Sunday, October 14, 2007

Coming Home

My Rental Bike and the engine downtown Kona

Fun Week

It is all over.

The streets as clean as a babies butt. Had you arrived this afternoon you would not realize there like was an event that covered the entire stretch of the Kona shore and hosted 1,800 athletes and their friends and family and finally a whole host of volunteers.

As I rode into town from the hotel I began to notice spots where individuals were picking up trash and duping the bags, then a truck came by and picked up the bags. It was quite organized, but then again that looks status quo with this group here in Kona.

The only evidence that the Ironman World Championships was held here just yesterday is the faded chalk messages to the athletes pushing themselves to the limit for 140.6 miles.

After I returned my steed to the bike rental shop, I visited a few areas that were packed with folks last night and then I simply sat on a bench and took it all in as I waited for the trolley.

I am sure this has been termed before now, but I am officially naming it the IMW – or the “Ironman Walk.”

I was sitting outside King Kaeamea hotel. This is the host hotel for the race. As FINISHERS came into the hotel to collect their FINISHER gear they each had earned for their exceptional feats the previous day.

Think of a person who might have ridden a horse all day – with no britches!!!!! That I the walk! A wide stance, with legs spread as to not let the inner thighs touch and a slight wobble from the shoulders to help the hips rotate.

My flight leaves at 11:00pm. I am going to hang around the pool, watch the Saints, and finish a few post cards, and then it is back to reality.

I hope I have given a small insight of a volunteer/spectators view, but I am sure I have missed many of the obvious spectacles, but that just means you need to come and experience it for yourself!!!


Saturday, October 13, 2007

I Will Be Back Next Year!

It Was A Great Day . . .

I am signing off and going to have a few many beers!

I recovered from my bike spill and then found out LSU lost!

I am heading back to the finish to party the night away and try and stay awake (sober) until midnight.

What a great day.

I was close on my predictions.

Chris McCormick (Macca) did win – which I called.

Sam McGlone had a valiant effort for second place, but Chrissie W something won. Next year Sam!

Caroline should be crossing just about the time I get down there so I hope to get to see her cross.

It has been a great week and a great day. I know I have said this a bunch, but save your pennies and come view this spectacle. It is the cream de la cream.

Flying home late tomorrow night. I miss my wife! I love you honey, thanks for the yard pass!!!!!

I DNF'd!

I Crashed

OK. I have DNF’d being a spectator at Kona.

I was riding around the back side of Alli Dr. Heading over to Queen K to see the runners on the turn and a VERY nice lady and her two children ran right out in front of me and I was making the turn.

I busted my but. The front tire of this crapy bike what twisted, but a little tug of the handle bars with the tire between my knees – kinda straightened things out.

The lady was very apologetic because I think she knew I took the dive so I wouldn’t run over her child and then when she saw my size, I guess she understood my sacrifice!!!! HA!!!!!

I landed on my left hip and left shoulder, over the front of the bike. Not too much blood, but I have ridden back to the room since my shorts well ripped and left a little inside view.

I didn’t see Caroline and was heading over to try and catch her turn up the hill, but I am in a little pain and will take my time heading back, I am about 8 miles from downtown where race start and finish is located.

Basically EVERYONE has busted on this race. I am thinking Timbeux’s pool is sucking up right now.

I am going to clean myself up and head back out to see Caroline finish.

This is an awesome event.

Macc - McGlone???? Maybe??? Maybe Not . . .

Lots of Craziness . . .

I am still calling Macca for the men. He has to catch a few folk, but I think he will be strong.

However, The lead woman looked super strong, so McGlone will have to work for my calls to come through.

Kate Major also looked strong.


Update . . .

I was wrong.

Natasha had wreck.

She is riding someone else bike!

OK, she is my new hero!

Morning Post

Morning Report

1st – Caroline looked strong coming out of the water. I was trying to keep check on how she fared in her age group, but lost count. There were a LOT of people coming out of the water.

This event is awesome. I recommend everyone volunteer a few days and then sit back and enjoy. I will say, there is nothing like it that I have been to.

I know these people are done – Norman, Faris, and I think Natasha.

I am in a bar on the bay watching the LSU Game.

I will post again after Caroline comes in off the bike and share how the pros looked.

Peace Out!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Kona - Right Around the Coner!

Kailua Bay - The Swim Start. This is at 7:45am - A little rough!
Faris Al Sultan, Tim DeBoom, Lisa Bentley - Nutrition Round Table at the Expo

On my ride back to resort - I would not want to wash this car tomorrow!

