Waar zal ik beginnen… Het was een heftig jaar, vorig jaar hier in Kona figuurlijk kei hard op m’n bek gegaan. Wel was het de start van een onbeschrijfelijk jaar. Vanmiddag stuurde ik een mailtje naar Vinnie, mijn zuidelijkhalfrond moeder en ik denk dat dat het wel goed samenvat. Duurde even, maar inmiddels durf ik het ook wel aan om mijn Engelse schrijftaal online te publiceren:
It’s weird that it’s already a year ago. Doesn’t feel like it at all! I’ve been thinking about this race for a long time, with a happy feeling that I finished last year, and with disappointment because I know I can do better.
First week here was weird, being all by myself, quite lonely, biking around in this little town called Kona, where all those good memories came back to me, but they were only memories… Being in all those places, last year seemed really far away, but quite close as well. Still the same people in some places, and seeing the pier again, Queen K, Alii Drive, Bongo Ben’s. And being in the deserted places where I had so much fun last year: parking lot from the King K Hotel where the awards ceremony was, surfing beach, turtle bay, magic sands, the incredible time with all of you guys, it was really weird being here again, but this time I knew it wasn’t gonna be the same. I had a different focus, different priorities and above all: different state of mind.
Yesterday I was at the carbo load dinner, and being there and seeing those movies about last your brought back all sorts of memories again, good ones, bad ones, pain, relief, but most of all, I realize that last years race was the start of an incredible year for me. And that’s for 90% because of all the Duncans, (extended) family and friends.
Since I got here I’ve been thinking about last 12 months a lot. Every time I meet new people and tell them where I’ve been and what I’ve done I realize that I’m incredibly lucky. They say that you create your own luck, but it’s you guys who have given me an unlimited amount of opportunities and I’m really, really thankful. I’m even getting emotional here… So on this day, over thinking my life and close to (again) a life changing experience a huge thank you for all that you, Andy and all the Duncans did for me.
So, now I’m back, something I looked forward to for a long time, and something I was afraid of for a long time. Last years 30k walk was very painful but it made me realize you can’t just go out there and do it. It takes more than that. I’ve got more respect for this race now, and hopefully, with some more experience and common sense, that’s what takes me to that finish line in a reasonable time.
I’m scared. I never believed in those typical American things, and they make me wanna throw up, but for me personally, this time, they’re right: this race is more than just a little swim, huge bike and killing run. This year it’s about finishing what I started last year, closing a chapter, and it’s about showing the people that looked after me and supported me like only real parents can do what I’m really capable of here. Preparation couldn’t be better (maybe a bit longer), but the base I build training in NZ, and the freedom, (recovery) time and facilities I had at Clifton Road was all an athlete could wish for.
Now, I’ve got to stop being such a girl and write difficult about it, I’ve got to get my shit together, and just go out there and DO IT! More than anything: I’m really looking forward to it because I know I’m ready, I know I can do it and I know I’ve got what it takes this time.