Saturday was our last day to prepare for the triathlon. Dave Scott was a pioneer of the Ironman in the late 70s and 80s and spoke to us for about 1 hour. He gave us advice for open water swimming (since the water is clear, you can orient yourself by looking at the sky when you breath. Not sure how this helped, but I did and it worked. Might have been mental but I'm a smart guy...Our coach confirmed this helps but only because of the clear water in HI and not in the murky bay near San Francisco, which is weird to me because it seems to mean disorienting yourself down in the water and up to the heavens, but I'm a new triathlete and willing to give it up for Zeus and Poseidon if necessary). Anyway, he also kept talking about electrolyte drink this and electrolyte drink that and I thought, hmm, I wasn't planning to use a sports drink. My very carefully thought out plan was swim, wait 15 minutes into the bike ride, drink some water, eat a cliff bar, and take gus/sports chews every 30 minutes thereafter. He said we might want to rethink this as drinks have more sodium which we will need if we sweat a lot. Guilty. Food plan - out the window and mental note to buy an electrolyte drink.
After the talk, our team did a short swim/bike/run. During the swim, I passed over a sea turtle just hanging out over some corral. I slowed down a bit but kept swimming until I heard someone scream, "Turtle! Turtle!" as half the team gave up the swim and hovered over the turtle. We then rode our bikes out of the resort onto the highway, following the actual course. I was flying on the bike thinking I was just going to cruise through the 40 KM ride. I was behind a friend and when she turned all I heard was, "Holy f(#&*#(&ng sh@(*&$t!" which I thought was bizarre. I turned my bike and thought, "Holy f(#&*#(&ng sh@(*&$t!" I was flying with the wind. I was destroyed turning around into it. That's when I started getting nervous, 12 miles into a 30 mph wind? What was I doing?
We did a quick run, tire change clinic, rest, pasta dinner, and mental preparation for the race. This included buying a sports drink and rethinking my nutrition plan and promising myself "No water for at least 15 minutes after the swim" because your body has to adjust to be vertical again. If i drink before that, I get an upset stomach. You have to know your body and trust your nutrition plan. I mentally prepared myself to complete the swim, bike in the wind, and rock the run. I was nervous but ready.