Poppa’s been smooth since days of Underroos….

Yesterday marked the running of the tri geeks in tighty whiteys aka The Underpants Run.  Little do most triathletes know, but this run began as a means for locals to make fun of all the triathletes who like to walk around in teeeny tiny speedos with horrific tan lines in town.  Ironman Danish, BDubbs, Rae, and I participated in this ritual last year along with Nelson (Ironman Danish BFF who didn’t make the trip this year) and were all geared up to participate again this year, even shopping for the coolest underroos before leaving MIA.

They woulda been cool….

You’re welcome….

However, Ironman Danish has been really nursing a calf muscle strain and battled back from a bad spot with the help of Beyond Wellness doctor Katie Kreis, so, needless to say he is wary to do even the smallest run in undies without proper warm up and cool down/stretch session.  As a result, we skipped it.  You can thank us now for no pics of us in our underroos.  Also, Nelson was not here, really taking a little bit of the ridiculousness out of this event.

2011 With Nelson (with him this event is at least 19% more ridiculous….)

Where is Nelson this year one may wonder….lets just say he needs to put his training wheels back on the bike….

The rest of the day, well, was pretty mellow.  Historically, two days before ANY race, both Ironman Danish and I like to take as a rest day.  The Ironman World Champs is no different, and, BDubbs is on that same rest program.  Thus the day was spent lounging around the condo–which, I should mention, isn’t a terrible place to spend the day.  We even were able to catch a pod of dolphins frolicking–it was AWESOME.

I did venture out into the world to take some glamor shots of Fergie with her lei beachside and also to check out the expo.

Damn straight

Then we went to church

There was nothing much happening at the expo, in fact, I feel as though last year’s expo had more things I really liked for sale–this is a good thing, for my wallet.  One item, and it was not at the expo, spoke to me this year and it was a super sweet set of arm sleeves from Planet Sun Hawaii.

They match perfectly….

Luckily there was even more free stuff being given away.  Turns out, most of the SRAM guys mountain bike and were really happy when we asked to see the new XX derailleuer and they loaded us up with schwag.  I, in turn, loaded them up with some sweet Rose Bandit koozies!

Ironman Danish seems to be in a good spot and, has an AWESOME race number: 1606!  His pretty hate machine (aka his TT bike) is all charged (Di and all) and ready to rock!!!

The Ironman and I after a long day of lounging….

Spacemen and Kona Hills

So, now, let me back track a little bit to recount yesterday’s activities.  The day started with a somewhat, ok, no, totally weird request from Mike’s coach (who, I should mention, is also a friend of ours) to take a picture of Mike’s backside in a speedo….yeah…..I decided the best place for this rear end photo shoot was probably at the beach and perhaps underwater for that matter.  So we headed to the beach for our morning swim/photoshoot.

Euro photo shoot pic #1

Euro photo shoot pic #2

After our risque photo shoot (I should mention, I did not play a part it–rather it was an awesomely European bonding moment between BDubbs and Ironman Danish offshore a ways….I am not even jealous) we headed back to the condo for some eats and some down time before heading out on our respecitve bike rides for the day.  Rae and I decided to snap some sweet shots of the space men before heading out.

Spacemen prepare for flight

BDubbs putting out the vibe

Ironman Danish….yeah

Ironman Danish and BDubbs had some specific workouts to do, luckily Rae and I did not.  So we headed out on a three hour ride in the Kona hills.  We rode up to 2000ft in pretty much 2 miles (the road, which had a name that sounds like someone saying aloha like 20 times, kicked up to 20% at the end).  The final 20% kick at the top almost killed me as I was rocking a sweet time trailing cassette on Fergie’s loaner wheel–an 11 x 23.  Yeah–that sucked and I almost died of an asthma attack.  Luckily, crisis averted by the trusty inhaler.

We then were in some beautiful rolling hills that overlooked miles and miles of lava fields that run all the way down to the Ocean.

