Welcome to Kona
What a buzz, its been a lot to take in in 2 days, in the last 48 hours I have dragged Kelly round to swim, rushed around to register, built bike, shopped, ate, slept, attended the welcome party, slept some more, done a swim/bike/run shake down, shopped a lot more and then finally racked all of my kit for the race.
The town was already in full swing when we arrived Wednesday night, in fact the expo started Tuesday and by the time I left Kona this evening it was pretty much packed away, not much chance for us to shop but we got what we needed and a few more bits.
I must admit that coming out this late was probably a mistake for a perfect race, but of small proportions this time, its not all about the perfect race. Maybe an experiment in the making to see how it affects me race day as I am not what I would class as rested. I do, however, think that my time clock will work for the morning but I may get a bit tired halfway through the marathon, but who won’t be eh ?
I have had a few small issues in the last 2 week build up with a cold and I thought that I would beat it, I have no idea how it will manifest tomorrow but today has been a little painful, all of my back muscles are starting to spasm and making my core very tight, I was fine swimming this morning and my bike/run a few hours ago were fine but I can’t lie down without pain, so I won’t be doing this in the race 🙂
I have just had a massage to relieve some of the pain but we’ll see tomorrow. I think that’s my only fear that it will affect my swim stroke. But, no excuses.
And that’s the theme, no excuses, I am no martyr, no really, I’m not. A lot of people I know would give anything to be where I am, living the Ironman dream, World Championships on the other side of the world so no bitching – well not too much :-).
Hey, if my times are a little slow then you know its affecting me, and I mean outside the usual weather and heat issues that everyone will have.
So to the race, no wetsuit swim, so naturally slower, last time was 1.09, lets just aim to get near that, under will be awesome, over will be disappointing.
The bike, it’s been a slightly less windy experience so far but I haven’t been to Hawi all week so not really sure what to expect, going for a good steady paced ride and an improvement on the 5.27 last time.
It’s the run I want to improve on, last time was 3.40, if I can knock time off, this is where it will happen. 20 minutes puts me near the 10 hour mark but I haven’t done that on a full distance course yet (both IMUK in ’09 and Wales in ’11 were short runs) and in the heat here I don’t expect it tomorrow but any time off is good.
My finish time in 2009 was 10.21.
This year, sub 10 hours is the miracle time but anything under 10.21 is acceptable, if the weather is not comparable then its position I will base it on, 450th last time, again, near that will be great.
From the race briefing, my only fear is the drafting rules, they are pretty severe, it’s the same everywhere I race but I never see it enforced anywhere except here, if you enter the 7 metre zone behind another rider you MUST pass in 20 secs, if you decide not to and drop back you can be done for drafting, or if you get over taken and do not drop back the required 7 metres in 20 seconds you can also be busted. I think I will be spending a good proportion of the bike tomorrow worrying about being pinged incorrectly as I do not draft. That should play in my favour but I know athletes have been pinged here wrongly and there is nothing you can do to appeal. I will stay vigilant and make sure I don’t get sin binned.
I have wonderful memories of 2009 and there are a lot of triggers to help me get round this time, I can also break the course down better, I know that out on the Queen K on the latter part of the run will be tough, it always is, I now know that’s where to hang tough as this is time I can make up. I also know that if the wind blows hard on the bike on the way home, everyone suffers, just get on with it.
They have improved the timing here this year as well too, there are 8 timing mats on the bike, there are 10 on the run so you will probably know how well I am doing at the same time I do. Kelly will have my phone and will try to get to wifi during the day so any updates on the bike/run will be helpful on twitter so that she can plan her time to get to the finish area.
Its now 9pm on the Friday, 7 hours away from starting the most important day of the year so far, bring it on, I am loving the support, twitter and facebook, it’s bloody awesome.
Its so close, I can almost taste the beer.
I’ll try not to keep the die hards up too late tomorrow and I am sure I’ll keep it interesting
See you on the other side.