Friday, October 20, 2006

It's go time!

Ironman eve here. I can't wait until tomorrow. My off season begins on Sunday, so I'm going to make the most of my last day of the 2006 race season. My shoulder, the sinus congestion i've been waking up with, the heat - none of that matters now.

I know I've said this before but anytime you get to the starting line of an IM, it's important to reflect and be thankful. Many will think that they created this through their hard work, which they did, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't feel thankful. I have many to thank starting of course with my wife and family. If you don't have the support of your family in an endeavor like an IM, it certainly makes the journey difficult. Coming back from a run and having your 3 year old daughter ask how it went is the best. Also my father who loves the sport and lifestyle and is always calling to check up on me and see how my day's training went. I have so many great friends to thank, most specifically Baker who would keep me company through some torturous sessions. I still don't understand why that guy hangs out with me. Scott and Ange who have been just great friends also. And all the friends who have been calling and e-mailing me best wishes over the past week, or who even just called to see if I was ok during the earthquake, thank you.

Last night, Lisa and I had dinner at one of the resort restaurants here. We sat right on the ocean, and there were two Hawaiins singing and a hula dancer. It was quite relaxing. I didn't sleep so well, but I tried, and rested for a good 9.5 hours.

Upon awakening, Lisa and I went for an easy run. I only did 16 minutes and felt quite stiff. I came back and stretched out and waited for Lisa. I don't put too much weight into taper week sessions. Most think you should feel like you are ready to jump out of your skin, but I never do for an IM. The training was long and mostly aerobic and sometimes it takes a good 30 minutes into a run before I start to feel loose and comfortable during IM training.

Lisa ran for 35 minutes and then we headed to breakfast. I'm looking forward to burning off some of these calories I've been putting away this week. Actually, I've eaten quite healthy, and the only dessert I've had all week is coconut sorbet last night after dinner.

We then headed over to Waikoloa Village. Lisa wanted a new bathing suit. It's painful shopping with your wife for bathing suits. It makes the IM seem easy. When I was here in 2002, I bought Ryan an red Eukeleile. I picked up a pink one for Kate at the same store. I picked up some last minute supplies for race day also; baby powder for shoes, Tums for the calcium which I take during the run, and excedrin in case the shoulder really acts up.

We then headed back to our resort and Lisa went down to the beach while I went out for an easy 20 minute ride. I met Lisa at the beach for lunch, and then we headed into town to check my bike in which is always something I loathe. The traffic from the airport to Kailua has been brutal. Then you have to stand in a long line with your bike, helmet, bike gear, and run gear. There's no shade and everyone is very intense. Besides the traffic into Kailua though, things went quite smoothly. People are really bike crazy right now. Everyone wants to see the latest and greatest in cycling technology and there is no shortage of this in Kona. The magazine photographers were all stationed outside the bike check-in, snapping photo's of cool bikes.

We left Kailua and hit Jamba Juice one last time before race day, for our drive back to the Fairmount. I'll order some pizza through room service for dinner, my pre-race dinner ritual, and get some last minute things together, than lights out.

My race strategy will be as follows:

Take it easy in the swim and stay relaxed.

Be patient early on, on the bike. From Kailua to the airport, stay around 250 watts, and 290 on hills. Then from Airport to Kawaihi, keep easy/steady at 265 watts and 300 on hills. Then, for the next 15 miles up to Hawi, keep watts under 310. This is mostly uphill. Relax until Hapuna beach on return trip and then keep it steady at 265 and 300 on hills back to town.

The first 4 miles of the run, I'll run very, very easy. I'll then begin to settle into a pace I want to maintain. If all goes well, I want to run steady from the queen K down into the energy lab, then back.

The last two miles are a done deal. You are back in Kailua and can here the crowds at the finish line and it's mostly downhill.

Thanks to everyone who has been reading. I'll report back on Sunday to let you know how it went.



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