Made it back to Kona for a second year for Ironman Danish to strut his Ironman-ness at the World Championships. Growing up a sailor and having raced many a regattas on small islands that get taken over by racers, I found myself landing in Kona and getting that Block Island Race Week/Key West Race Week feeling–which, for you sailors out there, you know the feeling of which I speak. It is a feeling mixed with pre-exhaustion, excitement, nervous energy, and an “I am cooler than you are” vibe. In the World of triathletes, actually achieving the “I am cooler than you are” is SUPER easy as long as you are not a tri-geek, of course. Sailors are definitely stiffer competition in the cool department.
Of course, part of the “Big Ben, Parliament” feeling could have to do with the fact that we are on the same island, same time of year, same event, same people (friend BDubbs qualified again and his lady friend, and our friend as well, Rae, is race support for him, again), same condo…well, you catch my drift…
Anyway, let me assure you, that if Ironman Danish woke me up any morning on any of the other 355 days in the year and told me we had to get going for our open water swim, I would punch him in the face.
For certain. Not sure I would even open my eyes to line up the punch. However, here in Kona, the open water swimming is so amazing I actually drag my ass out of bed, put on my sweet bathing suit, and head down to swim.
Now, granted, there is also a coffee barge involved. In fact, I would say a solid 30% of the reason I get up to ride every morning is because I can have a cortadito or a slurpee mid ride. Now, I like cycling mucho mas than swimming, so that means that about 70% of my waking up to swim in Kona is because of the Coffees of Hawaii barge.
We had a beautiful swim, as expected. This was my first swim since my rather hard crash at ITU Cross World Champs (I still have shoulder pain, urgh!). Shoulder hurt, but luckily on this swim there are like a million Nemos, Dories, and friends to look at while you take your time to swim to the barge.
After our lovely swim, we went to the Safeway and stocked up on food. This was definitely a highlight for the day (yup, definitely easily tops swimming, no matter how beautiful) since, while at the Kona Safeway, I turned the corner, looked up, and was standing face to face with Chrissie Wellington. I played it pretty cool. Or not. I immediately recognized her, stopped in my tracks, and said “oh, so cool!!!! you are in the supermarket!!!!!” Yeah there is probably at least 20 things cooler I could have said to her. She looked at me like I was pretty much crazy or talking to myself, or perhaps on one of those super geeky bluetooth earpieces (sorry to those who wear it they are practical but not cool). Luckily, I redeemed myself when she was in line next to me (omg! omg! Chrissie Wellington is in line next to me–I saw her groceries!!!). I first apologized for interupting her grocery shopping time, and then said what I truly felt which is that she is a badass on the bike and I can say on behalf of all my Rose Bandit Team Teammates we ALL think she is and that I had a Rose Bandit Team koozie for her!!
She said that I was so nice, said thank you for the cool koozie, and then gave me a hug (I let this slide, as it was, Chrissie Wellington and maybe she would rub some speed off on me–otherwise, in any other situation, could yield terrible consequences for the hugger, as I am NOT a hugger, in fact, I think that the Women’s Lacrosse sphere checking rule should be employed on personal interations as a general rule of thumb).
I finally calmed down from this exciting trip to the Safeway. I must admit, it did take a 45 minute spin on Fergie (Fergie is on her maiden voyage to Kona–I thought it was only fair as Rizzo went last year) to really calm me back down.
Successful day #1 in the books. Ironman Danish is still head on straight and not tweaking (yet), so all is good here! How can it not be with this view from our condo?