I woke up feeling slightly off for 2nd day in a row. You know when you have that feeling like something is trying to get you! Not now, not today. There is no way I was getting sick now! I have felt so good the last few weeks that I just didn’t even allow myself to think that I could be getting sick. Power of the mind! And of course, let’s race already! And so I kept inhaling airborne and zicam to hopefully keep whatever it was trying to get me at bay. I focused on plenty of rest, and honestly didn’t even let my mind go there.
As soon as I woke up, I went to the pool and did a short 10 min swim with Jan Frodeno and Terenzo Bozone. (They also did a 10 min swim although they probably swam double the distance that I did!)
Then I then did a quick 30 min ride.
Ready to roll!
My legs for the first time on this island felt blah! Noooooooo! Mantra of the day - positive thoughts, positive thoughts! I had plenty of power and umph, it just felt harder to sustain than usual. I ran into or rode into Mr. Cal himself on the Queen K, but he again didn’t have any cupcakes with him! We rode into town together, wished each other luck, and I stopped by the BlueSeventy booth to pick up my race day goggles (I love my Neros and do like to race with new goggles every race) Thank you BlueSeventy – as always you guys rock and take care of your athletes!
Then it was time to pig out on breakfast – my favorite breakfast of the year! I actually try to stay in and make all the food at home rather then going out, waiting to be seated, and risk eating something that may not sit well with me. I had the usual pancakes, eggs, ham, toast and of course side of beet juice I mean apple juice with beet boost powder. (I inhaled it before I took a picture but I think you all saw enough food already)
The rest of the day was spent relaxing, napping, visualizing AND positive thoughts!
I essentially lived in these bad boys the last few weeks & I have a discount code to share! If interested, shoot me a message.
I checked and re-checked my transitions bags, and went to drop those along with my bike right around 3pm.
All the powerbar nutrition fits into my "bento" box on my top tube, and into my extra storage (boobs) See the tube of salt? That will prove to be important tomorrow! Drink mix AND rice/potato cakes are missing from the photo as I brought those with me on race morning and added them into the T1 bag.
Love me Dr.Cool cooling scarf and headband (must for all my hot races), Kinvara 7s, swiftwick socks, all the PowerBar gels & saltstick chews (super sweat machine over here), and new addition - Nathan handheld that I added into my T2 bag race morning and was still frozen when I got to it! Score!
Before the bike/bag drop off I squeezed in lunch (turkey/ham sandwich with some chips and side of papaya), and I also added a bottle of levelen for extra sodium. I already mentioned in my previous blogs that I do sweat quite a bit and I do lose a ton of sodium which is impossible to replenish all during the race and hence I have to preload and Levelen is great for that! Here is a link to my actual fueling plan if you are interested that my coach Jorge has done. If you struggle with fueling/nutrition don’t hesitate to reach out to me, and we at E3 can help!
The bike/bag drop off itself is a show!
About to enter the red carpet
From bike companies lined up right next to each other along the narrow path supporting their athletes to a ton of industry people just checking out your bike (not you) for all the different components so that all of you can then read who was the #1 bike brand, helmet brand, powermeter brand and the list goes on. For the first time this year (Trek doesn’t show up to Kona as probably one of the only big brands) I also received lots of love from the folks at QuintanaRoo. It sure does make you feel special, and I really am proud to represent such a great company!
On the red carpet with the QR team (I mean black carpet with red Mdots)
Few more steps, and then you get your picture taken – I mean your bike gets your picture taken – and then you get to enter the pier that has now been transformed into an amazing T1 & T2 sight.
Each athlete gets their own volunteer (Thank you volunteers) that walk with you to your bike spot, and then to hang your T2 and T1 bags, and just like that the “Bike Check In” show is over.
"Flash" is ready for his 1st overnight on THE pier!
See of T2 bags but they are actually very easy to find this way. I always like to take a picture of the set up so that I really remember where my bag is.
Same exact set up in T1 as in T2
And that's it. "Park" your bike, drop of your T1 & T2 bags and say goodbye to your volunteer!
As I was exiting the pier I took this shot of the finish line area being set up. They really do wait until the last absolute possible minute to build it up and boy oh boy is it special! Just seeing it somewhat completed gives me chills every single time and I know it will NEVER get old!
At this point it was mid to late afternoon and time to do nothing but rest, he race from the very beginning to the very end including transitions (especially now that I know where exactly my T1 & T2 bags along with my bike were) and eat - I can always do that!
My go to is spaghetti (angel hair) with grilled chicken and tomato sauce, white bread and of course more beet juice every single time.
Nothing fancy here. Just topping off the engine!
Post dinner, I made sure I had all my bottles ready for the morning, and I think I was in bed by 9 with my alarm set for 3:45 so that I can eat my breakfast by 4 (I eat my breakfast 3 hours before race start so that I have enough time to fully digest it).
I finally fell asleep around 10pm but not for long. I am usually a good sleeper even the night before a race, but I was hot and sweating and just generally worried I’ll wake up feeling off! Thankfully, even though I was up every hour, I woke up ready to go!