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The build up to Kona over the last few months has been pretty damn intense, so I was lucky to be able to come over to Hawaii a little early and squeeze in some R&R between training sessions on Oahu. I spent some time in Waikiki and also headed down to the North Shore to check out the cool little surf town of Haleiwa (legit the world’s best garlic shrimp), as well as some of the famous spots like Waimea Bay and Pipeline – it was pretty cool.

As much as I loved it on Oahu, I can’t deny I was itching to get to Kona.

I wasn’t expecting such a stark difference between Oahu and the Big Island. You go from this lush, green idyllic setting to being surrounded by the striking black lava rock pretty much everywhere. It’s just as beautiful, but at first, it’s hard to reconcile how very different the islands are.

With just under a week to go until the big day, there’s a real buzz in the town. I’ve already completed a few swims out on the course at Kailua Pier, some light runs, and ridden on that insanely hot, long, barren (did I mention hot?) stretch that is Queen K.

At this point, I reckon I’m equal parts terrified and excited. Every time you go out, you’re checking out how other people are training—’shit that guy’s got an awesome running style, would you look at the pedal stroke on that girl over there.’

I guess it’s human for all that to throw you off a little. I mean, I’m so humbled to have been invited to compete alongside the greatest IRONMAN champions on the planet, but I have found myself worrying at times, ‘Where do I fit into all this? What if I haven’t done enough? What if I’m just not ready?’

When the nerves get to be too much, and self-doubt is lurking, I try to take the emotion out of it and lay out the facts for myself.

I’ve shown up for every training session. I’ve stuck it out in the rain and the dark and the cold. The worst thing that can happen here is that I don’t finish the race. But I’d rather take a crack at it and fail than not even try at all.

I know it’s time for my mind to trust my body and believe that I am as ready for this as I’ll ever be.

Turia xx

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