2 Days and counting!

I’m think we will have the type of weather that a person doing Kona would want to have. The question; who does this help, hurt or does it matter.

If Saturday is anything close to the past three day it will be awesome. Let me recap the last three day and it has been fairly consistent.

In the morning it has been actually very cool bordering chilly. I swam this morning at 7:15am and the water, OH THE WATER! So nice, so cool, BUT SO CHOPPY!

I took a picture (Above) of the pier at the race start. You ill see the waves crashing against the sea wall. But once you get out about 500m it is smooth sailing and it actually helps you back in on the last 500m.

All in all, the water will be fine.

It remains cool until almost 10:00am. Now, this is different than the first few days. It warmed up before 9:00, but it has remained cool and a little windy since then.

I am not sure how windy it will be out on the Queen Ka’ahumanu Hwy. I would think there will be a little windy, but it doesn’t seem to be too bad.

THE KEY is, I was running at about 2:45pm and it was overcast and lightly breezy AND this is how it has been the last few days.

This is about when most of the pros will be finishing.

All in all if this keeps up we might see some really fast splits out there.

Today I visited with Heather Fuhr at the Newton tent, then Roch Frey at the Canondale tent. Wow, the new canondale mountain bike is something to see.

I listened to a live nutrition forum with Faris, Lisa, and a nutritionist. It was interesting, but some of the questions were odd. I attribute my thinking it was odd to the Baton Rouge Tri club. We have some very up to date nutrition folk that have taught me a great deal.

The expo is pretty awesome.

I think I have been sold on the new endless pool. It is a collapsible pool and it is very durable . . . Now to talk the wifey into it!

I was trying to track down Desiree today. No luck. I was meeting another friend and made it to the place she ws a little too late, but . . . She emailed me yesterday and said we would do lunch before Saturday for my interview.

Bama – Got you covered bro. Scott – You too. RB – How many mile was that again???


When I was riding back to the hotel and I pass this couple jogging. The guy looked really familiar. I stopped at magic Sands Beach (Great snorkeling) and as I was locking up the bike and changing into my trunks the couple approached, I looked closer And it was Luke Bell and his new Bride!

OK, Almost ALL of the triathletes I have met most have been much smaller than they appear to be on TV or in magazines. Not Luke. Luke is a fairly big dude (for a Triathlete) and when I shook his hand he matched mine in size.

He was super cool and I think he was surprised I recognized him. As he approached I said Luuuuuke – Kick a$$ Saturday bro.

He stopped. They both were laughing in a manner like, how does this guy recognize me??? I told him I had followed him a bit, watched “What it takes” a video he is in and read about him in a few magazines. He was impressed. I told him I would holler for him. He shook my hand and off they went!

What a sport!

Now I am off to the beach to do a night swim with the Manta Rays. The resort I am in has a night time swim right off of the resort beach and dozens of Manta Ray come to the feeding and you get to swim with them, cool!

Until tomorrow!

Peace Out!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Another Day at the Office!

The "clouds"

Today was an in room office day and lounge by the pool. I had a lot to do for work, but I am not complaining since I get to do the work while looking outside at this beautiful ocean!!

So the past few days there have been many clouds and I thought this was weird since it is so sunny. I just chalked it up to Hawaii weather thinking that rocks, even when it is overcast . . . It is sunny!

Today i received a little Big Island Education. Those aren't clouds per say, or at least not clouds of precipitation. They are clouds of smoke. The Big Island (where Kona is located) has the only active volcano and it is constantly smoking and the clouds right at my resort is at one of the closest points to the escape for the smoke.

Yes I thought about that too - Doesn't that mean i am am the closest point of potential hot lava!!!?? I haven't asked out of the - what i don't know can't hurt me theory.

Things are really picking up around here.

Little update on Caroline:

Her plane was delayed. Then she was unable to catch her flight to West Coast which meant she couldn't catch her flight to Kona. She finally got to West Coast late Monday Night and had to stay overnight. (She was supposed to be in Kona Monday night) She finally arrived in Kona Tuesday night with no clothes or bike. That was the last I heard from her. She has the best attitude. I am incorporating her saying - "It is what it is." I am sure things will be fine today and I will keep you posted.

The downtown area near the pier is rocking. Lots and LOTS of people. Sunday and Monday it was sorta light traffic with more and more people showing up. Yesterday there were a lot more folk, but today it is like a pseudo Bourbon Street on a slow night.

