Switzerland and Hawaii are a far, far ways apart. But luckily enough the trip was pretty smooth, no crazy stories. My timing leaving Leysin was just right. Most of September had pretty amazing weather, pretty much until my last weekend there, when the temperature plummeted, and the rain started. My last ride I was wearing a hat under my helmet, and full gloves, a sign that it was time to go soon. So although I was very sad to be leaving Leysin, the thought of not needing to pack mittens for Kona was a happy one. It even made the long trip a little more bearable.
My first day in Kona was a cloudy, rainy day, just to make the transition from Switzerland a little easier I guess. I was all excited to swim in an outdoor pool. I am not sure why, but swimming outdoors is a treat. It is still the same black line at the bottom, and the same small space, but somehow is much more fun. Of course it does present some big challenges- tan lines. Swimming in an outdoor pool means you will tan faster than Paris Hilton can get her spray tan done. So, the very important decision to make is- low or high? Do you wear your swim cap low down, so that it merges with your goggles and hence no tan line? Or do you wear the cap really high, so it just touches the top of your forehead and the tan line is in line with your hair? Seems silly, but once you see someone with half a tanned and half a white forehead you will never make the same mistake again.
The most exciting thing at the pool was that I found someone who is worse at flip turns than I am- Chrissie Wellington. Yup, she was in the lane beside me, and after a few turns I realized I gain at least a body length each time we turned at the same time. Now in most workouts when I start a turn beside someone else I most often find myself a bit behind after the turn. Frustrated one day I asked Doc why I was losing time on the turns, not that it matters in an open water swim, but in a pool workout it adds up, and making pace times is tougher if I lose a few seconds each time. Doc just laughed, said it was nothing technical, I just wasn’t very hydrodynamic compared to most of the others ( meaning a bit too much bossom- not enough sleek flat surface).