While today wasn’t the race I hoped for, it wasn’t for anybody! Traveling to Hawaii (Big Island) I had visions of hot sunny days and myself struggling through sun and heat, trying to finish before the sun reached it’s zenith and hottest hour! Well, wind, rain, and the humid heat of the sun were all present in today’s race! We started off with an amazing open ocean swim (single loop!) With plenty of sea life to look at while trying to stay focused (I strayed a little from the course, reflected in my race time vs Garmin time), but enjoyed the buoyancy the warm Pacific at Hapuna beach provided! Then it was on to the bike, starting along the highway South to Waikaloa with a light tailwind made for a speedy pace, but 8k in we turned around to face the wind for ~36km to Hawi (pronounced Ha-vee) on the Northern tip of the island. My goal was to sustain 270-280W (to which I think I almost succeeded, 250W out, 230W back) which generally puts me around 39-40kph. But the light head wind out (and climb, I suppose) kept the speed a little lower.
No matter. It’s a descent back. As we neared Hawi, about 36km into the course, we entered deeper and darker clouds, and at about 39km we entered the rain. Climbing up towards Hawi in the warm, humid rain of Hawaii wasn’t all that bad though. Apart from having soaking feet, I actually enjoyed it! (Being water-logged definitely didn’t help the whole speed thing though!). *Side bar, I got passed by 2 athletes on the way out, and managed to pass one of them again. So net 1 athlete passed me.*
I had a really strong ride, though missed a few opportunities to go fast as I had to stop at aid stations, why you ask? Because, I forgot to mention earlier, on the way to Waikaloa, I was passing an athlete (I called “passing left”) and as I was coming up, they moved right into my path, and I had to divert and got caught in the rumble strips, which caused my bottles to launch off the bike into the abyss of “somewhere behind me” (BTW Oak Bay Bikes, I need new bottles…). So yeah, I had to stop at Aid Stations the whole way… Yuck. No F2C for me. And my whole nutrition plan went out the window 100%! Anyways, so I had a slower than anticipated pace due to all the showing at stations, and a few times I got caught behind athletes and beside rumble strips (I wasn’t going near those again). But otherwise a great ride (I was still fastest bike split in my Age Group (AG) and 9th fastest Overall (OA), so pretty decent, I suppose!
I was a little rattled missing my nutrition, but got over it pretty quick, and just focused on holding steady wattage!
Coming off the bike, I had missed out on a significant portion of my calories & electrolytes (I still had my dates, and grabbed a bit of nutrition on course, but not as much as my 600cal of GlycoDurance and 3 scoops of ElectroDurance would have provided…).
Had a decent transition, changed socks (bike ones were SOAKED) and hopped into the grass/golf cart path run course! Back in Waikaloa (where the run was) it was sunny and HOT! I’m not sure what the temperature was while I was running, but over 28 for sure. Not what I’m used to this post of my session, but I had tried to train for it a bit by running in the afternoons at home! It was still hot though 😉 Alternating running on grass and pavement was tough for sure, but also kept things interesting! Volunteers and spectators/supports were in high attendance and with lots of energy spring the athletes! It was a really great experience, other than the calf cramping/seizing that started in my right leg around 6km and the left leg joined in on the second lap at around 13km! I drank a lot of water, and again, asy nutrition plan had kaiboshed on the bike, I was in the hands of the Aid Station God’s! I usually don’t drink Gatorade, but had to today. Eww. Anyways, after popping my last caffeine tab (something I DIDN’T lose!) I got myself what they call a “second wind” and managed to put together a pretty steady run all in. I missed my pace times, but I want to stressed. I knew why I was cramping, and tried my best to utilize what nutritional support was provided on course and just keep moving! There were lots of familiar faces out on the run course, with that stud Mike Neil passing me in in Hell’s Kitchen (and yes, it’s aptly named with no reprieve from the sun along this out/back stretch), Mark, Collette, Eileen , and a whole crew of HPR athletes were out in full force! Apart from that, ice and sponges were greatly appreciated at the Aid Stations to keep heat exhaustion at bay (mostly?). A 4:53 is my official time. 4th in AG and 33rd OA, not too bad. Could be better. But that’s what training is for!
Little bit of a PS just for interests sake… I didn’t the whole trip to Big Island calling out of a rental van (which was awesome), sleeping at beaches and exploring the island! The HPR crew came to refer to my van as ‘Chateau Patenaude’ which I loved. It was honestly really great to have so many familiar faces at a race a long way from home! Mike Neil and the HPR crew are an awesome bunch, and thank you guys so much for hanging out with me! Also, shoutout to Erin and her cheer squad! A bunch of super fun chicks! I didn’t see Erin today, but can only assume she had a great time 😉 I hope everyone got the race they wanted despite the course conditions, and I look forward to seeing many of you at future events!
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