How do you even go about writing a blog post of what it feels like on the night before your first time in Kona? I could write about how my journey here started 6 years ago as an ultrarunner who picked up triathlons and thought that running a 10 minute pace was just fine. And who thought that a 5k was no different than a 100 miler in that carrying a handheld water bottle was a must no matter what. Or maybe my journey started 18 months ago, when I was lucky enough to come under the guidance of Hillary. Or did it begin 11 months ago, when I signed the paper in Arizona to take my spot?
While this is my first trip on the Big Island, Hawaii does hold a special place in my heart already. Hawaii has shown me that “we wouldn’t want it to be easy”, but if you can endure, persevere, and stick with your plan, you come out on top. My adventures in Hawaii have brought me to some great friends who I know will be around for life.
This week hasn’t been all serious and race prep: I danced with dolphins. I learned what a mongoose is (note: NOT anything that resembles a goose….very misleading). I tried acai – and liked it. I ran around Kona in my underwear. I swam with turtles. I attempted to reenact the movie Blue Crush (and failed). I’ve laughed – a lot. I’ve walked in the footsteps of great athletes who have been racing this course for many years and whose inspiration will stay with me well beyond tomorrow.
It is truly an honor to be racing here tomorrow. I can’t say enough thank you’s to everyone who has helped me get to this point. From those who have been a cheerleader for me virtually, to those who have laced up their shoes and done many of my runs with me. From coach Hillary who has pushed me to set the bar higher than I ever dreamed, to my Rev3 family who as I type are all setting up for another great event in SC this weekend.
You will all be in my heart tomorrow on the Queen K and Ali’i Drive. The only thing left to do is go fast and take chances 🙂