I'm about to do a half-ironman!
On Saturday, Todd and I will be participating in the Honu Half, an "official Ford Ironman 70.3". They've started calling half-ironmans "IRONMAN 70.3" because it sounds less wussy than HALF ironman, but that's what it is. 70.3 will be the total miles traveled, if I were to swim, bike, then run in a line, which is pretty amazing in itself (from Oakland to Scotts Valley, about?) but the REAL Ironman is double that. That's for the REAL NUTS! (Note: if you follow the link to the Honu half ironman website up there, you should really go check out the May 28th press release. It is just OTT. Actually, don't look at it if you have a problem with GRANDIOSITY.) (Other note: Honu is Hawaiian for 'green sea turtle'. Not the speediest mascot, but so frickin' CUTE.)
Ok so anyway, I think the only thing that convinced me to attempt this ridiculous feat was when I discovered how much being in Hawai'i makes me want to get outside and do stuff, like swimming, and running, and riding. Todd has done this race distance before, but training in San Francisco can be such a hassle (and so COLD, especially the swim part) that I really was never that into the idea of putting in the training time needed to get ready for a HALF ironman.
So one of the most compelling things about this race is that the swim takes place at probably the most beautiful white sand beach on the island, Hapuna. After a 1.2 mile swim in these turquoise waters, where it is possible that I will spot tropical fish or even an eel while racing (it happened to Todd!) we'll head out to the highway on our bicycles and begin an epic journey north up the west side of the island, get almost all the way home, and turn around and come back. The ride takes up the bulk of the race at 56 miles. It can be really brutal but you can see the ocean the entire way, which really helps! (Note: if you look at the gmap I made you can see Kapa'au just east of where we turn around... that's where we live!) (Other note: if you looked closely at the map, yes, we do in fact start the ride at one place and end at another. This course is COMPLEX.)
I've actually done this entire ride by now, and although it is long, I feel fairly confident about it. It's the RUN that I am trying not to let psych me out. It's a half marathon! 13.1 miles! Not only does that sound really long, but it's AFTER everything else! Yes, I will be running a half-marathon on a course I wasn't allowed to train on because it meanders through the golf courses and private roads of the Mauna Lani Resort. I have been practicing a LOT, don't get me wrong, but the farthest I've run to date is 9.5 miles. Only 3.6 more miles, no big thing, RIGHT? RIGHT?
So assuming everything goes as planned, after about 2pm Saturday, I will be HALF IRONWOMAN. And the other half of me will be... regular. ;)