Just in case I was wondering who was still in charge, Mother Nature reminded me out on the bike course today.
We drove out to Hawi to get a reminder about the rolling hills and landscape. And, the wind. Oh it's still out there. IN FORCE.
We parked at Hawi and rode the hill down. As in, worked the hill down while holding on for dear life. Going aero? Not on these roads or in this wind. You know it's bad when you see Joanna Zeiger and Fernanda Keller (by the way - you can expect me to name drop all week long give me a break I'm in Kona for crying out loud) going the other way and they're not riding aero.
So, long descent short - it was hard and windy and going down I also happened to catch a bee. Who then stung me. Thanks. Tried to stay in control while careening down hill, big gust from the left, braking gently also trying to maneuver helmet OFF NOW, skidded into guardrail and finally dislodged the bee from my helmet.
Ok, so back up to Hawi - not as bad because you expect to go slow going up. Winds were wicked and heat was hot.
We ran into fellow Illinois friend Ruben in Hawi. He suggested we drive 10 miles further to the end of the road. Literally, the end of the road. Hiked down to a beach and saw some of the most spectacular cliff views.
Sitting on a little log, looking at the ocean I closed my eyes. Captured the sound of the waves and held on for a little wihle. I made peace first with myself and then Mother Nature. I told her that all I had to give her was myself - months of training and sacrifice that led to where I am today. Her ocean is powerful, her winds are strong. I know she will throw many obstacles my way on race day. And today's ride was just a reminder of that.
But I am ready. We are ready.