Kona: Day 1

So this morning was my first attempt at an ocean swim.  As you probably know this was the thing I was most nervous about.  I knew the swim was in a bay, but the bay I had envisioned was a Caribbean type of bay.  I was expecting the water to be pretty glassy.  Nope.  Totally not glassy.  In fact, only about 100 meters away from the swim there were surfers out catching pretty large waves.  Waves were crashing over the sea wall into the street.  Yikes.  I was standing there taking it all in and I heard a friendly, “Hi!”.  It was Lindsay Wohlers.  It was nice running into a friendly face.  We chatted for a few minutes and then I needed to get the show on the road before I just booked the next flight home. 

I jumped in, started swimming, reminded myself to breathe calmly and was totally fine.  What a total non-event.  There were a ton of people in the water, so I just navigated traffic and headed out toward the coffee barge.  That’s right, the coffee barge.  They dock a boat in the middle of the bay and serve coffee off of it.  It’s pretty freaking amazing.  I’m hanging off a coffee barge in the middle of Kailua Bay drinking Kona coffee.  How the hell did this happen?!

They were giving away free goggles to anyone who could swim down to the floor and come up with a handful of sand.  Ryan gave it a good shot, but was a no go.  He was going to try again, but the guy just gave him the goggles for a stellar first effort.  Sweet!  We were just starting to swim away when I heard someone say, “Hey FeXY!”  It was Mike Orton.  I’ve never met him before.  It’s only natural that I should run into him in the middle of the ocean.  Too funny.

As I swam back in, I started to see a bunch of beautiful little fish.  Instead of panicking, like I figured I would do, I stopped to get a better look.  It’s been such an awesome experience already.  I was just about back at the beach when I just got this flashback of the first day that Ryan took me to the RCC to try to teach me how to swim.  What a mess that was.  I am seriously having difficulty processing that I am here doing this.  I was smiling the rest of the way to shore just thinking about it.

After the swim, we headed to the A.R.T. tent.  The woman I got proceeded to work on me for an HOUR.  I’m not even exaggerating.  It was ridiculous.  She hit everything.  One time she even made a “blech” sound when she saw how poor my mobility was in my right hip.  That’s not a good sign.  Come on body, just hold it together a little while longer.  I will definitely be heading back tomorrow.

There’ve been a few pro sightings.  We ran into Macca on the street.  I looked up and there he was.  Then I ran into Michael Lovato at registration.  Both times my reaction was the same, “Oh, Hey!”….like they’re my friends.  What a dork.  You see people so much in magazines and I follow them all on twitter.  You just get this feeling like you know them.  Guess what?  They didn’t know who I was.  Ha!

Registration was pretty cool.  The volunteers were all so nice and kept asking if this was my first Kona.  I’d get goosebumps and smile like a moron every time.  “YES!”

Hit up the expo.  Had an emotional reunion with Lil’ Roo!  Oh how I’ve missed her!

So, let me preface this next story by saying that there was a couple that was having a very good time last night around 9:30pm.  I was passed out and missed all the action, but Ryan said it sounded like they were in our condo.  On our way home from the expo we ran into Coach Troy from the Spinervals series.  He’s our neighbor here in the Ali’i Villas.  Turns out he’s in the condo next to us.  We got a good chuckle out of that.  It’s possible Ryan was kept up by Coach Troy doing the nasty.  I told him that I thought it might have just sounded like sex, but that he was actually on his trainer doing a tough Spinervals workout.  At times, the two sound the same.  Ryan wasn’t convinced.

Later in the day, I went for a run.  It wasn’t a good one.  My poor body.  Sunday.  Sunday.  It will be my mantra.  Even if it’s the worst run ever, though, I will still be on Ali’i Drive.  You can really complain too much when you’re running past the most gorgeous beaches you’ve ever seen.  Perspective.

Capped the night off by a dip in the pool…well, Ryan and my mom dipped.  I sat on the edge with my legs in the water.  It was too cold for me.  I’m cold in Hawaii.  Didn’t see that one coming. 

Came home and Ryan made us an amazing dinner of grilled fresh Ahi tuna, pineapples, asparagus and peppers.  All the produce was from the great farmers market here.  I have no desire to eat out at all.  Having a daily fresh Hawaiian farmers market and seafood is a dream.

I’m freaking exhausted.  Still trying to recover from the long travel day.  It’s early to bed for me.

Next up tomorrow:  another morning swim, the Underpants run and then we’re off to drive the bike course and have lunch in Hawi.  I plan on riding the last 8-10 miles before the turn around.  It’s time to find out what this legendary Hawaiian wind is all about.  We’ll cap it off with the welcome banquet.  It’s looking like a strong day.

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One thought on “Kona: Day 1

  1. You are SOOOOOOOOO cool! I’m so glad you are there and I can live through you. Great first day! Goosebumps the whole time. Pretty sure I’ll be tearing up and crying Sunday for you. Eeeek!!

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