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