After a deep full nights sleep (I know, crazy right) my first thought when I woke on race day was “TODAY IS A NEW DAY!” and I went pee and packed my bags, made my bottles, and hoped I wasn’t forgetting anything. We headed down to the race, blasting the radio, singing at the top of our lungs. Troy/Annie and I parted ways with a kiss and off I went. Body marking was the WORST I have ever experienced at Kona. I literally felt like a COW off to slaughter in there as the time ticked away. The division of labor was WAY off, and it was stressful to be compacted too close to all the other super nervous athletes in a hot tent. I almost felt a bit of a panic attack coming on.
Then onto the dreaded medical scale. 141.8. Wow, very much the heaviest I’ve been in Hawaii. I think a full 13 pounds heaver than the leanest I’ve raced here. But hey, I'm healthy and happy and it was the first time in months I stepped on a scale and that there is some serious progress.
After I got out of there I literally had time to pump my tires, put my nutrition on my bike, go potty, put my swim skin on, have a last minute pep talk with Alex, and boom, it was go time!
Oh, but they had the MOST COOL Redbull dudes jump out of an airplane before the race. It was AMAZING and I was in the potty line at the end of the pier when they landed in the water not 15 feet from me. I was like “WOW that was AMAZING!!” and all the athletes around me looked at me like I was stupid. I wanted to be like “Dude, they have never done that before, you should think that’s cool too”.
This year they separated the age group men from the age group women for the swim start. The age group men started 10 minutes before us and I was so excited about this. The men got off and we women got in to warm up right afterwards. They partitioned us off this year so I wasn’t able to swim over to Annie and Troy to blow kisses, I just had to swim straight to the start line. I lined up towards the right, towards the front and just soaked in the fact that it was all us ladies. I loved that.
Instead of the start being mostly men with a few quiet pink caps, it was a whole group of women and they were cheering and telling each other good luck and just being strong kick butt women. It was just SO GIRL POWER and by far the most special Kona start I’ve ever experienced. With a cannon, off we went and it was beautiful.
That morning I saw that a swell had come in, there was chop and swells and I knew it would probably be a tougher swim, but I felt like I swam great. I felt steady and strong. I found lots of great feet. I didn’t get beat up and I was able to swim the buoy line. I knew the course well and felt like I was in the right place and putting out the right amount of effort the whole time. It was also really gorgeous. I told myself a few times “this might me the last time you do this, enjoy it” and I did. I looked at the bottom when I wasn’t looking at the feet in front of me. I looked at the palm trees, I smiled at the scuba divers and I constantly came back to my cues “relax, pull, chest down”
Coming in the final stretch I was right along the pier. I cut the final buoys perfect. Nailed it!! There were the steps, and an awesome volunteer was helping me out of the water. I looked at the clock out of the water (its impossible not to, its RIGHT THERE) and it said 1:10. And this was a little errie. When Dr.Steve and I talked through my race we talked about some hiccups that I might experience and one of them was “I get out of the water and the clock says 1:11.” So we literally practiced seeing 1:11 and releasing it. Mental training folks, ya gotta do it. It was written into my prerace script that I see 1:11 and I say to myself “It’s long, move on”. Then I get out and BAM…1:10!!!! Wowah…eerie!!!
Also, I’m a big believer that we manifest what we think about and the more I realize this the more I see it in my life. Sometimes I call it Jedi mind trick. So after I said “It’s long, move on” I said to myself….”Duuuuddddeee, you made that happen….” but not in a bad way, just in a eerie way.
I ran through the showers and grabbed my completely empty T1 bag, then into the tent, off with my HUUB skin suit, into the bag and I’m outa there. I get to my bike, throw on glasses and helmet, grab the bike, and off I go. Huge smile on my face!