Friday, October 30, 2009

10 Lessons from Kona

Before I let go of my Kona experience and step of it I thought I'll share with you my Kona experience list. By this time I'm sure you wish I will stop blogging about Kona, It's over, done, nothing I can do about it. But the way I am is to always over analyze things and look at all the "what ifs". After looking at all the "what ifs" here is my "back to the drawing board" list.
This is my list of things that I will do differently when I race in Kona again. And as you will see when you read point one, it's my list so you can read it and listen to it but be very careful to use it.

1. Don't take advice from everybody.
It is good to listen to advice from all the different people you interact with but be very careful if you decide to use the advice. Now that I raced in Kona I will be more prepared and in no sense am I arrogant or over confident but I listened to too many people giving me advice and at the end of the day my body would have given me the best indication of what to do on race day. Maybe it was suppose to be like that as I never raced there before. After three Ironman South Africa's I know exactly what to expect of that particular course even if I can't predict race day conditions. At least I know now what to expect when I race Kona again.
2. Get a swim coach.
I now I've said it in the past but if I want to be competitive I will need to get a swim coach. Even if I need to drive to another city (Pretoria or Johannesburg) due to the fact that Witbank don't have someone that can help me improve my swimming. I believe the new Gym that has just opened will have a swim coach soon, hopefully I can come right there. If I carry on the way I'm doing now I will always play catch up on the bike and catching up 20 minutes is never easy especially if it is the World Championships. And when you have a bad day on the bike, like I did it puts more pressure on you when you start the run leg.

3.Loose weight.
To be really competitive I will need to loose weight and I believe my ideal race weight is 75kg. I've seen in Kona that 95% of the competitors are just muscle and bone, no excess fat not even 1%. I said to Kim when we were in Kona that if someone wants to loose weight they must just visit Kona during the two weeks leading up to the race. You just see one perfect body after the other, make you really feel that you are at the wrong place if you have excess fat.

4.Do more open water swimming.
It was difficult to train during the winter but I will need to do more open water swimming. During the whole 20 week block I did not train once in the sea or dam, all my swimming was in the Gyms pool. I am sure that by doing more open water swimming I will have a better sense of where I am going and won't swim zig zag most of the time. The continuous swimming without stopping at the wall every 25 meter will also improve my fitness I believe.

5. Fit some secondary race into my schedule.
During my 20 week training block I did not do one race not even a 10km road race never mind a Triathlon. When I trained for Ironman South Africa I did three half Ironmans in the twenty weeks leading up to the race with one or two Olympic Triathlons and the odd 10km road race. I didn't feel "sharp" on race day and I was missing that little spark. I thought that by putting on the mileage on weekends instead of doing a race it will help me build strength. Now I know I should have done some races during my training block leading up to Kona.

6. Arrive earlier in Kona.
We arrived nine days before the race in Kona and although it sounds like we were there long before the race I still had jet lag. South Africa differs 12 hours from Hawaii and with us being 9 days there I thought it was enough but it wasn't. They say that you need a day for every hour that you change time zones, next time I need to arrive two weeks before the race to give me at least 14 days to adapt. Up to the day before the race I was falling asleep at 7pm but were awake at 3am.

7. Attend some "Training Camps"
Training during the winter is a real challenge especially if you try to adapt to the heat and humidity that is waiting for you. I will need to go away in future for some weekends to the northern part of South Africa or to the North Coast of SA where it is warmer during the winter. Maybe I need to create my own mini "training camps" over weekends to train in warmer and more humid conditions.

8. Different Travel plans.
It was a wonderful experience visiting London on our way to Kona and spend three days there but next time I will try and get to Hawaii as quickly as possible and leave the holiday for after the race. As soon as you are in that holiday feeling it's difficult getting out of it and concentrate 100% on the race.

9. Watch the Food and Drinks.
Being in that holiday spirit, I ate too much and enjoyed the restaurant food and the beer too much. Save this for after the race. Because it is so hot I didn't think anything of having a beer or two after I've done my training for the day. But after nine days of eating out and drinking beer I felt bloated and heavy on race day.

10. Race more aggressively.
Next time I will definitely race more aggressively. Now I know I was too relaxed and was competing just to finish. At the end of the day it's a World Championship and you are there to give it you all. I was so scared of collapsing due to the heat that I ended up taking it too easy.

