Aloha, Hawaii! Aunt Robin, Allie, Mom, and Dad met me at the Kona airport
Now that I'm home and integrating back into the real world, I am going to try to quickly recap everything I did while on vacation in Hawaii. I'll include a few pics (or maybe only one if possible) from each day otherwise I would have way too many.
We made it up a little farther than this, but off the beaten path and no one was there to get another pic
Monday was a travel day that included a stop in Phoenix to visit coach Will. During my short layover, we got in a good workout (I finally got to use a glute ham stand! I did 5 on, 5 off thru 40 GHR, front-foot elevated lunge, push up, and curl; and 3×3 RL and bench press), with Lisa, Sarah, and Chris; ate some brunch at the breakfast shop (outside!); climbed what we could of Camelback Mountain; and headed back to the airport so I could continue my journey.
Will tried to make me do a silly pose—jumping off that rock behind me at his suggestion was my attempt; I don't do silly pictures, so thankfully some girl came and rescued me by volunteering to take a picture of us together.
Tuesday Mom and I ran in the morning along the ocean. We spent some time in downtown Kona and enjoyed the Ironman Parade of Nations. Everyone walks down the street behind their country flag and waves. We ate some dinner at the King Kamehaha Hotel, which is home base for the Ironman.
Me, Allie, Dad, and Mom enjoying nachos at King Kam
On Wednesday, we went to the airport twice, once to pick up Grandma Rita and Grandpa Bob and once to pick up Joel, with a stop at Altermans' for dinner in between. Dad and I also got in a good bike ride, covering some of the IM bike course and doing a little climbing.
Midway up Kam III—the view was amazing!
On Thursday, Lana, the final contingent of our party, arrived. Hooray! But before she got in, we got to enjoy (endure? not sure what the right word is) :-) the underpants run, which is really what it sounds like. It's a comical mockery of people who think it's cool to wear speedos during the Ironman. Mom and I also attended a women's breakfast during which Karen Smyers, the 1995 women's world champion, shared some of her story. Today was a busy day, because we also went snorkeling at Kahalu'u Beach and attended the Ironman Welcome banquet. Lana, Allison, Joel, and I had VIP tickets and felt super special sitting up in the front fenced-off section. The entertainment during the banquet was a native dance show that also included fire dancing. Sweet!
Greeting Lana at the airport
Friday was another busy day. We swam in the ocean with tons of other people and then made sure we volunteers (me, Dad, and Lana) were registered and ready for race day. The highlight of the day was going to South Point to jump from the cliff at the southern-most tip of the United States. We wanted to get out of the house so Mom could get ready for everything on Saturday and picked up pizza to eat with Grandma Rita and Grandpa Bob.
Joel, Grandpa Bob, Grandma Rita, Dad, and Lana at Altermans'
Precariously enjoying the view at South Point
Saturday was race day, which deserves its own blog.
Lana and Mom prerace but post-bodymarking
Sunday Lana had to leave so we took her to the airport, and then we went to Solid Rock Ministries for church. It's my parents' home church, and the people there were huge supporters of my mom leading up to the race. They're studying the attributes and names of God, and it was fun to be there worshiping together. We also went to Altermans' for a post-Ironman party so that all of Mom's friends could congratulate her. Oh, and we played (and I dominated) a few games of Bananagrams and played (and I lost) a few games of ping pong. No pictures yet, since whatever ones were taken are all on Aunt Robin's camera.
Monday was an epic day. We borrowed a bike from Dad's friend Mark and headed to Mauna Kea to do a little climbing. It was a 6plus-mile climb, which I did in just over an hour.
Climbing up Mauna Kea was tough!
There were a couple times we stopped and a few times I waited for Dad and Joel; if I did it again, I'd definitely do it under an hour! The last big Ironman Mahalo party was tonight, and we all (Mom, Dad, Joel, Aunt Robin, Allison, Grandma Rita, Grandpa Bob, and I) enjoyed the food and prizes. After that party, we stopped at the Sheraton by Mom and Dad's condo to admire the manta rays. The hotel has lights that they shine on the water; this causes the plankton to do their thing, and the manta rays come to eat the plankton. They are huge, weird-looking fish, and it was amusing to watch them.
Tough, but I made it the whole way (well, all the way to the visitor's center, that is; as you can see behind me, there's still another 4,000 feet up and 4+ miles up to get to the very top)
Tuesday was back to the airport to send Joel to the mainland, but before that, we did a little run on the Pinetrees Trail near the ocean. I got distracted long enough to complete something on my list: Write something with white rocks.
My goal is to race with a confident attitude next season (and to train the same), so this was to remind me.
We didn't see any pine trees, but I did meet and chat with Hillary Biscay. Dad, Grandpa Bob, and I went golfing, and with my handicap I ended up tied with Dad. I did get a legitimate par on 15, though, so I'm happy. We also spent some time with the Altermans.
Golfing at Makalei, getting a beautiful view of the ocean on nearly every hole
On Wednesday, Dad and I rode our bikes again, this time from the house up Hina Lani and back. We'd planned to go up Kaloko as well, but that just wasn't happening since we were both feeling Monday's climb. We went snorkeling again at Kahalu'u, ate dinner at the Kona Inn and enjoyed the sunset, found a couple little souvenirs, and ate some ice cream. Yum :-)
Riding from the condo; we could've added another 7-mile climb but decided against it
Thursday was my last day on the rock and the first day with no real plan. We relaxed at the KSV pool, did some paddle boarding and kayaking and swimming with dolphins at King Kam beach, ate a picnic supper at the old airport which watching the sunset, and walked around downtown Kona. Then it was (unfortunately) time to board the plane. Adios, Hawaii!
Paddle boarding on the ocean—seeing 17 dolphins in the process!
Mom, Dad, Grandma Rita, me, and Grandpa Bob at the old airport
Friday was a travel day that included a fantastic stop in Phoenix again. I did not have nearly as long this time as last Monday, but it was worth the short visit. Will and Nancy picked me up from the airport and we headed to Mimi's Cafe for breakfast. We ate quickly, then headed back to the airport. Short and sweet; I love the Roberts and am always encouraged after spending time with them. I finally made it home after nearly 24 hours of traveling—thankfully Anna and Josh were willing to come late to the airport to pick me up. And now vacation is over!