Ben Williams

Honu Race Thoughts

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Sunrise(beautiful sunrise, Thursday morning)

It’s not often you have such a great excuse to wake up early enough to catch this view. The momentum that this season has gained is getting fun. Knowing that there is a short mid-season break (and the Kona Beer truck) waiting on the other side of Saturday’s finish line certainly helps the morale.

Packet pickup this morning went super smooth. It is truly a special occasion to have so many familiar faces around the venue. Tomorrow morning will be the last run through, making sure everything is working the best it can.

The swim will be beautiful. The map has us swimming much further out than we went on the training days. That will be something to look for tomorrow morning, especially if the buoys are out. It will be interesting to see what the current is doing out in the deeper water. In the last couple mornings, at least in the area we were swimming, the current seemed to be running from left to right across the bay at a difference of about 3 seconds / 100 yards. Something to look for tomorrow, and it will be interesting to check the tide schedule.

Cycling will come down to decision making about the things out of my control. This is where the top guys will really shine. Transition will be a treat, to have a front row spot and light traffic. My swim has improved enough that I anticipate being able to hold some feet for a little while longer than usual. The bike though, will be where the race starts for the top guys. The spin back to Mauna Lani will be a good chance to get food down the hatch. Once we make the u-turn it will be time to light the fires out to Kawaihae. That will be the warmup for the climb up to Hawi. That climb is where the day’s 40 minute max power is hoped to turn up. The climb to Hawi is a rolling one that can grind on you if the winds are right, I hope to take advantage of this.

The Hawi descent is quick from the top to about half way down. Then if the winds are right, they stop working in your favor. The plan is to max out on food intake during that fast section, then try to keep it steady and recover for the rest of the trip home.

Of course if I get out of the water  in the race this plan goes out the window…

The run will decide for itself on Saturday. My hips have been bothering me. An effort to work them loose may have actually caused more inflammation and now they feel a little bruised. I patiently took today completely off from anything that might aggravate them. Some gentle stretching was introduced  in a couple new positions but otherwise they were left alone. Tomorrow I will re-evaluate, but often times this kind of stuff has a way of working itself out on race day.

This is so exciting. It is weird to have so much anticipation for a race, especially after such a packed spring of racing. The last couple of years before Honu, and especially before Kona, the feeling and morale has been really zonked. Stressed. Worn out. Today my body has felt better but my mind has never felt so fresh or sharp heading into a race. It will be interesting to see what that equates to. Right now my mental vision is very clear.

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One thought on “Honu Race Thoughts

  1. So you thought there was a head current in the water? Interesting we totally thought it was tail current this morning? I’ll keep my fingers crossed for head current! ;) I have had my share of hip issues this year too… challenging situation or sure BUT I have learned *so much* this spring in my quest to figure it out! Hope yours hold up tomorrow. Cheering for you!

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