I never imagined that I would find myself on the precipice of such an athletic feat. A typical Ironman triathlon is a grueling 140.6 miles of swimming, cycling and running. The Kona Ironman World Championships is the granddaddy of all Ironman triathlon – an international competition amongst the world’s most elite triathletes competing in the intense temperatures and humidity in Kona, Hawaii. The desert environment is one of most inhospitable climates for racing, and thus the platform for the world championship.
A year ago at this time triathlon wasn’t even on my radar. I was an avid surfer, pushing my athletic edge in the Hawaiian surf. I missed my days of running, and sought out physical therapy rehabilitation for persistent knee pain. My physical therapist assigned me to start inching my way back into distance running, with ½ mile easy runs. October 2014 rolled around and I spectated at the 2014 Kona Ironman World Championships for the first time. The energy was palpable. The triathletes were another breed. It seemed so foreign and yet alluring. After watching the awe-inspiring athletes push their physical and mental limits on race day, I immediately registered for the ½ Ironman the following spring. And the training commenced immediately.
I increased my running distances. I bought a bicycle. I learned the etiquette at the pool for lap swimming. While surfing still had my heart (and it was a great winter of surf!!), triathlon training slowly snowballed, garnering more of my attention. The ½ Ironman went very well, landing me in the Hawaii resident lottery for the full 2015 Kona Ironman World Championships. On June 15, 2015 the winners of the lottery were announced, and my name was amongst them. I had 4 months to prepare for the big race.
My life took a drastic turn. I put surfing on the back burner and channeled all free time into race preparation. If I am not completely enveloped in nutrition, recovery, yoga, or planning, I am running through the Hawaiian jungle, swimming in the ocean, or cycling through the arid lava landscape of Kona. Race preparation has taught me more than the expertise of counting calories and calculating training regiments, it has taught me about the depths of my psyche. My mind-body connection is pulsing stronger than ever. Triathlon has snowballed into a spiritual pursuit.
I plan to blog about interesting aspects related to my “road to Kona.” Stay tuned for more installments blending my interests in psychology and fitness. I want to thank Pacific Quest for their support in this process, as PQ has served as an integral part of my personal evolution and awareness. Pacific Quest has brought to life in the garden a similar phenomenon, which I practice in my training – self-efficacy, motivation, metacognition, and identity development.