IM Kona '15: Day 2

4:45am - time to start the day! Although we woke up early without an alarm, it was a restful night with 8 hours of good sleep.

The great part about waking up early here in Kona and being on Hawaiin time (6 hours behind EST) is being able to get some work done before the sun comes up.

After a little bit of work on the computer, a phone call to an athlete and a pre-workout snack (and coffee), Karel and I were ready for our morning workout.

We first started with a 45 minute very EZ spin on the run course so that Karel could see the out and back section on Ali'i drive and then we grabbed our run gear in the condo and dropped off our bikes and did a short dynamic warm-up in our parking lot. We walked to Ali'i drive and started our run. 

We warmed up together (well kinda together - me running a bit behind Karel) with 30 minutes of running w/ 30 sec walk each mile. After the warm-up, we turned around and started the main set.

4 x 5 min (desc 1-4) w/ 15 sec walk in between

Then cool down

After the run workout, it was time to take a few pictures and enjoy our view.

We finished at the pier and Karel snapped a pic with 2014 Ironman World Champion Sebatian Kienle. 

After our run workout, we had a recovery drink in the condo, then breakfast and chillaxed for a little before heading out to the Kona Aquatic Center around 1pm for a short swim. 

My upper back was feeling a little off (it mostly bothers me when I swim) so I shorted the swim to a 2000 and didn't do our entire main set but Karel swam awesome in the water and finished with 3200 yards.
It was so great to swim (for free) at the aquatic center but nothing beats swimming in the ocean (aka Kona fish bowl). 

We have been enjoying our home cooked meals but local bread is a necessity for us - Daylight Mind coffee shop had fresh sourdough bread, just perfect for our carb loving diet. 

After our post workout meal/lunch at our condo, we got ready for a trip 9 miles up the mountain to visit Mountain Thunder for a coffee tour. We tasted fresh local organic coffee and walked away with two bags (we couldn't resist!).

After our 4pm tour, we headed back to the condo and made some dinner around 6pm. 

Karel made this delicious cabbage salad with carrots, tomatoes, onions, dates and avocado dressing  as well as pasta (with chicken for Karel). 

It was a busy day but we are really enjoying our race-cation and trying to make the most of this awesome experience together. 

Oh, and one more thing...
Happy World Vegetarian Day / Vegetarian Awareness Month to all my vegetarian followers and friends!!!!
For over 2/3rds of my life, since the age of 10, I have thrived, survived, fueled, nourished and enjoyed a plant-strong diet.
For 23 years, I have always been proud to call myself a vegetarian and plant strong athlete.

In honor of World Vegetarian Day, I invite you to make some swaps and/or additions in your meal and snack options and incorporate more real, wholesome and nutrient dense options into your diet. Your body will thank you now and in the future.


IM Kona '15 - Day 1

Aloha kakahiaka!!

We didn't get much sleep during our first night in Kona so by 5am, with only 6 hours of sleep, we decided to get up and start the day.

Around 6am, the ocean was in clear view from our balcony and Karel and I smiled as this was our view for the next 2 weeks. 

Karel put together our bikes and then we made a trip to the grocery store (first SafeWay, then Walmart). The food is much more expensive here on the island compared to the states but with cooking our meals at our condo, we save a lot of money (versus a hotel room and eating out every meal, every day).

After grocery shopping, it was time for breakfast so we ate a light breakfast around 9am and then headed to the pier for a swim. 

The Ironman World Championship offers many iconic images that we often see on TV, DVDs, You Tube videos or in pictures. Words can't describe how cool it is to "be there" and experience it all first hand. Whether you are an athlete, volunteer or spectator, the atmosphere in Kona during the week before the Ironman World Championship is indescribable.

And crazy to think that it's not even race week and there are triathletes everywhere!

We went for a very EZ 45 minute, ~1.3 mile swim in the ocean. With big orange buoys set-up, it made for easy sighting. If you have never swam in Kona, the views on the bottom of the ocean floor are amazing - it's like swimming in a fish tank! 

After our swim workout, it was time to play with the Go Pro. 

After our swim workout, we did a little shopping and walking around on Ali'i drive and then walked back to our condo. 

Karel picked out two stickers for our bikes - Kona orange for Karel and pink for me. 

Love the Hawaiian Oakley gear.

After lunch, we did a little work on the computer and rested for about 30 minutes and then got ready for our first ride on the Queen K Hwy.

It was a long time in the making, but we finally got to met Jana - a super fast and strong Czech athlete who lives in MA.

Karel and Jana felt at home, talking Czech to one another. It's not that often that either can hang out with another triathlete and speak their native language. 

We rode for a total of 24 miles and around 75 minutes. We had a fun tailwind going out and side/head wind coming home. We included a few pick-ups to help wake up the legs. 

Nothing but ocean and lava views for miles and miles and miles.
The IM Kona bike course is a true test for mental toughness. 

After the ride, Karel and I went back to our condo, had a Clif bar recovery drink and cleaned up. We weren't quite ready for dinner so we walked around on Ali'i drive and then had dinner around 6:30pm. 

Early in the day, I made a quinoa, jasmine rice and sauteed (in olive oil) onion, chopped ginger and chickpea dish. I combined with chopped savoy cabbage for a delish dinner.  

Karel made a rice/chicken dish and also had some of my chickpea dish.

By 8:30pm, we were ready for bed and excited for another day of exploring and enjoying Kona.

