Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ironman Hawaii Photos and More Tips For a Great Race

Here is the next installment of 20 of this year's 50 Tips and Secrets for a great Ironman:
40. Call someone you love and care about that you have not spoken to in a really long time - tell them where you are, and that you were thinking about them.
39. Get a great night sleep the-night-before-the-night-before-the-race. Research indicates that sleep problems on night before an athletic event does not impact performance, so if you've got the "I can't sleep the night before the race" jitters, don't fret. But the night before the night before? Make sure you get a great night sleep, even if you have to sleep in and miss the hardbodies at the Pier in the morning.
38. Plan what you are going to do after the race, where will you meet folks, what will you eat, etc. There is a kind of wandering collective daze that occurs right after the race. You'll need a massage, you'll need to rinse off, you'll need a clean warm change of clothes. If you can take a warm shower near the race finish that you can use, that's ideal - so start networking!
37. Eat at the Kona Inn - order the Ahi with a baked potato and vegetables - the view is fantastic, the food is fantastic.

36. Be prepared for food delays - Kona's restaurant industry is stretched to the limit with the demands of the finicky triathletes - because we all want our food a special way... If you're on a tight schedule, and want to get meals on time, or when you are hungry, then call ahead and place a TO GO order, that you can then of course, ask them if you can subsequently, upon arrival, eat there - and haaay - you're foods ready by the time you arrive.
35. Take more photos. I mean a TON of photos. This is the Ironman.
34. Explore the Island - get out to some of the beaches that are world famous - Hapuna, Mauna Kea - even check out Captain Cook's monument.
33. Find the store Pacific Vibrations in town. Home of the world famous McMichaels - tell them Mitch sent you and that I say hi. Check out the Ironman memorabilia on the walls.
32. Do some wind sprints on the bike course. Not many, but make sure your legs know what it feels like to go race pace on the Queen K.
31. BE CAREFUL. Hold on to your handle bars, watch the road, car doors, and especially other bikers. During the race, be very careful in the transition area. Because this is the Ironman, people go a bit crazy to get through transition, and you can easily collide, or get your foot stepped on or twist an ankle in transition. Take slow, controlled movements to get through the Ironman safely.
30. Pratice letting your arm relax backwards when you grab a water bottle on the bike - remember that every aid station will be a different experience in hazards.
29. Make sure that you have access to a mobile phone at the finish - you will want to call the people you cannot find.
28. Take two spare tires with you during the race if you have sew ups, take at least three tubes if you have tubular, and plenty of CO2.

Photos :
27. Get a massage. In fact - get two.
26. Don't get discouraged when you feel how long this race actually is, and how hard it can be. Hope for a day with cloud cover during the marathon, and light winds - but know that that's unlikely. There will be wind. When you expect it to be behind you - it may change. Be ready for a 112 mile headwind - psych yourself up for this - and be thankful for every mile with no wind.
25. Give out some encouragement on race day - tell the people you pass and that pass you "Great job."
24. Swim tips: put a small drop of Johnson's Baby Shampoo in your goggles then rinse it. Pratice swimming with this no-fog technique in the days before the race, and don't put too much in - just a very small film to cover the goggles. Don't freak out when people bump up against you in the swim - relax - when you get hit in the face with a wrist, elbow or ankle - don't hit back. If someone tries to bump or nudge you away from your draft from that perfectly paced swimmer you've found - feel free to hold your ground firmly with your body position, but don't punch them or pull their goggles off, I've seen that happen - and it's not very ironspirited.

23. Send me an e-mail - with some photos and any stories from your race week or training.
22. Check this blog every 5 minutes.
21. Reach deep
inside and ask yourself why you're doing this Ironman. Why are you here, on this island -- so far from home in some ways -- so close to home in others?