Yesterday began with us cheering on everyone running the Path 5k and 10k past our condo. A surprising number of triathletes were participating. I did not run the race because there is too much to lose in pushing myself that hard before my goal race.
KT decided to help cars leave our condo during the break of the runners at our condo exit. The next thing we know a white pick up truck comes to a short grinding halt in front of us. The guy jumps out and throws us a couple of T-Shirts to thank us for being traffic control.
Just another reminder how friendly everyone has been to us on the island. It was fun to be a volunteer for a short period of time.
We relaxed at the condo during the morning so KT could cheer on her beloved Cardinals. As soon as the temps got hot, I went for a ride on Queen K. My heart rate was capped and the rest of the triathletes were out there in droves. I pretty much got passed by every person including a walker. Two women probably in my age group passed me like I was standing still! I think they started to laugh at me as they went further down the road!
I knew that I had a significant tailwind on the way out and just took it easy. Sure enough, I turned around just past Kuki’o and was struck by a wall of wind. And wind gusts. I received a great education in managing my bike in the wind:
- Hang on. Lightly. Hold on too tight and you end up jerking your bike around.
- Lean into the wind but
- Know that the wind can stop or change. Don’t fall over.
- Gusts are frequent. Expect them on the top of the hills and through the little mini lava canyons of the highway.
- Get super small and aero. Turtle.
- Drink and be patient.
- Have a mantra. I kept reminding myself that the winners are the ones who stay aero.
It was a great experience and another reminder that the work will really start at mile 80 of the bike.
After the ride, KT and I went on a little shopping trip. We hit the Ironman store to get all the gear I might want and we visited Target and Walmart to secure cheap bikes for some of our family members. We purchased three for them to use during the race. I think they each weigh 50 pounds! After we are done, we are going to donate them to the local Habitat for Humanity for some of the families.
My training day ended with a short easy run at dinner time. This time I ran farther down Ali’i (away from Kona) to see another part of the course. Suddenly, you are running along and then you are passed by a pro you have seen on TV or read about in a magazine. Last night I said hi, smiled and looked up into Chrissie Wellington’s face and was greeted back with a huge smile. I said hi to a couple flying by in casual clothes on bikes and realized it was Conrad Stolz and his wife.
All of those interactions are a great reminder that this really is the World Championship. I feel incredibly privileged to be here (and at times like it was some colossal error that I qualified!).
Today, I just have a swim. What will I do with my day? Head down to the pier and check out the scenery. Maybe Lava Java for breakfast. This afternoon we will pick up my pastry chef/physician at the airport.
What did we learn today:
- Hit the Ironman store on Sunday to beat the crowds.
- Ask them for a box to send what you purchase and other swag home!
- Cheap bikes ($117) can be had early at Target and Walmart.
- Parking gets very challenging downtown. Consider alternate transportation.