Wednesday began as did Monday and Tuesday here; 4:45am wake up, drink a muscle milk, stop at Starbucks then make the 30 minute drive to Kona, swim at 6:45am.
I met some of the CT group to swim - the plan was to swim out to the half way buoy then swim from there over to the floating island stationed well off shore. They had great Kona coffee, fresh muffins, lounge chairs and even palm trees on this little barge. After a quick caffeine fix, we swam back in to the pier. Each day it get's more and more busy. Many of the tri manufacturers are out there hawking their products. TYR was giving away goggles although the way the nutty triathletes were grabbing and fighting for the swag, you would have thought they were giving out Rolex's.
Travis and I grabbed some breakfast at Lava Java, compliments of Megan Seerfoss, then we hit the expo. The expo in Hawaii is impressive. Every manufacturer is there and the bigger one's all try to outdo each other. Most have all their new latest and greatest gear to show.
I headed back to my condo late morning to go out for an easy 30 minute run along the coast. There is a beach path that starts as sand then turns to lava rock, then in front of the resorts it's a nice walkway. I run out along the pacific and beautifully groomed properties or resort pools. I felt comfortable although there was a nice breeze coming off the ocean to tame the 90 degree heat. We discovered this out and back run at my March camp, and I never find it hard as it puts my mind in a really good place. I finished up the run with a dip into the ocean, where I floated around for a bit and took in the calmness.
Later on, I drove back to Kona to drop off my bike at the Cannondale booth. Murray was going to give it the once over. He's worked on my bike in Hawaii for maybe five trips now and he's the man. The first time I dropped it off to him, I just asked if he could check out my shifting. A few hours later, I stopped back to grab my bike and he had gone through the whole bike including the bottom bracket and put brand new tape on!
Travis and I then hit the Kona Brew House for a couple of beers, some pork nachos and and a thai chicken pizza. All in all, a good day!
This morning, after a swim, breakfast, and easy spin, I was driving back to the condo. I was driving north on the Queen K highway, the same road the course is on. It's a perfectly clear day and I could see the observatory on Mauna Lani off to my right at 14000 feet above sea level. In front of me, I could see the Queen K wind for miles, and to the slight left, the northern tip of the island where the we will ride to before making the return trip on Saturday. To my left is the pacific and a clear view of Maui. I thought about how much I love this bike course, and how fortunate I am to have had the opportunity to learn and appreciate such an amazing place. It's hard to really explain, but there is something really remarkably special about this island.
Okay, time to relax.