The flight home was uneventful, sans Phoenix delay. Virgin Australia is an amazing airline. On the 14 hour trip from Melbourne to Los Angeles, we were fed 3 meals, had snacks available during non meal times. Dozens of movies available at our own private TV screen at each seat and this was all in Coach! I had used a bunch of frequent flyer miles and basically our trip was "free" so that made the enjoyment of the flight that much more. The flight attendants were pleasant, service great. Can't say enough about V.A.!
When we landed in ABQ, our daughter Heather picked us up. A sight for sore eyes for these weary travelers..We arrived home to our lovely abode in the Foothills of ABQ to a nice large clean house, no dirty laundry and plenty of food to hold up in our house for a few days to recover. We fell into bed at 9:00 and managed to sleep all night, even with the time change of 7 hours (minus one day-compliments of the International Dateline). At 6:00 the next AM, I awoke a bit confused as to where I was exactly but knew one thing...Finally I get to take a bath in a real bathtub! The apartment in Melbourne had a bath but it was a kid's bath or something, was so small I could take a bath but I was basically hugging my knees it was that small. I looked out the window to the huge mountains in our backyard and realized how different the landscape was to our view of the ocean in Port Melbourne! Ahhh, I was home..
Wednesday was spent walking around in my Jammies all day and basically in a jet lag fog. As the day wore on, my allergies started to kick up and I missed the ocean air..Sleep has been a bit of a challenge but not much. I woke up twice in the middle of the night wide awake, acutely aware it was daytime in Melbourne. I was wondering if my "mates" were out training or resting or eating. Finally sleep has gotten normal and I am back on schedule rest wise. This makes life feel a bit better. I am still hungry all the time and not sure why. The race was 2 weeks ago so doubt if the calories I burned at the race are still being replaced at this point. Trying to stick to healthy options. H went and got a bunch of fruit to snack on but I still find myself scrounging around for anything chocolate in the pantry, granola will have to do..:)
We ventured out to get our bikes put together and picked them up yesterday. We talked to our local bike mechanic Randy at Hawk's Tricycle at length. Telling the story about Melbourne and the Kona slot still doesn't seem real to me. Randy found Mrs. Venge's "problem" I had been having in Australia the last 2 months (loose crank-wow, the bike shops down there couldn't find this??). Randy has graciously offered to come with us to Kona as our personal bike mechanic. After my bike experience afar, I am almost ready to buy his ticket to go with us-ha!
We had lunch with Heidi, Jess and our 2 Grandkids yesterday. Nothing but a dose of grandkids to perk me up! It was a joy to see our family again. Tonight is Heather and Josh's birthday party, so more family time. This is enough of a boost to my overwhelmed soul!
It is Sunday now and I am feeling a bit more grounded. After living in less than 1000 ft. spaces the last 4 months (Tucson and Melbourne), I am overwhelmed with all the "stuff" we own and the upkeep of a larger home. Do I really need all this stuff? I am really re-evaluating my habit of buying stuff when I know I can survive and even thrive on so much less. Is this a result of growing older? Am I ready to pack it in and move to the old folks home already? Ha ha..nah, not for this Ironman, but it really makes me question my priorities. The most important thing in life are the people..my husband, family, friends and adventures. All the rest is superfluous really.
Do I feel like a different person now that I have reached the Holy Grail of Ironman Triathlon? Sort of.. in the way I feel like all the pressure is off to do my very best, get that PR and place in my AG. Going to Kona and the Championships is just icing on the cake. I don't at this point even care how I do, I just want to finish in time to get the Finisher's Medal. Having my whole family in Hawaii and possibly some friends is the proverbial carrot at the end of the stick now. All the rest is just added benefit. I had lunch with Carol, my long time triathlon friend (she has been to Kona twice) who told me Enjoy every minute of Kona, go to everything, soak it all in. Yup, this is my plan so far!
Tomorrow we are venturing out to ride our bikes..my first exercise in over 2 weeks. I guess I will see if my Red Blood cells are coming back to adjust to the altitude yet. Biking at high altitude is a great test for this. We also may take a hike up to the mountains today in our backyard. Sundays are my favorite day of the week and this is a very magical place for me..always brings me joy to envelop myself here: