So yesterday morning feels like several days ago at this point, but it was really only just over 36 hours ago that we headed out to captain cook at 5:30 am to try to catch the dolphins in the bay near the Captain Cook monument (**though I don’t think I got this posted online till over 48 hours passed – but I am currently in time zone traveling warp!!). We were all chilly sitting on shore looking out over the water for the fins breaking the surface. We were all crest-fallen as wave after wave came to shore and no fins appeared. Sarah and Etienne ventured out into the chilly waters ahead of the group, but Tara, David, Anja, and I huddled in our towels on the shore delaying until we were sure they were there. Just as Sarah was heading back in towards us, David spotted them – several pods of dolphins (30 or more in total) breaking the surface of the water. “It’s go time!” someone (not sure who…) said. We all slapped our caps and goggles on and propelled by the possibility of swimming with the dolphins, we launched off the shore.
Swimming with that large of a group was just as spectacular as before. I couldn’t believe the number of dolphins effortlessly gliding through the water around us. One of the best parts was that we saw a sea turtle on the way out to the dolphins!!
We got back to the house for a leisurely breakfast before the big run of the day. I was nervous about this final workout, a 20 km run. As I said I haven’t run this long in years. Several years back my mom and I trained to run several half marathons together, which was a blast. But between injuries and getting married this past year, I never really had the chance to build my mileage back up – so this workout promised to be a long, hot, and sweaty haul. We got started by 10:30 to run from the pier, up to the Queen K highway, out to the energy lab, and back. The car was positioned at about 5 km out of town near Hina Lani for fuel and water replenishment. It was like a beacon promising cold water and ice from my mom and Etienne in a fiery stretch of asphalt. I actually got into a pretty good groove in the first part of this run. I was still humming “shake it off” in my head (the last song on the radio as we rolled into the parking lot that morning), which provided a decent rhythm to run to.
I trucked it back after the turn around – one last stop at the van a slurp of the most delicious cold coke zero from my mom (and grabbing some needed caffeinated Gu chomps!) before the final leg back into town. You could feel the heat radiating from the asphault it was sooo hot. But as I said yesterday, I was bound and determined to finish this run for both my own personal goals, but also for my mom who couldn’t run it with me… It was hot, there was much sweating and suffering, but I finished .
My feelings upon completion of Epic Woman Kona? They are mixed and wide-ranging. I am simultaneously relieved, sad, and elated on heading home. There is some sort of time warp that always happens at Epic camp in which the first couple days pass at a snail’s pace, but the latter half of the week flies by. Now that I am on flights on my way back, I have a chance to reflect on the week. I am proud of the effort I put in the workouts this week – I know I was under-prepared for the running portion of the camp and my endurance in biking was lacking, so I entered camp a bit trepidatious about my capacity to complete all the workouts.
I find it kind of funny that as I think back on the week (both last year and this year), the following question popped into my head: “did I really push my hardest all week?” Could I have pushed harder on workouts? Did I throw in the towel too quickly on some of the efforts? I think it is easy too look back on a workout and say perhaps I should have done this or that, but looking back over my blogs demonstrates to myself that I put my heart out there every day. In general I think I gave everything my all and I am proud to have completed all the workouts. Also, I still remain extremely grateful to have my mom with me through all of these adventures. She is my everything and I feel so lucky to share this experience with her.
I would just like to thank Etienne, David, and Tara for providing us with the amazing opportunity to spend this past week pushing our limits both physically and mentally. You all have provided so much support this week, but also a shoulder to lean on when we were down or wheezing . The week of course also wouldn’t have been possible without all of the support from our sponsors: Gu, Trek, and Zoot. I will proudly sport my Trek Epic Jersey and Zoot gear when I get back to Columbus .
It was sad to see the gorgeous house (thanks Big Island Jeweler’s for letting us stay!!) empty when we left this afternoon. But I take with me a new level of fitness and friendships with an amazing group of women. I can’t wait for my mom and my next big adventure!!