Since my last race – Timberman 70.3 back on August 26th, it’s been all eyes on Kona! There is always an eye on Kona, but with 6 weeks to go, it’s ALL EYES on Kona! When the going gets tough, and the fatigue sets in, I go back to “Moments”; THE moments, MY moments & MY experiences that I have been privileged to have on the big island the last 3 years I raced here. The tough times, but also THE positive breakthroughs through ALL my training AND racing!
I like to reflect & visualize
It isn’t always easy, and although I feel extremely privileged to have this opportunity for 4th time, there are days when the couch or my bed sound sooo much better than swim, bike or run.
Since for the first time, I have the job flexibility that allows me to work remotely, I have been lucky enough to come to Kona early – YES, I am already here, which means my last big block of training will happen right here, on the race course. So instead flooding social media with pics and posts every 5 minutes, I thought it would be interesting to give you a daily insight into my training with just 16 sleeps before the big day!
I arrived in Kona late Tuesday (9/20) night. My journey began on Tuesday morning 3am Kona time. Few flights later - Boston – Atlanta – Los Angeles – Kona, I arrived on my favorite island almost 24 hours later. Being stuck in the middle seat on an airplane for the last 6 hours meant no shut eye, and I was ready for bed! At least I had my snacks although it was a close call.
The almost confiscated "snacks" by Boston homeland security (few turkey/cheese & pb/j sandwiches missing from the photo). Apparently I had too many?
My bags arrived safely. Renting a car was a very pleasant and speedy experience which isn't always the case here on the Island. People are nothing but always pleasant here always, but they do take their time. Island time is island time and I love that except after I have been sleepless for far too long.
Trying to jam my way too heavy of a suitcase and bike bag along with couple carryons into that car however was the exact opposite. I guess I need to hit the weights a bit harder next year ;) Very dark drive while half asleep later (there really aren’t many street lights here in Kona), I was “home”!
Day 1: Wednesday – September 21st (16 days until the big day)
First full day on the Island. I really didn’t need an alarm clock because I woke up literally every single hour on the hour, and finally got out of bed around 6am because I was absolutely starving. My body was ready for lunch – I mean breakfast! Jet leg is real, and I am glad it wasn’t more than a mere 6 hour time difference.
First stop – Breakfast at Lava Java. Getting here before most athletes hit the town, meant the best table in the house!
Breakfast with a view and absolutely no wait!
Next up - bike building with a quick stop do Bike Works (If you have any bike needs while here on the Island those guys will probably have what you need! That store is awesome and very conveniently located!)
My Quintana Roo PR6 is easy to put together but it's always nice to have help!
Then it was nap time! Jet lag is real ;)
I love my "Elevated Legs" recovery boots so much I brought them with me :)
45 min later, I went for an easy 1 hour shake out ride on the Queen K! It felt good to be re-united again although I am sad to report I have yet to see any “Ironman in Training” signs (I guess I’ll have to wait for those for one more week?)
Kona isn't all about the lava rock!
Quick shower (or maybe not), I headed down to get my first (of many) Acai Bowls at Basik Acai right on Alii’ Drive followed by lunch or dinner (my body still has no idea what time it is) at another island favorite – Da Poke Shack (also located on Alii Drive).
These Acai bowls are the bomb!
I waited a year for this! Da Poke Shack - YUM!
I also had a shakeout run on the schedule, but with still feeling a bit off and with a BIG day of training coming up tomorrow, I decided to get all the errands out of the way instead, so as of tomorrow I wouldn't have to worry about much else but training, relaxing and of course doing some work.
With that said, with full bellies, we headed to Costco! The way to do food shoping here on the Island if you have the privilege of making your own food! Prices are much more reasonable and even Costco here carries local food!
For anything that’s not suitable buying in bulk, we headed to Safeway, which is now open 24 hours AND has chickens in the parking lot! Chickens that climb trees apparently!
Can you find the chicken?
Food shopping madness at Costco and Safeway was followed by accidentally running into a stunning sunset! This will never ever get old. This is one way to snap me back into Aloha time!
Sunset over the swim course
I just can't get enough
And the sun is gone
Before I knew, I was just trying to force myself to stay awake past 8pm! I made it to 10 before it was lights out. Hopefully that will mean I won’t be up at 3am tomorrow because I have a big day (of training) on tap!