no coincidences. There is no question His hand is upon me.  I thought a lot about how awesome my life is.  How lucky I am to get to go the distance today. 

Running home to Ali'i Drive was awesome. when I ran down the hill and saw mel, rob, and ryan at the turn I had my arms in the air -- I was so happy to have made it to the end... and NO PAIN!!

When I made it to the chute, I was just happy. Thats all. Happy. I thanked God for protecting me in this effort today, and walked through the finish line with a look to the Heavens and what I think is the biggest smile I have ever had on my face. Happy.
11:51.  Not my fastest by a longshot.  but not my slowest either :)
Where's the food....

To all of you out there reading this, you are most likley one of "the good ones" who has floated into my life.  I want to thank all of you for being such a positive influence in my life.  For lifting me up, supporting me, cheering me on, and just being there, even if you are NOT HERE.  You are with me. I thought about many of you who donated to my fund to get here.  And I thought about those who supported me in so many other ways over the years.  You know who you are...and some live in far away lands....I wish I could have raced the race to the wire for you, but there was a different agenda this go round. Just Know,



Twas the night before Ironman...

I just want to get it done.

As usual, the day before a race like Ironman is all about staying off your feet, relaxing, and waiting for tomorrow.  I spent most of my morning sitting on the lanai drinking coffee and on the computer. This afternoon, I got my foot retaped by the KT guys again - one final time for the race.  After that, I got my bike and bags in order and dropped them all off at the race site.  That was the excitement for the day.

Since then, I've been at the condo, watching TV and bored out of my brains. 

The goal?  To finish. 

The hope?  To run without pain.

The expectation?  The have fun, LOVE every minute, and endure and embrace the moments that God has blessed me with.

If you would like to follow race day - the race starts at noon ( 11:30 pro start) central standard time (7am Hawaii time)


Bib # 1267

See you on the other side!!


24 hours from the cannon

I am sitting here writing this on my lanai listening to the waves crash into the rocks at my condo which sits about 1k from the first swim turn.  It's 7:01 am.  In less than 24 hours, the navy seals will have parachuted into the water and the cannon will have gone off....and we will be underway. 
It can't come soon enough!

This morning, it's about pure calm.  I will blog a bit, eat some good carbs, drink my coffee (decaf, as I have weened myself off of caffiene over the past 3 monts, and feel great btw..) and relax.  As much as I want to go do something that makes me feel like I earn the calories I consume daily, I know better. 

so now, a recap since my last post...

Thursday morning started off very early.  I was up at 4:15 hoping to return to slumber – but by 4:45 I gave in and got up.    Last night was the ZOOT dinner at the house on Ali’I Drive and maybe I had one too many glasses of wine…and that’s probably why my sleep was so crappy.   Maybe that in conjunction with that my taper has set in full force and I am feeling a bit sluggish, frumpy, and restless all at the same time.   Who knows, but feeling the way I do is usually a recipe for a good race to come J
The hard part will be making it through Friday without losing my mind!  LOL!!
So after the sun came up Thursday, I headed down to the Pier for my last swim before the race.  I ran into Cathy (a fellow Zooter) who needed a few camera shots for an article  she is writing on the stupid things pros/elites  amateurs do even though they have been racing a while.  I have had some great air-headed stories through the years that are all worth a good laugh, so I was happy to share some of my silliness!  Plus, she got a great supermodel shot of me at the Pier, so thanks for that!!
my swim today is an ez 2k – with a stop at the Kona Coffee boat on the way in for a shot of javaJ .   They are there every year and makes for a little fun on the crowded pre race swims!  The water was still a little rough even though I thought the waters were supposed to lay down a bit when the trade winds came back.  oh well, I like a little rolling on the swim :)  But that led to some murky waters for my camera I had tucked in my suit, so the pictures I shot were not so sharp.

leading the way :)

a little advertising along the swim

swimming up to the boat  there were many many more peps around, but the water wasnt very clear




After my coffee break, I was off back to the pier then a quick change to prepare for the UNDERWEAR RUN.  I didn’t get to partake in this last time I was in Kona, so I have been looking forward to this for a very long time!  ZOOT had some awesome uniforms for us to wear (the suit I wore on the swim - multi functional), and we were all decked out for the "run" along Ali’i.  It was like a mini mardi gras walking parade down Bourbon street as far as the costuming went – I took a few pics, but most of the time I was jogging along checking everyone elses get-up.   There was a little of everything - sexy, vulgar, cute...tighty whitey’s and lots of superhero underwear.

before the start, repeating the pledge

Newlywed ZOOTERS Bryan & Rachel J.
After the “run” which consisted of ¾ mile of jog/walk, I headed to starbucks for some coffee then off to the running store to get some gel pads for my heel.  The foot/heel is NOT happy, and the short little run convinced me to head over and buy what I already have 3 pairs of at home…I hate that.   But it needs to be done.  After that, it was back to the condo for some down time, a little 30 minute bike ride down Ali'i in my new kona kit, then a 90 minute massage down the street. ahhhhh

