Sunday, October 28, 2007

Update from R&R

Well, I think I've probably put on a number of lbs, but that's ok with me. I've been drinking beer and sitting on my butt, getting a bunch of work done around the house, and with my coaching.

I don't plan on weighing myself until I am about to start back with my training, into the prep phase.

Actually, not working out has been probably a necessity and a great thing since we've had the fires here. Today, my wife and I went inland for breakfast a few miles, and the smell of smoke/burning was very strong!

In a few weeks I will post my annual training plan for the 2008 season. Stay tuned for that!

Otherwise, I hope everyone else is enjoying their downtime, or the final weeks or days of their season.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I've been alluding to some announcements for awhile, so now it's time to start with a few of them.

#1 - 2 new blogs started!

The problem with this blog has been I have had difficulty keeping it focused on my training and racing. There have been times I've wanted to use it for my coaching, and other times I've wanted to use it do discuss new products and technology, (my bikes, Zoot shoes, etc). It seemed to make the most sense to create blogs which deal with each individual goal I have.

So with that, the two new blogs are:

Tri Tech Review - ( This blog will be devoted to products and technology I get exposed to as an elite athlete. This blog will be updated about once every 2 weeks.

Coach Vance - ( This blog will be devoted to all my efforts and endeavors in coaching. This includes clinics, articles, links, thoughts, or anything else I find relevant. This blog will be updated about every week.

#2 - Riding Look for 2008

JP left a comment, asking about Kuota and what happened to me riding their bikes. The short end of it is that Kuota left B+L as their main retailer, and switched to Nytro and Hi-Tech Bikes. This had nothing to do with me, but was a business decision by their organization. This put me in a position which represented a conflict of interest, as I would be out promoting products which B+L's competitors sold, not B+L. Kuota gave me the green light to search out new sponsorship, and I did, landing a great opportunity with Look. I appreciated their willingness to be flexible given the situation.

Why do I remain so committed to B+L? Because they have been with me from the start of my triathlon career, and as an athlete seeking sponsorship, a great relationship with a retailer provides me a great tool for maximizing sponsorship for the companies, to be able to help translate their sponsorship into actual sales. It also provides me a great resource center of fitters, knowledgeable mechanics and bike techs, etc. Also, B+L provides me with a large amount of support, of which I could not compete at the level of do, helping to off-set a lot of costs for me, including helping me land the Look sponsorship.

I am EXTREMELY EXCITED about riding Look again! My first bike upon getting into the sport was a Look 486, and I loved that bike. The quality of their bikes is arguably second to none. I am now riding the 496, which you see in my Kona report, and I should be receiving another bike shortly. I will keep you updated.

#3 - Other sponsorships for next year

So what are the sponsorships I will have for next year? What's changing? Well, this year started with Mizuno, Zoot, Kuota, B+L, Suunto and Rudy Project. It would appear that next season will be:


Simple and basic. I have an offer on the table to extend my relationship with Rudy Project, but at this point I am not sure it will meet my needs, as it is a step backward in our relationship. At this point I am considering all options.

If you know of any company looking for an athlete like myself, please have them contact me!

#4 - Race Schedule for 2008

So what is the plan for 2008? I will be honest, as I was walking thru the lava fields on the Queen K, I contemplated retirement. I made the decision that I will never do another Ironman, unless I am at the top of my game and ready. Given this, and what I learned this year, my schedule will be:

April - Ironman Arizona
October - Ironman World Championships, Kona, Hawaii

There may be a few smaller races, local ones, but this is the focus for next year. I think it provides me enough time to adequately recover from my races and still have plenty of time to prepare for a great performance.

#5 - Improving the blog in 2008

Last announcement today, I promise. I think part of the cool aspects of an elite triathlete's blog, is that people want to see what times and speed I run and swim, and what wattages I put out on the bike. For the longest time, I've always worried about telling people that info, worried that my competitors would be reading it, thinking they could assess me as a competitor better. Now I've decided, I don't care.