Well there you have it, the things I will do differently next time I visit Kona. For now Kona is something of the past and I need to concentrate on the challenges that lay ahead but I won't put the list to far away as I already need to start working on some of these points to help me be successful next time I visit Kona.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Concert, Conference and Challenge

My "friendly scale" my companion for the next six weeks.

It's been three days since I embarked on this six week challenge to loose some weight before my training block starts for Ironman South Africa.

So far it's been going well and better than expected and I haven't cheated once. I thought that I will loose the four kilos I gained during the last two weeks faster but I only lost one kg so far.

The real challenge will be during the next two days as I'm attending the annual VW conference down in Port Elizabeth. Like any conference there is a lot of eating and drinking. Hopefully I can avoid all that.

The one nice thing about being down in PE is that I will be able to do my morning run on the Ironman run route. PE is the host city for Ironman South Africa. The hotel I'm staying in is also right on the run route.

Last night we attended DJ's school concert, boy did I enjoy it. It's amazing to see all those school kids performing and giving their all.

Just some feedback on the blender,it's still not working. Hopefully the pc board will be repared soon.
Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Blew up the Blender

This is the blender that Kim received when she attended The Ellen Show in LA when we were there after Kona. She asked me to fit a South African plug that will work on our wall sockets and I keep postponing it until tonight.

I fitted the plug and plugged it into the wall socket to test it out. Just as I pushed power there was a big bang and smoke coming out of the front. I thought I fitted the wires on the plug the wrong way and double check, it were right. Just to make double sure I phoned my electrician friend and then he gave me the bad news and the reason the blender is not working anymore.

In the US they work on 110v but in South Africa we work on 220v, thus creating a power surge when I switched it on. He said he can have a look at the PC board I try fixing it but even if it's fixed we would need a power adapter to convert the power from 220v to 110v.

Can't believe I'm so stupid not knowing that different countries have different voltage outputs. Needless to say Kim is so mad at me and I am not her favourite person right now. I said to her don't worry I'll fix it. I really hope I can or I'm gonna loose weight faster than I want to without having any meals prepared.

All that carrying of this heavy blender for this( should have donated it to someone in the US)

On a happier note DJ is having a Halloween night at the dance school tonight. She is so excited and you can see she is glad to be back at the dance school after missing it for a month

She decided to dress as Tinkerbell.Forgot to post this picture. My sister and Mother welcomed us back last week with balloons and a bottle of champagne. They arranged the outside of our house and also the front door and our dinner table with all these balloons and streamers. It was so kind of them and we enjoyed the champagne the same day with dinner which they also prepared.
This is a picture of my new dog Eddy, that I got when we arrived back in SA. It is a Jack Russell and as you can imaging it is very active. Only time I can take a picture of him is when his sleeping otherwise he is not featuring in any of the pictures I take of him.

I said to Kim this is my new training partner as no one in the family wants to train with me, maybe Eddy will be the one.

I even got a dog shirt from Nina when we were in LA with his name and "Tri-dog" written on the back. It is too big for him now but will fit him soon. Maybe he will become a real tri dog later in is life.
Today is also the first day of my 6 week challenge to loose some weight and get race ready before my 20 week Ironman South Africa training block starts. I saw in Kona that if I really want to be competitive I will need to loose weight. I was 3kg heavier in Kona than at IM South Africa and I could feel it.
I found a really good website where you log the food you eat and it keeps track of your calories. I guess there are so many websites that offer this service but this one is free and it's easy to work on. You can also load your own food if you have the nutritional info. In the past I had my little black book in which I wrote all my food in but then I had to manually calculate the carbs, protein and fat. This website does it for you. You can even log your training that's been done for the day and if you log in your target weight it gives you a graph on how you're doing.
For the first day of my challenge it really went well if you consider the post Kona two week "binging" I've been on. I gained a shocking 4 kg in these two weeks. Losing the first 4 kg will be easy compared to the 3kg that will follow and then the last stretch to get race weight ready.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kona race report (part 3 Run)

The first part of the run leg was not fun but after about an hour the cramping suddenly disappeared. Don't know if it was because I only drank Coke at the aid stations. Although I trained to use Gels and Gatorade on the run I decided to skip it for a while as I was scared the cramping will become worst.

The first 16 odd kilometer is not that bad as you run along Alii drive and in town but then you run for about 25 kilometers on the highway and into the Energy Lab and don't see many spectators, basically only the fellow athletes and aid station helpers.

Running towards the energy lab was hard and the sun was blazing. It was 35c at Ironman South Africa this year but nothing can prepare you for the humidity. It felt like I was cooking from the inside and I struggled to cool my body down. I was pouring ice into the front of my pants and some inside my hat. This helped a lot, later on I even poured ice into the back of my race top.

