Sunday, October 15, 2006

Can I have some fries with that shake?

I’m staying with John Brennan in a condo on Alii drive until Lisa arrives on Wednesday. I couldn’t sleep so I got up and started to put my bike together. John awoke and we decided to go down to the pier and swim. At about 7:10am, while gathering up some swim gear, we hear this big rumble, as though a plane had flown directly over the condo. Then, everything started to shake. Now I have never experienced an earthquake before, but I knew right away what this was. The pictures on the walls began to shake, and the floor began moving back and forth, similar to the ride at the park where I take my kids – the one that’s a platform hanging from chains that you have to balance on. I headed for the doorway and told John to do the same (he was in his bedroom at the time). Later in the morning, John mentioned that if he were in this situation again, he’d run outside, which is the thing to do. It was quite freaky. We were on the first floor of a big 3 story condo and the whole thing was shaking and vibrating. The refrigerator in our unit moved a few feet from the wall, and this is a regular size fridge, not one of those small college jobbers. The tremors lasted for about 40 seconds. This felt pretty strong but we didn’t really have any idea how serious it actually was. As the news has shown, this earthquake registered 6.6 with another 5.5 aftershock, and it affected the whole island. The epicenter was right where we were, in Kailua, Kona.

We headed down to the pier and ran into John Wilson and Oakes Ames who were just returning from their morning swim. They had no clue what had happened. The police closed the pier due to a possible Tsunami, which actually benefited me. I love to swim here and got in and took three strokes to realize my shoulder wasn’t going to participate today. Power was out all over Kailua, so I decided to take John up to my favorite breakfast spot, the Aloha Café which is about 15 miles south of Kailua but sits up very high. As we drove to the Café, we saw huge boulders all over the roads. The Café was closed due to the quake (along, as we’d soon find out, with mostly every other restaurant and store on the island). “Never a dull moment John!” I mentioned as we drove back to Kailua.

When the earthquake first occurred, I called Lisa to tell her about it. I must have not been dramatic enough when describing the event, because she mentioned how she was in an earthquake before when she lived in Missouri as a kid, and then switched the subject quickly to tell me about something else. She called me back around an hour later to tell me that it was all over the news. I received many calls and e-mails, checking up on me – thank you.

Now, it’s around 1:00pm and bright and sunny and John and I are sitting at Lava Java watching the ocean and you’d think that nothing out of the ordinary occurred.

Already, this trip has created some unforgettable experiences! It certainly took our minds off of the Ironman for awhile. Things like this occur and once again, brought to the forefront is the fact that we shouldn’t take racing so seriously. I sit here now thinking it’s kind of silly to even get nervous before one of these events considering the big picture.

I posted yesterday’s blog when I arrived in LA while awaiting my connecting flight to Kona. I was to arrive in Kona at 7:30pm, which would be 1:30am East Coast time. We boarded the plane and taxied out only to sit on the runway for 30 minutes before the pilot came on and announced that we needed to taxi back to the gate for some repairs. Long story short – I arrived in Kona around 9:45 pm. My luggage including my bike arrived which was cool, and I made it to the condo around 10:45pm (4:45am EST). I can’t sleep on planes, so needless to say it was quite a long day. Yesterday I had a very bizarre incident that I hope dissipates. While on my first flight, my left shoulder started to hurt a bit. As the day went on, the pain became quite intense. By nighttime, I couldn’t lift my left arm. I still don’t know what caused this, or even what is really going on. I never had any shoulder problems before. I took 3 Advil before falling asleep and they took awhile to kick in, but finally did. I managed to get about 4 hours of sleep before awakening. Anyway, it felt great to be back in Kona.

This afternoon, I plan on doing an easy ride to loosen up and maybe a small run, and maybe catch a nap, and maybe down some more coffee. Before Buffalo Springs this year, I cut caffeine out of the diet for 10 days. For those that know me well, they know this is no easy feat. Well I didn’t really notice much of a difference on race day, so I plan on living on caffeine here all week. Seriously though, this just kind of proved my point that you don’t do anything different in race week.

As they say in Hawaii,



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