Chilling In Kona

ChillingInKona10.jpgIn previous years I’ve always dashed off from Kona to another Island but this year we’ve just stayed in Kona. With the lack of flights to Auckland we ended up having a 10 day break following the race. It’s nearing the end now and we’ve both got so in to the rhythm of the place we’re not keen to leave. Jo has mentioned several times how she’d like to live here.

I’ve been swimming each morning from the pier and though there is still the odd Ironman around the locals have reclaimed their turf. We’ve seen them aqua jogging and even seen a little dog in a life vest head out with the locals. Apparently it regularly swims the full course. It’s wonderful way to start the day so I’ve been getting in just to perk me up for the day ahead. The furthest I’ve been is the 1.2 mile buoy (about half course) but this morning I was in for a chilled 10 minute pootle.

Our breakfasts in Tantes have been super chilled. The staff seem more relaxed now and almost encourage us to stick around. I don’t think we;ve managed to complete breakfast in less than an hour so far.

The slow departure of friends has been nice. We’ve got to hang out and say goodbye and Kona has slowly returned to (what I guess is) it’s normal vibe. We finally got round to hiring a car and yesterday drove round the Island a bit and headed up the Saddle road and up to 9.000 feet on Moana Kea to the visitors centre. We’d hoped for a sunset but realised it wasn’t going to happen from there so headed back. We both slept like logs last night so I’m guessing the wandering around at that altitude took it out of us.

On Saturday night we had a celebratory meal together in the Outback Steakhouse and then headed to Sams Hideaway. What a great little spot. They were doing Karaoke but not as you’d imagine. it was so laid back and not in your face. One lady was such an awesome singer I think it prevent any but the talented from having a go. We’ll be back to this little bar.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my race. I’ve had some great advice and suggestions for adjustments to my training. I’m quite excited now about getting back in to it and seeing what impact it will have on my performance. Today, Jo and I did a decent ride and it seemed to add weight to me just having an off day or perhaps my taper being a week out. We rode from Kawaihae to Waimea to Hawi to Kawaihae. This kicks off with a 3,500 foot ascent. We did this in about 90 minutes. The first 2,000 feet I took it pretty steady just sticking with Jo and after that I rode solidly though I would not say busting a gut. In that 90 minutes I had a normalised power of 252 watts (same as at the European Long Course) and it included a best ever 20 minute CP (well best since I’ve had a power meter). The rest of the ride was more or less downhill and I still ended up with a NP of 216 for the 3 hr ride. Thats the same as in the race yet at the end of it I felt like I’d just done a steady ride. It’s almost a bit of a relief as I’m hoping it shows I’m not that far off the mark for a good performance in 7 weeks in Busselton.

I found the ride plot quite funny. I can see the surge I made to 400 watts when I thought the summit was round the corner but soon found it wasn’t. Anyway … thought I’d end this entry by sharing it with you.


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