As I ran I wondered how to they keep the ice from not melting as it was already afternoon and my Redd Bull was warm and Milky Bars melted by 11 am.

Having my family pictures with me on the run also helped a lot and kept my mind busy and thinking of other stuff than the heat.

The energy lab was hot and it was a real challenge going in and knowing if you get out there is 10km to go sort of motivates you.

My heart rate was constant and it never went above 148. A lot of people warned me that you must be careful that you don't dehydrate or just collapse during the run due the the extreme heat. After exciting the Energy Lab I realized that I was taking it to easy and could have increase the pace sooner as my heart rate was in the 130's and I felt good.

As someone once said "The best advice he ever received was not to listen to all the advice you get". Something I must remember in future as I was so scared of collapsing due to the heat that I did not push hard enough.

Entering town and running down Palani hill was very emotional. When you run that long on the highway without many spectators and trying to handle the heat it is really special running down Palani road and all these people cheering you on and lifting your spirit.

Knowing it is only 1 kilometer to go I started soaking up the atmosphere. Lot of people were shouting at me to move on as I can break 11 hours. With me just wanting to finish and not thinking of the time I was enjoying it and really slowed down a lot.

The last part on Alii drive was magic and I slowed down even more but it felt like it was over before it even started. Crossing the finish line made me feel so good and I didn't even think of the miserable bike leg I had.

After crossing the finish line I had two helpers taking me to the athletes area. They made me feel like a king, helping me getting there and keep asking me if I was OK.

The finishers medal and T-shirt are given to you at the finishers area and not at the finish line. They had me worry for a while when I crossed the finish line and no medal.

After that I had some Pizza to get something salty in my system and then I went for a massage.

Must say it was the best ever post race massage I had. Not like IMSA where they only massage your legs, it is a full body massage. There was also no time limit as at IMSA and I think it must have taken at least 20 minutes. At least some luck was on my side as I had an Asian lady doing my massage, I believe they are just above the rest when it comes massages.

After the massage I walked towards the entrance to the post race area and got hold of Kim and DJ. They were so happy to see me and we went to the photo area to have our picture taken.

Finishing the race and having my family there to experience it is something that will stay with me forever.

Time: 3h54:47
Pace: 5:32 min/km
Heart rate: 140 ave
Kcal: 3717
Cadence: 87
Stride length: 110

Total Time: 10h58:09

Position (age group 35-39) 137/206
Overall: 753/1776

Kona race report (part 2 Bike)

As soon as I got onto the bike I was getting stomach cramps. I thought it will disappear if I am on the bike for some time but it got worst. On a lot of the downhills I was free wheeling to see if the cramping can disappear.

It felt like I was having gas but I could not let go of it.

The first segment in town was done before I even realised and then it was onto the Queen K highway. At the 50 kilometer mark, the Tri Travel bus was waiting with our family members. It was extra motivation seeing Kim and DJ waving at me when they spotted me.

With the cramping I just could not find any rhythm and as soon as the cramping disappear I will go strongly but then as soon as it hits me all the people I passed will re pass me again.

Just after the turnaround I got my special needs bag and although I froze the Milky Way bars and the Red Bull the night before it was all melted and the Red Bull was warm.

Luckily with all the cramping I could still eat and drink. The first half of the bike leg I didn't take any food or gels to see if the cramps disappear but when I kept having them I decided to start eating.

The first part after the turnaround is a nice downhill section and I could gain some time there flying at 60km/h+ at some stages.

But as I got to 40 kilometers to transition the headwind came up and was blowing strongly. I suddenly dropped to 20 to 25km/h.

I also had to remind myself constantly not to get too close to the person in front of me as I saw more Marshall's on the bike course than I've seen at three Ironman South Africa races. Not thinking at one stage of drafting but with most of the athletes going at a similar pace, the athletes tend to stick closer to each other than at Ironman South Africa where the abilities vary a lot.

The bike segment was done in 5h33, and needless to say way off the pace. I aimed for a 5 hour bike split but it was not to be. I consider myself as a strong biker, finishing the bike leg at Ironman South Africa this year in the Top 20 and that's including the Pro's.

I usually make up a lot of time on the bike which I lose during the swim leg but today was a disappointment and I saw my sub 10 disappearing over the Lava fields.

