October 10 2004
conference starts at 7:30 Am, but thereıs no reason to sleep that late
- Iım on
West Coast time, which is three hours ahead, meaning, 7:30 = 10:30 AM.
awake at about 4:15, at whatıs euphemistically known as ³0 - dark -
had gone to Costco on my arrival the evening before, and got $80 worth
Costco food: Quaker Oatmeal Squares, ½ & ½ , OJ, Zone bars,
apples, bagels, peanuts, etc. I stuff some squares , and ponder running
for the dark, warm, humid morning. Sleeveless top, short bike shorts
get the nod. Out I go at 5:30, running up AliıI Drive to the pier, back
the end, and home again 13.5 miles in under two hours. I donıt die
heat exhaustion, although that is one of the lectures at the morningıs
I do seem quite wet from sweat, and pour down endless cups of
juice at the morning conference. My first foray at Kona craziness seems
gone just fine.
the night before, I had a little intro to the Kona night life. I walked
AliıI to the pier and back (less than a mile, really), and got accosted
youths on the sea wall each time, The first stroll through, some guy
tell me that heıd been in town since May. I gave him my best Bill
smile, a clap on the arm as we shook hands, and told him that was a
for here, and went on down the street. On the way back, he and his
long gone, replaced by a duo all of 18 trying to sell ³bud² to everyone
passed by. I told him to be patient, when he was three times as old
be into other things. I donıt think he got it. But I wondered what it
me that got them going? Maybe they hassle ALL the tourists who walk by?
the older single males; quien sabe.
FILLED with Ironman action. People running, biking, swimming all up and
the coast. Today, people donıt look quite so intense, but I did see Tim
soaking his shirt while he ran FAST along the Queen K near the Energy
Cameron Browne, do rag on his head, biking along AliıI drive. At last,
five years of reading and hearing about the hallowed places (³Kona²,
³Palini², ³Queen K², ³Hawi²), I get to see them. Iım realizing that
may purge Kona from my dreams by showing me the reality. The deeper I
my athletic career as a triathlete, the more I realize that perfecting
training process is actually the task. Time and place donıt matter;
from the plan and effort and execution of the training.
my bike splits are usually my best relative to the field, Iıve learned
plan for and execute ³quality time² only in the run and swim. I can
the direct correlation between how much time and what combination of
each will result in what specific result come race day. Iım not so sure
the correlation between my bike work and my outcome. I tried to make
focus for this year, but I donıt think I was able to do anything other
³put in the miles². The effort and the planned progress didnıt happen.
year, that must change, or I might never reach whatever meager
potential I have remaining
afternoon, I loaded the mountain bike, computer, and snorkel gear into
and took off up the Queen K to find a government road advertised as
My bike computer read ³91F² when I took off, from elevation 435ı. The
steadily, but fairly gradually going through a series of progressive
degradations. Apparently, it is a road which accesses first some ranch
close by the Kohala highway, and then cattle range farther up. About ½
to the top, the gravel/dirt mix gives way to a close cropped thick
over the double track. Later, what seems like genetically enhanced
the road; each blade is about two inches wide and maybe 4-6ı high.
to ride without getting swashed by the overhanging forage. After this
comes a patch of eucalyptus, and finally a higher pasture, closed off
chained locked gate, leading to the final house up on the Waimea road.
miles out and 1200 feet up, time to turnaround. The trip down is
the grass slows my progress just like powder snow on the Big Burn. A
feeling, not very helpful to prepare me for the Maui hell of Haleakula
Xterra race day. Just as I hit the Venture Van, the gentle rain which
up half way down turns into a brief but drenching downpour.
way back down the Queen K, and head for Hopuna beach near Puako,
Kawaihae and Waikoloa. (I love trying to type all these names. A
typewriter, of course, would have only 12 letters.) The rain hasnıt
this far out to the shore, and I walk with my fins, mask and snorkel
the shade side of the beach, where the guide book says the snorkeling
Of course, for me, the snorkeling is really just an excuse to swim a
maybe see a few fish. Iım in a hurry to get back to the hotel, though,
first floor room has its own private beachside deck. From there, the
clumps up against a lava ledge no more than 15 meters from my door my
private white noise haven. And, of course, this is the Kona Coast, so
sets right in front of me. Tonight, it drops right into the ocean just
programmed no clouds far on the horizon hiding its final descent, a
stray cumuli from Mauna Loa drifting over the drop zone, and the crowds
Huggoıs next door applauding the quality of this eveningıs light show.
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