After 18+ hours of traveling yesterday I FINALLY made it to Kona. The open air airport welcomed me to the land of paradise.

Danica and the crew picked Amanda and I up from the airport and we headed straight to dinner at Kona Brewing Company. A gluten free beer and salad was EXACTLY what I needed after the long day of travel!Kona 2

This morning we were up at the crack of dawn to head down to go swimming with Hines Ward and the Got Chocolate Milk crew. Kona 3

Anyone that knows me well knows that there are few things I fear more than swimming. Swimming in a pool is one thing, swimming in the ocean is another thing, one I am even more fearful of.

When I came to Kona, I told myself – check your insecurities at the airport. This is not the place to compare your body or your athletic ability. I am among the fittest people in the world. There is no reason not to just be happy with who I am when in paradise. Comparisons suck the joy out of life.

On the flight on the way over I read Chrissie Wellington’s book. I don’t know much about the Ironman and I wanted  to learn as much as I could before heading here. In her book Chrissie at one point talks about how little she knew of the ironman distance and the history of the race in general. It helped me remember that EVERYONE has to start somewhere. Ten years ago I didn’t know anything about marathons and now here I am 24 later. It’s okay to go back to being the new girl. It’s okay to learn something new at 31, 41, 51….age doesn’t matter.DCIM100GOPRO

Back to swimming… soon as we got down there and saw all the athletes with their swim caps, googles and rock hard bodies, I started to panic. Not little panic but full on, I can’t do this can I please go hide somewhere. Thankfully Danica was by my side and convinced me it would be okay and that I could infact make it out to the coffee boat. Once in the water I was even MORE afraid and literally had this terrible feeling that I may be sick. I can’t swim. I can swim, but I can’t swim, if that makes sense. Danica assured me that even if we had to doggy paddle our way out there we could and would do it.

When I really thought I wanted to die she told me to swim like Dory….which of course made me laugh….I looked around at where I was and a huge smile overtook me.


We had some good laughs along the way. Our first open water swim EVER and we were on the Ironman Kona course with hundreds of legit swimmers.

Once at the coffee boat I didn’t want to let go and swimming back seemed INSANE. How else was there to get back to the shore – what else was I going to do? I’d already made it there so I had to make it back and seeing the finish in site actually made things easier. While the swim {or whatever it was I did to get out to that boat} was not fast, it was a HUGE step for me.


I literally feel on top of the world.

They have convinced me to run to the start of the underpants run tomorrow and then GO FOR THE SWIM AGAIN. I now have a swim cap and I’m going to buy some goggles. I’m seriously excited and scared. This is the start of something in my heart. The seed has been planted and I have a feeling it’s only going to grow.

A super CHEESY but heartfelt thanks to Megan from Timex and Danica for literally convincing me that I could do something I thought impossible. I don’t know why Timex picked me, ONLY A RUNNER, to go this event but I can already tell you that I am SOOOOO glad they did!!!


Now to get dressed and ready for dinner with some of the Timex athletes. Living in a dream world this week! Thank you so much for following along :)


We will be using hashtag #imarunner all week on twitter and instagram if you want to follow along!

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  1. It looks like such a beautiful place! What an amazing experience that will be to watch! You will be ready to start training for your Ironman after coming back from there!

  2. We chose you because you’re awesome! And we think runners are too! Can’t wait to see you continue to push the boundaries this week. That’s what the Timex Ironman brand is all about.

  3. I think hanging out at Kona sounds a lot more fun than racing Kona.

  4. Nice pictures, good luck for the race

  5. I love Kona! Hawaii is gorgeous I hope you soak up every moment and enjoy it!
    Actually, last night my fiancee and I booked our Hawaiian honeymoon for this summer : )
    Have fun and safe travels!
    Karen @karenlovestorun

  6. Enjoy your time in Kona, that truly would be the trip of a lifetime. And Congrats on pushing aside fears!

  7. So brave of you! I have the same fear of open water, and I don’t think I could have done that.

  8. Krystin C. says:

    One word always comes to mind when I read your posts or see your pictures.. inspiring! Dorothy you rock and remind me everytime that I can do anything I want to do! (Currently it is working on my half marathon goal of 1:46:29) Great job on swimming like Dory :) and don’t stop.. you got this! We love that saying in my family because no matter what “this” may be you can always get it!

  9. Good for you woman! SO JEALOUS of you ladies, but so glad that you are having fun, facing your fears, and being inspired and inspiring us. SOAK it all up for those of us not there! XOXO

  10. I’m training for my first tri. I’m totally petrified of the “swimmers” I’m going to compete against but reading your post reminds me of my “getting too much” into my head that I do for each big swim. I’m going for 500m this week in training. I’m hoping your #imarunner will pull me through!

  11. Man, what I would do to be there this week for the Ironman Championship!

  12. Wow, Dorothy, what a great week to be part of an amazing event. Perhaps you will find yourself there sometime in the next few years – as a competitor! It seems that you’ve taken the first steps as you’ve developed a confidence as a swimmer. I have no doubt you could train well on the bike, and well, the marathon is in the bag. Now, combining all three into one day – that’s an epic and mighty undertaking worth doing!

  13. seriously major kudos to you for getting out there not once but twice!! I know a year from now we’ll be reading out how you are kicking swimming butt

  14. – how awesome to be facing your fear, love it! My daughter did the same thing when we were in Maui (two years ago when she was 15). It was face her fear trip. She went snorkeling (in the middle of the ocean, Molokini island), we took her surfing, other water activities, but wow it was awesome. Keep on swimming….

  15. have loved all your IG pics. So glad you “took the plunge” and went all in. That’s how I felt about HTC this year. Just wanted to soak it all in, not be intimidated by you fast ladies (who are amazing!) and just live the moment. So glad that you’re dong the same! enjoy!

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