The last few days we’ve covered the swim and bike portion of the Kona Ironman…so that just leaves us the run. As you know, this is a full marathon (26.2 miles).
The run leg in Kona is a tale of two courses. You have the incredibly humid five-mile out-and-back stretch along Ali’i Drive, and then the hot and hilly eight-mile out-and-back on the Queen K. There are no spectators out on the Queen K…it gets very lonely. This is where your mental preparation matters just as much as your physical preparation. Without anyone cheering you on, your body will tell you to quit. Being able to manage the heat of the lava fields is what will make or break your run. The key is to keep your body temperature and heart rate down in the early stages of the run, which isn’t easy to do.
Once you make it off the Queen K, the descent down Palani will help you find those reserves. Adrenaline takes over and there’s little else to do but cruise in and soak up one of the longest (and coolest) finishing chutes in all of triathlon.
8.47 mile run – odd distance, I know, but it’s 7 laps around the road outside of the mall.
Lap 1: 9:38 (7:57/mile)
Lap 2: 9:44 (8:02/mile)
Lap 3: 9:41 (8:00/mile)
Lap 4: 9:49 (8:06/mile)
Lap 5: 9:52 (8:09/mile)
Lap 6: 9:45 (8:03/mile)
Lap 7: 9:13 (7:37/mile)
This was my last “long” run before the Louisville Half-Marathon next weekend, so I wanted to have a good strong run for a confidence boost if nothing else. I made an effort to run a steady pace at the beginning so that I would have something left in the tank for the last few laps – and it worked. I was able to push it the last lap (obvious by the time) and still felt good at the end. Perfect run for what I wanted to do. Time to taper down before the race!