This season, besides posting more often, I plan on putting a lot more info on this blog, such as power files, swim times and time trial results, run paces and possibly even gps files from my workouts, (we'll see if I get a gps sponsorship). I hope this will improve site traffic, give people plenty of cool information, and satisfy all your curiousities.

Those are all the announcements for now. I will be posting lessons learned from Kona soon.

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, October 20, 2007

2007 Hawaii Race Report

Kona was tough. That about sums it up. I learned a lot of things, and will hopefully take those lessons into next year.

The morning started off fine, with being up early, and some light breakfast with coffee. We headed down to the race about 5 AM, and found some parking. I went thru the long lines of body markings, special needs bag drops, chip pinning, transition set-up and every other little thing that needs to be done before the race.

After finally getting everything set, I left transition to relax and do the final preps for the race start. Before heading to the start, ran into Laurent Jalabert, which was pretty cool.

Got into the water about 6:30 AM, and did some easy swimming with some accelerations. As they rounded us up for the start, they had a bunch of race referees on longboards going back and forth in front of us to keep us from creeping forward.

I ge0 a spot on the front line next to Linda Gallo and Joanna Zieger, who I knew would be swimming fast, so I was happy to sneak in behind them. Suddenly, the cannon goes off, and one of the referees is right in front of me, and I end up nearly crawling over him. Oh well, lost a second maybe, no big deal.

I swim quick from the start, and see all the cameramen underwater, as we push forward. Looking up, I can see Laird Hamilton is close, standing on his surf board, and there isn't much body checking in the water. The swim seems to be going just great! I realize I'm probably not going to make the first pack, but I expect to be in one the first two chase packs, and if there is a strong current on the way back, who knows what can happen?

I get out to near the turnaround boat, and the pack has started to string out a little bit, but I can still see Laird, and I'm impressed with how the race is going. As we begin to make the turnaround though, things get really crowded again, as everyone wants to be moving on the inside, near the boat. We shift positions and get where we need to be. We get around the boat and turn buoy, and I settle onto someone's feet again. I notice I am not able to see much of a crowd anymore, and I look up and see the pack has put about 5 body lengths between us. DAMN IT! I glance behind me, and realize there is just 3 of us in a pack, and no one behind us that I can see, a big gap. The guy on my feet sees this as well, and decides to make a big move for the pack. I get on his feet as he goes by, and the other guy on my feet. A minute later, we've dropped the guy on my feet, and a few minutes after that, I get dropped. Now I'm all alone! I decide I just need to stay relaxed and tempo in. If I can just stay steady and focus on relaxed, long strokes, things should go well. I was wearing a new Zoot, full length speed suit, that was a prototype, (had been approved a week before the race), and I don't think I did it the justice it deserved.

I end up coming out of the water alone, about 56 mins and change, (not what I had hoped, but oh well). I run into transition, and get my bag. I grab my sunglasses and they break as I pull them out. I wasn't surprised by this, as I had accidently run them over earlier in the week, with my bike. I had put an extra pair in the bag, just in case. I get so excited, I just reach into the bag and grab the glasses, and head out to the bike. I get almost to the bike when I realize I forgot my number. DAMN IT! I say outloud, "I forgot my number!" Only to hear the volunteers tell me, "You're #139! Your bike is over here!" Thanks, but that's not what I meant. I had to run back to the tent, and find the bag, as the tent is now getting a bit more crowded. I find it, grab the number, and realize I am now in the thick of the women's race, with Sam McGlone, Kate Major, etc, right there with me.

I get to the bike, get out on the road, and reach down to turn on the PowerTap. DAMN IT! Forgot to put it on in the morning. At this point, I'm just laughing outloud. My relaxed attitude has either become more relaxed, or it back fired to begin with. If I didn't feel like a rookie before, I do now. Sorry Tom, especially since I had you overnight the computer for me.

Out on the road, and I'm just trying to ride steady and keep under control. Things are going fairly well, but the women's race continues to be in front of me. I ride under control and the climb to Hawi is tough. It's getting warm, the sun is intense, and the wind is picking up.

Come the turnaround, I don't feel horrible, but I don't feel great at all. I start down the descent and it's definitely windy. I am holding onto the brake hoods, leaning down, and my arms are tired from the swim and holding on tight.

