I first want to start with a huge thank you to everyone who supported and donated to our Lavaman fundraising efforts for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We raised $5351.11, making me, a fundraising allstar for Team in Training. The triathlon itself was a journey to prepare for and even sign up for but I couldn’t be more glad I did.
I was going through some personal turmoil when I signed up for the triathlon and figured it would be a good way to channel stress, little did I know how life changing it would truly be. I decided rather than drinking, I would put most of my energy into my workouts and see where it would take me. By race day I was down 25lbs, 7% body fat, and 5 inches around my waist and tush! Yay for that!
As race day arrived, I was admittedly nervous and stressed. Luckily I had one of my best friends by my side and I couldn’t have been more thankful. We watched the most beautiful sunrise on the day of the triathlon over the volcano’s and transition area. Today was the day, even though my eyebrows are stuck in my cap in the picture above and make me look a bit mischievous.
I jumped into the water after my warmup with 200+ other women and was ready to go. I am a fairly strong swimmer considering my background and knew this would be a good way to get out ahead. I had given myself 45 minutes in my estimates prior to the race to finish in 3:30. Dominique waiting on the sidelines was sort of expecting that too. I was out of the water in 28 minutes for the .93 mile swim (go me!) So fast she didn’t event catch me. She thought based on our caps I was one of the first 10 out of the water. The sprint triathlon I did in 2013 I completed in 2:02 (woof!) so I was hoping for a 3:30 at best. The 2013 race I took my time in transition, really took my time, but this time I was not messing around. I was out of transition on my bike within 2 minutes. The bike I can only describe as the most exhilarating experience of my life. On one side I was seeing nothing but lava fields and on the other side were the pro’s zipping by. In that moment I truly fell in love with the sport of triathlon and knew it was for me. I did fall on my bike ride which was symbolic of life. I was bloody, I hurt from head to toe, literally, I scraped up my whole left side, but I didn’t quit. I didn’t train for five months to quit from a few bruises and a little blood. No way. I wrapped up the bike in 1:29.
I hopped on my bike and ran into transition through quickly as I could, sprayed on a bit more sunscreen, as it was about 85 degrees and 80% humidity, my left side screaming as I put the alcohol spray on. The black pavement run along with the last two miles over lava/coral terrain, finishing in soft sand, were a bit tough, but I have to say, what I’m probably most proud of over the fall, was that I never walked. I wanted to walk more than anything but I didn’t. As fast as my legs would take me over the shifty path, I wasn’t going to stop.
I even put a flower in my hair.
Even with the fall, I ended up 15 minutes ahead of my goal time at 3:14:41 with 5 minutes off the bike when I fell. The release of crossing the finish line was something I can’t quite describe. Not only finishing the race but finding a place outside of what I do to be able to find myself what the biggest thing I took away from this experience. I did enjoy pilates a few years ago but it didn’t challenge me in the way I needed both mentally and physically. I can see my results and the changes I making in a very vast way with triathlon sports. I am able to channel my stress from work in such a different way. We did find a few boozy outlets after the race to get into. The local favorite we imbibed on as well was Kona Brewing Company who was also a race sponsor and brewed a Lavaman Red Ale specifically just for the race. We did also find one place that had craft cocktails! I had one too many pineapple caipirinha’s the night before we headed home at said bar. They also wanted $70/oz for Pappy 12yr (side eye followed by eye roll) I do wish I didn’t have a coconut allergy because all the Pina Colada’s Dominique had, looked so freaking yummy!
Kona, was a fairly lazy town. We were in Wikaoloa where the triathlon was for half the time and Kona for the second half. I plan on going back next year to repeat the race but visiting another island rather than staying on The Big Island. Although the temptation of such a beautiful place to cycle, is rather appealing. I would go simply just to cycle there.
Moving forward, Femme du Coupe will proceed with blog posts on Drink Fashionably. I feel a little weird having had such a shift in my personal life, posting about triathlons on a drinking blog. I will be posting on Trifashionably.com (coming soon) as I tri my hand at life (get the pun?!)
Thank you to all of my friends, family, colleagues, and class participants who were apart of this journey! I can’t express in words how thankful I am. I owe you a hug. Cheers to new chapters, new toasts, and new journey’s in life!
All the love,