Can you believe it? 2.5 days in Kona and not a single picture. Not one. Sorry! Kiet said it was b/c we were too focused on training. I'm saying it was because my jersey pockets were too full of fueling products to carry a camera. Anyway, Kona looks the same as it always has. Lots of black lava rock, some palm trees here and there, a very blue ocean, and blue skies every morning followed by some cloud cover in the afternoon. Oh, and it's ridiculously windy. And hot. Well, not that hot. Mostly just windy.
I'm not even sure where to start about the trip. I can sum up by saying it was awesome! We nailed 6 workouts in a row over the 2.5 days and spent the rest of the time eating, sleeping, and talking about Ironman... Ironman fueling and Ironman pacing and Ironman training and Ironman tapering and Ironman mentality. Lots of Ironman talk. I guess that's what you'd expect out of an Ironman training camp! We are such dorks.
Tuesday I got up at 3:30 AM to catch an early flight to Kona. I arrived at 6:30AM and we were riding by 8. We rode long- out to Hawi and back. It was pretty cruisy riding out and then we put in a solid effort on the climb and then on the descent we got passed by a guy who was flying down the hill. I made a snap judgement to jump on his wheel. I should check max speed on my garmin from that ride b/c I bet it was the fastest I'd ever made that descent! Super fun. And kinda scary. The crosswinds weren't the worst I've experienced up there, but they were pretty solid. Then when we hit the rollers section to Kawaihae Kiet took over the pulling and was kinda putting the hurt on our new super descending friend. Turns out this guy was from Moscow and was training for Ironman Florida. The three of us traded very strong pulls all the way to Waikoloa where Kiet and I pulled off to fill our bottles one last time. I was kinda glad to be rid of our Moscow guy b/c I figured we could then ease up a bit on the effort for the last 25 miles. But then in Waikoloa Kiet swallowed a couple of e21 tabs and I reapplied my chamois cream and before I knew it we were hauling ass back to Kona into a nasty headwind and climbing one hill after another and riding side by side both too stubborn to take a break and draft even for a second and Kiet kept upping the pace and pulling like an inch ahead of me and I was like um I don't think so so I would up the pace further and then see another hill ahead and swear under my breath and then Kiet would up the effort again and so would I and OMG the wind was brutal and then another hill and there is no way I am going to crack but are you kidding me aren't we done with these hills yet?? We were both so stubbornly persistent and neither one of us would give a freakin' inch so we just crushed each other for like an hour straight into that wind. It was awesome. Then we rolled into Island Naturals all sweaty and disgusting and ate a ton of really good food. And talked more about all things Ironman.
We got back to the condo and I wrung my socks out off the side of the lanai and Kiet was like see, we totally should have a picture of that. I bet that's not the photo you want from Kona though, huh? You'll just have to use your imagination on that one.
Yesterday was a weight training session on two wheels up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down Hina Lani for like an hour and instructions from coach were to add on length to the ride as we felt... turns out we both felt like adding time so 3.5 hours later we got back and headed out for an hour long race pace brick run. Nailed that but holy cow I really had to work for it. That run ended with me flat on my back in the shade on the sidewalk for at least ten minutes. Follow it up again with more good food and talk about all things Ironman and then really? Not done yet? PM masters swim practice. Super. Kiet was like I'm having hot flashes are you having hot flashes? Uh huh. Waves of heat just took over my body randomly all afternoon/evening. I was exhausted and brain dead and rather intimidated on top of all that because there were a ton of people there swimming (like 7-8 per lane) and I wasn't sure where I fit in but What the heck? I jumped into lane 1 anyway. Seemed like some feathers were ruffled b/c the feeling I got was that a couple of outsiders weren't exactly welcome taking up precious space in lane 1. Odd. But I just kept my mouth shut and busted my ass trying to keep up with the feet in front of me while not holding up the people behind me and just sprinted for 50's and 100's for an hour never being able to calculate a single split or figure out pace or send-offs or anything. Short course yards flip flip flip OMG I hope my legs don't cramp. Then it was finally over. Coach Steve was warm and gracious and invited me to come back anytime but I think next time I go to Kona I'll avoid the drama at the pool and stick with the ocean.
Speaking of the ocean, we finally got in it this morning! I drank like a pot of coffee first. Kiet doesn't drink coffee. I tried to convince him but he was steadfast. Ok. I'll just be all perky all on my own! :) Then we ran what some people might consider a long run but my coach called a moderate long run... mid morning on Ali'i Dr out past Keauhou and it was hot and I taught myself that I can run race pace on that course in those conditions and it was all very confidence building, even if I'm still having hot flashes every few minutes.
In the end, it was an amazing couple of days. Kiet is super cool- a great training partner and good conversationalist too! I'm trying to remember a time when I enjoyed training so much... Tough to say but this may have been one of the best little training blocks I've ever done. All totally Type 1 fun!