Come the turn back onto the Queen K, Mac comes by, and I tell him his in about 25th place for amateurs. He's having a great race!

I am ready to try and focus the rest of the way, but I'm hurting. The heat is taking it's toll on me, and I'm starting to feel bloated. The protein in my drink was not a good idea for this heat. I am vomiting around mile 85, and continue to go backwards. I see Jalabert go by me, riding the same bike as me!

I roll into T2 with a 5:30+ bike split. I see Orlanda and give her a smile, as I am trying to still enjoy the race, and I am determined to finish. I meet Selstad in the tent and he gives me the 411 on the race, and how everyone's doing. I get some sunscreen on and begin to head out.

I get out on the road and I am running very conservative. First few miles are all about 6:40's, and I'm starting to feel good again. I get to mile 10 and I see Orlanda, but now I'm starting to slow. I walk with her for a 1/4 mile and talk. From here, things only got worse. There were many bouts of walking, jogging, walking, walking, walking. It was bad. The lowest point came when I looked up and saw the mile marker, and was thinking, "Thank God, mile 17!" Only it was 16. DAMN IT! You know you're in some trouble when you can count.

I get into the energy lab and run up on Desiree Ficker. She and I get going together, and she has me stop and get some sunscreen, because my back is getting bad she says. I would later be very thankful.

I did have one shinny moment out there, seeing Mac move up to third amateur, and running down the other guys in front of him. I was really proud of him, because he always works as hard as I do, but for this race he worked much harder than I did. More importantly, he's probably one of the most passionate athletes I've ever seen. His dedication is 2nd to none. He doesn't suffer the lows I tend to have, and this despite getting hit by a car at the LA Triathlon last month. He and I are planning to do a lot of work on his swim this off season, and if I can get him down to coming out with the chase packs, LOOK OUT!

I make it back to town, and I am stumble down Palani. I get to Kuikini, and when I should be so excited to be done, I am back to a walk. I come down to Alii, and see the Zoot gang. I'm so happy to be done. I see Orlanda just before the chute, and she gives me a hug. She decides to go thru to the finish with me. I cross the line, and I am so thankful to be done.

Post race, I am sick as a dog. Vomiting, weak, chills, all sorts of issues. It was not good. I will spare the details of this part!

So that's it. I will make a separate post of all the different things I learned on this trip and for the race. I will also have a lot more to announce in the coming days, but I am happy that the season is over. It's been quite a year, and quite a learning experience.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kona...I survived!

Well, I survived! Wow, that was a lot harder than I expected, and at times it was extremely ugly. 10:42, and my apologies to anyone who give an extremity or the like for a time like that. It's hard to imagine I was out there about 2 hours longer than normal!

I arrived back in San Diego last night, and will be posting a race report soon. In the meantime, here is an awesome photo of me from the event, on the Queen K, courtesy of Rich Cruse, one of the best photographers in the sport!


Saturday, October 13, 2007

4:30 AM in Kona

Well it's early. Up and having coffee, some breakfast, and doing the last things before heading out.

In a Murphy's Law kind of irony, we had an issue with the smoke alarm going nuts last night. I could not figure out why, but it kept going off, waking me up! I had to laugh, because of it course it happens last night. My condo is not very good, and this was the cherry on top. Orlanda told me I just became immune to it and slept thru it after a while. I unplugged the battery out of one of the alarms, but the other was wired into the ceiling, making it difficult. I was so groggy when it was happening initially, that I couldn't even tell which smoke alarm it was!

We'll be heading out shortly, but thanks for everyone who has called, emailed, posted here, etc. Should be a fun day!


Friday, October 12, 2007

Twas the night before Ironman Worlds...

So here we are, the evening before the race. Wow, it seems like it would never come. When I started this blog I wanted to give people a sense of the ride to get here. I think for the most part that has happened. I will admit though, I needed to be more consistent with the posts. I'll be working on that for next year. There are a lot of things for next year which will be better, I hope.

