On Sunday, October 12th, Shawn and I decided to head out on the infamous Queen K highway in Kona for a 14 mile out-and-back run that included the Natural Energy Lab. While we were running along reading the chalk-strewn names all along the highway (“Go Macca” was a bit surreal), we noticed something…a LOT of athletes from the day before riding their tri bikes. Now, how did we know that these were competitors from the day before?? Most were still sporting their race number on their bikes and the all-too obvious orange competitor wrist bands. C’mon people–take a feakin’ day off!! You just raced in the World Championships YESTERDAY. Have a sandwich. Screw it-have a BEER! Sit on the beach and swim with the turtles. You’re in freakin’ Kona! It won’t kill you, will it?! Yes, I know there’s some literature that tells you that it’s good to spin the legs the day after a race, but some of these dudes were dropping the hammer. If nothing else, it further supported my assertion that endurance athletes are a hapless bunch of addicts.
So, who am I to talk? It was my idea to run along the zero-shaded, lava rock-coated pavement of the Queen K and Natural Energy Lab roads. I’ll say this–83 degrees with no humidity may exist somewhere in Kona, but not on that part of the island. I absolutely have a newfound respect for the super crazy competitors…so much so that I would LOVE to do this race someday in that same crazy way that people want to jump out of planes and run the Badwater Ultra Marathon. Kona Lottery and all my fingers and toes crossed…here I come!
The run basically ate me for lunch after Mile 13. Of course, we didn’t have enough water. Actually, we did, but one of the bottles we stashed on the Energy Lab had conveniently disappeared when we got there. Damn…I averaged 9:13s on the way out and 8:40s on the way back—until I bonked (conveniently in front of the Tesoro gas station). Fortunately, it was only a mile out so after a bottle of cold water, I walk/jogged the rest of the way as Shawn passed me and took it home.
The rest of the week is being sufficiently and self-indulgently filled with sun, beaches, snorkeling, hiking, waterfalls and other “marathon taper” activities…(read: drinks at the Four Seasons, brews at the Kona Brewing Company, Picnics on the beach). Yep–that’s right–I’ve got a Marathon in D.C. in 1 1/2 weeks. Don’t worry…I’ve had a couple of good runs here. We are staying at the bottom of an 18% grade hill after all…More on that later. Until then, more random pictures…I also realized how small my race pics were so I’ll repost them soon so that you can actually see some of the competitors (and their lovely compression socks!) Note: Neither of the winners were sporting the compression socks–’nuff said. (I’ll probably have 3 pair by next year)
With Tri-Stud couple Greg and Laura Bennett
Ever wonder how they do the gear count each year? Yep–a bunch of people with notebooks counting wheels, pedals, bikes and every other component. Not too scientific, eh? By the way, Cervelo was huge.
The only people eating these cookies were those NOT doing the race.
Shawn has a fever for more IM cowbell!
Look out Kona, here I come (someday)!
With Ironman Coeur D’Alene around the bend, Shawn is officially an
“Ironman Athlete in Training!”
View from our condo in North Kona! Multiple fruit trees in the foreground and ocean beyond.
While the Ironman athletes were on the bike, we headed to the nearest bar to watch the Longhorns beat the Sooners!
At the stroke of 9:42am, we had our one (and only) shot of the morning to celebrate the Longhorn victory–at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company 😉
Carrie, Shawn, Jack and Cassie cheering for the Jack and Adam’s Austin triathletes!
(and the Horns)
For the love of God, I need a pedicure (and a Corona, apparently)