I decided to let the images tell the story this time. Its a good thing I have plenty!
|Travel started at 4am and 22hrs later we were in our room in Kona.|
Everyone was a better sport about it than me.
|So many times I imagined just how cool it would be to swim out to the Coffee's of Hawaii Espresso Boat.|
|The Big Island claims to have no billboards. I guess the sea floor doesn't count.|
|what a great way to start the day!|
|Transition is on the pier. Rumor is, once its loaded down with bikes, it becomes the most expensive real estate in Kona.|
|This is bike check. At the left, you can see all the guys sitting with clipboards.|
These guys are keeping a tally of every kind of bike and gear than can see.
Lava Magazine Official Bike Count
|Gordon Ramsey was popular in transition.|
|Don't laugh, it happens more than you think. |
I know it happened at Goosepond, and it wasn't me or E!
|Emily wanted to get her picture pointing to Greg Broadley's name, undoubtedly. I need a taller wife or a last initial farther down the alphabet.|
|the Underpants Run was pretty cool. I had on some Superman boxers with a mini cape,|
and E rocked this top and some Superman UnderRoos
|we were over dressed|
|Emily liked this guy. He was just outside the expo. Meh.|
|It took me a minute to figure out what this was. It is a bit easier in the picture, but I wont spoil it.|
|I was pretty excited to have breakfast with TJ Tollackson. He told us a bit about the future of Dimond bikes and gave us some sweet Dimond goodies. It was a very odd feeling when I realized I was the weakest athlete at the table. I was, however, the best sponge. I could've sat there and listened all day. I've never been around so much talent.|
|This felt a bit like holding his jock strap, but what can I say, I've been a TJ fan since I got into Ironman.|
|Yep, I'm the slowest guy in this picture.|
|another commute to the coffee bar. Man I miss that.|
|Fortunately I had a shake out ride at the Natural Energy Lab and discovered my front brake was tweaked so it was scrubbing. QR was nice enough to bless the CD0.1 with a very challenging caliper to adjust.|
|Down in the Energy Lab is plenty of lava fields to explore.|
|Mom, Aunt Caroline, and my best mother-in-law, Sue at dinner at Huggo's on the Rocks. This a great place to over pay for a meal and be treated like you aren't as important as the waiter named Dick.|
|Man, this woman loves me. I never realized how lucky I was to have such a good momma. I don't think she could squeeze another drop of love out. I just hope I deserve it one day.|
|So yeah, swim start. Deep water start too. It really isn't so bad. The salt water is crazy buoyant, and athletes seem a bit less aggressive without the wetsuit. Maybe it is just a bigger, spread out start, or a different type of athlete at Kona?|
|There is no heads up, just cannon fire and chaos.|
|I don't know how she found me coming out of the water. She's a great cheerleader. I had a cush swim. There was no real impartiveness about it for me. I just wanted an easy day since Whistler hurt so bad the last 5k. I got some chin music at the turn around and nearly lost my goggles. I kept calm and swam just off course to get them reseated before conituining. The swim was really nice, I just followed toes and bubbles. I was happily shocked to see 1:14 on the clock when I came out.|
|I decided to just stick to my race strategy and see where the day took me since I had an okay swim time. I made the turnaround in Hawi feeling phenominal and got of the bike fhere feeling better than I ever have in an Ironman. I usually start questioning my ability to run while I am still on the bike. Getting into T2 feeling great gave me a ton of confidence.|
Garmin Data from the Bike
Time: 5:07 AP=205W VI=1.039 IF=69.1 - not too hard of a ride for me.
|I walked all the aid stations. I used the watch as a leash and kept my rooster in the pin. I wasn't scared of Kona, I really just spent all my suffering already and wanted to enjoy this day.|
|That was the last time I felt good, mile 10 of the run. By the time I saw the 13 mark, I was debating if I could even close out the day.|
|I wish I could put a pin in what happened. It was like God walked in the room and said "night -night" and flipped out the lights. I decided at 13 to walk for 2 minutes to see if I would come around. That was the last real shot at holding it together.|
|After grenading in the Energy Lab, Emily came out to scrape me off the Queen K. My only motivation was to keep pushing to try to salvage my 10:30 "worst case" result that I promised my support team back home. I dug deep and vowed to put myself in position to meet that goal through the final 5k. |
This is what was passing for running. Notice both feet are still on the ground.
Garmin Data from the Run
|Tough day as a cheerleader too. She is managing facebook updates, Ironman Live, and trying to capture the day with the camera too. Then she had to run a 10k to come out and shame me into finishing so she could get some dinner.|
|I wish I could say how magical it was to walk across the finish line, but it was just another day. I managed my worst ironman performance and experienced a new level of suck.|
|Kona is a unique venue and I see why there is so much mystic involved, but ultimately it was another day. I guess I was expecting a chorus of angels to greet me as I crossed the line, I don't know. Meh.|
I knew 6wks wasn't enough time for me to recover from the KQing effort at Ironman Canada, but I really didn't expect it to have such a lingering effect. Looking back, I had a great day at IMFL 11 months ago and was able to finish strong. Then IMLCabos, 4.5months later, I only started suffering the final few miles. At Whistler, I came apart the final 10k and the last 5k was ugly. I guess it makes since that I would break at the 13.1 in Kona going by my last year's trend. I'll be on the one big race per year plan from now on.