My average heart rate for the bike was 144 bpm which is where it was suppose to be ( not exceeding 148) but my power wattage was way off. It was 219 and it was suppose to be 245. I guess this is what happen if you freewheel a lot to try and contain the stomach cramps. At IM South Africa this year my average Watts were 236 and that was on a much flatter course than Kona. I trained and was prepared to maintained 245 but just could not get the power up.

Entering T2 I decided to go to the toilet to see if I can get rid of the cramps. Nothing happened and all I did was wasting time. Out of T2 in just over 5 minutes.

Bike Detail:
Time: 5h32:58
HR: 144 ave
Kcal: 3937
Watts: 219 ave
Cadence: 73 ave
Speed: 32.3 km/h

Interesting fact: According to Polar RS800CX watch there were 97 slopes on bike route?

Part 3 to follow.

Kona race report (part 1)

It is with mixed feeling that I am writing my Kona race report. One the one side I am very happy to have done it and experience the awesome week leading up to the race and to be able to complete the race in a not to shabby time.

One the other side I am frustrated and disappointed at some of the things that did not go according to plan, especially because it was the one day I dreamed and planned for since I began doing Ironman and I did put in a LOT of time, sacrifices and money to have a perfect day.

But as Luis Varges, my coach from said at the pre race breakfast, in our everyday life's things don't work out 100% everyday and we need to adapt to that and change our plans to get through the day, now why will race day be different?

I did aim for a very optimistic sub 10 hour finish, but my primary goal was to finish, which I did.

I woke up at 3:30 am and had my usual bowl of cereal and a peanut butter, banana sandwich with a coffee and a glass of Gatorade.

We arrived at Transition at about 5 am and after the body marking, fitting my bottles and all my stuff onto my bike and greeting the family I was at the swim start at about 6h30.

I entered the water 10 minutes before the start and stood in the shallow water until it was 5 minutes before the start. Everybody was lining up at either sides of the swim course and that was my plan too as they recommend that to people who are not good swimmers to start at the side.

As I swam to the start I saw that there were very few people in the middle and I decided to start my swim at the rear but in the middle. One mistake I made was I started to far behind, Being not a good swimmer I was scared to start to close to the front but by that I lost some time by starting way back.

The first 200 meters was chaos and everybody was just swimming over anybody but luckily I found some clean water and up to I guess the 1 kilometer mark I was swimming without anybody interfering. But just as I thought this is going the be a nice swim, it ended. The athletes were channeled by the life guards on the surf boards towards the buoys the closer we got to the turn around buoy. From there on it was chaos again, people pushing me down under, swimming over me and kicking me as soon as I got close to someone.

A lot of times I wanted to stop and catch a breath but all I could remember was my coaches saying to me not to stop as everybody from behind will swim right over you and then your done.

At the turn around buoy I looked at my watch and it showed 45 minutes, what a shock. I tried to up the pace but coming back I was not swimming in a straight line and was redirected by life guards on more than one occasion. At least the water wasn't that congested and although swimming zig-zag, I did not experience full body contact swimming on my way back.

When I swim for a long period I sort of go into my own world and don't take note of things happening around me. Just before the finish I suddenly saw this body laying on the ocean floor and I went into shock thinking someone has drowned while swimming only to realize it's the camera man with his diving equipment and camera filming it from under the water.

I excited the water at 1h22 and was surprised as I thought at the turnaround I am looking at a 1h30.

Preparing for Kona I wanted to swim a sub 1h15 but during my training swims leading up to the race the week before I realized it was not going to happen. All my swim training was done at the gym's pool and it's difficult predicting a time for an open water swim if you are only used to pool swimming. Due to the fact that I was training throughout winter, open water swimming was not possible.

T1 was good with no hick ups. I was handed my bag and got rid of the speed suit and was out of T1 in 3 minutes.

Onto the bike but this is where things went pear shape.

Part 2 to follow

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Give a little

During our recent visit to Kona we met Dana and Nina and stayed with them for one night in Los Angeles before we flew to Kona. We never knew them before but after meeting on Twitter Nina and Dana were so nice to offer us some homestay accomodation.

They are a very pleasant couple and went out of their way to accomodate me, Kim and Dejone. When we arrived back from Kona they even drove to our hotel before we were heading for South Africa and came to say good bye.

You probably are wondering now why do I tell you about these two special people and by special I mean really special if you continue reading.

They are both doing Ironman 70.3 Longhorn this weekend in Austin Texas but what is making there participation so special is that they are raising money for the Livestrong Cancer Foundation. Dana is a leukemia cancer survivor and Nina's mother is a breast cancer survivor.

