Friday, October 08, 2010

Kona Day 2 (Wednesday)

Kona Day 2 (Wednesday)

I went for a practice swim along the course today. They had about 7 or 8 buoys set up marking the course, separated by a couple hundred yards leading out of the harbor area. They extend a decent distance from the beach, but it didn't look too bad. But then, if you squint your eyes and look way way way out on the horizon, you can see this teeny-tiny spec of orange floating in the water. That is the actual turn-around point. This is my first single-loop Ironman, and I've never seen a buoy so far away before.

There is a pretty strong cross-current when you are close to shore. We have to deal with currents all the time in L.A., but because you can hardly see anything you don't really get a good sense as to how much you're being pulled. Here, the water is perfectly clear and so I could watch the bottom scrolling sideways underneath me. It's a little dizzying.

The water was a little choppy, but overall I cant say it was a bad swim.

Our travel company (Endurance Sports Travel) took us on a driving tour of the bike route. This stressed me out. I already rode half the course back in June when we did the Hawaii half-iron so there were no surprises, but the tour ate up about 4 hours of the day and there were other things I needed to be doing.

The bike turn-around is in the little town of Hawi. It really has the look and feel of an old western town, not a 7-Eleven in sight. We stopped for lunch at a... Deli? It was a shop that looked like an old wooden storage room with a counter in front. The owner was very excited for us to try the freshly made banana-mango jam, or something like that. I threw up a little in my mouth just hearing about it. I said "no thank you" but they they kept insisting. "oh, you HAVE to try it! It's delicious!" "no, I'm good, but thank you." We went back and forth and finally he said "are you doing the race?" "Yes." "Ah, OK, then no wonder you can't have any." I'm going to use race training as an excuse more often.

After dinner I moved all of my things out of the condo and into the race hotel, where I finally had air conditioning. (The condo only had fans, which don't do a great job cooling the place.) As it turns out, AC is a tricky thing to manage. There is not going to be any air conditioning along the race, so the best way to acclimate to race conditions is to stay out of air conditioning as much as possible. On the other hand, you're not going to sleep very well laying on top of the covers sweating all night. For the most part I've been keeping the AC off and just giving the room a quick shot of cold air before bed. 

We went out to dinner and got caught in a light rain. It did wonders cooling off the place, and I wouldn't mind a little more of it on Saturday. 


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