Thursday, March 6, 2008

Thursday in Saipan

View looking down from Suicide Mountain

After Wednesday's big day, Thursday was a day which would be lighter and easier, but have a harder swim workout.

I started the morning by getting up and having Dawn take me up to the top of the mountain, Mt. Tapoucho, to do the descent I missed on Wednesday. This would only take about 40 minutes, and was perfect, as Wednesday ran long of what it was supposed to.

View of the start of the descent from the top of Mt. Tapoucho

Riding the descent, there were definitely some muddy sections, and then some very tight, finesse sections. It is definitely going to be a fun course! After pre-riding, I made a decision to change the rear tire, as the High Roller was just a little too squirelly on the descents, especially the road sections. I had brought a Larsen TT just in case, but it's not a tubeless. I took the 986 over to Bike Pro, and met Rommy, the local mechanic. He worked on the bike, while I went to check out more of the island with Dawn, and Renate Bucher, (3-time XTERRA Saipan winner), and her friend Allan.

Dawn showed us some of the cool memorial places, including Suicide Mountain, Bonzai cliff, and the Grotto. Here's some cool photos...
Bonzai Cliff

Suicide Mountain

The Grotto - a popular dive spot. It's like a cave you swim in, and the light spot you see in the back is open ocean.

After a little fun at the Grotto, we hit the pool for a workout. I had some sets of 5x100, in the 50-meter pool, and enjoyed the salt water. Yes, the pool is salt water. The water out of the tap here in Saipan is salt water, so that's how the pool is.

From the pool, it was off to Wild Bills Bar and Grill for some eats, (it's actually much healthier than it sounds!) I had some veggies and things, and then went for a massage. Massages have been interesting here, as they are not like in the mainland. This time I had a Thai massage, and wow...the little Thai woman beat the crap out of me! She contorted my body in all directions, was standing on my hamstrings, everything! It was crazy!

After that it was off to the street market, where I tasted some local cuisine and watched a dance-off between a trio of Phillipino kids and Japanese kids. It was pretty cool to see how the Phillipino kids were very much about power and displays of strength, with handstands, and crazy stuff. The Japanese were very technical and fast with their movements, and at times I was just shaking my head with what I saw.

After that it was home and to bed. Up early in the morning for a jog of the tough part of the run course with my homestay John. Stay tuned, I plan on bringing the camera.



barndog said...

that place is beautiful, the course a beast. any signs of other competitors?

jameson said...

Represent! Isn't riding that epic look mtb way more fun than spending 112 miles tucked in the aerobars?

D a v e P said...

Jim, best of luck tomorrow (or is it today for you already?) and have a safe race!

ramon said...

Jim, the area is beautiful. WOW, what a venue for a race. Get after it partner. Look foward to more posts.