This is just crazy. I mean, absolutely crazy!! Just in case you were wondering about the hip, I feel better and I can kinda run. Actually, running slow is a lot easier than walking due to the shortening of my gait if I "run". So, looks like I will have to dig really deep to finish this race with my "healing" injury...or, just don't walk!
Ok-now to the exciting stuff. Who cares about the hip when I am in Kona! Let me talk about my long trip here. The flight left early (7:40am) so therefore, my family, luggage and bike needed to get to the airport super early. I was up at 4:40 am and we were heading to the airport and I just couldn't believe that 12 hours earlier I was packing up my bike for a last minute decision to go to Kona. I saw a couple Ironman people on my first flight to Arizona but it wasn't until I arrived in Phoenix that I was overwhelmed and just amazed by the number of athletes. I felt sorry for the vacationers on the Kona flight cause with all those triathletes, I'm sure the plane was a little heavy with bike cases. Well, then again, I think triathletes with less than 10% body fat easily make up that weight difference!!! There were m-dots, ironman schwag and lots of shaved legs. In addition to a starbucks coffee cup in a hand, it is really easy to spot out the triathletes on the airplane. I talked with a couple people but I mostly kept to myself and listened to others. I felt like the Ironman Kona virgin that I am and I was just honored that I could be on the plane with everyone. It is funny how you can feel so good about your body, health and fitness on an airplane full of semi-active and sedentary people as you proudly wear a race t-shirt after a race or some type of schwag from a race that you did earlier this year, but it isn't until you get on a plane full of Ironman World Championship triathletes that you feel completely out of shape!!! This is so freakin' crazy!!! It was so amazing flying over the big island. First you see the dry part of the island and then the rainforest and then comes the lava. So cool looking!! Once we landed it really hit me that I was here and boy was I living it up! Pictures every five seconds and once my luggage and bike came, it all became so exciting. We headed to the condo in our rental car and even with 1 week until the race, there were athletes everywhere!!! People riding w/ aero helmets and race wheels on the Queen K and Ali drive was filled with runners (boo hoo!!!). That's ok-I'll be running (with no other choice and an incentive to run) plenty come October 13th! Our condo is about 1.5 miles from the athlete village and about 2 miles from the pier. This is just crazy! It was never a dream for me to do an Ironman. It was just something I wanted to do. The dream was to do Kona! I remember watching Ironman DVD's for the first time in 2005 before my first half ironman and just thinking how cool it was...the Ironman World Championship! So much history and fame on that island and it is where the best Ironman triathletes compete. I was just getting into triathlons at that time and I knew that I wanted to race in Kona. I didn't know when I would get there but I was super excited to work my way to get to that island. I just can't express how honored I am that I am here. And now that I am here, forget the injury! I am so super excited to be here...and be one of them. I don't feel any more special than the other athletes but I just feel special that I can be one of the athletes. The condo is just beautiful and we have a great view of the ocean. We got a couple grocery's at Wal-Mart and had a light dinner. I tried to staying up as late as i could last night but it wasn't that hard after we arrived and I was super psyched to be here. I went to bed around 7:30 pm kona time and woke up around 5:30am Kona time. 10 hours of sleep isn't so bad, considering I've lost a lot of hours of sleep due to all the stress the last couple of weeks.
So-that's about it. Of course I'm writing this blog after a morning of swimming by the pier but I will save that blog until later. I'll watch a little of Ironman USA on versus right now (10am Kona time) to get my adrenaline pumping (all Ironman races get me excited) and then I'm off to ride my bike. Taking it easy today and riding on the flat parts of the Queen K. I plan on doing around 30 miles by myself but I'm sure I'll be in company with lots of other triathletes.