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Friday, October 17, 2008

KONA...The day before...

Sorry it has taken me so long to get this down. I have been back now for about 5 days and, let me just say, I had a great time in Hawaii, but I am glad to live in California. I met so many great locals and truly lived in the spirit of Aloha when I was there. It reminded me of when I studied in Australia when I was in college and I made more Aussie friends than American friends- as it should be. Thanks to all the friends I made and am now keeping in touch with via email and facebook. Truly blessed in those regards.

The day leading up to the race (Friday), was very calm. I woke up in the morning and went for a little jog with Monty. He actually ran with me, which was nice. I ran for about 40 mins, ran into Lisa along the way. Then, Monty and I went to eat breakfast and get coffee at the nearby Green Lantern cafe- we, for once, didn't go all the way down to the busy Lava Java. Love that place, but honestly -not the best coffee for the price. Then, I pretty much rested for the afternoon until I went to bike check in..which was interesting. It was funny to see how many people line up to count bikes. I mean, every bike rep was there looking at each bike, and scrutinizing materials, set up, position, water bottles...even the riders. It was quite interesting. Had I known it was such an event, I would have dressed a bit better. I was escorted by a man to put my bike away and then my 2 transition bags. I was set for the next day. It felt good to be done and then, eat a nice relaxing dinner with Monty. We went to Bubba Gumps and I pigged out on a burger and fries. Perfect pre-race food. Protein-fat-carbs- great combination.

I went back to the hotel and relaxed again. I checked my pre-swim bag and got all of my stuff ready, once again. Then, I did something I never thought I would do. I shaved my body. I decided against the skin suit. Everyone was going with one. I had one that Lisa let me borrow- but, honestly, thought I would be fine without it. Monty suggested that I shave, though- everything. Arms, tummy, hands, feet. Why you might ask? Well, because the way the water feels on your body can make you feel a lot faster. I am a sub-1 hour swimmer in a regular Ironman with a wetsuit. I figured I would be anywhere between a 1:10 and 1:15 without a wetsuit- perhaps faster. Depends on how the swim was measured. But, at least I wouldn't have to contend with one of those goofy suits. Honestly - I wasn't looking to get a 2 min advantage in the swim. I could easily make that up somewhere else.

So, after I shaved down, I tried to relax and went to bed at my normal 10 o'clock. 4:30 wake up call. Clif Bar for breakfast, with a Starbucks iced espresso. A banana as well. I was getting excited!!! See you tomorrow...(Race Report to follow...)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

KONA...3 Days Till Race

Good Morning! Thanks again for even checking in. I appreciate the comments- thank you to the "plane" guys- you should send me your emails so that I can thank you and keep in touch. Jenn- thank you for your comment as well. I am proud of the support from everyone. Know that I will be working as hard as I can and I will try my best.

Today- yes, met Graham again for a run down to the swim. Very light run today though...we swam for about 30 minutes. Then, went up to Lava Java and, today, I had pancakes, egg whites, and fruit. And, 3 cups of coffee. We met Monty for breakfast as well. He rides my bike down from our hotel- about 1.5 miles or so. We don't have a car, so that is most convenient for him.

The weather is still mild. Last night, we met up with Paul, Patrice, Dominic, and the other people from Kuota- and Tri Bike Transport, to have dinner up at their house. They are staying out of town, up at this amazing house. It was great- they grilled and had veggies, with rice, and nice wine. It was nice to spend sometime away from the hotel and meet others affiliated with the race.

This morning at the swim start, I met up with Scott again. He and I always seem to be running into each other. I am hoping we can meet for lunch before the race as long as he isn't doing something with his "team." They have a lot of events planned- mostly to keep up with the Norminator. But, Scott is so down to earth. Would be cool to share some time. Also, saw Bella at Lava Java and we chatted about IM UK. She, too, agreed that it was the hardest course of this year so far- even harder than Lazarote. Partly, because of the conditions, but mostly because of the course. Very very hilly. Hard to get a rhythm at all down. She wished me good luck, and I wished her good luck with her wedding.