Let me tell you, over the past couple of days, things have really ramped up here. The underpants run started off my Thursday morning, followed by a bit of light working out and on the table with Dan again. Later it was off to the pro meeting, where I ironically ended up in a triangle of Michellie, Sam McGlone and Natasha. There was some conversation between many of the pro's, but it was still a bit tense of an atmosphere. They presented all the important info, and we dispersed. All in all, took about 45 mins.

The area of Dig Me Beach, the pier, Alii Drive, King Kam hotel, and even the water, is getting busier and becoming more of a staging area. There are scaffoldings going up, bleachers, lights, tents, carpets laid down, the finish line, etc. It's getting pretty crazy.

It really hit me when I went to check in the bike for the race today. I walk up, and there is a huge crowd assembled JUST TO WATCH PEOPLE AND THEIR BIKES CHECK-IN! We're talking a few hundred people or so. I'd never seen that before, so that was surprising. After getting past all the eyes scoping out the Look 496, I came to the first stop where they made me pull out my helmet and prove I have it.

After this was complete, I went to stop #2, where they did some checking of the bike, to make sure everything was secure and stable.

After this was stop #3, where Jay Prashun of Triathlete Magazine, (the gear guru), was there to get photos of the Look. As soon as I place it in front the back drop for the photo, a bunch of other media people come over and start taking a million photos.

The last stop was to actually get into the transition area, and there you were met with a personal guide. Their job was to take me to my spot, help me set everything up, then walk me thru the transition area, explain the routes, set-up for transition bags, etc. It was high security, but very attentive to details. You got the sense that this was more than just a race check-in, it was an event in itself!

Tomorrow morning, I will get into the water with 89 other pro men, and 42 pro women. It's the biggest pro field I've ever been in, which should make it interesting. I am feeling good in the water though, and think I will swim well. I predict coming out in the first, (or a close 2nd), chase pack.

The bike will be ridden rather conservatively, but how much so will depend on a lot of items, namely the weather, the swim, and how I'm feeling. The run will be a charge. No f-ing around. I guess we will see where that puts me in the overall. Honestly, I have no idea where I'll end up. Could be 20th, could be 120th.

So who is going to win tomorrow? My pick is Macca. Not because I like the guy, because I don't really. I don't really like Normann either, but I do like Faris. I think Macca has made the right maturation process, (as far as racing strategy here), and understands how to win this race now. Normann will not have 10 mins or more lead off the bike. I think Normann won't even be leading off the bike, as I believe it will be Sindballe.

I think there will be a surprise guy on the podium, possibly German Timo Bracht, if he can show the same form which won him Ironman Germany. My other surprise pick would be Eneko Llanos, and my heart is cheering for Tim DeBoom.

But be prepared for a Macca win. It won't be pretty, his attitude that is. 7 years ago he showed up here talking about being the best triathlete ever, winning this race 6 or 7 times. After a bunch of years struggling to even finish, he was quiet. Last year he broke thru and got 2nd, and it was back to the same old Macca, "I'm so awesome! I'll kick everyone's butt! I'm the greatest ever!" And this, after not even winning. I can't imagine how ugly it might get if he wins. But, I certainly don't wish him any ill will. He is extremely talented, and if he wins, I hope he does it with more class than Normann and he showed last year.

On the women's side, don't believe the Natasha hype. She's great, no doubt. But it's Michellie's race, the rest of the girls are just in it. Michellie comes out of the water about 3rd or 4th woman, but leads by mile 20 of the bike, and takes control. The other girls chase and close a little, but she wins by 5 mins plus. Sam McGlone will ride and run her way to a top 5 finish.

The most interesting aspect of the race won't be the race itself, but the weather. If the weather turns to cloudy, the intensity of the sun here is greatly diminished, helping the bigger athletes even more. Seriously, the sun makes a huge difference. This afternoon the sun was behind a huge cloud cover, and it was great race conditions, just in time for the run!

If it's windy on the Queen K, the bigger athletes will be advantaged as well.

Well, I may get up in the morning and give a last minute post. If any of you want to send me well-wishings here, or cheering for me during the race, feel free to leave a comment on the blog, as I will read them after the race.