Goats chillin in the lava fields

Regina and Fergie taking in the views

We turned around on our out and back course and had an awesome cruise back towards the Alohaalohaalohamahalo Road for a fun filled descent that began with negative 20% (we were going about 45 mph–way more than 30).  The only thing that made it not that awesome was the shakey front wheel I had going down it.  Turns out Ironman Danish was trying to kill me, when we built our bikes at 2am East Coast time the night we arrived apparently my front break cable got a little frisky and decided to get closed into the stem….yeah, turns out my wobble wasn’t a speed wobble but rather a “your break cable is attached to your stem” wobble.

My “yay I didn’t die” photo op….

After not dying, we headed away from home a little longer on the Queen K to get in some extra time to make our ride a full three hours.  On the way home we collected some serious giveaways and had two opportunities to refill our bottles at a Gu roadside stop and a Island Bike Works roadside stop.  Not bad.  We swung into the Energy Lab for some shots before heading home.

Fergie loading up on some energy at the lab

Rae posing at the Energy Lab next to a sign that we are clearly past that commands no cyclists beyond that sign….oops…

Upon returning home, we stopped in and thanked Planet Sun for their amazing sun protection they provided us with on our ride (and everyday of the year).  I then headed out on my mission to get Fergie leid….she shall have more glam lei shots today.

Fergie leid on lava beach

M Dots….the M is for Marketing the Dot is for the “O” in Opportunity….

One thing that there is no shortage of here in Kona at the Ironman World Champs is shameless marketing.  Triathletes eat that shit up, so why not try every possible marketing scheme to get people to like your product?

M Dot

Here are my top three favorite marketing schemes so far:

1.  Underwater billboards.  Yup.  On the Ironman Swim Course, which pretty much every tri geek and their “ironmate” (sorry, I almost puked in my mouth a little just typing that) swims each morning (except for the Pros–who swim at the local pool), some serious marketing geniuses put together the thought of underwater signage to direct you towards the expresso barge.  There are also signs to tell you about a newest greatest energy product that you can probably get for free on the beach, and other signs.  GENIUS!  I mean, this might be better than highway billboards.  You are already looking down, why not have something other than the beautiful nature under you to peak your interest in swimming in these beautiful waters?

Billboards!!!

2.  Chocolate milk.  With the help of some elite triathletes, a milk company has decided to reinvent the wheel but rebranding chocolate milk as THE BEST way to recover EVER.  They have taken it so far that they have a tent set up with free chocolate milk giveaways for your post swim recovery and information on the benefits of their chocolate milk.  I was so blown away by the new round wheel they were selling I actually had to commend them for their marketing genius–as I took my free chocolate milk, of course.

Not gonna lie here, I stocked up on some of the goodness….

3.  Priceless giveaways.  It makes you wonder what it costs to make some of these products that just get thrown at anyone sporting an Mdot wristband or at those who look like maybe they are racing (for instance, me).  There are several aggressive attempts to gain market share by an INSANE amount of free-shit handouts.  I mean, I have already racked up the following: a rather nice running shirt (would be really nice but it is red and a size large), a water bottle, a swim cap, new Louis Garneau branded gels, and, of course, enough chocolate milk for the next two years.   Ironman Danish has racked up the same AND THEN SOME including TYR “Special Ops” goggles and the other free stuff that came in the race packet (granted, this stuff is not really free, in fact, each race really paid $650 dollars for the “free” stuff in their registration bags). In fact, had Ironman Danish read the “official program” earlier, he would have seen the full page ad on the back of it in which Rudy Project offered FREE Wingspan helmets to anyone who afreed to wear their neon aero helmets in all races for a year (including the IMWC.  Of course, he still wouldnt have gone to get the helmet as Ironman Danish is practically allergic to aero helmets, and, if you may recall last year, the penalty tents were overwhelmingly populated by triathetes in the neon dome pieces.

Free!!!!!!

Now, I do love getting free shit as much as the next person, but even I have to say it is a little out of hand.  You know what should have been free–a lei for me/Fergie.  My race bike, Fergie, made by a Rose Bandit Team Sponsor Boom Bikes, needed to get her taste of Hawaii and get laid today, but her lei cost $7!!!  I mean, could it be that the wingspan cost less to make than the lei?  Urgh….

But damn that lei looks good on her….

