As everyone is well aware, Kona was this weekend. I had some friends racing (Travis and White Hot) as well as knowing some other people out there as well (Cait Snow as a USA Pro and Pat Wheeler from QT2). Add Chrissie Wellington in there and you have the 5 people for whom I was actively rooting.
I don't know why I am so emotionally tied to Chrissie Wellington. When she pulled out of Kona last year, I was devastated and lost my motivation to watch the race. This year, she crashed her bike 2 weeks before the race and (thankfully) only sustained minor injuries, but still, that's enough to ruin you for an upcoming Ironman. (I know, I am truly just happy that her injuries were not life-threatening, unlike what happened to Jordan Rapp a few years ago). As I sat in my apartment streaming the live feed on Saturday, and Chrissie came out of the water several minutes slower than usual, I started to worry. When she didn't make a big gain on the bike and as Julie Diebens continued to pull away from the field, I started to worry more. But when Chrissie hit the run, I started to believe that she could pull it off. (I never REALLY lost hope, but it wasn't looking so good for a while there - apparently I forgot how truly amazing of an athlete that she is). Her and Rinny were running through the field at almost the exact same pace, separated by ~3 minutes. Chrissie took the lead, and I was literally on the edge of my seat wondering if she could hold off Rinny.
And she did.
And as much as I love seeing Chrissie run away from the field, as she has done sooo many times, it was exciting to see her challenged, fight back, and win. ALL while feeling less than 100%.
It was also crazy to see her looking as shelled as she did after the race.
I truly believe that Chrissie is THE spokesperson for triathlon. She is always humble, she takes everything that happens to her in stride (flat tires, bike crashes, being sick, etc) and always comes back better, faster, and stronger. She is an amazing athlete and an amazing woman, and I truly admire her in all aspects. Which is perhaps why I am entering a race (Timberman) next year JUST for the chance to meet her (oh.. and race a 70.3 - no biggie).
Anyways, enough about Chrissie. I am very, very happy at the outcome of Kona, to say the least. Congrats are also in order to Crowie who obviously won the men's race and broke the 15 year old race record, and one of my other favorite pros, Cait Snow, who I met in Coeur D'Alene, landed myself on her blog, and who had a phenomenal race yesterday which I believe resulted in a PR for her and the only top 10 finish for the USA in both the men's and women's fields! Also to Travis, who had a great day on the lava fields and finished in 10:08 which is a PR for him I believe. His finish line video is truly inspiring (I wish I could share it with you all). Same goes to White Hot and Pat Wheeler - who we watched cross the line as well.
In other news..
On Friday night, I went to a haunted house in the city (The House of Pain) with my friend Ari. We were both excited to go, and we both view ourselves as.. not too girly. Ari is a hardcore mountain biker, I do Ironman, we're tough chicks! Yet, 5 minutes into the haunted house, we were shrieking our heads off, holding hands, and sprinting through the rooms, away from the creepy actors that were jumping out as us. I guess we are women after all!
Then on Saturday I was forced to clean in the morning for my Kona party (which was me, Solveig, and Matthias) that afternoon. The good news is: my apartment is the cleanest it has EVER been and I am loving it! I am going to make a huge effort to keep it this way AND get going on some organizational projects that need to be started!
I also drank almost an entire bottle of wine at the party and definitely felt the effects the next day, especially when I tried to run. I made it 57 minutes, but it was not pretty, and we'll leave it at that.
My god, I love life!