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Thoughts from Kona - Part 2

Day 4

Breakfast: Local granola

Lunch: Salad greens, squash and one fish taco

Dinner: Curry pot pie

Snacks: Enerex phyto proteins

Lots of water and some electrolytes

I started my day with a long swim. I took this opportunity to swim the race course again in order to get used to the water conditions. From day to day the size of the ocean swells change in size. I now understand how that can make the Kona swim unpredictable. The water was much warmer than the pool that I train in at home. By the end of an hour swim, my face feels hot as if I am over heating.

In the afternoon, my family and I head to Waipi'o Valley and drive the famous mountain road. Today was a clear day with not much cloud coverage, so the views were stunning. From lookout point, the landscape was absolutely beautiful. The greenery in this part of the island is showcased, we could see the valley on the north side of the island and its black sand beach. The valley floor at sea level is about 2,000 ft below the surrounding terrain. We took a very steep road that led us down into the valley, a sign informed us that the average grade is 25%. At the bottom, we saw the Hi'ilawe Falls, which climb to about 1450ft high. It was beautiful and worth the hike, however I would not recommended this hike before race day, as the steep climb made it a difficult trek to make.

After the hike, I decided it would be best to rest my legs so we drove over to Hilo. The drive was quite far so when we arrived we ate dinner at the Hilo Café. The food there did not disappoint. They are a farm to table restaurant. The menu included local food and catered to vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. If you have the chance to go, I would recommend the vegetarian curry pot pie - it was outstanding. After watching the sunset during dinner we head through the mountains back to Kona.

Day 5

Breakfast: Local granola

Lunch: Salad with quinoa and vegetables

Dinner: Vegetables and a side of pasta

Snacks: Acai bowl

This morning I woke up and ate breakfast relatively early. I relaxed and took in the morning. I headed down to the swim start to swim at 8:30am. Today, the swim area was busy. I swam for just over an hour. At the half way point a stand-up paddle boarder started to talk me. She was excited that the dolphins were headed toward us. At first I thought she was joking, but then I noticed that more boats and SUP were in the area and then there were five small dolphins swimming crossing my path and jumping in the water!

After my swim, I went home changed and started my hour tempo run. The sun was beating down, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it was hot. I ran Southbound on Ali'i drive thinking that I would get a breeze from ocean and shade from the trees. Unfortunately, there was not a lot of wind coming off the ocean. In South-Western Ontario, the roads and running trails are relatively flat so Ali'I drive is more like rolling hills in comparison. Overall, I had a solid run considering the heat and small rollers. I am happy with my training on the island.

In the afternoon we went to the Basik Acai Eatery. Basik was busy. The store was very small and the outdoor eating area on the ground level. The eatery is known for its assortment of dairy free, plant-based products. We decided to try an Acai bowl, which was acai blended smooth and then topped with a mix of fresh fruit, granola, honey, bee pollen and/or shredded coconut. This treat did not disappoint, it was nice to find a healthy refreshing snack.

The rest of the afternoon I decided to rest my legs as they were feeling a little tired from the short hike we yesterday. It was nice to get some down time and to enjoy our scenic view of the ocean.

Day 6

Breakfast: Hawaii granola and a banana

Lunch: Omelette loaded with vegetables

Dinner: Black bean veggie burger and guacamole with quinoa and vegetables

Snack: Enerex greens

Another hot, beautiful day in Kona! The weather in Kona is consistent. The wind has picked up and there is a great breeze coming through the house through the lanai.

This morning, I went for a 45 minute bike ride, I decided to ride the beginning of the bike course and head up Kukakini Hwy. The traffic was less busy than Ali'i Rd and Palani Rd and Kukakini Hwy had a bike path most of the way up so it felt a little safer. Once I got to the top it was nearly impossible to cross over the highway onto Queen K Hwy. I made a mental not for the next ride to plan to head down to the traffic lights and then head towards the airport.

I have noticed is that there is a lot of broken glass all over the highway. I am definitely going to pick up some extra tubes for the race. If I had known I would have brought an extra tire, just in case. During each of my training rides I have noticed a few athletes at the side of the road changing a flat.

After lunch we headed out to Kiholo Bay, it's a very rocky lava beach so next time I probably would have brought hiking shoes with me. In this bay the water looks so turquoise. From the highway this bay stands out, as the colour is distinctly different than the other bays, and it is so pretty! The bay is quite large and takes a bit of time to get around it. While walking along the shoreline there are plenty of crabs and sea turtles near the edge of shoreline. At the southern most part of the bay there is a lava tube that is filled with fresh water that is about 71 degrees. After hiking around the bay and out all day I took a dip in lava tube and instantly cooled off. It was a nice day to end the day.

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