I'm a little jealous of how many awesome parties I hear are going on with friends, plugging their computers into big screen tv's, stereo's, etc to watch the race live online. But I guess I probably get a better seat to the event than others. (For those of you who don't know, live coverage at starting at 12:30PM EDT/9:30 AM PDT. Pro's start at 45 mins past the hour.)

In case you want even more insight into the race, check out the race coverage of the guys on the bike, showing their power output, heartrate, etc.



Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Settling into race week

I am now starting to settle into race week. A bit less running around the island, more relaxing with Orlanda, getting in my "short but sweet" workouts, and getting on the ART table with the man, Dan Selstad. Dan has to be one of the most popular guys on the island, as his table rotates between myself and Orlanda with Michellie, Kate Major, Roch Frey, Greg Welch, and whoever else is big in the sport. (I have some funny pictures to post later about the shenanigans going on at Dan's table).

I actually tried to buy a new cord for the camera today, but Radio Shack was all out of the USB cord I needed. Sorry about that, but I promise to share all the cool photos when I get back!

So here's how it's been going so far...

Monday - After a morning swim, Orlanda and I had breakfast and then got things together for a trip up to the Energy Lab to see the run course. The run course does an out and back to the Energy Lab from Kailua, with about 3 miles of running in the Lab area. The good news about the lab is when you make the turnaround, you're headed for town to the finish! The bad news is, you're still about 8 or 9 miles away from it, and you have to run on the HOT AS HELL blacktop of the Queen K to get there!

It's pretty desolate in the lab, but it has a nice beach and it was surprisingly cool. That's been a common theme since getting here, the weather hasn't been that bad at all. I expected much worse. Of course, there is plenty of time for it to get hotter and it probably feels a lot different come hours 5, 6, 7 and 8.

From the lab, we headed north on the Queen K to Kawihae, (sp?). From there I got on the bike and rode up to Hawi and the turnaround. Unfortunately, I had some bike issues, as the front tire blew right away, and my CO2 valve exploded. Long story short, I made it to Hawi, but it was dicey, and the winds weren't horrible, but definitely gave me a little taste of how bad they could be.

Up near Hawi, the landscape really changes, almost to an African safari look, along the ocean. Everything is very dry and grassy, with some sporadic trees, unlike closer to the Kailua, where it's all lava rock in the landscape. And believe it or not, on the Queen K there are warning signs for "Donkey Crossings". I'm not making that up! Apparently there are wild donkeys roaming around the island, and come across the lava fields, onto the highway sometimes!

On the way back, Orlanda and I hit a beach at Hapuna, which was pretty cool. Probably the nicest beach I've seen on Kona.

It was chill night of Orlanda and I grilling steak and veggies on the grill at the condo.

Tuesday - Orlanda and I got up and enjoyed the morning, with me back on the table with Dan. She got in a jog in the sweltering morning heat, and then we went to breakfast at Pancho and Lefty's. This place has a sign up on the front that says, "Sorry, but we're OPEN".

After heading back home and hanging out, getting some things done, we headed out for a short afternoon snorkeling excursion with a company called Sea Quest. It was really awesome! There were only 4 of us, as another couple joined, and our guide Mary. Mary was very cool, and we got to chat quite a bit, learning about how she ended up here after graduating from Clemson.

She took us on the boat and went about 5 miles off shore to these fishing boats, telling us she had heard on the radios that there was a large pod of Spotted dolphins. We got to them and there were literally HUNDREDS OF DOLPHINS everywhere! Apparently these dolphins will starve themselves if put in captivity, so they are only seen in the wild. Amazingly smart animals. They were headed north, but just bobbing up and down, not doing anything crazy. Mary suddenly said, I hope they start jumping out of the water, because that's really cool!" Almost immediately, the dolphins changed directions to the south, and you just see HUNDREDS of these dolphins jumping out of the water and headed straight for us! Imagine a stampede of dolphins jumping over your head out of the water! It was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. And of course, I was enamored with what was happening, I forgot to take any pictures of it! DAMN IT!

