A turquoise Statue of Liberty was not exactly what I thought I would see...
Day 2 in Korea....just a little long.Day 2 in Korea and the weather looked nice and clear. The only issue at the moment is the surf. The winds on the Island are very high with the typhoons moving through the region, and have brought in double overhead surf conditions (Paul and Roch would be loving it....). Had the race been today, the swim would most certainly have been cancelled.....and to be honest things are very touch and go for the rest of the week.
Anyway the game plan was to head out for a nice easy couple of hours on the bike. I really wanted to see the new part of the course that winds along at the base of the volcano. Murphy's instructions were...'just head up, keep going up, until you intersect with the high road'. So , off I went, and up it was - 3-4 miles straight up, with pitches that had me standing and grunting in my smallest gear. Nice start for the day. When I finally got to the high road about 20 minutes or so later, thats where things got confused. I thought I had intersected the course at about 150km, so I turned and rode the course backwards for about half an hour to the top of the big climb and then turned around and headed back the correct way.
Well just shortly after I passed my intersecting point and was barreling along with a great tailwind, I saw a mark on the road that said 120km. No way - I had already been out for over an hour and a half and now I still had 60km to go. So I continued on, sure that I would be able to cut down off the mountain in about 10km or so. But it was not to be.....after another 10 miles I realised that short of turning back and climbing back up the mountain, I had no idea of where I was, and my Korean is non existent. I was commited to following the arrows and riding. Luckily I had packed a couple of bars, and had money with me. In the stifling heat and humidity I ran out of fluid quickly and was grateful to be able to stop and replenish my gatorade and water. It was sort of a blessing in disguise I guess....the profile of the course gives the impression that once you come down the mountain, the ride is pretty much over.....not so at all. It actually winds for about another 20-25 miles along these small roads with gradual inclines and if the prevailing winds stay - straight into a headwind. This would have been a big downer on race day. (Come to find out from Jan Strangmeuller who won the race last year - that was exactly what happened to him).
So keeping remembrances of Ironman Japan so may years ago where Dave Scott was lost out on the course for 5 hours just days before the race - and then had a great day....I settled in rode easy and thoroughtly enjoyed the scenery. I finally made it back to the hotel well over 3 hours later, having ridden about 60 or so miles. It's never to late to train....right!
After a hefty lunch, some Olympics and chill time - I decided to complete the day with a late afternoon run with Christian Bustos, whom I have not seen in many, many years. It was good to catch up with him as we ran along the coast marvelling at the immense surf pounding onto the volcanic beaches. We were in mutual agreement that the current weather conditions were going to make it a tough day......it is so easy to forget how such oppressive humidity can make a jog feel like a track workout.
After watching the internet live coverage of the womens triathlon in Olympics, it was of to dinner with Nick Munting of Ironmanlive (yes I am doing a better job than him so far reporting from Korea), and Jan. We found a wonderful restaurant where we feasted on everything imaginable, shrimp, steak, vegetables, flambe banana's and much more.
So tomorrow my taper starts....really!