My final tally for the last <365 days is 4x Ironmans , 2x 70.3s, a 50k trail race, and a handful of little stuff. Fortunately, it'll be May before I have a go at digging deep again.
The finish video link that Jenni and Ty snagged for me off the live feed. Thanks guys.
|TJ had his best Kona performance and finished with Crowie. I am glad I got to be here for Crowie's finale.|
|Mom braved the crazies to get some great images too. Thanks !|
|It wasn't long before I started feeling a bit better. We headed to Wal-Mart, and I nabbed a tub of Oreo Cookies and Cream icecream. I think the best part of doing the events is recovering! |
But I still wasn't interested in doing much walking.
|My favorite part of the trip was having sunrise coffee with Dad. Before I started all these pre-dawn training days, it was a regular part of my life. Now, its probably been 2 years since I've been able to do this.|
|Dad made some friends with stray gobblers. By the time we left, they were at the house waiting on him every morning.|
|Just in case we lose the other images, we need redundancy as evidence I was here!|
|We spent part of the next day in a submarine.|
|~24hrs post race, and I still look like death.|
|I've got lots of blue photos of sea life, I thought this one was interesting.|
|Family fun times. I am so very fortunate to have so many cheerleaders!|
|We had to take the fam' for a show & tell of the Natural Energy Lab and a stroll about the lava fields. |
Everyone always love to remark about the "sports bra" tanlines
and its become tradition to rock the Salty Sea Koozie for my recovery!
|The Blue Hawaiian Helicopter tour was a great way to see the Big Island.|
|fun with photoshop|
|So many pictures. I am trying out new authentic-looking smiles. This one says we are having crazy fun.|
|Stuffed Jalepeno & cheese Bacon Burger goodness with Sweet Potato fries and way, way too much ketchup.|
Lava Lava Beacg Club. Cool little restaurant.
|Lava Lava had a very cool view, but I got another picture of us.|
|Just beyond the town of Hawi is an overlook with a pretty dang spectacular view.|
|You can see how much better the view is with my shades on here.|
Emily wanted me to post a disclaimer that she really hates all her pictures from the trip.
I have always found it interesting how hot chicks find ways to be self conscious.
|We found a rest area just before Hawi with a Lemon tree around back. I had to give it a try and it was impressive just how sweet the lemons were. It was like eating a just-a-wee-bit-tart orange, maybe.|
|As we got into Hawi, we stopped at LavaMan which sells all kinds of local, homegrown goodies. Somehow I got rooked into buying a $5 tube of chapstick.|
|Emily climbed upon a pilon to get a picture of a windmill farm. |
The farm didn't make the cut, but the picture of her on the post did.
|This is what I look like when I look at the ocean from the lava.|
|Beaches that fit our idea of what a beach should be are pretty rare. After getting there, I promptly passed straight out. This is what my foot looks like when I am asleep on the beach.|
|Emily really liked the pre-luau show&tell session.|
You can really see how much she liked it because she's doing the super excited open mouth smile.
|There was a pig in the ground, but no beer on ice. Both of which are necessary for a country boy to survive according to the Hymn of Bocephus. .|
|unedited, no photoshop here. He paints a pretty picture, right?|
|I wonder how often he pees in the bed?|
*edit-Emily says not everyone's Dad told them if they played with fire they would pee in the bed.
|The fire twirler looked a lot like my cousin Ben. I have every intention of posting a picture here of my cousin Ben. |
If it isn't here, he looks a lot like this guy.
|This was pretty cool. Literally. There was a roadside little operation peddling chilled fresh coconut water. Dad swears they just refill them when we leave.|
|Behind the coconut place was a grove of apple-banana trees. I had hoped to snatch a fresh one and was lucky enough to stumble upon a bunch that was ready to devour.|
|Emily's favorite was "hop on top". |
Mine was Pipeline Porter brewed with Kona Coffee. The picture is of one of the reds though.
Spy the short glass, that was the free sample size.
I really started to dig the Aloha spirit of things on the Big Island.
|This is what we look like when we are having fun at KBC.|
|Pretty sweet little setup at the Kona Brewing Co. Rumor is they have great food too.|
|Capt. Cook Monument|
|on our way back from the monument, we found the best Thai food ever. 2/3rds of us loved it.|
|Our last night on the island. The plane left at 9pm and we had our best dinner on the way out at the 4 Seasons Beach Club bar & Grill.|
|The view from dinner. Again, no help with the image.|
|I told Dad it seems that sometimes we cant enjoy our vacation for trying to make pictures that look like we are enjoying our vacation.|
|It is quite a long day of traveling. The trip out took us 21 hours door to door: thankfully it was "only" 13 back. Regardless, mom needed a break, and she looked pretty out of place in the airport.|
|So yeah, there's no way I'm letting her get attention with out me.|