Sorry for the venting, my real post about the days events are coming soon…..

Big Ben….Parliament

Made it back to Kona for a second year for Ironman Danish to strut his Ironman-ness at the World Championships.  Growing up a sailor and having raced many a regattas on small islands that get taken over by racers, I found myself landing in Kona and getting that Block Island Race Week/Key West Race Week feeling–which, for you sailors out there, you know the feeling of which I speak.  It is a feeling mixed with pre-exhaustion, excitement, nervous energy, and an “I am cooler than you are” vibe.  In the World of triathletes, actually achieving the “I am cooler than you are” is SUPER easy as long as you are not a tri-geek, of course.  Sailors are definitely stiffer competition in the cool department.

Your typical regatta tent fashion….Yeah, and sailors are cooler….can you imagine?

Of course, part of the “Big Ben, Parliament” feeling could have to do with the fact that we are on the same island, same time of year, same event, same people (friend BDubbs qualified again and his lady friend, and our friend as well, Rae, is race support for him, again), same condo…well, you catch my drift…

I digress.

Anyway, let me assure you, that if Ironman Danish woke me up any morning on any of the other 355 days in the year and told me we had to get going for our open water swim, I would punch him in the face.

Bright eyed and bushy tailed, I was ready to swim….cant you tell….

For certain.  Not sure I would even open my eyes to line up the punch.  However, here in Kona, the open water swimming is so amazing I actually drag my ass out of bed, put on my sweet bathing suit, and head down to swim.

Ok, Rae and I BOTH have super cool suits….

Now, granted, there is also a coffee barge involved.  In fact, I would say a solid 30% of the reason I get up to ride every morning is because I can have a cortadito or a slurpee mid ride.  Now, I like cycling mucho mas than swimming, so that means that about 70% of my waking up to swim in Kona is because of the Coffees of Hawaii barge.

The view of the barge from the beach….

We had a beautiful swim, as expected.  This was my first swim since my rather hard crash at ITU Cross World Champs (I still have shoulder pain, urgh!).  Shoulder hurt, but luckily on this swim there are like a million Nemos, Dories, and friends to look at while you take your time to swim to the barge.

The view from the barge….

Our friend Rae checking out a Ray (a Manta Ray!)

After our lovely swim, we went to the Safeway and stocked up on food.  This was definitely a highlight for the day  (yup, definitely easily tops swimming, no matter how beautiful) since, while at the Kona Safeway, I turned the corner, looked up, and was standing face to face with Chrissie Wellington.  I played it pretty cool.  Or not.  I immediately recognized her, stopped in my tracks, and said “oh, so cool!!!! you are in the supermarket!!!!!”  Yeah there is probably at least 20 things cooler I could have said to her.  She looked at me like I was pretty much crazy or talking to myself, or perhaps on one of those super geeky bluetooth earpieces (sorry to those who wear it they are practical but not cool).  Luckily, I redeemed myself when she was in line next to me (omg! omg! Chrissie Wellington is in line next to me–I saw her groceries!!!).  I first apologized for interupting her grocery shopping time, and then said what I truly felt which is that she is a badass on the bike and I can say on behalf of all my Rose Bandit Team Teammates we ALL think she is and that I had a Rose Bandit Team koozie for her!!

umm…who wouldn’t be stoked to get one of these?

She said that I was so nice, said thank you for the cool koozie, and then gave me a hug (I let this slide, as it was, Chrissie Wellington and maybe she would rub some speed off on me–otherwise, in any other situation, could yield terrible consequences for the hugger, as I am NOT a hugger, in fact, I think that the Women’s Lacrosse sphere checking rule should be employed on personal interations as a general rule of thumb).

I finally calmed down from this exciting trip to the Safeway.  I must admit, it did take a 45 minute spin on Fergie (Fergie is on her maiden voyage to Kona–I thought it was only fair as Rizzo went last year) to really calm me back down.

Fergie this summer on Long Island, she will most likely get “leid” tomorrow….

Successful day #1 in the books.  Ironman Danish is still head on straight and not tweaking (yet), so all is good here!  How can it not be with this view from our condo?

Not even Instagrammed!