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KONA DIARIES DAYS 9 TO 12

Day 9 - Sunday

Up early again for the practice swim on the race course. We were there in plenty of time but somehow still managed to be on the pier with 200 other people some 300m from the start line when the gun went for GO!

Oh well, it’s only a training day. Once I had actually got to the start line I settled in and was passing loads and loads of people without anyone passing me. I guess this is because all the faster swimmers were on the line when the horn went off! It’s rare that you get to swim 1.2 miles in a straight line and it gets pretty dull. Even with the fish to look at it started to drag on! I was happy with how I was swimming and I could pick and choose which feet I wanted to follow, again a rarity as it’s normally too murky in the UK to see any feet. I got into some good groups and chilled out after the turn around to get out the water with a gun time of about 1:07, my garmin recorded 1:02 which I would happily take on race day.

Day 10 - Monday

A rest day! I felt like I needed it but it took all my willpower not to do anything. Allan needed to see the climb up to Hawi so we drove to the bottom of the hill and kicked him out. Sadly it was very benign with hardly any wind so he breezed up it without a care in

the world! At Hawi we threw his bike back in the car and went further round the coast to Polulu Valley which involved a very very steep descent down a cliff to a black sand beach and a valley that looked like it was from Jurassic Park (I actually did not realise that Jurassic Park WAS filmed on the BIg Island and only just found out!) It was really relaxing once we got there and we just sat watching the world go by for a bit. The downside was that we had to hike back up the cliff in the full heat of the day and we had run out of water. Oh well, it’s a once in a lifetime trip so being a dehydrated tourist for half an

hour instead of a finely tuned athlete wasn’t so bad.

We found a little local bbq shack for a late lunch. It was the cheapest and one of the tastiest meals we have found this holiday, there was so much food none of us could eat in the

evening!

Day 11 - Tuesday

We had a fair amount planned for today, nothing big in its own right but lots of little things to tick off. The first was a swim, the coffee boat had arrived and it was something we wanted to experience. We had talked about this the night before, come up with a plan, even spoke about it during breakfast. Leanne and I were clearly dressed in our swimming stuff as we left the house. When we got to the pier it transpired Allan

didn’t get the memo and had failed to bring his kit! Leanne and I went for a swim and a floating espresso by ourselves - it was awesome! What a cool thing to do. One of those moments when you look around and think how amazingly lucky we are to do this, probably worth the airfare in itself! After the swim it was registration time, it ran like clockwork and despite all the people it didn’t take very long.

Next up was the race village expo (yep another expo). So much free stuff on offer and people selling obscure pieces of equipment to solve triathlon problems

that don’t really exist! My bag quickly became heavy and it was time to sit down somewhere so we headed to Lava Java and ate yet another massive lunch. Carb loading? Yeah I’ll play that card.

I shouldn’t have played it. The next little thing to tick off was an interval run session in the Natural Energy Lab at the hottest part of the day. The run itself was ok but my word did my lunch repeat on me a lot! I did the session with the rest intervals run at projected race power and it was fairly comfortable.

Comfortable on fresh legs but I am sure come Saturday it will be horrific.

A quick shower on the beach and back into town for the parade of nations. It's a fun thing to do but we should have learnt from our South Africa experience at the 70.3 Worlds. It takes ages and there is an awful lot of standing around. True to form this was the same and I got fed up so went and found somewhere to sit and watch the procession come through town and then neatly rejoined the GBR team as they went past. It meant that we got to see the other nations and was definitely the better way to see it.

Day 12 - Wednesday

My sleep pattern still hasn’t quite sorted itself out and I am not getting what I need which is frustrating. We made an effort to get down to the pier early doors for a short swim and a visit to the coffee boat. The novelty of it doesn’t wear off! I wanted to get a swim and a 1:20 bike session in before 12ish

and then be off my feet for the remainder of the day so after the swim we headed back to the house for a second light breakfast and a rest before getting ready for a ride.

The ride was a success, I felt comfortable at my race wattage and was concentrating on getting as aero as I could anticipating that it’s going to be a true Kona windy day on

Saturday. The slight tweaking I had done to Allans gears had also worked so all in all a good trip out. We were expecting Mary, from Ireland, to arrive at some point. Turns out she overtook us in the car on the Queen K!

A little bit of chatting with coffee and bike faff putting her bike together and that was me done for the day. I wanted to get a nap but ended up catching up on various work odds and ends. I did some weather research and yep, it was looking like classic conditions which is making the chances of a good bike split tumble!

That was me for the day, nice to get off my feet.

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