Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Kona 2014

Groove Tri Girls ready to rock Kona
in Betty Designs kits

Kona 2014

Friday Dinner was copious amounts of fresh pasta with small amount of steamed spinach, EVO and generous amount of Parmesan cheese.  All consumed by 5pm while sipping on Osmos Pre Load (nasty tasting concoction)  And to make it worse, Les whipped up a pineapple, Malibu rum concoction for Geoff and I was salivating. Literally.  And I licked the blender.  

2 Sleep Aid + 1 Melatonin and I was horizontal at 7 and asleep by 7:30. I slept great, other than 2 bathroom breaks it was solid sleep until 3.  UP and at em.. Les was up and chatty and we were starting the day.  12 cups of coffee going, Les had a potatoes in the oven and I whipped up a large batch of GF pancakes.  Start the eating fest…1500 calories later- pancakes, butter, syrup and a bit of almond butter and it was a delicious feast.
We rolled out the door 4:35 and Alii was eerily quiet.  The jumbo tron and finish line was up and it is the calm before the storm.  Pre- race is fun with friends… we filled bottles, peed, checked out bikes, added stuff to bags and then all fond each other on the grass for some Groove chill time. 

The start this year was different… 6:25 males pros, 6:35 female pros, 6:50 AG men and 7:00 AG Women.  In the past I have seen the pro start from the pier and the entered the water….this time women were held back and we missed the navy seals parachuting in to the water etc.  Men were off and we were still on the pier… as soon as the canon went off women entered the water. 
500 women vs 2000 is very different…while it was calmer I did miss the chaos of the churning water as we (in years past) treaded water for 20+ minutes.  Cannon off and we went. Dog fight chaos only lasted for 200 yards to the Body Glove turn around in years past. But it was not smooth water from there on out… we  were overtaking the slower male swimmers and the further I swam the more I encountered swimming diagonally and the number of idiots  athletes who stop to check their Garmin at the turn around. DON’T STOP during the swim…. if you cannot glance underwater or while swimming JUST KEEP GOING.  And to the chick who touched me feet every 3-5 stroke for 2 miles – I could KILL you!   Nobody touches my feet, not even my husband, so she was pissing me off.  But all in all, it was a great swim... Kailua Bay is stunningly beautiful and clear, you can see the bottom 25+ feet, perfect temperature and although some minor swells nothing to worry about. This is by far my favorite part of the day

1:01 swim- I was happy! Roka Viper Skinskin- ROCKED!  Once I wrestled it around my hips it was great…no chafing or rubbing and comfortable.
T1 was wicked fast and on the bike.  The first 7 miles is in town and a lot of fun – looking all around, crowds and Ironman excitement.  Then we hit the Queen K and well this is when this race begins.  Hot- yes.  Humid –yes.  Windy- yes.  I settled in and was sluggish but knew my legs would come around.  By mile 12 it was apparent there was a big head wind…..well fighting a headwind is okay as long as you get the tail wind.  38 miles to Kawaiha and I was struggling to hit my watts vs Whistler where I was holding back, but I was on target and HR as where it should be.  Nearing Kawaihi the crosswinds hit hard and this was scary and relentless.  With the turn towards Havi we now were climbing with headwinds and crosswinds.  Frankly I was NOT having fun, the legs did not come around.  Turn around was okay and coming down form Havi I saw a women get blown off her bike and go down…. Fricking scary.  Lots of people sitting up and holding on tight. 

Around mile 70 when I was climbing aero I felt a weird pull and pain go down my right glute.  It was startling and painful - I spun it out but it was nagging.  Soon thereafter I realized we had a headwind going back and I was demoralized.  In pain, had not peed since I got on the bike and my watts dropping.  I forced the nutrition- no GI issues but was having a hard time getting calories in.  I was worried about not peeing and just kept drinking. It was hot and miserable.  Again…Kona is not a beautiful, amazing course- it is hot and lonely.  I tried a lot of self-tak – how lucky I was be there racing alternating with what a dumb ass for coming back to I am honored to have qualified with I hate Hawaii. It was windier and windier…. Long ride back …. Finally the airport in sight and this hell will be over.  By this time my glute was seizing up and my quads were totally cramped.  When I handed my bike in Whistler I jogged/ran through transition.  When I handed off my bike on the pier I nearly feel. I was walking, slowly around the entire pier holding my glute wondering how the heck I was going to pull this off.

I got my bag and sat down and puked all over T2- oops…sorry. Sat there and pondered.  Really slowly shoes on, hat on, salt etc…. stood up and walked out.  I knew I had to start the run and go from there. Mile 1 was agonizing and slow.  By mile 2 I was walking and wondering what to do.  When I saw John by mile 4 I was in tears, in pain and thinking am I really going to walk 22 miles.   KP was out there and gave me a few stretches to do and I did those at each aid station and was able to run a bit.  I was running – really slowly- aid station to aid station with cramped legs and my right glute in agony.  Self-talk the whole way…. WTF, I love Ironman, I am the dumbest person o do this, GO ME…..

