Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kona (Part I - Race Week)

Garage roommate
 I arrived Tuesday late morning. It was nice and sunny. I waited for my bike box and then took a taxi to the condo. There were a lot of people out riding their bikes along the Queen K. I get to the condo and meet one of the roommates. There are two key locks for entry into the condo. I get into the first one with no problem. I could not get into the second door. I tried several times. Finally I called Elizabeth and the code they gave me was wrong. The stairway was narrow. I was sweating so much that I left the bike box down stairs and checked out the place. I had to open up the bike box and take up a few things at a time. Once I got all my stuff up, I walked over to registration. The condo was around a mile away from the race start/registration. On the way I stopped in Lava Java for a coffee. I got an iced coffee and big cookie. The cookie was awesome! I continued on to registration. They gave us backpacks filled with a lot of stuff. On the walk back, I saw Chrissie Wellington riding her bike through town. I was hungry, so I stopped at Basik Acai. They make Acai bowls. They are awesome!!! It is a smoothie with fruit, nuts, granola, honey, and all kinds of superfood ingredients. I spent the rest of the day relaxing.

My bed

View at breakfast

I did not realize there was a 3 hour time difference. I had to make myself sleep in till 6:00am (9:00 in Washington). The latest I have slept in all year was 7:45am.Wednesday morning I walked over to Java on the Rocks. This turned in to my morning ritual stop everyday except race day. I basically ordered the same thing each day: Large Iced Coffee and wrap or bagel with egg whites/cheese. I had a great view of the ocean. I walked back to the condo and got my gear ready for a bike/run. I brought both helmets because I wasn't sure which I would wear. I am a heavy sweater. I did a sweat test once and found I lose a little over 5 hours sweat per hour. I rode down Alii Drive, which was part of the run course, and stopped over to pick up my XTERRA Speed suit. These are the new suits that meet the new standard set out by WTC (World Triathlon Corporation). I met Glynn, COO of XTERRA, and his family. I also stopped at the GU house. They were giving out samples of their new flavor Island Nectar. My head felt hot wearing the aero helmet and it was only 9:00AM.  I stopped by the condo and dropped off the stuff and switched helmets. I then proceeded toward the Queen K. My head felt much cooler for the rest of the ride. I caught up to a couple of female pros (Hillary Biscay and ?). I also saw Norman Stadler riding the other way. After the ride, I dropped my bike off with the group mechanic, Adam, because I could not shift into the small chain ring. Then I headed out for a short run. I did not feel great on the run. I think the heat was too much for me. I decided that I needed to slow way down and that was the strategy I would use for the rest. Be smart. I showered up and walked over for an Acai Bowl (Banyan - was my favorite). Elizabeth landed and headed to eat lunch at Humpy's with Greg Kopecky. I haven't seen Greg since Steelhead 2008. He has since turned pro and racing well until he was hit by a car this year. It sounds like he will be back to racing next year. After lunch, she dropped off her stuff and we headed over to the race site. She picked up her gear while I swam. It was an awesome swim. I saw so many fish that I changed my breathing to every 4-6 strokes, just so I could watch the fish. After 32 minutes of swimming, my armpits were chaffed. Mental note - BODY GLIDE. After a couple hours of relaxing, we headed over to the HAMMER NUTRITION party. It was at the Kona Brewing Co. They provided pizza, wings, beer/wine, and even a goody bag filled with 2 new items (Perpeteum tablets and Fizz electrolyte tablets). We got back to the condo at 6:00pm. We were feeling tired. Elizabeth checked her phone and found out ERIN BAKER, the team she represents, was having a catered dinner. One of her teammates picked us up and we had a great meal there. I met several of her teammates. The house was right on the ocean.


Acai Bowl - Islander
On Thursday, I didn't have any workouts. I had first breakfast at Java on the Rocks. A few hours later, I had second breakfast at Basik Acai. We attended the athlete dinner. The fire demonstration was amazing. The food was filling. We ended up back at the condo just after 9.

Friday morning started with breakfast where I saw Bob Babbitt and Mark Allen. I had a few short workouts. I rode with the aero helmet. I was still undecided because I felt so much better today during the workouts. During my run, I saw Macca on his bike riding the other way. After second breakfast, I made sure everything was ready to be dropped off at the race. I decided on the road helmet. I figured the temperature would be much warmer on the Queen K and in Hawi. Josh rolled in around 1PM with a convertible Sebring. We headed out to Safeway and ate lunch. Then took our stuff over to the pier. As we are walking to transition, I see a line of people sitting in chairs. Elizabeth said they are the counters. They count equipment/gear that racers are using. A volunteer is assigned to walk each athlete through the entire transition area. This place is so unreal. We grabbed dinner at the nearby Thai restaurant after Josh and Elizabeth came back from team pictures. We were back at the condo by 8:30PM.

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