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

Ironman Danish’s Ironman WC Race Report…Part 3: the Finale

Part 3 of Ironman Danish’s Ironman WC Race Report….

T2:  I got off the Bike and went to the penalty tent for my 4 mins of shame.

It was really a best case scenario since I could take off my helmet and bike shoes and cool down.  The transition area was large so running barefoot (or in my case socks) was way better than running in bike shoes.  My body was tightening up pretty fast in the penalty tent, so I tried to keep moving and do some light stretching.  I also was feeling the effects of the sun, my sunscreen had definitely worn off and I knew any more that I would put on would wash off quickly, so I was pretty disappointed I didn’t have a lycra cover for my shoulders and arms for the run.  Once released, I got my transition bag, put on my running shoes, and had a volunteer put sunscreen on my shoulders as I put on my shoes.  I headed out on the run with Red Bull and new Hammer Gel Flask in hand.

Run:  The first couple of miles of the marathon were pretty tough.  I went harder on the bike then I had ever gone in training, so the marathon was going to be an experiment.  I could tell me legs didn’t feel too bad, but I was really hot from my sun burn and running low on calories.  Unfortunately, the run is no place to make up for lost calories.  I enjoyed my Red Bull and hoped for the best.  I fought hard to stay in the shade when I could and dumped ice down my race suit at every aid station.  I settled into a pace based on a heart rate I knew I could sustain (about 5%) less then my normal marathon heart rate and about 3% less then what I was averaging on the bike.  I concentrated on not looking at mileage or pace and just putting one foot in front of the other.

Just after the turn around on Alii Drive (about mile 4) I started to feel a good bit better.  I didn’t change my plan, but I could tell I was running better.  Things were still pretty rough mind you, and I tried to force myself to smile at times, and did a lot of forced positive thinking.  On my way back into town before heading out to the energy lab, I saw Duffy for the first time in the race.  It was great to see her, but it made me really wish I was moving better.  I ran out of town and headed up to Queen K for the run to the Energy Lab (I walked up the hill out of the hot corner to keep my heart rate in check).  On the run out to, into and out of the Energy Lab I felt about the same.

Running out of the Energy Lab with ice stuffed down my back

I tried to pick up the pace, but I could tell I didn’t have the energy to sustain it and I was overheated.  I was sipping on my Hammer Gel and drinking water at the aid stations.  I continued putting ice down my jersey every aid station (every mile).  On the way out of town I started to do the math on my pace and figured under 10 was really likely, 9:50 was probable, 9:45 was the target, and 9:30 was out of the question.  Out of the energy lab and with 5 miles to go, I tried to pick up the pace.  I was running so low on calories that it was a case of working harder for very little change in pace.  I did what I could and held it together to the finish to roll in at 9:41:10 after a 3:19:55 marathon.

Final thoughts:  Having done two Ironman distance Triathlons now I think there are a few key challenges:

1.  Eat as much as you can on the bike.

2.  Beat the heat and the sun.

3.  Get out of the swim early to be with the fast guys on the bike.

Notes from Duffy:

By key challenges, he means, what not to do NEXT TIME, as in, there WILL be a next time.  Given that Ironman Danish is a type A++ personality, I do not think (despite his initial statements on the topic) this is our last time to Kona for this event…in fact, I am guessing next year we get to spend MORE time there–since I know he wants a crack at winning the double

IM WC=not easy…neither is spectating

So, while Ironman Danish may have his case of the crazies from time to time and consistently misplace wallet, keys, and cell phone (yup, he even lost it in the airport on flight here) I have to give him “props” for a jaerb well done here in Kona.

Not even the pros can make this course look easy.  Having swam the swim course and ridden the bike course (granted, never went above zone 2 on the heart rate), I know exactly what they were up against–and it wasn’t pretty.  The swim course reportedly had a lot of current still left over from the rains/swell that had happened during the week, since the fastest pro swim was “slow” at 49 minutes…(yeah, their slow is my awesomest swim of my life assuming I trained ONLY swimming for the next 40-50 years).  Before we even got to the swim course, I was poised and ready to document the day…snipped many morning shots:

who's up and at 'em....yup--this guy!

4:45 breakfast....yup, isn't that what you were doing at 4:45 on a Saturday?

Also before the start, the cheering squad planned to all be under a large banyan tree across from the swim in which Nelson climbed to get better pics….

the cheering squad

Nelson in the tree...

Good one Nelson...don't you teach kids to read?

Unfortunately, it turns out several hundred parrots also planned to be IN that tree…yeah–I got pooped on…TWICE!!!  (and the ol’ adage that this is “good luck”, is, I believe, in fact crap–its just because people feel bad for you that they say this)…

yeah, poop #1

Anyway, the race got underway and we headed off to get a quick cup of coffees of hawaii awesomeness before heading back to see the pros head out on the bike (and shortly thereafter, Ironmen Danish and BDubbs).  We positioned ourselves at “the HOT corner” (appropriately named as it is a “hot turn” in every direction and hot in temperature–thanks to our Planet Sun sunscreen, none of us were burned!).  We actually managed to film some vids and pics of Danish and BDubbs at the hot corner:

After seeing them head out of town, we knew we had approximately 5 hours before we had to be on station again to see them run.  This time, Rayray and I had to be in full kits and ready to roll on our road bikes to provide ample cheering during the run:

Lucky for us, they were always within 7-12 minutes of each other.  They actually came off the bike within 2 minutes of each other!!  Ironman Danish, however, had to serve a small penalty in the transition area, putting him 4 min slow on transition…

Danish bombing down hill to the transition to serve penalty and feel shame

BDubbs aka pink sleeves coming into transition 2

no biggie, just Chrissie almost running me down....

We were spectating machines, and speaking for us, we were AS tired as the Ironmen at the end of the day–spectating can be grueling.  We rode from mile 1 to mile 8, from mile 8 to mile 14, from mile 14 to the energy lab (so as to see them coming in AND out), and from there we would leap from them in small increments up the course towards home.

BDubbs mile ocho

Danish at mile 18...smiling

Heading out on the run both were looking fresh and running strong.  We knew they were both in a (relatively) happy place.  Around mile 20, we had to split ways though as Ironman BDubbs was ahead of Ironman Danish by enough that Rayray had to get on station ASAP for pics and general finisher support system.  I hung around mile 22 to cheer Ironman Danish home and then wound my way through a VERY thick crowd.  Upon arriving at the finish line, I realized that I was going to have a hard time elbowing into the front row for a good pic with Rizzo by my side.  Luckily, I ran into another member of our cheering squad (who was not lucky enough to have a bike to ride around the course), A1, who took my bike for me so I could snap some shots….however, turns out Rayray was in the BEST spot and snapped awesome finish photos:

Ironman World Championship Danish 9:41!!

Ironman Danish finished in an amazing 9:41 and Ironman BDubbs a blazing fast 9:28!!!!  Unbelievable!!  We all rendezvoused with other “Pac Velo” peeps after the finish and ate some pizza (Danish and BDubbs took advantage of the free massage) before we headed back to the condo for showers, more food, beers (finally!), and a nap before heading back to the finish line to cheer home midnight finishers….more to follow!!

together again...sunburned and pooped!

the view from where we were on the lawn

Riz relaxing alongside Ironmen