People are still running around this town like crazy. Getting in all the last minute training they can. I think it must be such a mental thing. Maybe people gaining more confidence- like they are not already sure that they can swim/bike/run fast enough. Let me tell you- in these conditions. it is not a matter of finishing in a certain time, unless you are a pro and your sponsorship is riding on it. I have written off any of my predictions for the race on a personal level. Honestly, I don't want to put any "time" expectations on me- I just want to plan out my nutrition and pacing. I figure 1.5 gels on the bike an hour, with 1 bottle an hour of less than 100 calorie drink. 4 salt pills each hour on the bike (24 pills total). 2 pills each hour on the run (8-10 pills total). Walk the aid stations of the marathon. Coke a gatorade at each mile of the run. Smile as much as possible. Just enjoy the race and say hi to as many people as possible. Very fortunate to be here.

Today, there is a party at our pool at 4pm. I might meet Lisa today to have lunch nearby. I decided not to ride with her today- she wanted to ride for 2.5 hours. Too much for me a few days before the race. But, lunch is ok.

Thanks again for reading! If you are the guys that wrote to me from the plane, send me your emails. Maybe we can get together for a beer after the race!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

KONA...4 Days Till Race

Today, woke up, made my coffee and met up with Graham again down at reception to run. It is sunny again today, then fades into a gloomy/overcast afternoon at 1pm or so. I felt great again this morning and my blister is finally healing and not bothering me too much. I think the night without the bandaid on helped a lot.

Last night, Monty, Cornelia and I had some pizza and pineapple. Monty shared his best ironman stories with her and she was very entertained. She is racing for the Dutch, but she is German citizen. She is also with the Hannes travel group here. This guy is making millions getting all these people organized for the race. She is probably with about 400 other Germans over here for the race with his group. A very popular organized trip for just under about $4000 US dollars. Crazy!

Spoke with a friend, Lisa Newman Wise, who is here from the EAFB area of CA. She raced in the military division last year, but will be racing age group this year (20-24). Bree Wee (who won my age group last year) is now racing pro. There are some awesome age group athletes here from all over. Just amazing to be with all of them here in one place.

I just purchased some Bob Marley on iTunes...just one of those things when you are in Hawaii... Also, bought some tropical flowers to share with my friends here at the hotel I have met to wish them good luck and thanks.

Today, for "training", I swam with Graham this morning, and then probably ran close to an hour or so. We ran there today. Don't trust riding my bike down to the swim and then letting it stay down there when I am in the water unlocked. A pro's bike was already stolen since being here- not trust worthy. I have also ran back and forth to town to meet Monty for breakfast. Will ride just a little bit with Lisa tomorrow out on the course. She wants to familiarize herself with one part of the course. I will go out a make an easy spin out of it.

I have to go and get my bike checked out. I will drop it down at the Kuota booth this afternoon and keep it there for them to look at it. Also, will go down for my ritualistic shave ice at about 4pm (see pic above). Tonight, Monty and I are going to join the kuota guys and get some dinner with them.

Well, that is it today. Not too much else to report yet..check in for more updates. As always, thanks for reading!

Monday, October 6, 2008

KONA...5 Days til Race

This morning, woke up to another sunny day in Kona. Yep, still humid. Lots of mosquitos..they love me. I have never been bit so much in my life. So, I am itching a bit. I am trying to sleep with the windows open and get outside as much as possible to get out of the air conditioning. It actually feels pretty mild today. I am also getting off my legs a bit and resting my feet today. Too much walking around during my off time. Want to chill out a bit more...

Monty just flew in, so he will be joining me shortly. I am just getting used to hanging out alone..but now I will have someone to hang out with. Yesterday, Graham and his wife Tracy (my new friends from Toowoomba Australia) went out to dinner and then Graham and I went for a little swim this morning. I don't plan on biking or running today, but perhaps I will swim again. You almost think that swimming is one of the most refreshing activities to do here. I will tell you that it is so hard to not go out and do 5 hour workouts while you are here.

