Troy and Annie flew into San Jose Monday night of race week and the reunion was so sweet. Seeing them just filled me with joy and I was excited to head to Kona the following day. Rolling into Kona on Tuesday of race week I was tired. We put in so much training and we had been resting me, but I was still just tired. A little about that… I am robust. Have you all noticed? It takes a rather large baseball bat to take me down. But here’s what we have found…it takes A LOT of work to force adaptation out of me. Because I’m hard to beat down, it takes MORE training than most to get progress from me. So for me, volume matters. And there were some 40 hour training weeks. This FAR surpasses most all age groupers on the line, and is in line with many of the Professionals workload. I don’t want to sound strange or wrong here, and I’m not saying I wasn’t born with some talent in the endurance area, but I have really had to work for every ounce I’ve gained in this sport. Some compete at a really high level in this sport on 20ish hours a week, but I am not that girl. In order for me to get up there it seems I've have had to put in twice the normal workload. That's why, for me, enjoying the training is so important.
So we get into Kona and Tuesday was stressful. My bike was a mess from 4 weeks of being riden all the time and not seeing James at Tribella. It was an angry PR6! Between checking into our treehouse (yes, we rented a tree house up mountain, it was amazing), swimming, massage, eating, and building the bike, I was in a dead run all day and collapsed that evening from tiredness.
Wednesday Michelle and I were planning to meet up after my coached swim with Muddy to have some much needed (for me) girl time and go through registration together. I woke up and I was tired. I didn’t want to go swim, just wanted to stay at the treehouse and eat pancakes, but I got myself together and got there for the session, although not my perky self. Swim was fine, met up with Michelle and now this is the craziest story:
So at IM Boulder I was at mile 7 of the bike waiting for the racers to come by when I met Pat and Tony. They were the volunteers at that intersection and we hit it off. They are amazing people and we exchanged emails. Well, I walk into registration and sit down. The guy I’m sitting in front of is the same guy who checked me in last year. I tell him “you checked me in last year! You wrote two books on Colorado history and live in Highlands Ranch 4 months out of the year” He gave me this look like “Wow, you remembered” We were laughing, he looks up my name, and says, “You need to go to the PRO table” I give him the “utter confusion” face and as I turn around I see Pat (from Boulder) coming over with a big smile.
So I go to the PRO table and she has my packet and bag and everything all put together! I sit down at the table to sign the papers and we are so excited to see each other. She said to me “Did you get my email” and I say “no?!” And she says “I read your blog and I wanted you to know that if I had my life to do over again I would want to live it like you are living yours”. Then she continues to bless me with more compliments and yea, I started crying. There have been many times I wondered if I was a bad mom for doing all this triathlon stuff, or a bad wife for being so tired around my hubby or a bad life partner for not brining in more income. But a little voice in my heart has always said “Its okay, its okay”. In that moment, her words just struck a cord and I can’t thank her enough.
I signed the papers and Pat walked me over to get my timing chip, and then she took me to another lady and said “Follow her”. I thought the lady was going to take me out of registration a shorter way, I was a little confused, and then the lady looked at me and said “You are being taken to doping control.” I was like “WHAT?!” and then I instantly got a huge smile on my face. My first thought was “Holy moly, they think I’m going to win” which was crazy because I spent the whole year trying to convince myself of the same thing!
Drug testing was exactly what you would think. I got tested by WTC and it was blood only. It took 70 minutes and I think I was the most upbeat and friendly person they saw all day. I told them all about the treehouse, my 5 years of trying to get a bowl. I told them my favorite joke “If I don’t get a salad bowl this year, I’m heading to Crate and Barrel). They were very nice people, and they love their jobs.
I don’t have any reasons to worry that a test would come back anything but negative, but it is interesting sitting in that room, you can’t help but think….is Osmo safe, are picky bars safe, are antibiotics for the saddle sore safe? I can’t even imagine sitting in that room if you were guilty. Stay clean people! WTC knows that the AG population wants AG testing, and they are doing it! Two thumbs up!
So, my girl time with Michelle got blown by the testers and when I got out of there I had to cruise over to QR to get my bike, and then meet Muddy and others for my ride/run. I had a pretty craptastic training day. I felt tired and just kaput. I dragged myself back to the treehouse after those sessions and I was done. I was calling uncle.
The next morning Muddy wanted me to call with my resting heart rate and we had a chat and decided I needed a Sonja day. Just a chill out, “what is triathlon?” sort of day. Our treehouse hosts made us lillicoi pancakes and told us about all these wonderful spots to go have fun.
We went to a great beach, explored an underwater lava tube, and went on the Kohala ditch tour. We had the best guide CJ who gave me his Kona ring for good luck. It was a grand day and I felt so relaxed by the end of it. Just what the doctor ordered.
Friday is always a nutzo day. There are sessions to get in, bike check in, bag packing, etc. I was running around a lot getting everything taken care of and at about noonish I had to pee really bad and needed to pick up breakfast for the next day. We went to Island Naturals and after I got out of the bathroom Troy said that the drug testers had called his phone and wanted to talk to me. They said “We are at the treehouse, how far away are you?” I told them about 20 minutes and they said “Okay, we will wait”. That stressed me out. We had to put our stuff back and jet back to the treehouse for blood and urine test from WTC. When we got there I was like “you all just wanted to see the treehouse” and although that wasn’t the reason, they were very excited to see it! haha! I had just peed at the store, so getting that sample took awhile, and I asked questions like “why a second test, why me, etc” but they don’t have any answers other than “you are on the list.”
Then we had to jet back down to bike checkin. Ironman had forgotten to put into my packet one of the little pieces they wanted us to use to attach our bike number onto our bike. I figured I could pick up an extra at bike checkin, but of course NO. I ended up sitting in the sun sweating my butt off stressing about the bike number and worried that the way the volunteer had me put it on would get me a penalty and then the volunteer would be long gone. I asked to see a referee and they were not able to satisfy that request. It was just stressful, stressful, stressful.
Finally we headed up mountain to dinner at my favorite place called Annie's. I walked in there so tired and fed up that I ordered a cocktail. I've never had a cocktail the night before the race, but I had never been this out of whack before a race either. Back home at 7ish from dinner, I was exhausted from the day. I was so overwhelmed I couldn’t pack my race day bags until race morning. I also had to ask Troy to go to the store and get my breakfast stuff. He hates going out in the evening and he was tired too so I felt bad for asking. I collapsed into bed at 8pm, thoroughly wiped, and was out in 30 seconds.