Friday, October 9, 2009

Hello..um... HOLY COW!


Well folks, its just about that time.

Yesterday I was all in favor of voting myself off the island. For real. Luckily there wasn't a button to press, because I surely would have deposited myself back in California. Or Minnesota.

Or Fiji.

Yeah - that sounds nice.

A tropical island with no Ironman.

Just kidding.

(sort of).

I can safely say, that this has been the longest short week and shortest long week of my life. Nathaniel and I arrived late Saturday evening, and after waiting for the next Hawaiian Airlines Flight from Honolulu to touch down, all of our luggage (and bike!) arrived. Intact. Alive.

Now THAT is cause for celebration.

Save for the demolished Carbopro 1200 bottle...that spilled over...nearly everything. Lucky our condo has a washer and dryer, along with a fantastic view. The third floor balcony (ahem - lanai...but being from Minnesota, I can't bring myself to say 'lanai'), is just high enough to provide a fantastic view of the ocean on one side, and mountains on the other.

The cross breeze is pretty neat as well, though it won't do me much good during the race. The HARD part will be passing by our place at 1.5 miles and then 8.5 miles into the run, knowing that comfort, food, shelter, cold beer is only three floors up and on the other side of the tennis courts.

Elizabeth and Chris arrived Tuesday, and though they are both very supportive, I feel that they're secretly delighted to NOT be racing. I keep hearing snippets of conversation when I'm in the other room. Words like 'hot' 'hills' 'wind' 'gross' 'uncomfortable' and - my personal favorite - 'hell', don't inspire much confidence.

However, they are both living testaments that surviving the race IS possible and most likely probable. And in the end, it truly is a life changing experience. Their advice and help has been great, and listening to their stories does much to calm my nerves. I am so happy they are both here.

In the days leading up to the race, I've spent more time exploring Hawaii with Nathaniel than we ever thought we would. Going against the advice of our resident tour book, we completed a whirlwind clockwise tour of The Big Island. My favorites were the sea turtles at Punalu'u, one of the many black sand beaches that line the coast. Nathaniel loved Volcanoes National Park.

I did point out that IF Kilauea blew up, Ironman probably would get canceled. Along with a lot of other things. But I digress.

On a different trip we explored Kealakekkua Bay, where Captain Cook first came ashore and was later killed, had a tour and went coffee tasting at Bayview Farms, visited the Painted Church (dating back to the 1800s. Between 1899-1904, Father John Velge dedicated himself to painting frescoes on the wooden walls. Simply stunning and too beautiful for words), and lastly visted the Pu'uhonua o Honaunau (place of refuge).

Now say it 3X fast!

But I have to say - the history of this island is incredible, and rushing past sights the way we've done doesn't do them true justice.

To top it off, spending time with good friends from Pensacola - Ryan and his wife Melissa and daughter Teegan - has been great. I know Ryan is nervous for the race, probably just as nervous as I am. But it comes across differently. He just makes me laugh, and that is a GREAT thing. I can safely say I NEVER though I would hear a grown man discussing his boogers at the dinner table - but Ryan is a different breed all unto himself.

I'm looking forward to seeing him - dressed ALL IN WHITE - on race day. He will do great and it'll give me a boost (and hopefully a little laugh) just seeing him out there.

Overall I'm trying to hold myself together as much as possible. I AM nervous, and I keep going between excitement to more nerves, to questioning what the hell I'm even doing out there in the first place. True - everyone looks so intense, like they're in great shape, tanned, fit, toned. And then there's me - wearing compression socks NOT to compress my legs or to aid recovery, but to keep my cankles from swelling.

You know - the fat ankles that people get. Well, I get them. And nothing says 'cankles' like walking around in the Hawaiian heat. Post race they should be delightful. No pictures, I promise.

But in all reality, I keep reminding myself that the hard part is done, the work has been put in time and time again, and that tomorrow is purely a celebration. A few months ago I was certain that I wanted to hit X time, or race at Y pace. But now I feel different. I just want to finish, to get through it all, to survive. I can only go as fast or as hard as my body will allow, and if its one thing I've learned - speed is NOT something that I do well anymore. Instead, the focus is 'strong' 'steady' 'solid'.

Survival.

Later on tonight, I know I'll go through some more panic, and there will most likely be some tears. But in the end I'm here. I GET to do this. I have this incredible opportunity and absolutely no pressure to perform. I get to spend a day swimming, biking, and running - with the support of thousands out here and even more people online. I know it will be hot, hard, uncomfortable. And I'll probably have flash backs to Father Velge's fresco of 'hell'. But no matter what, no matter if it takes me the entire damn 17 hours to finish, rest assured, I'll do the best that I can to keep moving forward

And THAT makes me smile.

