Thursday, October 8, 2009

Kona week!!!!

This post is way overdue. I apologize. My week has been full speed ahead and I really haven't had time to sit down.

I have to keep pinching myself because the fact that an Ironman is now only days away...keeps slipping my mind! The scene is just wild. It's gorgeous here...and we're having a blast.

I'll start with Monday morning. I left home in tears. It was very hard to drive away from the 3 little ones in the driveway. Deep breath.
And then, once at airport, I was told my suitcase was too heavy. Not just too heavy and you must pay more...too heavy and you must TAKE STUFF OUT!!?? Oh no...that was fun. I'm skipping ahead from that though because things here are much more interesting than my suitcase ordeal. The plane ride (we had 3 but one was the looooong) was 11 hrs long. I was like a caged animale. I started with a movie. My Sister's keeper. I had to shut it off after 12 minute because it involved a sick child and was way way too sad as I flew west 6000 miles away from my own kids. After hour 5 I almost lost it. In fact, in a way, I did. I was sick. I don't know what caused me to be sick. I just felt totally trapped and sick of the whole thing. However, I survived and by 8 p.m., we touched down in Kona. 2 a.m. Maine time. Two hours later we were in bed. Phew.

Tuesday was strange. I was up at 3:00. It was 9:00 in Maine. My body was messed up. By 4 I realized I was not really ready to be up and tried unsuccessfully to go back to bed. It just didn't work. I started the day exhausted. And yet, excited! I was ready to see what was happening.

Our dear friends Nat and Mary-Lou were so nice and invited us to stay with them in their condo for 2 nights. Mary-Lou is a rock star. She is a 57 year old buff fast woman. I admire her and hope to be like here when I am her age. She is racing Kona for her 2nd time. They were ready to show us the ropes.
We headed to the swim area for our first 'workout.' Ali'i drive was rockin' at that early hour. Amazingly hot fit scary-fast looking bodies everywhere. I tried to stand up straight and look like I belonged. Yikes. At least we were hopping in the water and I feel very much at home there. I just don't know how to describe things. YOu have most likely seen the swim start at Kona from watching it on tv. It was like that but seemed like a smaller area. We walked down some small stone steps into the sandy water. I had my eyes open for sea urchins. The water wasn't too warm at that spot. People said there are springs that cool it off in spots. I was excited. There was a buzz in the air. Ok...let's go. An hour swim. Sounds good.
I almost hollered right out loud when I started!!!!!!!!!!! I did stop and looked for someone to talk to. Eveyrone was just swimming along. HEY!!
DID YOU SEE THOSE FISH????????? I was smiling and laughing and well, NOT swimming!!! I had my hands abovemy head and I was just kicking. I stuck my head deeper and deeper. I rarely breathed. It was amazing!!! we are truly swimming through a tropical aquarium. It's stunning. shocking. Gorgeous. THe water got bluer adn bluer. A Deep aqua color. I can't say enough about the swim. If I didn't do anything else all week I would be happy. Fantastic.
Besides the is warm. It is Salty. And, it rolls. Big slow rolling swells. That day, my hands swelled. I think it might have been from the flight. It hasn't happened again.
I am writing this and realizing I can't possibly put everyhting I've done down on paper. I'll be up all night. And I must not do that. I have an Ironman in 2 days!!!! Oh that's right. I'm hear to race! It's paradise. I keep forgetting.
The rest of that day was spent: picking up my bike from Kona bike works...great people and so organized. that was smooth.
SHopping for food with Mark and Nat.
Seeing my little boys on webcam....made my day too.
I registered...saw Chrissie Wellington.
I rode on the Queen K and felt some of the heat and wind.
That was yesterday...I can't remember what else. Oh yes...the expo. I hit up some shops there...
Today was another swim. I met Marit!!! I recognized her at the swim start and that was great. We hope to connect more soon with Michelle too.
I scored myself a free, yes FREE TYR Speedsuit!! ha! Can you believe it? So did Mary Lou and our friend CArol!! FREE!! It's all about shwag tshirts all over the place. COol stuff.
I had a swim lesson from Karlyn Pipes-Neilen in an Endless pool. That was great. She tweaked my stroke a bit. Alina...she remembers you and said she Loved working with you in Camden.
I met Paul Regensburg from Lifesport...Bree Wee's coach. He gave me some great advice about riding in wind. I saw Dave Scott and Mark Allen. I saw Michelle Jones running up Palani drive.
Mark and I moved into our hotel...oh that reminds me. We saw a few Gekkos and a sea turtle at MLou's condo. Our hotel is gorgeous...all open on the coast with waves crashing. I went for a run and tried to absorb and accept the heat. I tried to convince myself how great it felt. Maine will be cold cold for months very soon...I am taking the heat in with a positive attitude.
Yes, its' hot. It's humid. I have no idea how hot or how humid because I dont' have any little gadget that tells me. But trust me, you sweat walking 200 yards.
We had a wonderful dinner tonight on an outside patio overlooking a beach on one side and rocking shore on the other. We watched the sun set over the pacific. And that reminds me of something else....while out on my swim this morning, I stopped by a catamaran anchored 700 yards from shore and had an Espresso. It's not everyday that one stops at a boat in the Pacific ocean, while doing an open water swim, and has an Espresso.
I sat under a big tree on the beach today...over the wall from the expo...and spoke to Coach Jen. While we chatted about race day stuff...I collected beautiful white coral. Yeah...I'm soaking it all in.
I must go to bed now. Tomorrow will be anotehr fun day but I hope for more down time. Time to get off the legs more and focus on the big day. Time is ticking. I made my bottles tonight and stuck them in the teensy tiny freezer in our room. I hope it works and helps a little on Saturday.

I'll post pictures soon!!


Marni said...

sounds amazing!!!

MaineSport said...

Wow! Good stuff.

Kim said...

sounds like an amazing time so far ange! soak it all in!

IronMatron said...

Wow. Ange, it sounds amazing! I can't believe you stopped for an espresso. That is SO COOL. It all sounds so cool. I can't believe you talked to Bree's coach. So cool again. I'm so glad you've written it all down. You don't want to forget these amazing details... I'm so excited just reading about it! xoxo

Michelle said...

OMG!!!!!!!! It sounds so, so, so incredible. I'd be making a damn fool of myself falling all over the pros.....

Velma said...


LG said...

FANTASTIC!! And it feels like you are on a movie set surrounded by all these uber cool celebrity athletes! of which you are now one!!!

Jennifer Cunnane said...


Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing Ange.. You are inspiring!!!