Dolphins

dophins09.jpgOK thats not a picture of a dolphin but rather my bike all ready to go. This mornings swim was unbelievable. I swam with Rachel to the 1.2 mile buoy and as we approached we heard and then saw a few dolphins. Before we knew it we were in amongst god knows how many pods of dolphins – there must have been a 100 of them. Roger was there and a lady and we swam in amongst them for 20 -30 minutes only leaving because we got cold. A mere 20 metres away hundreds of athletes were swimming backwards and forwards near the orange buoys completely oblivious of what they were missing so near by.

There were babies staying near their mums. We saw small groups playing with each other. They swam below as, around us and if you timed it right you swam with them. I managed this at one point and was swimming with maybe ten dolphins and if I’d moved either hand a foot to my side I would have touched them. I even had a couple jump right out of the water within metres of me. It was a truly amazing feeling to be in there amongst them.

This managed to take my mind off how bad my blue seventy suit was rubbing. This is the third year I’ve used it and clearly all the weights I’ve been doing have changed my physique enough to make this suit more or less unusable. The welts around my shoulders are really painfull. I’m wondering whether I will have to swim without a suit. Roger has kindly leant me his other blue seventy – it’s the newer version. His policy of buying two is really helping me out. It makes me remember my first time here when these suits didn’t exist and how nice it was to just swim in tri shorts. It was so nice to swim feeling the freedom in your shoulders. At the moment I wish these darn suits had never been invented.

Back to Splashers post swim for a super leisurely breakie. I then did my final session before the race. I run bike session in my new tri shorts. I did a 40 minute bike with several short intervals. I didn’t feel great which I think was as a result of feeling slightly off on the bike combined with being very annoyed with myself about the rubs from the suit. I would have tested this earlier but the sun burn I sustained last friday had put me off doing it because my back was so sore. I’d felt quite embarrassed about how bad I got burnt since I’d been trying so hard to be good about suncream and that was  a stupid mistake which has had the knock on effect of me swimming in this suit very late. So, I pushed hard on the final intervals and felt slightly better but as I came in off the bike I felt hot and wondered whether these new tri shorts were sensible.

Coming in to my room to transition I was really not that happy and Jo got the brunt of it. She asked if I’d tried wetting them like the guy had said. Stupidly I hadn’t so I went in the bathroom and wet them ready for my run. Long white compression socks on, using the great method the CEP guy showed me and it worked. Not a great look with the black compression shorts but not too bad. Out on my run – wow ! they felt pretty cool and I ran pretty well. Just did 20 minutes but felt a little better about myself.

Then got my bike ready – racking tomorrow. Headed up to get some cash and my lunch. Card refused. Back to room, online, enough money in account. Back to another bank, refused. Decide to risk whether my credit card will be accepted at the till. Luckily it is and I’m saved embarrassment. So international call to bank from my hotel phone, on hold for ages to find that the lady I spoke to before coming out hadn’t put in I was in Hawaii so it had been blocked. At least it’s sorted. Rushed to make my coffee meet with Roger. Really hadn’t been a great day for my preps. Far from being a relaxed confidence building day. It had been rushed with several disasters (ok thats a massive overstatement).

I tried to chill as I walked to meet Roger. Earlier in the day I’d seen a guy that I thought looked like Ken Purcell – I’ve never met this guy but have “seen” him on Endurance Corner. I saw him again so asked if he was Ken. It was ! He’d heard of me and asked if I was fit and before I could answer said “of course you’re always fit” – he won’t have realised it but given my day so far he’d helped A LOT !! Thanks Ken !

It was a 3 coffee chill out with Roger. He’s good to be around pre race. A calming influence. He’s up for this race and excited about it despite having a nightmare with his bike.

This evening was the banquet. I enjoy this event. It’s relaxed and fun. Phil Graves was up as the youngest male competing. We were near the VIP area and saw them refuse him entry ! So asked if he wanted to sit with us. He had his family to sit with but was confused that he had to go on stage but they wouldn’t let him through. We thought – they’ll let him through on Sunday !. When he got up on stage he was great. When asked about why he got in to Triathlon and Ironman he said he’d thought to himself “how hard can it be” !! What a star. I hope he really shows them come Saturday. The discussion continued a little about what I should put in my run special needs bag to ensure I go out to the Energy Lab – the best thing we came up with was my Passport.

The banquet has cheered me up a lot. It is awesome to be here. I think part of my funny mood was me thinking about my year and just how lucky I am to even be racing here. Not only to have qualified prior to the injury but to have somehow manage to get over that and in good enough shape to be contemplating this. Seeing all these people excited to do the race is awesome. Seeing all the people that have done it so many times is awesome. And then hearing Jo tell us how she could imagine at some point standing up because she’d done this race 20 times “why would I stop?” really made me smile.

Tomorrow the last day before the gun – here’s hoping I can get myself feeling happy, confident and up for it.

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