We arrived here on Kona last Sunday and as soon as I planted my feet down on the tarmac I knew it was going to be a great two weeks of training, culminating with the Hawaii 70.3 race on the 30th.
The weather has been amazing since we got here- not too hot and definitely not as humid as it is for the Ironman World Champs in October. Really the conditions are simply perfect for long, hard training days.
We have been lucky enough to have been set up with a great homestay while we are here- Linda and Bill Greentree. They live in a lovely house just a little way up the mountain but still very close to town. They both love their sport- Linda is also a triathlete and has raced the Ironman World Champs here, while Bill runs marathons. They have been so wonderful and have made our stay so easy. It has been fun swapping stories about the Ironman and also learning more about the island of Kona itself. When I am here for Ironman in October I really don't do anything outside of training specifically for the race so I have really never observed what the island has to offer- believe me there is so much more to this place than just swimming at the Pier, biking along the Queen K and running along Ali'i Dr.
There are trails everywhere and some amazing climbs (check out my next blog on this).
But I have to admit my first training session on the Monday was a big swim at the local pool- It always takes me a while to get used to swimming in a 25 yard pool again- we do not have any pools of this length back home in Australia and it always takes me one or two sessions to get the timing right. My head seems to spin a bit after that initial session with all of the tumble turning but I am used it now. The pool here in Kona is great- clean, warm and free and you get to work a bit on your tan while you swim :)
Of course nearly every session either begins or ends at the infamous 'Lava Java"- but not both (although I definitely could). The best thing about coming here outside of Ironman is that there are no 'never-ending' lines at Lava Java- it is basically straight in, order and eat- just perfect! Yes I do like having this beautiful place all to myself and not having to share it with 2000 other 'out of town' athletes.
We actually decided to include the Hawaii 70.3 this year on our race calender as our good friends and training partners- Luke McKenzie and Amanda Balding, who have been coming here for a while to train and race, told us to give it a go. I have really been enjoying training with them both and Luke has been a great training partner for me on the bike (yes he kicks my behind) and also fun to have at the pool- I say 'at the pool' because anyone who knows Luke knows what an unbelievable swimmer he is- so for me to say 'swim with' is certainly out of the question, even if wearing pool buoy and x-large paddles!
Well it is now Friday- a long swim and a massage are on the agenda for today- oh and of course a quick trip to Lava Java will be slotted in there somewhere. As you can see from the above picture- it is another perfect day in what can only be described as paradise- the sun is shining, the dolphins were out again and life is pretty good.
Next blog will show pics from our 180km loop that we did yesterday on the bike- what an amazing ride it was and the scenery was to die for. I was really happy with the way my Ceepo felt- this was the first long ride I had done on it and it passed with flying colours.