Jocey's Kona Recap, as posted on Facebook. I am reposting here, for all to see, as I imagine FB's security settings would not allow me to link to it, and I am so PROUD of her I just have to let the world know. Maybe, I can convince her to start her own blog. ;-)
I am going to start the recap of my Kona adventure on Wednesday before the race. I was about 7 minutes into an easy ride when a red pick-up truck made a right hand turn into me. Without going into every detail of the accident – the result is that I ended up with bruises on my knee/elbow/hip and a broken bike. Needless to say, I was so shaken and upset that I could not stop crying. I just kept thinking that I am so sore, I don’t have a bike, and I have to do an Ironman in THREE days. Jeremy came up with the idea of taking my bike to the Quintana Roo tent at the expo to see if they had any idea on what we could do. We carried my bike to the tent, and with tears running down my face – told them what had happened. Immediately Brad, Mac, and Chris from Quintana Roo said not to worry – they were going to set me up on a CD0.1. Now my only worry is my physical and mental state.
Thursday morning I woke up feeling like a truck had hit me. My right ribs/abs/hips/knees and shoulder were all very sore and swollen. I dressed up in my banana underwear that Nate provided me, and went down to the underwear run. Only instead of participating, I became a spectator because there was no way I was able to run a mile. This is when I felt the lowest. I was thinking that all of these people are in tip top shape and so healthy that a mile is NOTHING to them, and I couldn’t even walk a 100 yards. How in the world am I going to run a marathon in TWO days? Depressed and feeling so negative – I went to pick up my new bike. When I walked into the Quintana Roo tent, Brad had done some research and found out that I was a part of the Ballou Skies Charity Team. He asked me about Ryan Ballou. I sat down and told him all about Ryan and the charity that I race for. Somewhere in that conversation, I gained perspective. I am racing for a young man who has to fight muscular dystrophy every day of his life, and who never gives up. Ryan overcomes challenges that I cannot even begin to imagine. Thinking about Ryan inspired me to take this little itty bitty challenge and overcome it, without giving up, without taking one step for granted. So that was my new plan!
SWIM: Wading out into the crystal blue ocean waters with 1800 athletes, spectators as far as the eye can see, hearing the drums beating in the background is a very cool experience! When the canon went off, the craziness began and lasted until the turn around buoy. I was a little bit surprised at how sandwiched I was getting, but I guess that is what happens when everyone in this race is a somewhat decent swimmer. I must say that it was a little bit difficult to not look at the amazing fish right beneath me!
BIKE: I felt stomach cramping immediately when I got on the bike, but I was hoping that it was going to settle in a few minutes. I was wrong! The first time I took a drink, I threw up in my mouth and felt stomach pains. 45 minutes into my ride, I tried to take a gel, which I threw up right away. This has never happened to me before, so I just tried to continue with my nutrition plan hoping that it would go away. It never did and I ended up throwing up every single gel/block I tried to take on the bike. At 4 hours I stopped taking in any type of calorie, and I watched as my heart rate continuously went down. My average heart rate was about 15-20 beats lower than it normally is, which I attribute to a lack of calories. In the midst of this, the thought of Ryan constantly crossed my mind, and I continued to fight through the bad and enjoy the day. I was, after all, experiencing the famous Queen K, the Hawi crosswinds, the sun beating on my back, and I couldn’t help but smile through it all, thinking how lucky I am to be out there!
RUN: With pretty much zero calories in my body, and my stomach cramping like crazy, I had no clue what to expect on this run. I planned on just running as long as I could possibly run. My run turned into a port-o-potty to port-o-potty run. At this point, I don’t even know what was coming out of me, because I still was only taking in sips of cola and water. At 10 miles into the run, my knee pain caught up to me pretty bad. I know that I changed my stride, but I kept to my run as long as I possibly could run plan which took me to the next potty (I stopped in at least 5). I hung in there for the rest of the run. At the top of Palani Rd. at mile 25 I could hear the cheering and music. I was overcome with so much emotion that I almost couldn’t breathe. Running down Ali’i drive I know that I left every last piece of me (and my stomach) out on the course.
In the medical tent, I was given an IV and told that the copious amounts of Ibuprofen that I had been taking for my swollen knee/body is definitely what was causing my stomach pains. Luckily I don’t think I did lasting damage to my knee despite it being swollen to almost twice its size. Needless to say, it wasn’t the race that I had planned, but I learned that things don’t always work out as planned. But if you take these challenges as they come, the results can be just as sweet!
Thanks to all of the wishes, thoughts, and prayers that I received through text/email/calls/conversation. Every single word gave me strength. Thank you to Jeremy and my ever supportive family! Thank you to Quintana Roo’s Brad, Mac & Chris who made this race possible! I wholeheartedly know that they did not have to help me, yet they went out of their way to get me up on a bike. They kept saying “it is all about the athlete” and I cannot even express how grateful I am! Finally, thanks to Ryan Ballou for being my inspiration to do everything in my power to overcome adversity and be the absolute best that I can be!