IMCdA Pre-Race Preparation

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the companies listed in this post. Brand/product names are provided for strictly informational purposes. 

The days leading up to an Ironman are very busy. With proper preparation and a strong support system, it can be a fun and stress-free experience.

I planned every detail of the trip with comfort in mind.

Air travel makes me cranky so the BF and I road-tripped from San Jose to Coeur d’Alene. By driving, I didn’t have to worry about bike transport, baggage restrictions, or flight delays. We split the 17 hour drive up over two days and spent a night in Bend, OR. The drive would’ve been a bit shorter if I wasn’t trying so hard to stay hydrated. I needed to use the bathroom every hundred miles 🙂

Instead of staying at a hotel in Coeur d’Alene, we rented a house from airbnb. This turned out to be a great decision. I had a fully stocked kitchen to prepare meals and didn’t have to deal with carrying my gear from a parking lot to a hotel room.  The house was about 4 miles from the Ironman Village; close enough to be convenient yet far enough to be removed from the commotion.

My favorite Coeur d'Alene landmark

My favorite Coeur d’Alene landmark

Being an Ironman rookie, I was very fortunate to have a teammate, Amy, with me that had completed IMCdA in the past. She guided me through everything on race weekend.  Friday, we met up early for a practice swim and shakeout run before getting in line for packet pickup. My to-do list for the day was complete by 10:30 and I had the rest of the day to relax back at the house.

Preparing of takeoff!

Preparing for takeoff!

Saturday morning, Amy and I rode our bikes on the run course before meeting up with our coach to drive the bike course. Then we checked in our bikes and gear bags and waited for the race to start the next day.

Bidding farewell to the White Knight

Bidding farewell to the White Knight


You may have noticed that I love to make lists of everything. Here’s the breakdown of what I packed in my gear/special needs bags for the race. My goal was to be comfortable as possible so I did a full change in T1 and I packed my bags for a variety of contingencies.

Double-bag everything, especially if rain is possible the night before the race.

The volunteer helping me in the changing tent gave me a good piece of advice that I’ll use for my next Ironman.   Sprinkle powder inside all your clothes before packing them in your bike gear bag.  This will make it easier to put on tight clothes when your skin is wet.

Bike Gear Bag

Bike Special Needs

Run Gear Bag

Run Special Needs

  • Headlamp
  • Plantain chips
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich  *didn’t use
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Vegan on Vacation: Kauai

I had a late start contributing to the Vegan MoFo pandemonium because I was on vacation in Kauai the first week of October.  We went for my friend’s wedding and extended the trip to celebrate The BF’s 30th birthday, the following weekend.  At first, I was worried that I would have a hard time finding good food to eat, so I packed a bunch of Picky Bars and a weeks worth of Vega smoothies to make sure I didn’t starve.  It turns out, there was no need to worry, Kauai has many options to offer visiting herbivores!

In general, I try to avoid being the pain-in-the-ass vegan wedding guest.  I eat before and bring a snack bar in my purse so I don’t get stuck eating only garnish for the evening.  Planning a wedding is stressful, and I don’t want to make matters worse by expecting the bride and groom to cater to my relatively unusual dietary restrictions.  I hit the jackpot at this wedding and my emergency snack spent the whole evening in my handbag.  There was a bottomless platter of grilled veggies and the most awesome bride requested a special vegan plate for me (Curried lentil and rice cakes).  I imbibed in a few too many mai tais before the food arrived and forgot to take pictures.

The rest of this post is going to be light on words and heavy on pictures (mostly of food).  Here’s a list of things to do and places to eat that I recommend if you are fortunate to find yourself on the garden isle Kauai.

Places to eat:

Java Kai Kappa (Offering several non-dairy milks for your latte and a selection of vegan pastries)
Living Foods Market
Hoku Foods Natural Market  (The only place I found that still carries French Meadow sprouted grain bagels.  I bought every package they had in stock!)
Moloa’a Sunrise Juice Bar (The fresh non-alcoholic pina colada knocked my flip-flops off)
Postcards Cafe
Plantation Garden (This is where we had dinner for The BF’s birthday)

Things to do/places to see:

Waimea Canyon (and hike to Waipoo Falls)
Poipu Beach
Hanalei Bay
Hike the Kalalau and Hanakapi’ai Falls Trails (The 8-mile round-trip trek is worth the effort)
Tour the Na Pali Coast on a catamaran (we sailed with Captain Andy’s and the crew was fantastic)
RELAX!!!!

Lunch plate from Living Foods Market

Pina colada and fresh pineapple juice from Moloa’a Sunrise juice bar

Limeade and hibiscus cooler from Postcards Cafe

Seared polenta cakes from Postcards Cafe

The Tandoori with grilled tofu from Postcards Cafe

Chocolate silk pie from Postcards Cafe

The view from my morning runs

Fruits of our labor: free guava on the Hanakapi’ai Trail

View from the Kalalau trail

Yummy cocktails from Plantation Gardens

Tofu inari at Plantation Gardens

Tofu stir-fry from Plantation Gardens

A beautiful pair… of coconuts!