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countdown to throwdown

8 October 2010 No Comment

Its that time again…  We have only been in Kona for three days now but Ali’i drive continues to transform right before our eyes and the excitement in the air truly is like no place I have been before.  Maybe it is all the super fit people “racing” up and down the street, maybe it is the gathering of people from all over the planet or maybe it is just the building pressure in the presence of race day.  The swim here is unbelievable and I think it is the secret to why people try to get into this race or back to the island.

It is hard to imagine that less than a year ago I did not even thing I could do an Ironman and now I am looking forward to racing something this special on in a few short hours.  I am really stoked to be a part of it.  The reality of just how difficult this race is going to be hit me yesterday as I rode the Queen K for the first time.  Why is Kona hard?  Its difficult to fight an enemy you cannot see…a hill you will not crest and a crowd that will not let you back down.  Heat, humidity and wind are brutal here. BRUTAL!  It is just not something you can explain until you are here I guess.  Yesterday I was pushing ~220+ watts at a 11mph out by Hawi and was getting some insane side gusts of wind. Here is a quote from the Athlete guide

“From Ali’i Drive to the airport, a sea breeze blows from the ocean across  the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway approximately 10 to12 mph.  During the  evening, this wind reverses and blows from the mountains.  From the airport area  to Hawi, you will be biking into the legendary Ho’omumuku headwinds that are  most noticeable on this portion of the bike course north of the airport.  These  winds blow 5 to 35 mph, and in extreme conditions can gust up to 60 mph.  After  the Hawi turnaround, you will usually have these winds at your back to Kawaihae and side winds again along Highway 19. While air temperatures may register in the high 80s to low 90s F,  temperatures along this section of the course may
exceed 100 F due to the reflected heat from the lava and asphalt”

I have to admit I starting thinking about Ultraman and going around the entire island.  One quote came to mind, “if your going to be dumb, you gotta be tough“.  I am praying I am really tough…and that is the hole point.  We do these races because they are hard and there are some things you can train for and some you will never be fully prepared to face.  You count down and then you throw down with what you have…you just may surprise yourself. . . and beat yourself.  After all the race is always an experiment of one.

views from the Queen K

Today we finished final prep and I got to chat with a few people here and there as we packed up our gear and did a final swim, bike, run prep.  The people here are amazing and everyone has a great story.  Our bikes are stoked away now with our run gear in the transition until tomorrow.  I got the 3rd to last spot at the end of the pier.  I should not get lost getting to my bike!

The time I have had in the last few days to just take naps and think has been really nice and probably overdue.  I am very grateful for the friends and support I have and the people I got to meet out here and spend time with at home.  I owe a lot to that team!   I have had a pretty relaxing last couple of days and I feel health, fit and ready to race. No big expectations but I am looking forward to running a PB marathon tomorrow ;-)

Its getting late here now…and later at home so its time to go to bed and start the dreaming.   Good night and hope to see ya out there!

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