April 7

April 7, 2005

Back from the land of the volcanos and fierce Hawaiian warriors

We stayed at a Hilton resort near Kona on the Big Island. Very nice place, but I'd have to say for what we paid, the customer service sucked big time. Listening Paris? (She's a big AoG follower).

The highlight of the trip would have to be the helicopter tour over the active volcano!

I had planned on bringing my road bike and doing some training on the famous Queen K highway (The Ironman Hawaii bike leg), but I didn't feel like lugging it along, so I ended up doing no cycling at all. I ran and swam everyday though, so I was able to get about 10 hours of training time in for the week.

The swimming was great - Since there aren't many sand beaches on the big island (lava everywhere), our swimming consisted of loops in an inlet around dozens of peddle boats, kayaks and snorkelers. It was pretty cool though because the inlet attracts plenty of sea life, so there was lots to look at. In fact, I got whacked on my thighs by a giant sea turtle coming up for air.

Got Lots of reading done. I highly recommend "Adrift" by Steve Callahan - voted one of the top 100 best adventure books of all time by National Geographic. He was lost at sea on a life raft for 76 days after his sail boat capsized. Incredible story!

Next on the list was another lost at sea book that I picked up in a Kona book store called "66 days adrift" by William Butler. His sailboat was attacked by pilot whales and William and his wife spent the next 66 days drifting in a life raft before they were finally rescued near Costa Rica.

Book three is "Life and Limb" by Jamie Andrew. Jamie lost both legs and both arms to frost bite in a mountain climbing accident. Since then, Jamie has not only run the London marathon, but incredibly, taken up the sport he loved for - mountaineering.

Book four is "Ultra Marathon Man" by Dean Karnazes. Karnazes has run 262 miles nonstop; he has won the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon across Death Valley-considered the world's toughest footrace-in 130-degree weather, and he has run a marathon to the South Pole. I liked his book, as I can identify with his madness to some extent, but found him to be a bit braggy.

And while I'm on the book thing, I need to recommend another gem I recently finished "Swimming to Antarctica" The life story of Lynne Cox. Lynne started swimming almost as soon as she could walk. By age sixteen, she had broken all records for swimming the English Channel - men AND women! She eventually swam five miles in thirty-eight-degree water in just a swimsuit, cap, and goggles across the bearing straight. In between those accomplishments, she became the first to swim the Strait of Magellan, the twenty-mile Cook Strait of New Zealand, and a mile to Antarctica in frozen, slushy water.

Now that we're back and the weather here seems to be cooperating, it's time to start really focussing on Ironman training. I'm also starting work on a new prototype frame that will be front/rear wheel drive convertible so I can actually test ride the pros and cons of each approach. As always, I'll be keeping you informed.


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