Tomorrow I am going on my Pro search. I have scheduled to see Desiree, Heather, Michelle, Roch, and hopefully Faris. But I want to try and visit a few others.

The Underwear Run is in the morning. I will take plenty of pictures.

The Banquet and Carbo load dinner is tomorrow night and then the count down begins.

Here is the talk:

Everyone is saying Michelle Jones - Which I Absolutely agree with, but I am sticking with Sam McGlone (Who I saw running Monday).

It is really mixed for the men - Most are saying Norman, but there is a rising voice for Macca if he can close the gap on the bike a little he could catch him on the run.

I am still saying Macca. I think it will be tough for Norman to have the GREAT bike he had last year (But who knows) and Macca had a less than sub-par run last year and only lost by a little more than a minute.

But I would LOVE to see Caroline and Roch win!! Obviously I don't see Rock winning, I simply think he is awesome! As awesome as Caroline is I don't see her pulling this one out, but placing VERY high in her age group.

So, Now I think I will go down to the pool and get my tan on some more.

Peace and word to yo mutha!

Monday, October 08, 2007

1st day volunteering at Kona

Our Swag Building Industrial Complex!

Long Long LONG Day!

Today was my first volunteering day.


I woke early and hit the stationary bike then ran about 2 miles. So nice to run along the water with a nice cool breeze. I hope the weather stays like this all weekend for the racers.

Met a lot of cool folk and we got a lot of crap done! Throughout the day we had several jobs to complete and we got them all done with smiles on our faces.

Pretty good swag in these bags and they get more at actual registration/packet pick up time.

After a long day, I perused the “Official” IM World Champ vendor room. It I funny, there are about 20 placed in Kona that advertise as the “Official” Ironman this and that.

Rode back to the Hotel after my long day and hit the pool and absorbed many Long Island Iced Teas!

Tomorrow the racers begin picking up their swag and register. Woo Hoo!

I am working on two things right now:

For Scott: Picture with Desiree Ficker and I am going to ask her if she is interested in a coonass from Baton Rouge for you. I will get you a picture autographed too, anything in particular you want it to say??????

For RB: As a high quality Pro 1. What is the longest swim you’ve ever done? Then when they answer I am just going to laugh and laugh and laugh . . . When they as why I am laughing so hard, I am going to tell them it is an inside joke! A 32 mile inside joke!!!!! 2. What was your worst Bike Crash? 3. Do you eat fried chicken for a pre race meal? 4. Favotie Band? I think that is it, other than the last question which WOULD land me in a Hawaiian jail if I ask it . . . Still contemplating!

Everyone should experience this venue. Since most of us can’t do it as racers, you should plan a vacation here for this race one year . . . and volunteering seems pretty cool too.

Until tomorrow!

Peace out!

What a Rough Day (not really)

Lazy Days Are Here Again!

Short breakdown of my day:

6:45am – Wake and shower
7:30am – Treadmill over looking ocean
9:00am – Breakfast (miso soup for breakfast!! Gotta love it!)
11:00am – Pool, read, sun . . . Wow, what a life!
2:00pm – Football at the beach grill – Packers vs Bears
4:00pm – Deep Tissue Massage
6:00pm – Dinner
7:15pm – Sunset
9:00pm – In Bed ready for another hectic day in Hawaii!!!!!

I have been doing my breakdown of the race this weekend. I have been quizzing a few folks here at the resort on their opinions about the race and here is my synopsis of the potential upcoming Ironman World Championships in Kona Hawaii!!

First my sentimental picks (Those I am rooting for big time) – Desiree Ficker, I would love to see Desiree win this race. She is the epitome of hard work, the queen of kindness, and not a bad looker. Michelle Jones, I think she has an awesome chance to repeat and word is she is in great shape and mentally ready to rock and roll. Michelle is probably on most folks radar as the top pick and that is a pretty solid choice. Faris Al Sultan, he is a heck of a guy and very humble. His bike will have to be strong, but I think he could pull out another solo as he did in 2005.

Second, my no chance to win but . . . (those I am excited to root, holler, and cheer for) – Caroline Smith, my buddy and I think she will do great in her age group, I would not be surprised to see a top 8 finish in her age group. Roch Frey!!!!!!! A former Triathlete turned awesome coach to the starz (including super cool wife, Heather Fuhr) doing his first Kona in 13 years!!!! You gotta see his spread in this months Triathlete Magazine.

