Kona Report 6-1-06

Kona is having beautiful weather, which is totally not what Yahoo! Weather predicted. I hope for cloud cover on the day of the race to keep the blazing sun off our backs. Previous racers have said that the run is super hot in and around the golf course of the Mauna Lani Resort.
I put together my bike and find out that my derailleur is thrashed. Chalk it up to the Samsonite gorillas who work the luggage loading at airports. I take it in to get it fixed but the guy doesn’t adjust my shifters. This makes my ride the next morning really challenging as I find out I can only use 4 out of 9 gears.
The wind on the Queen K picks up as I get out there. It is famous for these 30+ MPH gusts. I have my ZIPPs on and the wind is whipping them around like nothing else. This makes for a wobbly ride and hard to maintain the aerobar position. I make it back OK on the 4 gears.
I go out for a focus run with some light intervals and then for a quick swim. The water is warm but then I swim through some chilly spots. Later, I find out that this is actually fresh water seeping through the lava cracks all the way from the top of the volcano down to the ocean. It is butt cold coming down from all that distance. Amazing!
Luckily, the supporting bike shop sets up in the hotel and I get my derailleur shifting fixed. There, I get registered and roam the race shop. I find this new gadget called the SaltStick http://www.saltstick.com. It is a salt tablet dispenser that is mounted within the aerobar handle. All you do is twist the dispenser and it slowly gives you one tablet at a time. COOL! No more fumbling with ziplocks on the ride!
At the moment, I sit in my hotel room waiting for some other friends to arrive. I also pop open 2 cans of Pepsi to de-fizz. One day is probably not enough to completely remove the gas, but I hope it’s enough. It’s my secret weapon after all and I need the caffeine and sugar to get me to the finish line.
I relax, watching the first season of 24 on DVD. Yet another TV series I’m hooked on now…