Well, that and the promise of a freak volcano eruption. Hey - you never know.

Thank you to everyone for your incredible support, kind words, thoughtful messages, and inspiration. There are so many out there...and I am grateful, and truly lucky.

So - with that, number 1774 signing off.

GOOD LUCK TO ALL RACING AND SHERPA-ING AND CHEERING! Grab a cold one and saddle up!

18 comments:

Elizabeth A. Rich said...

YES!!!! My first yes is for most likely being the first one to comment on your blog :)

YES!!!! My second yes is because your BIG day is FINALLY here!!!!!!!!

YES!!!! My third yes is because no matter what I KNOW you are going to be amazing out there!!!!!

YES!!!! My fourth yes is because after tomorrow you get a well deserved break!!!!!!

YES!!!! OKay I could go on and on and on with the yes's :)

But really I am SOOOOOOO EXCITED for you and will be cheering you on ALLLLLLLLL day long until you cross that finish line!!!!!!!!!

GOGOGOGOGOGOGOGO!!!!! You have done the work, now enjoy as all the puzzle pieces get to come together :-)

WOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Cy said...

Oh Marit...I know how you feel, and as I think back on last year, I'm so grateful that I had the opportunity to experience that day. I was scared, nervous etc, but once the gun went off, I felt like I was on Could Nine. Its a wonderful gift and experience-This is the Big dance girl, and you've worked so hard to get there. Embrace the 140.6 mile journey. You have the support of thousands of fans from all over the country. We're cheering so loud for you girl- SMILE :-)

PS-I'm a CP1200 fan too :-) Sorry to hear it ended up all over your stuff.

TriGirl Kate O said...

If I could, I'd be there with beer and cupcakes at the finish line. We'll celebrate in Tucson and Sonoma. Go get 'em! Have fun! and Many hugs!
xoxo

Wytosk said...

Cheering you on from COLD Wisconsin!

Erin

Missy said...

Best of luck! We'll be cheering you from da souf...TN, that is. Rock it sista and enjoy your time. Enjoy the day and the race. It's going to be GREAT.

Teresa said...

Enjoy your day, your adventure, your journey! You get to play all day long...have fun...being here is a reward in itself!

tn

Sherry said...

Way to go, Marit! Sending lots of good luck wishes and very loud CHEERS your way from Florida!

Have a GREAT day tomorrow... and enjoy the race of a lifetime!

Courtenay said...

yay!

Kevin Mc said...

You are going to do great Marit!!
I wish I had some words of wisdom but my Georgia public school education is failing me. Just think good thoughts and do not forget your journey (past/present/future)

Anonymous said...

Best Wishes from Little Rock, AR and thanks for letting us all follow your journey. Your blog might be as close as I ever get to Kona. Relax, breathe! Enjoy the scenery. You are very blessed to have the opportunity to train and persue your dream. You HAVE worked hard and your training will pay off. Have fun most of all.

Terri said...

OK - Marit in your honor from the Midwest we are having a Kona party. Hooking up the computer to the big screen - and we'll all be there cheering and watching.

I second all of the YESes noted above. I wish you a very peaceful and successful race.

Best of luck - this one is nearly in the bag.

GoBigGreen said...

Dear Marit:thanks! I have been struggling with that word. "LA-NYE" :) yea it doesnt make much sense to me when SNOW BLOWER OR WIND CHILL are so easily pronounced. Deep breath. You rock no matter what:)
Love your fans from Minnesota.

Trigirlpink said...

Go Marit Go! :-)

Enjoy every second even when it hurts!!!

Caroline said...

Good luck Marit - just have fun, this is the reward for all of your hard work! It really WILL be one of the best days of your life, despite the hotter-than-heck heat.

Nicole said...

You are so ready for this!!!

Marni said...

Good luck, have fun out there! Nothing to be nervous about, you did all the work getting to the island..now just enjoying being one of a select few athletes to compete in the world champs!!! How exciting for you!
-marn

Angela and David Kidd said...

Good luck! Good luck! Good luck! So excited for you and can't wait to read all about it.

Kelly said...

Marit...
I've followed your blog through Stef and I just want to say you are amazing! I just saw your time and WOW!! I hope you are enjoying your cold beer now with your feet elevated. Great job!