IM Kona '15: Day 7

The coffee boat is out - that must mean it's officially race week.
Yes - you can actually go swim to a boat that is handing out free coffee. 

Karel and I were so excited about Tuesday on race week - our first workout with Purplepatch Fitness. and coach Matt Dixon. 
Karel has been coached by Matt since last October but since Karel and I do a lot of workouts together, I also consider Matt as a coach to both of us. He has been a great mentor to us, as coaches, as well. I firmly believe that every coach, who is also an athlete, needs a coach.
I have respected Matt ever since I read an article from him in Triathlete Magazine (not sure which one but I am sure it was about training smarter or recovering more) and consider him the best coach out there for triathletes. It is a great honor to learn from him.

Anyways - a few Purple Patch athletes (racing and not racing in Kona) as well as the Everyman Jack Team arrived to the pool before 7:30am for a morning swim at the aquatic center. This was our first time meeting Matt so we were super excited for our workout.

Our swim workout:
10 min warm-up

Pre set;
200, 175, 150, 125, 100, 75, 50, 25 w/ 10 sec rest (increase effort as the set goes on)

6 x 125's w/ 20 sec rest (increase effort in sets of 2)
150 EZ
6 x 50's - increase effort in sets of 3 (75-95%) w/ 20 sec rest
150 EZ/cool down 

After the swim workout, we had about 20 minutes before a group run so we changed and then did a few warm-ups (Karel and I) in the parking lot.

One of the celebrity athletes participating in IM Kona this year is Sean Astin (who is being coached by Matt Dixon). Sean was super nice and he seems excited to be here. I'm sure any triathlete would be eager to get a free entry to race IM Kona but not sure how many "normal" folks would jump at the opportunity to cover 140.6 miles on a very difficulty race course. 

Our run workout was just under 40 minutes - we ran from the pool up Makala blvd and then went north on the Queen K. The effort was light and conversational for most of the run but Matt said we could include a few pick-ups for 6 minutes. I choose 4 minutes since it was super hot and didn't want to exhaust myself (even with 20 ounce of Clif Bar hydration with me) with 90 min walk in between. It was nice to wake up the legs a little and to run 6:45ish pace with a nice tail wind pushing me along on the way back (that will NOT be near my race pace on race day :). Matt said it was ok to run a little faster to help the legs wake up but for the rest of the run, we were instructed to not run with a big ego. 

After the workout and a nice recovery meal (oatmeal, fruit and eggs for me), we rested a little and then walked down to the King K hotel for athlete registration (which opened Tues morning at 9am - closes Thurs afternoon at 4pm).

After we picked up our stuff and walked through the Ironman gear tent, it was off to the expo and then to the market to buy some fruit. 

Here are a few pictures from the registration and expo. 

My first IM Kona. 

My 2nd IM Kona. 

My 3rd IM Kona. 

My 4th IM Kona and Karel's first IM Kona!

Awesome gear bags - I think I can fit into mine.

Can't wait to suffer together on Saturday. 

It was SO windy today but it made the water super blue. 

More than Sport has a booth on Ali'i drive near the pier and they are building 120 bikes to provide to local kids on the island (who can't afford bikes) to be handed out on Sunday.
Karel put his expert mechanic skills to good use and in less than 10 minutes, he build a bike. 

It's not that often that Karel builds a bike with training wheels but he had a lot of fun doing it - all for a great cause. 

LOVE my run hydration from Clif Bar!

After an hour or so in the hot sun, we cooled off in our condo for about 2 hours (and had some lunch) and then it was time for the Parade of Nations at 5pm. 

With 18 athletes from Czech Republic, Karel was in good company with a large group who all spoke Czech. 

There were so many people on the side of the road for the parade - it was a really cool experience and I am so glad that we did it - and Karel could represent his home country. 

Representing South Carolina in the USA and Czech. 

And to conclude our day......

A peak inside our gear bags......

Clear gear bags (for safety, we are not allowed to bring in anything else into the transition area on race day), swim cap, 2 bib numbers (One to be worn on run, the other for keepsake), timing chip, plastic bike number, media tag, frame bib number, bike helmet number.

Extra swag. 

A nice towel. 

Race guide. 

3 more days til race day!!!