Finally, My Two PicksChris McCormick - Course record on the 70.3 this year and super strong. I think he pulls off his first win at Kona. Samantha McGlone – Also 70.3 winner this year, but is making a transition to full Ironman which is a big hit against her, but there is something in my gut that says she will transition well to this distance as Michelle Jones did. It took Michelle 2 tries, but I think Sam has an edge on time with her success at the 70.3 race.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


On my short jog, I ran into this sign - Seed for Crack - This town has a problem . . .uhhh????
View outside my balcony!

Holy Crap!!


I have a whole new level of respect for those racing at KONA next weekend.

I went downtown and the original place I had intended on renting a bike from had no more bikes for rent (lesson learned – reserve bike well in advance next time – DUH!) So I headed down to the ocean to another rental place – they had bikes – not very good bikes, but beggars can’t be choosey.

I decided that I should get a little exercise in and since I had my runners on I set out for a little jog for my little 2 mile route to the next bike shop.

I got my bike (a little trek hybrid – rust at no extra charge!) and spoke with the Newton’s folk for a short while. There is a small public beach right downtown and I decided after my little jog that a dip in the ocean would be nice – oh and it was. The water was so cool and seemed so clean and crisp (that could be my imagination???)

After about 45 minutes in the water pretending that I was a sea otter I decided to head back to the hotel to prepare for the LSU game. Here is where that new found respect kicked in.

Please understand, I have an idea how hard KONA is on a racer, mentally and physically. I have read many an article and watched may a video on this particular race. I have spoken with a few folk who have completed this race and the bottom line is that I have always felt KONA is the toughest race out there and those who tackle her are awesome, but then today happened!

I jumped on the trek that I rented. This bike, when I hit a bump, flays off pieces of rust and the rear wheel is way out of true, but all in all it serves the purpose I rented it for, to get around.

It is about 8 miles from where I was in downtown KONA to my hotel. There are a couple SMALL hills but nothing bad at all the first 3 miles. But I noticed that I was breathing pretty hard for not exerting too much energy, so I thought. It wasn’t until I was on the backside of one of those small hills that I realized the wind was kicking my butt! I was having to pedal downhill!!!!!

I began to struggle at mile 5 thinking to myself, I am on a hybrid and I am supposed to just be strolling along Ahili dr taking in the sights, but rather I am in my own little race here and I am LAST!!!!!

Then I came to the end of the road before I turn into my hotel. Now I remembered this nice hill about a half mile before the entrance of the hotel but I didn’t remember it like this. . .

I saw it and thought to myself, you might want to get off and walk it up, NAHH!!!!!! I began to lower the gears as I climbed I began to hum the rocky I theme song, and about 2 seconds later, I was walking.

This is not a big deal since I m a fat dude NOT racing next weekend, but as I WALKED up this hill with the bike I began to think about the racers next weekend who will have to run up this hill before the turn around to head back in town.

OK, I m watching the LSU game right now and Tebow just ran in a touchdown for Florida’s 16 point, CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Once I did get back to the hotel, I put on the swim suit and headed to the pool. Then showered, then to the pool bar to watch the game where I am now.

I am plotting out my day next Saturday. I am helping with check in then I am going to cheer at the swim start, cheer as they head out on the bike, then ride to different spots to yell for Caroline and other racers.

Until tomorrow!!!!!!!!!

Oh yeah, Scott - I am working on the Desiree request . . . Sure there is nothing I can say or ask her for you???!!!!

Let’s hope LSU figures it out in the nest few minutes!!!!!!!!!!



As of LAST Friday i am down 103 pounds from my weight of 434lbs on June 28, 2007.

I have almost lost a total of one Amanda!!!!!!!!!!!!

195 by 10-01-2008 . . . To Be Continued.


First let me set this picture for you . . .

I am sitting beside the beach, the temperature is about 82 degrees, no humidity, with a light breeze. I am having coffee and a fruit plate while listening to soft Hawaiian music is piped in over the speakers outside, but you really have to listen for it since the ocean hitting the beach is stealing all the attention right now.

This is going to be a good day!

Kona Day two – Buggy Buggy Boo!

Louisiana ain’t got diddly on Hawaii when it comes to little pesky pests! (Except mayfly mating season)

This is a common occurrence in Hawaii I am finding . . . Lots of little bugs.

Stepping off the plane at Kona Airport was awesome. The cool yet slightly warm breeze on the tarmac, the sweet ocean smell, I was happy to finally be here. I arrived in my hotel room at the beautiful Sheraton Keauhou bay Resort at around 11:00pm (4:00am my time) and I was beat and the bed was gently calling my name when I reached my room.

