IMWC Part 1: Friday, September 30th, 2016: 8 Days to go. ASP – Sydney – Honolulu- Kona

Please click follow on the left side of the screen to receive automatic updates of when I publish these entries which I will try to do each day leading up to and in the days after the 2016 Ironman World Championship. Join me, my wife Fiona Coyle, and teammate Karen McPherson.

We woke up around 6AM. Fiona went to the ASALC and did the coached swim set while I cleaned up the house and got organized. I then went to Anytime Fitness and did Brick 3. The quality session was 40min Bike/1hr run and I always do these runs at the gym since I get risk averse closer to race day: increase power and HR during the first 20min to race pace for the last 20min. Levels increased from Level 12 to Level 16 holding 280-300 watts for the final 20min. I watched Kona videos and HR was on target of 133-135 at race pace. I finished a can of coke. Then it was treadmill time. I started out at 8:34/mile and increased quickly to 7:53/mile. I started increase .1mph every 5min drinking water and watching Techno and music videos of U2, Bon Jovi, Coldplay, Van Halen. HR increased to race pace of 133-135 and finished the last 5min on 6:53/mile (3hr marathon pace). I felt really good, focused, and knew I was ready for Kona. A bunch of errands including a trip to Smith St Velo to replace screws on Fi’s bike Percy. Penny Reid drove us to the airport, we met up with our #1 fan Deb Page who is mom to our sponsor Jack Page of Exact Homes in Alice Springs,_dsc0860 _DSC0856.JPGI saw my work colleague who was on the same flight and Judith Dixon as well. We also had some awful natural healthy stuff from Chelsea Rogers and our sponsors of All Electrical by Duncan Rogers. You always seem to see people at the airport you know in a small town especially here in Alice Springs, Australia. Fi had given me my buzz cut and I wore my new CW-X compression pants and top for the flights. I read Runners World Magazine on the plane and enjoyed a vegetarian meal instead of the meatball paninni. Fi’s meal got screwed up but we had food from the Tea Shrine before we left. The carnivore of the family, Coach Sydney, was given a massive bone as we left but would be well loved by our close friend and Fi’s work colleague, Nat Stephan. In Sydney, we enjoyed some Ms Fields Cookies, a spinach/ricotta roll, and then some Red Wine and Chocolate from Debbie, the swan.

In Part B of the missing day we flew 9hr15min to Honolulu. We had a few glasses of wine at the airport before departing and had a less than average veggie meal of the Qantas plane. I watched Independence Day 2 (awful) and got about 6 hours of sleep broken up half way through. I did have the egg meal (still vegetarian). Flying into Honolulu we saw the Air Force base with Air Force One, a B2 Bomber, and other military fighter jets. We had a Starbucks bagels (after getting through one of the worst airport experiences I’ve had since they had a broken baggage belt) as a snack and Ironman athletes were everywhere to be found. The next flight of 40min to Kona was short and sweet. Seeing Hawi, the Queen K, and the lava fields coming in, my excitement just kept building. The airport lost my bike box and my checked bag because there were so many bikes so I wasn’t worried. We saw our swim coach Rob Johnston who was travelling with TriTravel. We got a Budget upgrade rental car to a Dodge Durango and I realized I was back in America. The car is friggen massive. That took long too but we were finally driving on the Queen K, past the energy lab. It was just so exciting to be there. As we turned down Palani and onto Alii Drive, I saw the King K Hotel, the church, and the Pier. I couldn’t believe I was there. We drove down Alii Drive with runners, cyclists, small shops, past Lava Java; I was in my element. We arrived at the Castle Kona Bali Kai hotel where we’d stay for the next 10 nights. 4th floor, no elevator; whatever. _dsc0862_dsc0863The 2bdrm suite has an incredible oceanfront view and the waves crashing are so pleasing to the ear. We met up with our teammate Karen McPherson (our 61 year old athlete who qualified in her first every IM). I laid out the workouts and the week ahead of us and the plan for the next day. We headed for food to Pizza Hut, got the vegetarian with stuffed crust (mostly vegan) lol. It was tasty and we had a big bottle of Sprite as we are reducing Caffeine through the week. We made the trip to the airport, got our bags, went back home and fell asleep to the sounds of the Pacific.

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