Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Kona Report - Day 3

Race week should be relaxing, right? Staying off your feet, easy training, out of the sun, time to nap... I don't know what's going on here but thus far it's been anything but. I'm all registered though and as tempted as I was to represent Uzbekistan for the race, the IM organization corrected my citizenship status. So besides a few more minor obligations, I'm chilling out until Saturday morning.

What was relaxing initially today was my 6:30am 30 minute run from the hotel down into the pit and back. My legs felt good, and the sun wasn't full ablaze yet, so I was moving nicely. Supposedly the trade winds will be back this weekend, and I welcome them, because even the islanders here are complaining about the heat and humidity.

Working the Myathlete tent at the expo has been fun. It gives my mind a break from thinking about the race, and I get to talk to all the intense athletes, and more importantly, their families. The Myathlete device is small now - about the size of a 9 volt battery, yet the biggest "worry" from the athletes is the size and weight of it. I feel like asking them point blank; "Listen, are you gonna win the race? Are you even going to win your age group? Because if this isn't even a possibility, do you really think the small bit of added weight is going to matter?".

Speaking of weight, I was weighed in at registration and I'm over 9 lbs lighter than I was when I raced here in 2006. That was probably the last time I was on a scale.

Right after registering, I went for an easy 25 minute swim in the ocean. It was about 10am and the hoards were gone and it was really peaceful. Clay T. was telling me how swimming here freaks him out because the visibility is so good and it makes him nervous seeing everything below. I guess he prefers swimming in the six inch visibility of LI sound. I found a nice rhythm as the rolling gentle waves moved me around, making this swim relaxing to me.

Thinking about it now, the two times I was able to relax today was while training. I need to remember this on race day when I get into battle mode and where I can easily overwork it. My best results typically come when I can relax during a race.

Maybe I'm having a hard time relaxing not so much because of a busy schedule but more so from a bit of race nerves. I still have some slight congestion and as much as I try to convince myself that it doesn't matter, the fact is that I know that to do this race well, you need to be 100%. I go in and out of the race nerves throughout the day. One moment, I'm overly analyzing how I feel, the next I'm focused on how beautiful some parts of this island are. Even Alii drive which has become quite "commercial" - it runs right along the ocean, with the waves rolling in, and the black lava and white sand shining through the crystal clear water. Standing on Alii drive, you have the choice to focus on an outdated hotel or junky strip mall across the street or you can focus on the beauty of the ocean. Funny, that's the answer right there with my own race day nerves and over analyzing my cold. It's all about perspective. And as i tell my son, having some pre-game nerves shows that it means something to you. In fact, the day I am not a bit nervous before a big race is the day I hang it up. For awhile anyways.

Just finished a great sushi dinner and a large Asahi beer. Life is good.



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