Many eyes are currently on Mirinda Carfrae with the 2010 Ford Ironman World Championships approaching rapidly. The 2009 runner-up is no longer a rookie and thus more dangerous than before. She had a few words with us.
Slowtwitch: Mirinda you have been in Kona a few days now, how have you adjusted?
Mirinda: Yup I got in on Friday of last week, I came in from LA so it was a pretty easy adjustment plus it's been relatively cool here this week so not to much to adjust to really.
ST: There are a few athletes who have been there already for weeks. Did you consider that option too?
Mirinda: I did consider coming in earlier, there is always that risk of the weather changing in Boulder in September so I knew I wanted out of CO before that might happen (although I believe they have a had a beautiful September up there this year). I always do a race 4 weeks out from my biggest race of the year so I packed up for Muskoka 70.3 and decided to head to Santa Monica after that for a small training block. My coach is based out of SM and she has a great training set up there. That gave me 10 days in California before heading into Kona 2 weeks before race day. That's when I arrived for the race in 2009 and I figure that turned out pretty well.
ST: Do you feel that even more eyes are watching you this time around, and if so, does that add pressure?
Mirinda: To be honest I really don't think it has affected me all that much this year, I was definitely a little surprised at the attention I got leading into the race last year but I guess I kind of expected it this year and it hasn't seemed as intense.
ST: Going into Kona this time, how has your approach changed and what was the biggest lesson you learned last year?
Mirinda: Yeah for sure, last year I really had no idea how to pace myself and to be honest was more concerned with making it to that finish line.. There are a lot of lessons I will be taking into this years race, I guess the biggest one is to trust the training I have done and race my race, last year I spent a lot of the bike pacing off the more seasoned IM pro's.
ST: You had a few fun challenges with Julie Dibens the last few months, who started all that?
Mirinda: That's a great question I really have no idea who started all of this - Julie and I just get along so well and love to have a laugh, there is always a lot of smack talking going on between us and I guess it's just become more public since we are both lining up to race in Kona this year.
ST: Who will take round 2 of the swim challenge with both of you well rested?
Mirinda: Oh.. is that even a question.... Seriously I am swimming free against her backstroke. I mean I'm not the best swimmer around but I think I will have her in round two just like I crushed her in round 1 hahaha. Now that I said that I will no doubt screw it up - round 2 will be the best possible scenario for Dibs, she is so much better than me on those turns and we will be doing it in a 25y pool - in Boulder when we raced last time we were swimming in meters.
ST: Is she also whom you consider your toughest competitor for the "other race" in Kona? :-)
Mirinda: Toughest competitor? I think there are a bunch of super tough chicks out there but Julie is definitely one on the top of my list.
ST: What are your predictions for the men's race?
Mirinda: I will never bet against Crowie, I think he is faster than last year and he wants it just as bad as ever. My podium picks are Crowie, Rasmus and Andy R - in no particular order.
ST: Anything else we should know?
Mirinda: Yup if you are not on twitter, please sign up and follow me. If you are already on twitter and following me and Dibs then I strongly urge you to consider un-following her just for the day after the race. We have our last twitter battle for 2010 - person who has the most followers at midnight the night after the race (where we will both be partying hard at the K-Swiss after party) wins - serious bragging rights at stake! I will not hear the end of it if Dibs takes the 2010 twitter title.