On race morning just like I prefer to do I got up super early so we could be to to T1 with tons of extra time to spare and no need to rush. Kyle pumped my tires, I filled my bike bottles and salt sticks, I made sure my bike shoes had lots of glide in them so no blisters and random other small details. I also realized the best part about getting to T1 early is no lines for the porta potties and they don't stink yet.
After getting body marked and another quick review of the bike we headed down to the beach to hang out and get ready for the swim. We got a quick pic of all the people from the team Pauole Sport that did the race. (Eric, Laurie, Aaron, Mike, me)
Of course had to get a few more pre swim pics - at least this time I did not cry when my Mom hugged me like in Clearwater. and with that I was off to go get in the water.
I decided to start out in the water rather than on the beach so I swam out into the masses and found a sport in the middle of it all. The current kept pushing everyone past the start line so they moved us back a couple of time till finally the cannon went off to my surprise lol. I remember thinking "oh ok was that the start already".I felt pretty good. There was a little chop on the water but nothing worse then the pool at masters swim. I love how clear the water is - you can see all the people around you and avoid getting kicked most of the time. I do have to say that the people(seemed to be mostly guys) that stop and breast stoke suck. They all of sudden start kicking sideways and I got a few kicks in the ribs and sucks. The only other annoyances/issues was that my swim cap kept sliding back off my forehead so I had to pull it back on a couple times.. Anyways I felt good and just swam my best. I stayed mostly on course and felt like I was more in the middle of things than in previous years. The waves mostly brought me into shore and I still felt happy about my swim overall. Then I focused on trying not to fall on my way up the beach.. Then I ran up the hill to the rest of T1, pulled the speed suit off, shoes on, helmet, glasses, race belt and I was off.. I am so glad no one I knew saw what happened next - after peddling for a minute I thought it felt like my rear tire was flat or low and tried to look at it. Now coming out of the water I don't always have the best balance so I acted like a total clutz and rode my bike off the pavement and into the gravel almost tipped over.. and stopped and checked my tire all the while feeling like a total dork when it was fine.
I started the bike with a little bit of fear that my leg/hip would hurt and have issues so I focused on smooth circles, just getting into a rhythm and start getting in the nutrition. Before checking my bike on Friday Kyle had move my seat back just a little bit and by the turn around at Mauna Lani I could tell my hip was not getting as tight as it had been. so I picked up the effort some but at the same time my legs felt alright but not super perky.
I felt good through the rollers and continued to be surprised and happy my leg did not hurt but i did find that I felt the climbs more in the glutes than normal.. and stayed with it. I took a salt every :30, sport legs every :30, a gel every hour and drank frequently.. I had started with 1 bottle of acceleraid and at the second aid station I tossed it and grabbed another bottle of gatorade. I am done with it - it was upsetting my stomach. So the rest of the race I just drank gatorade endurance (I could hear Kyle cheering - he hates the stuff and how it leaves gunk in bottles afterwards).
Laurie passed me at some point and we cheered for each other - I think she even said see you on the run..
The climb up Hawi was not to bad till got to the final climb and the headwind that joined in on the fun. The best part is I finally felt warmed up and found my rhythm so I passed a lot of people on the climbs which always feels good :) Thank you hill repeats.
I faced one of my biggest fears on the way back down and I continued to stay in my aero bars and no touching the brakes :) (teeth chattering smile). Mostly I was just soooo happy that I made it up to Hawi with no leg pain. I was a bit bummed to see that I was a bit off my desired time but at that point i did not care to much just knowing my leg did not hurt. So I stayed focused and kept up on my nutrition all the way back to T2.
On the turn off from the Queen K I found it funny that most people seemed to act like the bike part was over even though there was 3 more miles - so even though I was not supposed to not pass I did.. a bunch. and just like that I was in T2.
I came in dropped the bike, grabbed my run bag, switch shoes, switch helmet for hat and grab gel bottle. I looked for volunteers putting sunblock on but did not see any, considered the porta potties but did not want to waist time so off I went on the run.
And it started on the grass of course... (got to love the gel packet hanging out of my shorts)
I started off easy just get my leg under me and see how things would play out. I actually felt pretty good, a little bit of a sloshy stomach but nothing the heat would not burn off (or so I hoped).
They changed the run course so having done the race the last 2 years did not help out a ton.. I knew the parts of the course that were on the road but the other 6 miles were a mystery on grass. By mile 2 or so my stomach started to settle and I focused on keeping my temp down. I walked the aid stations and made sure to drink gatorade, toss cold water on my head, grab ice, sponges, and if they had them orange slices (mmmm).
I kept going back and forth with one gal, we would pass each other then be walking the aid station - so started talking.. We wound up running and chatting and just kept running together. It was great - made the run fly by even though the course was so difficult. I was not even paying attention to time, we just ran between each aid station, got what we needed and kept running. Only once or twice we walked up a hill or something. It was funny it was not till after running together for a couple miles we asked our names. lol And in no time we were heading down into the long out and back into the lava (mile 9ish). As always this sucked and seemed longer than in years past but we ran down and were able to run all the way back out. I passed Laurie from Pauole Sport at some point on the way back up (she seemed to expect it was going to happen) and we cheered each other one. Once at the top we started picking up the pace as much as we could knowing that we would be done sooner that way.
It was great to see T2 and the turn to the finish line. I still felt pretty good but mostly was just ready to be done.. As we turned toward the finish Joy (#1242 in the pic) wanted to kick it in strong and in that she out kicked me and beat me by a couple seconds lol.
And just like that it was over - I was done..
Overall finisher 637/1057
Age group finish 24/44
Overall time 06:27:55
A few post race photos as well
Love the sponge still in the back of my top.
Yeah I am sooo strong
James and I
Mom and I
Best of all the ice bath (Kyle finally pulled the sponge out of my jersey)