Scott Neyedli and I were chatting a bit before the swim start this morning. He was at the Ironman UK, like I was, and so we were recapping that one and then he was giving me some professional advice for this one. Both he and I agreed that this was the shortest time in between Ironman races that he or I have ever done, but we both agreed that this last week or two that we have been feeling better, as if we can get back to a big block of training. I actually spoke to this guy the other day who was telling me that he PR'd at Kona after doing an IM a month befofe it. I feel condident about the race being so close. My body feels really good. Nothing to worry about.

Last night, I was actually watching TV here in Kona Hawaii, and Saugus High School (my alma mater) was playing football against Notre Dame. It was pretty cool. Totally random, but pretty cool nonetheless. Then, Washington was playing Stanford in a volleyball match on tv. I felt right at home, that is for sure.

Well, I am now waiting for Monty to arrive here from the airport. You have to ride your bike or take a cab around here if you want to get anywhere. Not a big deal, and it beats renting a car for the week. I am still looking around the hotel and so many people are going out for runs and rides.. you would think I was out of shape not doing any training... Some people on their honeymoon. They must have not planned this week out very well.

I will catch up with some more stuff later...sure I will have more to blog about. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

KONA IM- 1st few days...

Wow, I am so stoked to be here!

I can first say that I am very grateful to my sponsors- Rachel Cosgrove and the entire Results Fitness Team and Neasi-Weber International for making all of this possible. Thank you so much- I owe it all to you guys for being able to take part in this amazing event.

I have been here for 2 days now and it is just as I imagined Hawaii before- just not as humid as Oahu. So far the weather has been a bit "mild"- I still am drenched in sweat after a 30 min run, but it is "fogged" in because of the volcano. So, maybe some respite in the late afternoon for the run. I have swam every morning in the ocean- which is a site to be seen all in itself. Cameron, a fellow coach of mine, and Lisa, a client, have been swam here and said it is like an aquarium. They are right- you are so distracted by the beautiful fish and wildlife that you forget you are actually swimming. It is pretty cool!

First night- I got in Friday night and was super headed to the closest restaurant next to my hotel (Royal Kona Resort- for the first 2 nights). I sat next to some Swiss guys at dinner. They were excited to meet me and ride with me the next day. I was nervous- these guys looked skinny, and really good. (like everyone here). Let me just tell you- everyone here must not be ready for Ironman b/c they are training like crazy people. Everyone here does at least 1 swim, 1 bike, and 1 run. Guaranteed. So, I felt like I need to at least get in this ride with these Swiss guys. Not everyday you get to ride with some Swiss guys...

1st full day- Saturday. I called my mom and the other important people in my life to let them know I survived the flight. I had already met a lot of special people- the locals especially have been nice. I actually stop to smell the roses and say hi to them- and not just ride/run by. I like that. I have been very blessed to be here, and let them know that I am thankful to be on their turf.

So far, I have met:
2 Swiss guys
3 Austrian guys- the 1 guy, 3rd at IM Austria, his coach, and his Physical Therapist (that is a whole other blog in itself...)
1 Hawaiian Security guard-Ron
2 Lottery guys- Nate from Portland, and Graham from Toowoomba, Australia (yes, Toowoomba- a whole other blog in itself...)
Kelly, my Hawaiian hostess at my current hotel- The Royal Sea Cliff.
Alicia- my massage therapist at the Royal Kona Resort
Dick Campbell- Head waiter at Huggos and 7-time IM finisher here at Kona (thanks for the free stuff)
Lots of Germans at my hotel- just met Cornelia Roth, from Regentesselaan, Rijswijk
Guy in Shower from San Fernando Valley
Hawaiian at Farmer's Market- thank you for the Guava
Guys in water from Argentina whom I had an entire conversation with in Spanish
So so so many more...more of which I will talk about later..

So, that is the update for now. I finally have some free wireless, so I am going to take advantage and blog as much as I can. I am good- I feel healthy. Burned the balls of my feet a bit yesterday but I am good now. Will catch up more later...

Hope all is well with you all- thanks for checking in.

Special hi to mom and Tay and my family of Wenrich's...and Results.

Talk to check into my condo now...

Clancy, Mike and I

Clancy, Mike and I
SB Tri Finishers- Nice Tiles!