I had been up since 3:15A writing, packing and cleaning my gorgeous, jungle rental, which I somehow all finished in time to hustle off to the airport two and half hours before my flight took off back to the mainland, when I bent down to close the mini-green fence across the grassy driveway, and saw it.
“Oh, Universe. You’re awesome.”
My minivan rental was a champ all week, but she finally gave up her sparring match with the hot, humid temps, the narrow, craggy, road leading to and from our house, and steep, speedy single highway curves that made her retch day in and day out for eight days; her middle aged body was spent, and she was sitting in protest.
Honestly, I was simply thrilled with the timing of her surrender. If I had gotten a flat tire on Saturday morning before the race, or the night before, (Monday), driving the sixty plus miles to and from Waikoloa along the pitch black lava rock laden Queen K highway en route for one final celebratory dinner on the island with my parents, I would have lost it.
I knew we would be fine. She would be back in her cozy airport car rental stall soon, whereas I would be cramped, drooling and dozing off in my tight airplane seat wondering if the last week was really just a dream.
First, we had to get off of this skinny, hidden path, and onto the 180/Old Mamalahoa Highway where help could find us.
Over the next thirty minutes/eternity, I had a delightful conversation with the Dollar Rental Car Roadside Assistance Operator, who I can only assume was not based in Hawaii, giving her GPS coordinates to my location, which was parked on the north side of the historic two lane highway above Kona, HI. Whilst sitting and sweating inside the van, watching the minutes tick by, I pondered if I would make my flight? Or, if I would make a later flight? Or, if I would be crashing at the Kona Seaside hotel again to really bring the trip full circle?
Suddenly, a text alerted me that Jason from Lyft was on his way to whisk me off to the airport, while concurrently a tow truck was dispatched and on its way, too. Mercifully, I did not have to wait for the tow truck driver to arrive before Jason did, I just had to leave the keys under the passenger side floor mat, unlock that door, and leave with Jason if he arrived first. Then, I got a call from the tow truck driver. He was going the wrong way. Thankfully, he was a local, and I felt like one, because I had been lost/discovered a dozen different ways to get to my jungle rental throughout the week, so I quickly guided him back onto the right course, and he arrived about two minutes after my long-haired, barefoot Lyft driver, Jason, swooped me up and starting driving us down the hill toward the airport.
I made it!!!
Or, did I….?
The airport was packed. Especially the United terminal, which after some confusion and tomfoolery from Cheaptickets.com, I learned I was flying out of instead of Hawaiian airlines. Sweet… However, after my first devastating/wildly entertaining travel adventure to Dublin, Ireland for the marathon nearly fifteen years earlier, I have gained a relaxed point of view with travel. The best tactic is to just be present, polite, and go with the flow. Yes, there were some hurdles, a long line for checking luggage, then one for security, and for the first time in my life I truly believed I would miss my flight, but guess what??
Mahalo, Kona based United Airlines employees.
The next few days were an exhausted haze filled with out loud mutterings like, “Did I just race an Ironman?” “Was it in Hawaii?” “Was it THE Ironman in Hawaii?” “Whoa.”
I swam a little, pedaled a little, and ran a little. It was nice. My feet were still sore, but healing valiantly from some callus carving surgery I performed to dig out sand from Dig Me beach that snuck in from popped blisters during a couple post-race recovery swims. Neosporin gets the game ball this week, because by Sunday morning, when my first borderline real run appeared on my schedule, my feet were ready to go.
That run shook me out of my haze and dropped me into my most familiar state of mind and body, marathon prep.
The New York marathon is less than two weeks away!! I have been watching Sex and the City re-runs non-stop, as well as Million Dollar Listing New York, When Harry Met Sally, and I am reading the book, “The Creative Habit,” which is written by the ultimate New Yorker, famed choreographer, Twyla Tharp. Clearly, I am getting in the zone.
Naturally, there are some dangling participles from Kona; I‘m not sure if it will all ever sink in. It was the most magical week of my life.
I lobbed out a request for questions in last week’s post, and I received some thoughtful ones that I believe you will appreciate, so here we go:
First meal after the race?
Don’t worry, I confirmed that the fries were cooked in Vegetable oil. #plantbased
How long until you returned to normal?
I feel good, but I am probably not quite there yet. I suppose about two weeks after the race, so by this Saturday, I should be good as new.
What was your training program?
That is Top Secret.:) But, I will reveal that it included A LOT of swimming, biking, and running. #TeamHPB
What was your most memorable moment – good or bad – during the event?
Riding the last thirty-five miles along the Queen K, about fifteen of which were in the rain, passing people and allowing myself to tap into a deep reservoir of bike fitness, felt amazing.
How special is it having family there?
Very special. My parents and sister know me well, and have been rooting me along all these years I have been plugging away in triathlon, so to have them on the Big Island and share the experience with me was incredible. Also, I knew they would appreciate the significance of the event itself, and they did. It meant the world to me to have them there.
Are you aiming to go to Kona again?
YES! Plus, I have a few other triathlon related goals up my sleeve to pursue in 2019. #dontquituntilyoufinish
Following is an absolute highlight from last week! It is the new single from Post Malone and Swae Lee, Sunflower. Just wait and see, this song is going BLOW UP!! Plus, the video is fantastic. Enjoy.:)