Personally for me I don't have family or friends (until now) that's been affected by cancer. It is so easy to just carry on with your daily healthy life and forget about all those people that suffer directly or indirectly due to Cancer.

I know times are very tough but I am asking to please spare something and contribute to Dana's and Nina's fundraiser. There aim was to raise $5000 for the Ironman Longhorn challenge and currently they are at about $2500, halfway there. Even if it is only $10 anything will help.

Please visit the following link if you feel you can make a small difference in some Cancer affected person's life.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Good Bye LA

It's Friday and we need to say goodbye to LA and return to SA and real life. The last three days was awesome in LA.

We visited Venice beach today as we only had the morning free and with the LA traffic I don't want to take a chance driving somewhere.

Me and DJ in front of muscle beach in Venice.

What a place to see, Venice beach. By not being insulting I haven't seen so many weirdo's together in a long time at one place. There is people and characters from all shapes and sizes.

After our short visit to Venice beach we headed back to Santa Monica to grab something to eat for Lunch. Not being funny by I wasn't prepared to eat something on the promenade in Venice, It just spelled upset stomach all over.
Getting what the mass in America and all the Tourist eat, McDonald's. And can you super size me with a bottomless Coke please.

We finished lunch and then checked out the hotel. Dana and Nina came to say good bye and it was really cool to see them again. We chatted in the hotel Lobby for almost two hours, before we had to go to the airport. If we didn't have to leave for the airport we could have easily have chatted another 2 hours.

We then started our 2 day and 30 hours of planes and airports, including a 8 hour stopover in London. Going through all the security again is really time consuming and it gives you a good workout getting shoes off, shoes on, belt off, belt on. Then it's unpack this bag repack it again. But I guess it is to make it safer for us all.

What I could not understand is they won't let people take a nail clipper of 3cm on the plane but I had 2 big beer glasses and 3 coffee mugs in my hand bag as gifts because I was sure it will break in the check in suit case. Then I had two Laptop security cables and all the cameras and cellphone electrical cords in my hand luggage. Aren't those items dangerous?

Surely a big beer glass if broken is much more dangerous than a 3cm nail clipper?

Being a Child again, only for one day

The Stemmet's meeting the Simpson's

Sorry for the delayed post but I was just running out of time in LA to update the blog on our last two days in Los Angeles.

We went to Universal Studios on Thursday and boy did we had a ball. You really loose track of everything and just enjoy yourself. Dejone was out of her skin meeting all these TV characters.

Me quickly sorting out Frankenstein.

DJ meeting some of the characters, don't ask me their names as I only know some of them but Dejone would see one and just shout there is so and so, and then we need to go meet them.
Scooby Doo and Shaggy. Hey watch your hands Shaggy!
We thought we were early by being there at ten as the gates open at ten but when we got there a queue of about 50 meters already formed. I guess it was because of the previous day's rainy weather and being a lovely sunny day that the people just wanted to get out.
Can you spot me in the picture above.
DJ with Donkey from Shrek. He asked DJ from where she was and when she replied SA, he said then she must be an African-American now that she is in the US. He was then cracking himself for his joke.
Dejone with her Homer Bottle, you buy the bottle with a drink and then you can refill it the whole day for 99c.

We spend some time there until 1pm and then we drove over to the Warner Bros lot were we dropped Kim off, to go to a Ellen DeGeneres TV show recording.

Me and DJ went back to Universal and was then enjoying ourselves until the park closed at 5pm.

We drove back to pick up Kim and when we got there they just finished and the each member of the audience got a Pink Blender for breast cancer. Well another item to take back to SA as the first thing Kim said when she got in the car is, "I am not leaving this here, it's coming with ( another thing apart from the bike, 3 cases and hand luggage, Johan the sherpa can carry)
During the day we also attended a show where they showed us how they use animals in movies and how they use special effects to create scenes. This Parrots in the picture above is trained just to open it's wings and glide in front of a huge fan. This is done in front of a green screen and they then later just add whatever image or background they want.
They say the most difficult animal to train is a cat.

We then went back to Universal to the City Walk section and browsed around in all the shops and had dinner at The Hard Rock Cafe, the same place me and Kim enjoyed a meal in 2000.

Luckily Universal and Warner Bros. is 10 minutes apart and you get a day pass for Universal so you can leave and enter as many times as you want on the day.