IM Kona '15 - Travel day

I tried to not rush our IM Kona journey but somehow, it all seemed to happen so fast!

Before we knew it, we were packing and packing and packing for our 2-week trip to Kona, Hawaii. 

This past weekend was rainy and cool which made it easier to pack and also to get excited to head to the big island on Tues morning. 

Karel packed up our bikes on Sunday and by Monday, we were gathering last minute items for our trip and making sure our house was ready for our departure. 

I dropped off the cats with my mom on Monday afternoon but just couldn't part with Campy just yet. Karel and I needed one more sleep with our little nugget.

On Tuesday morning, we woke up around 5:45am to give myself time to answer some emails before a full day of traveling and to pack-up the car. With Tuesday being a day off from working out for me and Karel, we took Campy on a long walk before we headed out at 7:30am to head to my mom's house.
Sadly, Campy didn't know he was not going on a road trip with us but instead, heading to his "Grandma's" house for his vacation but nonetheless, he really enjoyed his trip in the car.

It was a rainy day so we had a lot of traffic in route to my mom's but on the bright side, it was a little extra time with Campy. 

We dropped off Campy with my mom and like always, he was excited to see his Grandma (and be reunited with his sisters). By 8:20am, we were off for our 2.5 hour drive to ATL. 

Not only was it national coffee day, but Karel had a free birthday coffee from Starbucks so he went big with the quad venti latte. We had a good laugh from the Starbucks fail on the name.
Hmmmm. Carlo doesn't sound Czech but I think Karel can pull it off. 

Atlanta is often much more affordable for us (even with paying for off-site parking) to fly in/out of so we don't mind the 2.5 hour drive. When we lived in Jacksonville, we would do the same thing and fly out of Orlando. Also with flying with our bikes, the less stops, the better. 

We parked in the hourly parking garage across the street and checked in only our bags and bike case and then went back to the car to drive to our off-site parking ($2.90 per day) at a nearby hotel (1.5 miles away) with our carry on bags. The shuttle for the hotel was there when we parked, which worked out perfectly. I allowed us extra time for our drive which was good because we had a few delays in route to ATL due to the bad weather.  

Finally, around 12:30pm, we were passed security and officially "in route" to Kona. 

We were ready for lunch before our flight so I ordered the warm vegetarian eggplant, mozzarella and roasted red pepper sandwich on ciabatta bread (which was delicious!) from the Boars Head Cafe and Karel ordered a burrito from Qdoba Mexican Grill. 

Our flight from ATL to LAX was around 4.5 hours - a warm-up for our 5 hour and 18 minute flight from Lax to Kona. Luckily, we each had TV's on the seat back in front of us which made the time pass by quickly.
I packed a bag of snacks so that we wouldn't get hungry (hungry athletes on a plane are no fun to be around). 

After a smooth flight, we were ready to stretch our legs during our 2 hour layover. However, our arrival gate was right next to our next departure gate so we walked to a place to eat and enjoyed our "dinner" at 4pm pacific time.

We ate at Rock and Brews and Karel ordered the steak sandwich with fries (I stole some fries) and 

I ordered a delicious salad with sundried tomatoes, hardboiled eggs (I asked for one but they gave me two), goat cheese, pine nuts, onions and cucumbers on a bed of greens with the dressing on the side.

Dinner was excellent and totally hit the spot.

And finally, it was time to head to Kona!! 

There were a handful of athletes on the plane which kinda made it all feel a bit more real that we were not only flying to the beautiful island of Kona for vaca but instead traveling to Kona to race in the Ironman World Championship.

I was super restless on the flight and had trouble sitting still so I was up and down a lot on the flight. Seeing that we had been up since 5:45am EST and didn't land until 8pm Hawaiian time (2am EST), I managed to rest my eyes for about an hour on our flight. Karel is a great napper and sleeper on planes so he slept a lot more than I did. My body/mind doesn't know how to nap. 

When we travel, I try to book aisle seats for one of us and whenever possible, I try to book two aisle seats next to each other so Karel and I can both stretch our legs and get up as often as we want to stretch. 

It was a bummer to fly in at night as seeing the big island of Kona from above is really cool but we were just so happy to step outside the plane and smell Hawaii. Seriously, the thick humid, fresh air mixed with the ocean smells amazing. 

We picked up our luggage rather quickly (the Kona airport is very small and all outdoors) but waited and waited and waited for our bikes. Apparently, a different luggage cart was designated for the 30 bike cases on our plane and arrived to the baggage pickup area about 15 minutes later. 

We finally got the most important piece of luggage that we packed and it was time to get the rental car from Budget (Ford Escape) and head 7 miles down the road on the Queen K hwy to the town of Kailua Kona. 

Because we qualified for Kona last year in September, I was able to book our condo on VRBO.com soon after IM Kona last year in October and I found the perfect one bedroom condo with a water view (also overlooking Ali'i drive) at the Kona Plaza condos. And a great deal too! 

I knew of this place because my parents, Karel and I stayed at the Kona Plaza Condos (on a different floor) for my 2nd trip to the big island in 2011 (two bedrooms). It's in the perfect location with it being a short walk (less than 7 minutes) away from the Ironman swim start/finish and it has a big underground parking garage. 

Stay tuned for the recap of our first official day in Kona.

To keep up with the happenings of our Ironman World Championship race-cation, you can follow us on Facebook at Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition.