I've returned to finish the rest of the Kona Ironman course. In 2012 I ran the Kona marathon and checked another state off my bucket list. But wondered if I could do the Ironman. My goal was to try and return to Kona one day.
The Best Day Ever was going to the beach and being in or near water. We looked forward to spending two weeks every summer up North at a cabin. I learned to swim, ride bikes and run and play. I was destined to do triathlons and determined to go the distance of an Ironman.
Just like the planing it takes to start up a new school year my planning for this race started last September. I set out to compete in the Ironman Lake Tahoe last September. It was my 2nd Ironman and I knew the course was challenging. The day before the race I warmed up by swimming in the lake, running and biking a portion of the course. As the end of the day drew near, smoke started rolling down the mountains and you could smell all night in our hotel. Little sleep got me up at to go through my prerace routine. I hopped on the shuttle and started my last minute preps before the race was to begin. 20 minutes before we were to enter the water for the start of the race I went to do my last bathroom break before putting on my wetsuit. As I came out of the port-a-potty someone told me the race was canceled. I couldn't believe it. I had to hear someone announce it to make it real. Many thoughts went through my mind but I didn't know how to get ahold of my husband without my cell phone. I borrowed one from an event director and as I connected with my husband the tears came over me. All that training, time and $ spent. But when a door closes a window opens.
From the cancelation of Tahoe came unused slots to Kona. I decided to sign up for the Boulder Ironman(August 2015) because I could train all summer and not miss a day of teaching. This put me in the IM lottery from Tahoe and I got picked for the World Championship. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd qualify for Kona. But I was ready to take this on. Whenever I complete a race, I wear my medal to school. My elementary students always ask "Did you win." My response to them is: It's not how fast you do something, it's that you FINISH! I have been to most of the Hawaiian islands either with or visiting family. My family knows that it's hard for me to go on a vacation without bringing my students along for the adventure or bringing something back to share.
My units of Earth Science have connected my students with the changing world. They will be following me in Hawaii through the Ironman athlete tracker. Today I connected with my 5th grade classes through Google Hang Outs. They asked some pretty interesting questions and some I will have to check into after I finish the race. I enjoy connecting with my students through daily science activities and real life situations. They sent me off last week with a school fun run. I ran at least 2 miles with each grade level throughout the day. The comments from kids were "How do you keep going around the course. Can we run more? I'm going to run when I get home. Running is so much fun!" This could be the start of something BIG!