Race Week! Kona ’13

It’s taken me a while to get to writing about Kona. For one, I have been swamped with this temporary duty that the Air Force sent me to in order to get me all trained up to be the best public affairs officer that I can be. I forgot how tiring school is! Sitting in a chair for 8 hours a day tires me out more than running around the office back at work all day. Then there’s homework…yuck..who likes homework. Just let me go run a marathon instead. But seriously. I’m sure some of you agree.

Secondly I think I have still just been in shock from the whole experience and the result. It’s still not real life.

Flashback to the 4 days I got to spend in Kona leading up to the race-it was a huge blur of mood swings, friends, dad, underwear, free schwag, coffee, tanning, more coffee, starburst candy corn, Liz, more mood swings, dad, alcohol, and maybe a little training in there.

Obviously I had a strong firm grip on my race prep and life in general that week.

In all seriousness though it was the greatest week of my life. Pretty sure I said that in 2012 Kona as well. It’s just an amazing experience and the energies around you during the week are indescribable. You wonder if walking around in the heat literally all day at the expo is going to tire you out for the race…but you do it anyways because it’s just SO COOL. I got to meet Chrissie Wellington, my hero, she signed my shoes! I got to look at all the beautiful new technology that has come into the world of triathlon (those sunglasses that display a bike computer while you ride are crazy looking.) And finally I got to hear some pretty impressive athletes speak at some of their sponsors tents. It’s nice to know that they are normal people like us. Just way faster. 😉

I know that most athletes blog about their pre race prep, their nutrition, what they do down to the littlest thing to prepare during race week. I could do that, but it would greatly disappoint most of you. It would also lower my image of seeming to know what I’m doing.

In short, my dad is my lifeline during race week. I will do a separate post with my personal pre race prep, but just know that my dad is the mechanic and the brains behind me.

My prep that I prefer to talk about, the prep that I’ll never forget, are the people who prepped me. My amazing friend Liz planned for almost 8 months how she was going to make this whole trip work so that she could help me out. She flew to Hawaii with me, booked the same flight, used her own leave days from the Air Force, dealt with my moodiness all week, fed me healthy food, made sure I stretched and rolled and got sleep, and in general just was more than I could ever dream of or ask for. Without her, I would’ve been tripping over my bike box and struggling to check into hotels and rent cars all on my own, like 2012 Kona had been.

My friends from the Academy, Kayla and Alexa, flew over from Hickam Air Force base to see me as well. I’ve never seen better fans. They made the funniest Miley Cyrus spoof signs to cheer with they followed me around the expo, they were eager to learn every little thing about triathlon in 2 short days that they could. They understood that I had to go to bed early and didn’t make fun of my old-lady-habits.

I have found that the friends I made at the Academy are the best people I will ever meet in my life.

All of the great people around me just made race week fly by and a lot less stressful. Heck, I sometimes forgot I had an ironman on Saturday because I was having so much fun. But, Friday night did come. And all too quickly!

Can’t wait to post my actual race experience, I’m going to make sure I fill it with lots of gruesome details :0

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Kona prep wrap up, part 1 of this late race review

Kona 2013 Part I, Training Wrap-up

I am on my way to the big island, finally, after a long summer of island hopping, training, racing, working at my big girl job, and having more family time than I’ve gotten to have in years. I definitely invested most of my free time and energy into training for Kona. It is a good feeling knowing that I have done everything (probably too much) that I can to physically prepare. Now it’s just a matter of convincing my silly brain that I am mentally ready.

This summer’s prep consisted of a month in Guam working solely on running in the humidity and heat. I got a few solid swims in, but mostly I was just pounding the mileage on the road. I also picked up crossfit at the local gym on the Army base to get some cross training in. I was skeptical about it at first but after only a week I was feeling stronger in all different ways. It was nice to have an opportunity to just train with no school or work to put in the mix.

The second month of my summer vacation was mostly spent on the trainer and in the pool. I was also keeping up with high running mileage because I was feeling good from the previous month. Once again, no work and school made for better training and happier me. My parents cooking didn’t hurt, either.

By the end of July it was time for reality to come barging into my life. I had to start working at my new Air Force base and learn what it’s like to be an officer! I had heard rumors about an easy 9-5 job, but it was definitely the opposite. The first week I spent 730am-7pm almost every day. Talk about a buzzkill. By the time I got home my workouts were less than successful. To make sure I didn’t ruin my Kona training I started waking up at 0330 and going to bed late. It really hurt. I didn’t think I’d make it to October 13th!

I started going home on the weekends to race in century rides with my dad. I raced a half marathon with my sister for some solid training as well..the local triathlon team welcomed me with open arms and we spent long hours in the 50m ymca pool. After my last weekend of racing which consisted of a half ironman over in Raleigh NC, I felt like I had done all I could to prepare for Kona. My nutrition was a big part of the training as well. After last year at Kona I promised I would try to work on the little things like stretching and nutrition if I ever got the blessing to race at Kona once more.

Tapering week is always the hardest for me. My body has no idea what is going on. Luckily I have my best friends and my dad out on the big island with me and this week should be lots of fun. If they manage to handle the moody emotional mess that I turn into during race week. 🙂