Later we checked out some cool areas for snorkeling, and saw a large Manta Ray. Mary showed us a bunch of cool stuff, and told Orlanda about the best bars she watches the race from and parties all day for the race. She used to drive the boats for the turnaround boat of the swim, and even drive a lot of the photographers and NBC film crews in boats for the swim. She says it was really cool, but more fun to watch than work the race.

The evening was nice with dinner with my boy Ryan and his family, at their condo. We then followed that up with a few beers at the K-Swiss party at the Hardrock Cafe, (yes, K-Swiss is entering triathlon), and then over to Huggo's with the Zoot crew.

Fun day!

Wednesday - TODAY!

This morning things definitely seem to be a lot busier at Dig Me beach! The pier is crowded with a bunch of crazed triathletes, (some of the Euro's even dropping their drawers to change in the open!), and a bunch of cruise ship tourists pulling in. It's a busy place for sure.

I found out this morning that the IronmanLive crew, Babbit, Huddle, Heather, etc, will be broadcasting from one of the upper decks at the King K hotel, right in front of the pier! The backdrop will be the actual swim venue and pier, so that should bring a cool element to the viewing. Check it out Saturday!

So today I went swimming and jogging with my boy Ryan again, then on the table with Dan. Afterwards, Orlanda and I went and got my front wheel from the bike shop, (Thanks Bike Works crew!), and ran some errands. Orlanda is pooped and sleeping on the couch as I write this, and I'm waiting on Mac to call me up to go ride for about 60-90 mins. It's definitely hotter today, so we'll see how things go on the ride.

I have to pick up my race packet, and find out the details of the Underpants Run. Orlanda had to go to Ross', so she could buy some underwear for it. She wasn't too keen about wearing a thong for the run....come to think of it, I wasn't too keen on her doing that either!



Sunday, October 7, 2007

Weekend in Kona

Here is how the weekend has gone so far...


Got up early in the morning and went swimming with my good friend Ryan Clive-Smith, who is here with his family on a vacation, which coincides well with the Ironman Worlds. His swim is actually pretty good, as with just a few pointers he was noticeable faster and really paid attention to what I told him. He also has a surfing background and things, but I was impressed.

Before we got into the water, we had a chat with Welchie, and Pete Coulson, (Michellie's husband and coach). Right when we got into the water, we chatted with Michellie, as she was finishing up. She looks thin folks. Thinner than I've ever seen her. She's ready for this race.

After that we went for a bite to eat, before I got on the bike for a 2.5 hour ride. Here's a bit of news for the regular readers of this blog, I have a new bike, a Look 496, and it is DAMN AWESOME! WOW! I love this bike, and on the Queen K, it shinned!

Sadly, I had some bike issues to attend to first at the local shop here, Bike Works, after some mishaps with putting the bike back together. I managed to strip one of the bolts on my stem, (and the threads in the stem), NOT GOOD! Luckily they helped me out, and fixed up some loose brake issues I had, since I didn't have the right tool to get the angle I needed to tighten them.

I headed out on the Queen K and saw a CRAP TON of triathletes! It was almost stupid. I saw a bunch of the big boys, so no point in name dropping. It's funny though, when riding down the K, everyone checks out everyone else, even if it's just a glance at the rider going the other way. I do it, but it's funny how some people take it to the extreme, and play the mind/ego games. One guy literally rode up to me, sat on my wheel as I am just riding along, pulled up next to me, as I nodded and said hello. He just stared at me. No nod, no gesture, no hello, nothing. JUST A STARE. And not a nice stare I might add. Then he put on his brakes and waited for the chick he was riding with. I had to laugh, what an idiot. I didn't recognize him, and even if I should have, I don't care. For this race, I'm the last guy he should be trying to play mind games with. Hell, I don't know if he was even a pro.

Orlanda even noticed how funny people are here, as she knows who the triathlete's are by what they are looking at when she walks by. She got a cool new pair of Zoot shoes, and everyone keeps staring at them!

Other than the foolishness around, the ride was great. The Queen K has an atrocious beauty to it, which is amazing. The road is very smooth where I went, and depending on the wind, the course can be FAST! I actually finished the ride back to the condo in the rain, which was pretty cool. I actually hope it rains and is aweful weather for a good portion of the race, make it more like an XTERRA! That would definitely add to the fun factor!