At mile 10 you leave Allii and town and back out to hell on the Queen K and I was demoralized.  I decide to walk and so be it. I walked a mile and then jogged a bit, walked a bit and then just started walking with a cool Norwegian.   We walked a mile and Amy jogged by and I decided to run with her.  She was hurting to and we jogged between aid stations and walked the station.  I was feeling a bit better and happy to have company. I was a bit delirious and I recall saying things like “wouldn't it be great if they had puppies on the sidelines” and then I was so happy picturing Mako and Roo’s along the run course… we talked about the miserable awesome bike adventure.  How fricking ugly this Island is.  I tried more positive self-talk….it sort of worked.  We hung together for 4-5 miles into the Energy Lab.  So the Energy Lab for the record is more of an energy sucking place in hell, but off we went.  They were playing soothing Hawaiian music, are you kidding me?  At the bottom, yes you run downhill a mile and then out to the end and turn around.  At this point my race is th time I saw him on the run. 
blown and I just want to finish.  Amy needed to stop and change socks and use the pottie and I decided to keep trotting along.  Along the way I got my 4 Advil’s and that was helping my glute and I stated drinking chicken broth and it was helping.

That with my glucose tabs and I was moving, actually running.  I went from 11-11:30 pace to 9:30 and was feeling ok.  So I started running and ticking off the miles.  John is usually parked outside the Energy Lab on his bike but there were not letting bikes that far this year so I was totally shocked when I saw him waiting there.  Huge smile on my face, running and so in love with him for being all over the course. This was the beginning of me loving this race, smiling, talking and feeling so fortunate and blessed to be here.

So I ticked off 1 mile at a time, walking the aid stating and downing chicken broth.  Let me digress. It was Campbell’s Chicken broth and thank you Les for texting me the label at 4am after race day to read what disgusting byproduct are in it- but frankly it saved my race.   My suggestion- Miso Soup.  Really?  Good for all of us…. Come on Jen W get WTC on that one. 

Ran with Sven form Sweden for a while and drilled him about Ironman Sweden.  I had done the same with Danish guy about Ironman Copenhagen.  Sven a youngin at 24 was great…. But he slowed down at 22 and then I met Constantine from Melbourne and we chatted it up for a while until 25 and then I took off.  Another blog for my stories….but Coni was funny when I took off and said “come on” he laughed and said no you go then yelled “Julie you are a bad ass” No idea where the 8:00min mile came from but I was the horse gong to the barn ….saw John coming down Palanii and its downhill, left on Konkani a bit lonely and dark – yes it was dark.  My first experience in the dark ( I did not like it ) and then the magic of Allii drive…. Tears, music, screaming fans, passed 5 people in the last .20 mile (1 in my ag) and ran into the light and the voice of Mile Reilly!

DONE  11:59…. My slowest Kona finish BUT I finished.  Kona is not like any other race- it is humbling to most….. and it was not my day so it was about readjusting goals along the way, living in the moment, soaking up the experience that it is and truly being thankful that I was there!. Early in the run (walk) I told John and Les when she passed me it may be a late night ….but you just never know. Take it 1 mile at a time.  Yes I negative split my marathon but it does not really count when you walk 5+ miles in the 1st half.

Swim- loved the Roka!  - No calories, I eat 1500 at 4am and nothing after that, Osmos Pre Load 30 min prior
Bike:  5x Bonk Breaker (espresso chip was my flavor of the day) 3x bottles of Osmos Mango for women and as much water as I could handle
Run – 1 bottle of Osmos preload through mile 6 and then whatever I could handle. 

Within in 20 minutes of finishing I see Marty and Carol and he whips out the “butteriest chardonnay I could find” He know me well and there we were…. Leslie and I were soon slugging wine in the King K lobby.  Les and I were ready to go eat and drink but our family and friends strongly suggested we shower.  Lisa and Marcus allowed me to clean up in their room and we hit up Lefties.   I don’t recommend Mexican food in Kona but the drinks were fantastic and we ate!  

Slowest finishing time BUT best trip ever! Wyndham was ideal location 1.5 miles down form the Pier, close but not too close and we had fun all the time!   Other then when Leslie poisioned me Monday night at Sushi we had a grand week. 

John was amazing…. He was everywhere race day and again my solid rock out there.  Geoff popped up, Amy’ family rocked and so many other familiar faces makes this place magical. Marty with the bottle of chilled Chardonnay at the finish - that was classic! 

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