We arrived back at the hotel very late and we just could not believe the amount of cars still on the road at that time of night, it's crazy. I think the traffic in LA never stops.

The next morning as soon as DJ woke up she was just talking about meeting all the characters. It was really a wonderful experience at Universal and being a kid for one day.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Stuck in the Middle

Today was a challenging day in LA. It's been raining non stop. We decided to go do some sightseeing today. Now look at the SUV that DJ is standing next to, her head only comes to the mirror.
Now take this huge SUV, add some left hand drive, add some OK plenty of rain, add traffic ten times the volume that we are used to in Johannesburg and you are heading for a difficult outing.
That's not where it stops. Family and friends who knows Kim know than she is a very stressful passenger in a car especially if I drive. Now put Kim in the passenger seat add the above and add some irritating GPS lady voice.
I was going crazy. At one point I unplugged the lady and said to Kim I wish I could unplug her also. She didn't think I was funny.
Luckily it stopped raining later in the afternoon and they forecast some sunny weather tomorrow, hope they're right.
Visiting the Walk of Fame where the pavement is full of film star names in stars. Me keeping Elvis dry.

Only in LA, a guy riding his bike on the pavement with a monkey face mask.

Kim's own star with a little bit of help from her right foot.

We visited the Santa Monica pier late this afternoon for a sun downer drink.

Tonight we went to a Ice Hockey game. It was the Anaheim Ducks playing the Minnesota Wild. The Ducks won 3-2. It was really a great experience and we enjoyed it so much. DJ was so happy and was living herself into the game and cheering and shouting. She suddenly became a Ducks supporter with her foam hand. It was the first time I went to a Hockey game and I enjoyed it, even saw a fight ( on the ice) in the first period. Was something to experience, all the players and refs are standing around and let the two guys sort themselves out. If it was rugby in South Africa half the teams would be fighting with some spectators also.
There is also a lot of food at the game and the people ( including us ) ate a lot. I am so glad I am not living in the US, I will be gaining all the weight I lost by doing Triathlons within a month.
Even at the take outs, everything is super size and free refills, amazing.
Tomorrow we are heading to Universal studios and Kim is also attending a recording of the Ellen show. She is looking forward to it. Me and DJ will keep our self busy while she's at Ellen.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Goodbye Kona

This morning we said goodbye to Kona and took an early flight out of Kona to Honolulu. From there we headed to Los Angeles. I know it sounds so typical but it was really a sad moment for me, the whole Kona experience surpassed all my expectations.

Simon Ward (@TriathlonCoach on twitter) said yesterday when he flew back to the UK, he is doing the travel triathlon. Well we also started with our Travel Triathlon. Today from Kona to LA was the swim leg, short and not that demanding. Friday we do the bike leg, long and hard going from LA to London. Then on Saturday it's the run leg, from London to Johannesburg and it's always the run leg that is taking the most out of you.

We arrived in LA just after 4pm and luckily we had no issues with luggage, everything there and everything in one piece. From there we headed to the car rental company and after the guy saw all the baggage plus the bike he suggested that we upgrade from a compact SUV to a SUV. And as they say it's the easiest to sell something to a salesmen. The guy convinced me and now we are driving this huge Chevy SUV and a left hand drive , something I'm not used to. It's even bigger than the VW Touareg than I drive in SA.
So ironic we've been living in these hot and humid conditions for almost two weeks and when we arrived in LA it's raining and cold.
The next two and a half days is going to be fun, we have so many things planned and I'm looking forward to just enjoy myself and don't think about what training session is next to do. I said to Kim yesterday I am now officially on a week long binging spree.
We are staying at the Holiday Inn right on the Santa Monica beach/Pier. Nina Jack helped me with choosing the hotel and I must say I am really impressed so far with the Hotel and what you get for what you pay, it is good value for money.
Even Dejone has her own double bed in the family room and not a sleeper couch like the apartment in Kona.
Last night we had a BBQ in Kona as a farewell dinner and I taught Dejone how to braai. Although it was fish and not that difficult as meat it was fun as she managed well.
Before we came to Kona, Kim said that we won't come back very soon even if I qualify within the next year or two, as it is just to expensive for South Africans to make the journey. Apart from flying half way round globe ( 29 hours in 4 planes), the exchange rate also does not make it easy.
After Saturday Kim's attitude has changed somewhat. Although she is not saying it blunt out the way she's talking, I think if I qualify again we would make a plan to experience Kona again. It is just magical.
DJ playing around in the shuttle towards the car rental company.