After the ride, I bagged the run, and just chilled out with Orlanda, waiting to watch the Huskers get killed on ESPN to Missouri. That was a crappy ending to a great day.


Orlanda and I got up early, while she went down and did the local 10K on Alii. Ryan met up with me for a 60 min run with some 1 min surges. All in all, a perfect start to the day.

Later Orlanda and I headed out back of the condo to the ocean, and found the biggest sea turtle I've EVER SEEN, in captivity or wild! It was just chilling between these two rocks, so Orlanda and I took our pictures with it. (Sorry I can't upload photos, my computer broke, so using Orlanda's, but it doesn't have a media card reader).

After grabbing a few things we needed, we headed south to K-Bay, and ate breakfast at the popular Aloha Angel Cafe. MAN THAT WAS GOOD FOOD! Great breakfast, and gecko's all over the place!

We continued on to Ho'Okena Beach, where the hippies love to hang out. I did a swim, where I had a near run-in with an eel. A little shocking at first, and creepy, but cool in retrospect.

We hung out at the beach for about an hour, then continued south to South Point, the southern most point in the entire US. When we got to the spot, I quickly saw how popular this place is for cliff jumping, and well diving. I got a photo of guy diving into this hole, and falling into the narrow pool of ocean water down below. SCARY TO WATCH, not even to think about doing!

From there we headed home, and enjoyed the beautiful drive back to town. What an amazing place.

Tomorrow morning I plan to swim, then head out to the Energy Lab for a jog. Later in the afternoon we will head north and drive the bike course to Hawi, where I'll hop out and do some riding on the course, check out the winds, etc. Orlanda and I also plan to stop and see some sights along the way.

Hopefully I can get my camera's plug mailed to me, but if not, I will definitely post all the pics after the trip.



Friday, October 5, 2007


I have arrived in Kona, and wow, it is quite a triathlete haven! Everything is Ironman, including the people.

I am coming here very relaxed, looking to enjoy the whole experience and learn everything I can for next year, so I am fully prepared to come and perform well. There won't be a more relaxed pro in the water next Saturday, as I have nothing to lose by being here, everything to gain, and just want to have fun.

I know I'm not going to finish in the top ten, and I know I'm not in great shape, so I'm going with the attitude of just coming to enjoy it, since I know I will only be disappointed if I try to rely on fitness which isn't really there. I've even been drinking beer, eating nachos, etc. Heck, I think I'm the only pro here who still has hairy legs! (Haven't decided if I'm going to shave them, but I think I probably will.)

This isn't to say I'm not going to try. In fact, since Wisconsin I've been swimming and running quite a bit, (not riding much, 3 times on the bike is all), and I'm actually swimming fairly well. My running is surprisingly better, as I set a new best for my 2 mile interval course at Ski Beach on Tuesday. I guess all the focus on turnover has started paying off. Also, did a 2 hour run last Sunday with Mac, my longest run since before Wisconsin, and I felt great the whole way. Who knows, maybe the rest is exactly what I needed? But I doubt the extra pounds are helping, hahaha.

So today I got here and ran 30 mins south down Alii Drive, and then went to the pier for a 20 min swim. It was great! I love the water and the setting, and feel I seem to have for the water. Maybe this will be a career best swim? Perhaps, because Zoot has a little surprise for me, which I can't give details of yet. (I also forgot the USB cord for my camera, so photos may be hard to upload before I get back.) But I will give more details on the Zoot swim surprise, and soon more on the Zoot shoes. (I know, I've been promising, but things have been crazy busy!)

Actually, the surprising thing for me today was that the heat wasn't that bad. I thought it would be much worse. Of course, it may get worse for race day, but currently the weather forecasts are consistent. I think it also different when you're out there hammering for hours, but honestly there were plenty of hotter days in San Diego over the summer, which I thought would be exactly like Kona. We will see if things get better or worse.

Looking forward to more of the going's on here, and will keep you all updated on the fun!