Thursday, July 3, 2014

Kona 2014 - 100 Days and the countdown is on

Today my Countdown to Kona timer is showing 100 days - last day in the triple digits!

With that I'm into the first week of the Kona training program and my semi-recovery from Cairns is well and truly behind me.  It's been a great recovery and St Pete and I have enjoyed the extra time available to us, knowing that the blinkers will now be on for the next 100 days and it will be all about Team Irongirl.

With all that time on our hands, though, we did manage to get up to some mischief.

5.30am in the garage
Minds out the gutter people!  In the space of 4 weeks we managed to finalise the sale of our property in Christchurch and buy an apartment in Cronulla - the triathlon mecca of Sydney!  Lesson to be learnt from this?  Don't give me too much empty time on my hands!  And, after no doubt spending hours devising my "cunning plan", Coach Dave got handed a compulsory mid-program break to include in the schedule.  Of course he took it in his stride and commented that we had timed the move perfectly.  Thanks D :)

So, mid-winter and training is back on.  And with it, lots of windtrainer sets.  Because even in Sydney riding in the winter is not a lot of fun.  But then again, long sessions on the wind trainer aren't a lot of fun either.  But that's OK because keeping me going on those sets are the tales of Ironmans past.  I've started downloading from YouTube the Kona coverage from previous years and this morning selected 2004 to keep me company.

These programs are great for maintaining the motivation and remembering that there's always someone out there doing it harder than you.  For instance in 2004:
  • Tracey Richardson from New Zealand featured.  She's the ordinary (formerly morbidly obese) kiwi mum who got off the couch and did ironman to make her kids proud and to raise awareness and funds for cystic fibrosis, a nasty disease that had hit two of her four children.  Tracey wrote a book about her road to Kona (Tracey Richardson: Going the Distance) and it was one of the many inspirational stories I read long before I even considered embarking on this journey myself.  
  • Then there was Sarah Reinertsen who had one leg amputated above the knee when she was 7 because of a bone growth disorder.  It was heart wrenching to listen to her talk about her school coach not letting her do soccer drills with the other kids but made her kick the ball against a wall by herself.  And, as the narrator pointed out, recounting the story of having her leg amputated didn't bring her to tears, but the story about her soccer coach did.  Yep, I also hope there's a soccer coach out there who watched that story.
  • Finally, the guy who was walking his bike to transition.  He got hit by a motorbike and his rear wheel was totally smashed up.  With 7 miles to go he was told he was allowed to walk it in and that he had time.  So he put the bike on his shoulder and started walking.  And made it into T2 with just minutes to spare before the bike cut off.
Towards the end of the coverage we saw Sarah come in off the bike.  She had missed the bike cutoff by 15 minutes.  And knowing, and seeing, how devastating that was brought tears to my eyes and added to my own resolve.  Sarah would come back in 2005 and nail it - and that, in my eyes, is what this is all about.  Using those obstacles to become stronger and finishing what you set out to do.

100 days and counting.