Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kona

For the last 3 years I have spent this very week in beautiful Kailua-Kona prepping for the biggest race in Triathlon- Ironman World Championships. "The Ironman" as many say...And this week I am here in San Diego.   Facebook is covered with updates from my friends and the companies in our sport with updates on the happenings in Kona, how beautiful Kailua bay is, Alii drive and the excitement that is building.  I keep checking in with myself and asking "how am I doing?" 

5 years ago when I missed a Kona slot by 1 place, this week was agonizing. I was envious, angry, saddened and crushed to not be there.... but now I am quite complacent.  After Kona 2011 not immediately after when I was quitting the sport and cursing the Queen K, but when I returned and regrouped I shared with John and coach I was not sure I wanted to race Kona in 2012.  And its a darn good thing since IM Lake Placid was my worst of 8 Ironman races.  I wanted to have a great year- crush Oceanside, return to Wildflower and do better and the build toward Lake Placid and have the opportunity to pass on my slot to someone else.  Well.... broken leg cancelled Oceanside and Wildlflower and my build to IMLP was rushed.   8 weeks from IMLP I was running 30 minutes with pain and then jumping on the Elliptical.  It was going to be a push to get there and be ready to run.  I was able to do 2 long runs, much slower than previous build ups, but my cycling was really strong and I hoped that would carry me.  Anyway I already rehashed the miserable IMLP in a previous blog it was not my day... and there was  no decision to be made about Kona.  If I was really hungry and eager I could have gone to Louisville and tried again as I did in 2005 but I was not.... I was ready to let this year be as it was unfolding.

Since then I have had a lot of fun...2 Oly races and a killer 14 mile running race and now SOMA 70.3 in 1.5 weeks.  I am sick and not stressed about a race in 10 days... not a big deal- SOMA is for fun with an athlete I coach and some girlfriends.  We  are piling 4 girls in one room - slumber party with 5 hours of suffering built it.   And I am running better than I have in a long time! 

So.....do I wish I was in Kona?  Yes and No....I am missing the week of fun with Jen/Chuck, Ron and KP- we have a good time staying together.  I miss the calm waters of Kailua bay and swimming to the Coffees of Hawaii boat, I miss the thrill of seeing Ironman world champions running by, I miss the mangos at the farmers market, I miss the Macadamia Nut Pancakes at Lava Java, I miss seeing my friends and competitors from all over the world,  I miss the pride in qualifying ....but I don't miss the stress and pain of that day, that race on THAT island!!

I will be back to make peace with the Queen K.... Aloha and best of luck to all my friends racing.   May the wind be at your backs...