Recently a friend asked me to join them in Kona. Who was I to say no?
Tuesday - Fly before dawn rockin my Zoot compression tights and top. I wore my compression on the way to Kona and back. I almost missed my flight home and had to put the compression on in the mini plane bathroom. This was a true test of flexibility.If I wasn't a believer in Zoot compression before (which I was) I am now. 7 hours of flying both ways and my body felt a-ok after. Thanks Zoot!
Landed around noon Alaska Airlines gave away a free Mai Tai - this was the first of many :) Although I must say this one tasted just like tropical juice. Free is a very good price.
Swim into the sunset. This is the first OW swim I have ever done that I could see the fish - tropical none the less. I was in aw. I was easily distracted by the beautiful sea life. The waves that evening were pretty crazy. It made swimming more challenging and IMO more fun. The salt water tasted really yucky. Spit don't swallow.
Easy 1.5 mile run up Ali Dr. at night. Had my gate analyzed and received some good feedback. I need to concentrate on midfoot striking and fix my push off. Stupid dorsil flex. Knowledge is power when you put it to use.
Wednesday - Swim into the sunrise. There were more fish! Lots and lots of fish! I found Nemo! The water was much more calm, not exactly my cup-o-tea. I like the chaos. Speaking of which...I really want to do a none wetsuit legal IM now.
2 hour ride along the Queen K - I took this relatively easy. I knew tomorrow we'd be doing a 100 miler and with the hot and humid weather I wanted to conserve my energy.
Thursday - 1.5 mile run into the sunrise. Ran along Ali Dr. again. It was beautiful first thing in the morning. I ran to the sounds of parrots squawking.
101 mile ride of the IM Kona bike course - Analytics 80-85 degrees w/ 65% humidity. Ride duration 7:28hrs Ride time moving - 5:43hrs w/ 17mph avg Avg HR 133 w a max 157 Elevation gain 3048 Total miles 101 Caloric intake - 1200kcal malto, 162oz h2o & 1900 mg of sodium. I was a salty hot mess.
PE - I took the ride "easy". I was riding with my friend who just needed to get a LSD in for an upcoming IM. Since I left my bike at home I was without a power meter. My intensity was gaged off of HR. My goal was to keep my HR in between 130-150 which I accomplished. With the heat and humidity I knew I had to stay on top of my electrolytes. HR was a good way to gage this. I knew if I could keep a low HR at the end w/all the heat I'd be ok.
The good the bad and the ugly - Most of this ride was done in solitude...to some degree. My friend and I rode at different speeds and I'd say 90% of the time we were off doing our own thing. I was never truly alone as my riding companion and my friends and family back home were all good company in my head.
Close to the half way point we both run out of water. The next town was only 7 miles away but would end up putting us 14 miles over and caloric deficient. The closest town on the way back was 10 miles out. Mother&%^#! We opt to turn back and take our chances in the beating heat. At this point Oscar my evil head was starting to grow. I was almost ready to throw my helmet at people and things. I'm thankful that my riding buddy was patient and tolerable of my little misfits. The sun was hot and sticky and I was tired of getting pushed around by the wind. Our luck turned as I came up on a female mnt bike rider. She lived nearby and offered all of her water - around 24 oz or so. I shared this with my friend and we made it back to the town/store to refuel - hydrated. Thank God...her act of kindness saved me from from possible jail time.
The winds on the Queen K are forced to be reckoned with. I'd say I was able to stay aero maybe 70% of the ride duration. The other 30% had me up in my bars holding on for dear life. I'd be pedaling along and out of nowhere a gust would roll in moving me and Suzy Q (my rented Cervelo P3) several feet over. This was a (excuse my language) mind and body f***! I'd use all my strength to push the opposite way of the side wind and like a drop of the dime it would switch direction and I'd almost fall over. The headwind coming back was not pretty either. I didn't have my power meter and reading a pathetic 12mph on a flat was demoralizing. Add in the radiating sun and humidity and my body and soul was taking a beating.
I tried to borrow some energy from this place
I'll end with saying my intensity was never difficult. My nutrition and hydration was pretty spot on. I think my "dark spots" were due to the solitude of riding alone in the heat and battling some internal demons.
Post ride recovery-
Lol- not immediatly, but several hours later :) My friend and I cleaned up and went out for dinner.....and a few drinks!
Friday - Swim into the sunrise. Here we are post swim both rockin our TYR suits. Represent!
The first 500yds or so felt great. Then the lack of energy kicked in and I started to feel craptastic. Robert dropped me buoy after buoy. I suppose this was payback for the century? We ate a lot of food and I had a quick Kat nap before my afternoon ride.
Hour 20 bike up Ali Dr to Hwy 11 - Ali Drive is BEAUTIFUL. Little did I know the connecting ends would result in a climb. 800ft in 2-3 miles. Really that nothing compared to the PDX west hills. But we also don't have radiating heat and humidity. The tired legs and energy didn't help much either. As I approach the view point I decided it would be a good photo opt, so I stop....without unclipping. Boom! There I go, fallen over and still attached to the bike. Of course I did this in front of a huge group of tourists. If I had any grace what-so-ever I would have ended in a summer salt. A guy runs over and offers a hand. I quickly grab any dignity I have left and ask him for a photo. He asks "On the ground or on the bike?" Lol - funny.
On of the beautiful Kona sunsets I was sad to say goodbye to the island...and my friend.
Saturday - Day to go home. But first 20 min run up Ali Dr. 45 min swim 1 hour ride up the Queen K
Followed up with w HUGE breakfast. Check out these bad boys. Banana macadamia coconut pancakes with coconut syrup! Shared some portuguese sausage and kaluha pork too.
Then it was a race to airport. I made my flight within minutes. The captain actually paged me! Not sure it would have been a bad thing to be stuck in Kona, I would have had good company.
If I could have had any vacation anyway I wanted it - this would have been it. Swim, bike, run, food, and Mai Tai's on a beautiful island with a kick ass friend. A dream come true. Thanks Robert :)