Thursday, June 03, 2010


I'm in Hawaii!

The Rohto Cooling Eye Drops Ironman 70.3 Hawaii is on Saturday and there are about 20 people from the tri team doing the race. I grew up in New Jersey, and going to Hawaii was unheard of. It was on the other side of the planet. It was much easier for people to go to Europe than Hawaii, so it was just something people didn't do. At least not my people. But living in Los Angeles, Hawaii is a lot more accessible and I cant believe I am actually here.

First impression: I can't feel the humidity at all. Last week I was in North Carolina where the humidity really hit me, but there are some nice breezes keeping things comfortable here. At least for now. 

Kona airport is weird. We took stairs off the plane on to the tarmac and walked towards some hut-looking buildings, but we never actually went "inside." Everything is just in the open air. I kept wondering to myself "am I in an airport or not?" A far cry from LAX.

I took a 30-minute cab ride to the hotel and saw all the lava fields that I've seen so many times watching the Ironman DVDs. They are enormous and very cool to watch sitting in a car at 60mph; it seems like it will be a deathly boring bike ride though.

The hotel is right out of a movie: the lobby overlooks the pool with the ocean right behind it. There are koi ponds and tiki torches and huge exotic flowers everywhere. But in the interest of full-disclosure, I'm not thrilled with the room. For starters, it is FREEZING. The rooms have no heat; they have a "cool-only" system and the staff must have had it on full blast awaiting my arrival. The system has been off for several hours and it's still cool. The marble floors don't help. There are no curtains or drapes on the windows. Instead, I have slatted doors which mean the room will get pretty bright pretty early. I'm not looking forward to that. As far as individual rooms are concerned, I have to say that The Coeur d'Alene still stays top on my list. Man I loved that hotel. (And yes, the name of the hotel where I did my first Ironman is "The Coeur d'Alene".

There is a food market about a mile from the hotel, so we did a short trip to stock up our in-room refrigerators. We saw many other triathletes stocking up on bananas, and yogurt, and weird grain products. This is what I came back with:


They say you shouldn't change anything right before a race, so it's Mountain Dew and Little Debbie snacks for me.

I am starting to get the feeling that I'm in the wrong racing group. There was a big discussion about what time we should go for a swim tomorrow morning. I would definitely like to get into the water, so I was thinking maybe around 9 or 10 we'd walk the 100 yards to the beach. No. My group wanted to meet at 6:00 am (that's six o-clock in the morning) so they could drive over to the official course to be swimming by 7:00 and simulate race-day conditions. Are these people crazy? We're in Hawaii! Why on earth would we be setting our alarms for anything with a single digit? They finally pushed the meeting time back to 7:00. Needless to say, I still will not be joining them.

I also showed my hand a bit with a Freudian slip. We were talking about the potential of having good weather on race day, and said "I think I should be OK up until about mile 6 of the walk... I mean run. Mile 6 of the run." Yeah, I do not have high expectations for any half-marathon PRs this weekend.

Funny side story:
During dinner, Heather was sharing stories of her childhood growing up in the bayous of Louisiana and how dangerous the waterways were. She told us they were warned as kids, if you're skiing and you hit something, DO NOT LET GO. Chances are you hit an alligator who just poked his head up. Creepy. Lenny, God bless him, then asked "alligators in the snow?" You had to be there.


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