OK, so the last you heard I had packed up my bike and was ready to go. Also going on that week was this:
I had been having some palpitations so I figured I better make sure I wasn't going to pass out part way through the race. This meant getting in to the cardiologist ASAP and getting a 24 hour Holter monitor test. Thankfully my family doctor is amazing and she got me in with the right people. My new cardiologist is also really great and we were able to get the testing done before I left. Results were all normal, so I was ready to race.
With that taken care of I was ready to go. Our flight was scheduled for Friday evening and after Grandpa showed up to take the kids we were off.
Once in Hawaii we picked up our rental car and headed to the hotel. One thing we learned is that it isn't easy to find your hotel in the dark but eventually we got there and checked in.
Saturday morning was the first race event with a practice swim in the bay where the race took place. I met up with my team at 7 AM to head down for the swim. This was my first open water swim and I was feeling more than a little nervous.
We all walked down to the beach together and I got to know some of my Team in Training teammates. When we got the the shore the coach said, "OK, we are going to swim out to that buoy and back." I took one look at where he was pointing and the panic started. I'm sure it wasn't that far but as I had no way of knowing the distance (being used to 25m lengths) it looked FAR. In my mind I was thinking - I thought we were just going to splash around, this is an actual workout, I don't know if I can do it.
I let everyone else go first and then started out. I didn't get very far before my brain took over and told me to stop. My goggles were leaking, I was uncomfortable with being in the water, it was too much. I turned around and went back in. At this point I texted Ward (he had gone into Kona for a group run) and told him I was freaking out. Thankfully, as I was part of a team, there were other people around. The person on the shore talked to me, calming me down. I focused on the fact that I had seen a few really cool fish and some coral in the short swim so far. One of the other swimmers came out and she talked to me about how to adjust my goggles mid-swim. Once I was calm again Isabelle told me to get back in the water. A little tough love but it was necessary. I got back out there and swam some more. Not a lot, but enough that I realized it wasn't so bad and that I could do it.
The swim ended and I walked back to the hotel with my coaches and met up with Ward. He had missed his run so was back at the hotel earlier than anticipated. That worked out for me since I needed his help to get my bike back together. Once we had that under control it was off to the expo. There was a race meeting, package pick up, and number marking. I briefly considered joining the novice swim group but decided to stick with my age group as it would give me a little extra time before the cut off if I needed it.
In the evening we attended the inspiration dinner. This is a Team in Training event in which all of the participants from North America get together. There are awards for fundraising amounts and an inspirational talk from a participant who is also a cancer survivor. It was a great evening!
After dinner it was off to the room to prep and sleep. We were meeting up at 5:00 AM so of course I didn't want to stay up too late. There was some concern on my part that I wouldn't be able to sleep but no problem. I slept great and when the alarm went off at 4:30 I could have easily stayed asleep. That is a little weird since race day is usually a time when you pop out of bed with the alarm or even wake up before it.
So, I groggily got ready, ate breakfast, and headed to the lobby. Amazingly Ward came with me even though he didn't have to. He really did a great job of supporting me throughout my training and during race weekend.
Bright and early with my team.
From there we headed to transition to set up our bikes and prep for the race. My start time was 7:40 so I had plenty of time to get nervous.