Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Kona: Days 3 & 4

The photo above is "Dig Me Beach" in Kona, where hundreds of triathletes swim every morning leading up to the race, in an attempt to A) keep the muscles firing for race day and B) show off their tans, shaved legs, and technological swimwear. People line the sidewalk to watch and throw day-old bread to the swimmers. The bread floats on top of the water, and we come to the surface to munch the soggy morsels in our technological swimwear. Mmmmm....


Day 3: Monday
I spent Monday morning at the Ironman Medical Conference, where I assisted Ray Browning in teaching a bike fitting workshop to a group of sports medicine physicians and health care providers. What was really fantastic was that the girl who we fit had pre-existing knee pain that disappeared after we finished.

What we did was take a hacksaw and some pain numbing cream and basically amputated her right leg at the thigh.

No, it involved some cleat rotation and shimming. It's always satisfying to fix a problem. If you want to check out more of this type of thing, visit my website for Champions Sports Medicine.


Didn't really train much on this day, other than to attempt a 30 minute run to see how the leg feels. Knee still hurts just a bit, but I'm pretty sure I can stiff-upper-lip it through the marathon. Or get that hacksaw again...

In the evening, Jessa and I went to a little hoeur d' ovres dinner for the medical conference, then went to bed. At 8. That felt weird. Incidentally, we went to bed that early on Sunday night, and every night since we've been here. When you're in the same room as the babies, you just kinda go to bed when they do. I feel like a retiree. Maybe I should switch to the 70-74 age group.


Day 4: Tuesday

In the morning, I swam out to the floating coffeeshop, sponsored by Coffees of Hawaii. It floats about 750 yards off-shore, and on the way out, I noticed a banner anchored to the ocean floor that read "Espresso Bar" with an arrow pointing towards the boat. Talk about creative marketing. Of course, coffee tastes like C-R-A-P when you a mouthful of saltwater. But, hey, it still beat Starbucks.


After the swim, I registered for the race. Interestingly, the required weigh-in went as thus:

"Sir, can you please weigh yourself on this scale?"


"Thanks, I'll be right back." The weigh guy wanders off. I shrug and step onto the scale. It reads 175. Let's see, since I'm wearing my backpack and bike shoes, I'll just guesstimate 170. Uh-oh, here he comes...

"Alrightee, so what did ya weigh?"


"Fantastic, go snag your goodie bag."

Ah...the detalied rigours of ensuring an injury and illness proof Ironman...

Later in the day, I rode my bike to GU house. GU is one of my sponsors, and they not only provided me with gel and Roctane fo race day, but also let me take my entire backpack of sweet potatoes and shove them into their house oven, since my hotel room lacks any cooking devices.

When I returned from my ride to snag my sweet potatoes, there was some official interview happening inside, so I couldn't retrieve my potatoes. I rode back to my hotel. Hopefully someone turned that oven off, or all that will be left of my pre-race breakfast will be little burnt starchy turds.


I *really* wish I had brought my camera's USB cable, because at 5pm on Tuesday, I marched with Terran and River under the US flag in the Ironman Parade of Nations. Jessa got some good pictures, and I threw out tons of candy to the crowd, making my tiny contribution to the childhood obesity crisis in America. I tried to throw the tiny Tootsie rolls to the fat kids, and giant Lollipops to the skinnier, more Ethiopian-looking ones, but I'm not sure how good my aim was...


OK, I want to finish this blog with a shout-out to my sponsors who have helped me out so far during my trip to Kona:

AVIA - the best shoes in the world gave me a rocking pair of kicks to race in, snagged some extra elastic shoelaces and race belt for me, paid a ton of my race registration fees, are going to be throwing a rockin' dinner and race viewing party later this week, and are basically some of the coolest people on the face of the planet. Who needs ZOOT clown shoes?

Specialized - not only for the bike I'll be riding, but also for snagging me a pointy helmet to wear so I didn't have to pack my aero lid...

-Bumblebar - tons of bars for the plane ride down and a contribution to my new favorite post-swim meal, a Chocolate bumblebar wrapped around a banana.

-Millennium Sports - CREO2 endurance creatine product for race day!

-Champions Sports Medicine - Nothing like having a doctor walk up to you while you're having breakfast, "Ben, do you need any cortisone shots in your knee today?". Now that's service. I opted for the Arnica rub instead.

Check out the many more sponsors on the right side of the page...there will me more shout-outs to come!



Coming tomorrow: The Official 2008 Kona Race/Nutrition Strategy!
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