I always learn so much about myself, life and my body witin every Ironman Journey. I learn about my ability to overcome obstacles and I also become aware of my limits. But when I train for an Ironman, there is nothing more special than creating memories with those who I love and who have supported me in every Ironman journey. Additionally, I love being able to inspire others through my blog, emails and facebook, and to encourage others to set and pursue individual dreams and goals.
I received a few emails from close friends yesterday regarding an article on Triathlete online that was recently published. What would I do without my faithful friends! The article was on 7 inspiring age-group athletes who are participating in Kona. It is a privilege to share this article with 6 other, amazingly talented and inspiring athletes who all are not afraid to "go for it". Sometimes it just takes a single step or a thought to get started but most of all, we should never be afraid to make the decision that we are going to change our life...RIGHT NOW!!! Why wait until tomorrow?
“If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you.”
I created lots of memories on Wednesday. While Karel and myself were out exploring the island on bikes and feet, my parents were volunteering at athlete check-in/registration (from 8:30-2:30). As I ate my yummy french toast (w/ PB), scrambled eggs and fruit (peaches, kiwi and banana) out on the patio, I relaxed as I waited for Karel to finish "fine-tuning" some of our friends' bikes. There are 8 of us from Jacksonville Florida here in Kona and I am so excited for our Hammerhead Triathlon Club crew to represent here on the Big Island!
After Karel did his magic on a few Trek Speed Concepts, we made our 10 min walk to the pier (swim start/transition area) and then headed to the host hotel. My dad greeted us at the door to tell me where to go to Register.
I love all of the "steps" during Ironman week because the volunteers make you feel so incredibly special. I thank every single volunteer for taking their time to help us out. The lady who checked me in said that she has volunteered for the past 10 years...and she isn't from Hawaii!!! That is just wonderful.
After signing lots of papers, I finally received my race packet w/ my transition bags (5 of them - I will discuss in later blog post when I pack my bags), chip w/ timing strap, 2 race numbers w/ my name on them, a bike sticker, helmet sticker, bike number and an awesome Ironman World Championship backpack w/ poster, goodies and race guide.
Karel and myself checked out the Ironman expo and then made our way to the HUGE athlete village. We made a quick stop at the pier to check out the fishies. We both had goggles so we swam a little above the water, but mostly submerged ourselves to check out the beautiful coral and LOTS of fishies!!
After our fun dip/play in the ocean, I made sure to say hello to the 110% Play Harder booth and to thank them for allowing me to be an Elite Jacksonville, FL Team member and for making the BEST gear for recovery. http://www.110playharder.com/index.htm
I also ran into Chris Lieto at the Trek boot/tent and told him how we are rooting for him and are so proud to be part of the Trek Family.
We made a stop at the well-known, hot spot hang-out, LAVA JAVA cafe and Karel got a coffee. On our walk back to the condo, we stopped at the Farmers Market where I smiled at the huge assortment of local fruits and veggies and couldn't resist bringing home some local produce to fill my kitchen.
The rest of the day we relaxed and made a quick stop at the local grocery for some food for dinner.
This morning Karel and me made our way down Ali drive to the swim start where the Hammerhead tri crew gathered in our AWESOME custom-made shirts (Thank you Shawn Burke!!!) for a few pics.
While I got myself ready for a swim, Karel met a group for a hilly 3-hour local group ride.
I checked in my gear at the swim start and put on my TYR speedsuit. My good friend Ange met me at the swim and since we are both pretty close with our swim times we swam together for 20 minutes in the bright blue ocean. The water was really choppy but seeing the bottom of the ocean floor was priceless. Ange and I swam out about 10 min, did lots of spotting as there were SO many athletes out swimming and then made our way back.
After the swim it was time for the notorious Underpants Run which was a blast! My parents met me for the super short run and it was nice to see everyone smiling with only 1 more day until race day. I saw several familiar faces and lots of half-naked bodies. I took pics with Beth and Kim (Team Ballou Skies) and we both smiled proudly as we are all three Registered Dietitians!! I then spotted Jackie Arendt (Pro, Team Timex) who gave me her slot last year at IMWI as she just turned pro this year!! I can't stop thanking her for if it wasn't for her turning from age grouper to Pro, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to participate in this event. Go Jackie....best of luck!!
What a fabulous two days and I can't believe the athlete dinner banquet is tonight!! After I pack my transition bags here shortly, we will be heading up to the mountains for a tour of a local coffee factory.