I just got back from a week in Kona training on the Ironman course. It was such a cool experience on so many levels. The best part of the trip was the people. Hands down. A few months ago Michelle and I met and rode with Laura Trimble when she was here training in Boulder. She was awesome sauce, and when I put out on Twitter that I wanted to spend a week in Kona training she invited me to stay with her. We meshed really well. We are in the illustrious...always friendly 30-34 AG together. She's done the Kona dance a few times, so it was a good match. Oh, and she's British, which means her accent is "dope-sauce" (something a Brit would never say. She's extremely easy going and a complete bad ass when it comes to swimbikerun.

Laura knew Nick and Scott who were also already in Kona training and waiting for race day and the 4 of us all just clicked and ended up having a blast together. The boys made us dinner several times and we dragged them out to ice cream every night we could. Nick has a Brittish accent but is from the Seychelles. He won his AG at Vegas and was 2nd in his AG last  year in Kona. He and Laura are the sensible ones of the crew. Scott is Aussie and not racing Kona, so he gets the luxury of riding his bike trailing Nick during long runs, and he's more of a short course guy. He and I claimed to be the "all over the place" ones of the group. We had a blast laughing all week. In my final hours on the island we all had Island Style Pancakes at Lava Java. It was a sad parting. Apparently they all match and once again I look like a rainbow threw up all over me....just how I like it.

Just in case you needed a close up of the Island Style pancakes. It's really the coconut syrup that takes them over the top. If they are out of coconut syrup...don't get them, you just aren't doing them justice.

Speaking of Lava Java...the food!!! Oh my gosh. We ate A LOT and we ate a lot of REALLY GOOD FOOD. Nick and Scotts homemade meals were excellent. We found a good smoothie place at Menehune that put lots of protein in them for us. The Green Honu was my favorite.

Ice Cream. We had ice cream every day except one...wait...or maybe every day. We even got busted for having ice cream with out the boys. For ice cream you have to go with Kopi Lani. Trish is the owner and she is totally awesome. Also doubles as a fairly awesome matchmaker...in case you need those services. The coffee at Kopi Lani is terrific as well, not to be missed.

And lastly...save the best for last...is Basik the Acai Bowl place. It's absolutely to die for and it has the best view. We would just sit up there together and eat and be happy. Very happy. It's really calm, and it smells really good. There is also a breeze that goes through and you always leave there just feeling really good about life.

The Sunsets. Oh my the sunsets. They were jaw dropping every day and we always ended up out and about walking around town, strolling in the evenings, and sitting somewhere watching them. They never got even a little old.

I know what you are thinking...did she actually train? Yes, I did. Every session I was happy about over there. Every session was on the course pretty much other than the Masters swimming sessions and time with Karlyn in the pool. But everything else we stuck to the course, getting up to Hawi and also to Kawaihae. We ran the entire course and I really know it like the back of my hand now. I know all the hills on the run and even jotted down the specifics on the airplane ride home.

The swimming was out of this world as well. I started off the week with a session with Karlyn in her endless pool. Laura had a session with her a few days later as well. Then we swam every day. Sometimes in the ocean, sometimes at Masters, and again at the end of the week with Karlyn to check up on our stroke. She was so giving with her time and knowledge and I can't thank her enough. Here is Laura in the endless pool with her. If you are coming to Kona for IM, get a session with her, it's really good stuff.

Ocean swimming with the boys never gets old. I still have yet to see the dolphins in Kona. 3 trips, and tons of open water swims, never seen the dolphins. Maybe next time!

And finally....the fun. We had fun, all of us. Never a dull moment when you are hanging around two young triathlete boys. I can not even explain to you the looks on peoples faces after my superb belly flop. I didn't stop laughing for at least 20 minutes. We had so much fun almost breaking our necks (it's really not deep here)!

I got a new ukulele too. It's a concert ukulele, so bigger than my soprano ukulele that I had at home. I love it a ton. Like really really a ton. I've been playing every day since I got it. Annie is taking ukulele classes after school, so now everyone in the family plays ukulele better than me...but none of them have as much fun with it.

All in all this week was just what I needed. It was hard to come back to reality. This trip affirmed that I am on the right track with chasing fun and enjoyment in sport. I trained hard, and I played hard. Laura is a lifelong friend now, and she was so awesome to tag along with for a week. The boys will always have a special place in my heart and being that they are both 22, I hope to watch the both of them have wonderful pro careers.

Until next time Kona... (full of smiles)