It is about 8:00am here and I have a fun day planned.

My rental bike (a low rider) should be here by 10:00am and I am going to ride just up the street about 2 miles and pick up some produce from the farmers market. They say . . . Saturday morning is the best day to visit and get great local produce.

I plan to be at a local sports joint to watch the LSU vs Florida game at 2:00pm. This is going to be one heck of a game. I have a lot of respect for Meyer and the programs he has built, Florida is a power to contend with for many a year, but I don’t think we (LSU) are half bad either. GEAUX (Pronounced GO) TIGERS!

After the game I pan to grab the prep sights for Kona as I stroll through downtown and visit the bay that the swim takes place.

I am looking forward to ending the day by the pool sipping on a beer watching the sun go down in preparation for another day of adventure and one day CLOSER to the great race!

My friend Caroline Smith and her significant other Ryan are coming in Monday. Say a couple prayers for her since she has been really under the weather with chest infection. Our last email conversation she shared with me her goal that day was to get up as much phlegm as possible . . . NOW THAT is a fun day!!!!!!!! Get your ass in gear and feel better Caroline, see you guys Tuesday!

I am going to try and take some cool pics today and will post them later tonight.


Friday, October 05, 2007

Kona Baby!

Kona – The travel day . . .

When you are traveling from one side of the US to the furthest point (Hawaii) plan on it taking a while, secondly plan on a long layover for a cheap fare!

The three seater plane (slight exaggeration, but not much) from Baton Rouge to Dallas was quick and almost painless. The 737 from Dallas to LAX was a little more taxing, but again, painless.

Then . . .

Arriving at LAX just after 1:00pm I hadn’t thought through the 6 hour layover that was in my immediate future as in NOW!

I tried to do the walking around seeing the airport thing, then to the sit and watch all of the unique folk who travel in and out of LAX. I think the most interesting was a group of what appeared to be Amish folk, but I don’t know how with the whole horse and buggy thing, who seemed to be lost and looking for a restroom for their youngest compadre . . . I don’t think he made it.

After this experience it was now 2:40pm, only 5 hours to go.

Dined at a Chili’s to go. Had the Chicken Tortilla soup and a sprite. Dat was some SALTY soup! As I ate I took in some of the Cleveland vs Yankees game (GO RED SOX!) but, my server made it clear I was to move along and not take up his table for my remaining 4 plus hours, so I went to my terminal and decided to do something I haven’t in a long time. Sleep on the floor in public.

I put on my Ipod on the meditation track and within mere moments I was SAWING LOGS!

Now it is 5:55pm and I have about 1.5 hours till my plane takes off into the wild blue yonder known as KONA HAWAII!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I woke it was nice to see I still have the capabilities to set a trend here and there. In the terminal with me now are about 5 floor sleeping individuals sawing logs of their own. I want to take a picture but, I don’t want to offend anyone!

In this time I decided to blog Ironman Hawaii until the race is complete next Saturday. I am going to blog from the spectator’s point of view as well as a volunteer point of view. I begin my volunteering Sunday (Help set up – day of labor) then I am going to register racers at packet pickup Mon-Wed. The rest of the time I am going to take it all in.

Amanda and I were here in March so I know the area as much as one can on a one week visit. I plan to hit the Kava bar we liked so much, but other than that I will take pictures and write daily blogs regarding my adventures!

I thought of one fun thing . . .

Let’s call it an adventure run. If you think of something you’d like me to set out to do one of my days here (THAT WON’T land me behind bars!) I will do it and post about it.

For example: If someone wanted me to search out a particular pro athlete and ask a certain question or something kooky that is in the back of the sick part of your brain, shoot your idea in my comments section and I will see what I can do.

Until tomorrow – GEAUX TIGERS, eat some Gator! – Peace Out!

Monday, October 01, 2007

The whole kit and caboodle!

Great Suggestion from Scott . . .

So Beginning Wednesday I am going to post the full picture; training log, eating log, and I am going to post my weight and measurements log every month.

Thanks for the suggestion.

I use FIT DAY for my log, it has been very good for me. I purchased the software, but you can use the FREE log which I see is just as profecient as the purchased software.

I decided to register a WEB LOG that anyone can access so you can see my daily doings, if you want. I will still post on Wednesdays. Thanks everyone!!!

I like this article I read on keeping an exercise log . . .

Keep on moving and putting less in your mouth . . this weeks motto!