Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Island Adventure

Local Kona girl
Worth the hike
Not a bad view

I thought I would give more updates, from Kona but was really having too much fun, plus the condo we were staying decided to be stingy with Internet access.

This was my 4th time going to Kona to spectate. I've done the tri-geek week 3 other times, so was really wanting to experience more that Hawaii had to offer this time. I swear the next time we go must include a trip to 1 of the other islands on the chain.

We arrived late on Sunday and my good friend Jenny Marine met us at the airport and helped us haul our stuff to the condo. I got a quick tour of her home/ yes she is a kona resident, complete with a post flight mai tai made from scratch! Luckily enough her home was less than 1/2 mile from our condo on Alii drive! She teaches at the local high school and had the week off of school for fall break! This meant I had a beach partner..someone not concerned about how much time in the sun during the days leading up to the race.

I did do a a little training while there, but found myself busy cross training and enjoying lots of other fun things besides swimming biking and running. The running I did was HOT, stifling actually. I reminded myself to enjoy because I know whats coming here at home and I despise it more and more every year. I decided that the hotter the better for now. A few times I ran at mid day...and once at 6 a.m. Significant difference in out it felt, but by day 4 of running, I actually thought I was getting used to the oppressiveness.

Day 1 Jenny and I headed to a beach that is definitely off the beaten path. It involved a 20 min drive over lava probably best suited for a H1 Hummer, park, and then hike 30 min over more lava. Once you're there........a beautiful white fluffy sand beach with hardly any one there. Apparently Jenny has done this before because she had beach chairs with straps that you can put on your back like a back pack!!! I was so loving this!!!!! Sitting on this beach you really feel like you're at the edge of the earth, and can see that the Big Island is truly just a big rock in the middle of the Pacific (a beautiful lava rock)

Day 2 I talked Jenny into stop grading papers and go stand up paddling. She had done it once before, me...never. The toughest part was carrying the boards across the street and lava rocks to the water. The boards are actually a lot bigger than I thought, but this was a complete blast. Its a tough workout too. Balancing on a board that keeps getting tipped by the water, then paddling like a canoe. I'd paddle paddle then stop and float. By the end of 2 hrs I felt like trying to ride the waves....but my cockiness got the better of me and wiped out more than once! I wish I had pictures of this, but certainly didn't trust my ability to take a camera out to sea. After we turned in the boards, we pseudo snorkeled around with our goggles in this little bay with a million beautiful fish. I felt like I was inside an aquarium.

One day I pedaled down to Magic Sands beach and body surfed. I pretened to act like I knew what I was doing ....(because I've done this before) , but apparently was looking quite novice as some guy who looked local asked if I wanted to try his flippers because it looked like I was struggling! Ha, I was having fun ....getting pummeled by the waves. I almost kissed a sea turtle that was catching waves also, then pedaled home to cook dinner for some Ironmen.

I did swim while in Kona, but had to borrow goggles and a cap, because I wasn't planning on it. I swam at the pier once with the guys, it was fun seeing the fish and considering I hadn't swam since Chicago Tri.....I actually felt smooth cruising and trying to stay on Adam's feet for portions. One day I got talked into swimming at the Kona Pool. I was more in awe that such an awesome pool is free. I've whined about this before. How can we live in such a populated area supposedly with $$, funds etc, and we have to swim in shallow health club pools for at pretty significant price. Not to mention sharing (no offense) with the water aerobics classes. This is a beautiful outdoor pool actually divided into 2 pools. I swam some and then watched to pros swim in the "fast" pool. Unfortunately my biking amounted to the shortride to Magic Sands beach to body surf, and then again on race day sprinting up and down the Queen K cheering and spectating. I turned it in to my own little crazy workout. I had tennis shoes on top of pedals and I would ride hard for a mile then wait and cheer, then on to the next mile or 2. At some points it was hard because the run has a few hills. Well, I was sweating at least! And...for some reason I thought because I wasn't racing I didn't need water or fluid and was parched by the end. And, I didn't steal from the aid stations even though those sponges and gatorade looked awesome. This year I made it back in time to park the bike, lock it up and actually see Adam finish.

Race day was exhausting. Its hot, and long. Somewhere Jim Vance has a picture of us passed out in the King Kam hotel cooling off and catching a couple zzzzzs before heading back out. But I kept reminding myself of what the athletes were doing so it was hard to feel too sorry for yourself. Yet, as an athlete racing it is acceptable to pee yourself and pour water over yourself, or put ice in your shorts if you get too hot. I'm not sure how good this would go over as a spectator.

I wasn't ready to leave; I could have taken Island life a few more days, but I had a special delivery...... a shark's tooth for a pretty cool 6 yr. old with the best welcome home ever:)

1 comment:

Jennifer Harrison said...

SO glad you guys had a great time in Kona and Adam had a good race too! HARD to come back, for sure! :)