After my massage, it was time to get my foot retaped by the KT GUYS at the EXPO.  www.kttape.com

They have been so awesome tending to this foot thing, and have been eager to help me solve the issue and be able to run as pain free as possible on Saturday.   When I got there, Joe said he had been thinking about my pain, and had a new idea about how to tape me this time to see if we can knock out that last little bit of heel pain I have.  So he cut the tape up and did his magic, and it has felt pretty damn good ever since.  I want to test it, but my instincts say no way.  wait till Saturday.  I will have 26.2 miles of testing that day.  Now is the time to be patient.
This day has flown by - after I returned home from my Expo visit, it was time to head to the Welcome Dinner for the race.  We headed out a little early to beat the crowd and got settled in early, but really...from what I saw - there were virtually no lines for food/drink and pleanty of seating.  Ironman has this race down - like a well oiled machine.  They know how to move people and accomodate here.  The dinner went long, and after 3 hours of sitting and watching a luau type of performance with hula and fire dancing, I was sooo tired and ready to be out of there.  I skipped the athlete breifing which was to happen after the Dinner - but I was so tired, I had NO DESIRE to wait around.  Gilbert had already gone to the German briefing, so I already know of some stuff, but I'll have to hit someone up for other stuff that concerns me later.
So a late night, in bed by 10...tonite is the most important night's sleep.  Here's hopin :)



Did I mention I ran a little on Sunday after my bike?  I DID!!  relatively pain free - the biggest problem seems to be in my foot still.  The Hip is not perfect, but it is essentially pain free and THANK GOD for that!!

This foot - what seems like plantar fascitius is just not going away.  I am mystified.



The BUZZ is in Kona.  The Triathlon community of the world is arriving daily and the crowds are ever increasing.  I am so glad I arrived so early - I feel like I got to chill out and settle in before all the hubbub. There are foreigners everywhere and lots of crazy accents - but at the same time - there are A LOT of HOT BODS in SPEEDO's EVERYWHERE!!!  LOL!!!

The swim is downright dangerous now unless you get there at sunrise or swim later in the day. 

I for one choose sunrise...and today, so did a sea turtle :)

I was suprised how chilly the water has been - I recall it being a little warmer in 07 - but maybe I have just become more of a ninny through the years.  It is probably the latter.  I have been wearing my 2012 ZOOT SWIM SKIN nearly every swim hoping for a little warmth and I absolutely love it.  I has one of those quick zippers that automatically releases when you pull the neck upon exiting the swim.  So awesome! no more dancing around reaching for a string to pull while I am dizzy in transition! 
After my swim on Monday, I hopped in the Jeep with Mel & Rob for a trip up the coast to Havi (the bike turnaround point for the race) and beyond.  It was another beautiful day stopping for some sight seeing, fudge, coffee, shopping, beach going and finishing up with sushi in Waikoloa at Sensei.  The food was quick and yummy and by 730 we were home and worn out!

Tuesday started with guess what?  another swim!!  LOL!  This time it was with the ZOOT PEEPS who just got into town from So Cal on Sunday.  I didn't take my camera with me today (bummers) but it would have been fun to have it.  We didn't swim far - just to the Kona Coffee boat(passed on the coffee this go round) and back.  I'll bring the camera out on Thursday...

After the swim - it was time for our Zoot Run - andother day to test out the hip.  again, the hip was fine.  it's the damn foot.  wtf is going on??  It was an awesome run along Ali'i drive south headed out just like we will on the first few miles on race day.  We stopped at the Cytomax house/booth -- just one of the many booths product peps set up along Ali'i for runners to stop and refuel.

It felt sooo good to run :)

So TODAY is the BIG DAY!  The Expo Officially Opens up and it was time for the swag grab.

Before heading into the expo I thought I would pick up a few avocados from the farmers market right there in town.  Just as I was picking them up, ther was BREE!!   Oh what fun to see her and meet her sister and nephew.  It wasn't soon after that we ran into Eileen and Reid and what seems like a bazillion other people I haven't seen in a long time...
I found my way around the expo but stopped at my two fav's -- the ZOOT BOOTH (of course) and the KT (kinesio Tape) Booth.  The ZOOT booth was SWAMPED.  The unveiled the KONA KIT (the bike kits and the tshits/socks/bags) and the line was unbelievable.  The kit is so awesome this year!  After my time at ZOOT, I decided to give the KT guys a chance to tape me up.  This foot thing has not responded well to all the time off of running I have taken.  After talking to the PT, Joseph, about what I thought was Plantar Fascitius, he taped me up and I found it to not relieve the pain too much.  After some more poking and prodding, he wondered if it wasn't post tib tendonitis!!  AGH!!!!!! 

I have had that before (3 years ago and off of running for 10 weeks!!) so I wondered if it wasn't rearing it's head again too.  except I thought I had it in my left foot before....anyhoo, he quickly removed the PF taping and retaped the foot for PTT and VOILA!  THE PAIN was almost totally gone.  An amazing relief instantly!  THANK YOU JOE!!  I will be visiting these guys a few more times before the race to keep me squared away.  Things are looking so good!!