The wife and I are on vacation, the one time a year when we both get to be off from our jobs and just relax and enjoy some time together. This year finds us in Hawaii, first on Oah'u and then on the Big Island. Being on the Big Island, and being triathlon geeks, we simply had to go into Kona (we're staying about 25min away) and find where the Ironman Championships are held. Our good friend, the greatest cycling instructor in the world competed here at Kona in 2010. Cool stuff. We drove into town and loved downtown Kona...it has a very small beach town feel to it. The area where the race starts and ends was undergoing some construction because of recent tsunami activity, but it was clearly recognizable. Anyway, from here we did what any good triathlete would do in the mythical land of Kona...run. :)
We started right on Ali'i Drive, which is the end of the race. We ran past where the finish line would be and then up Palani Drive before turning left onto Queen Kaahumanu (Queen K) Highway. We ran up the highway for a ways and then turned around and mirrored the Ironman finishing route turning onto Palani Drive, Kuakini Highway, Hualalai Road, and then Ali'i Drive, back to the finish line. Total run of about 5.25mi.
This was awesome. The Queen K Highway is straight...very straight. We are staying in Waikoloa, north of Kona, and right off Queen K Highway. The bike course comes all the way up here and then some, but the run course hits its turnaround point between where we are staying and Kona, at the National Energy Lab. Driving the highway up near our resort all the way down shows a lot about this bike course...it's long, straight, and hot. Parts have some serious crosswinds. Parts do not. This course would require some serious strategy planning to succeed at. Same deal with the run course (at least the small part we ran)...some elevation, some flat, some wide-open, and some constrained.
I can fully appreciate why so many consider Kona so hard. It's hot out here...really hot. The lava fields that you run and bike in are amazingly beautiful...and make it even hotter. All triathlons have some similar aspects to them and each has its own unique characteristics. My brief exposure to Kona's course highlights this...and I can fully appreciate why it is the site of the biggest dance in triathlon.
Running in an area where so many have done so much is very inspiring. Running on the same ground as the greats in our sport is a privilege and an honor. And I'm very happy to have had the opportunity. If your travels take you to the Big Island of Hawaii, you need to do this. You'll love it.
When last we spoke, I had completed my sixth race in six weeks. Well, the day after the Baltimore Ten Miler, I ran the GBMC Fathers Day 5K race and did blah (24:13). Now, it was crazy hot and it is a shadeless course with lots of hills to it, but still. Anyway, since then I have not done any more races. Having loaded up the early part of my schedule with so much racing, I needed a break and this was 100% the right time for it. The wife and I have the Disney Goofy Challenge in January, so we're going to need to ramp up the training for that shortly. We will probably also race at the Diamondman Sprint Triathlon in September, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
It has occurred to me that I have not written anything on here in quite some time (over a month and a half ... yikes!). So, what happened? As with pretty much every plan, life got in the way. I changed jobs a little bit ago, and this has resulted in a substantial change in my schedule and work habits (I am physically in the office much more than my previous job). The new gig is working out very nicely...I am doing a lot more work and it is work that I really enjoy. I am constantly challenged and am contributing to something useful to many people, which gives me a feeling of satisfaction I have not had in quite some time. The wife and I are also thinking about finding a new house and actively doing improvement projects around our current one, I am doing prep work for the class I teach starting in the fall, and I'm getting ready for a class that I will be taking in the fall towards my MBA, right after finishing up my summer class.
So, I've got a bit going on and all of this has led to a packed schedule, which has, in turn, led to less training and less writing. Both have suffered more than they should and that's something I know I need to fix. A good friend, and very wise man, constantly stresses how important it is to evaluate how you allocate your hours and make sure you are spending your time and effort in ways that are the most beneficial (don't keep throwing your time and your effort, your two most valuable assets, at efforts that do not pay off). As summer comes to an end, that is exactly what I'm doing ... evaluating where I put my time and effort and reprioritizing how I allocate them. I'm putting way too much time in to some things that have a very low benefit/cost ratio (lots of work for very little positive outcome) and other things with a very high benefit/cost ratio (a little work provides huge benefits) are suffering. Training is in that second category; I get so much out of it for a minimal amount of time spent, so it's going to get more time starting soon.
So, stay tuned. More to come!
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