Monday, May 31, 2010

Swimming In The Salt Water Washing Machine

Yay for 3 day weekends!

This morning I met some fast swimmers down at the beach and we ventured out into the salt water machine machine we call The Ocean. It's been pretty windy on the islands lately and there was a little swell that came in this weekend so that combination of factors made for an interesting (but fun!) swim. My challenge was that I was the slowest one in my little group and my fear of being left behind (by myself in the deep blue sea!) was quite real. The result was that I worked very hard to hang on to the feet in front of me and I learned that, guess what? I can swim with those fast guys when I *really* want to. :)

Scott brought Moana down to the beach to play today too. I haven't had her in the ocean all that much lately because it just hasn't been warm enough... but today was pretty sunny and warm so we had fun playing in the water. My little fishy daughter... I'm so proud.

On the drive home my challenging goal was to keep her awake. I learned last week that a 5 minute nap in the car does indeed replace the 2.5 hour nap in the crib so I wasn't going to make that mistake again today. But tickling her from the front seat while also trying to drive only works for so long. What she needed was a new and interesting toy to play with. I dug around in my car and found an old brake lever from my bike* and boy did that do the trick! She was enthralled with it the whole way home and is now sleeping peacefully in her crib.

So the taper weekend went remarkably well. I nailed my workouts, best case scenario style, and managed not to over do it by adding in anything extra. You know, as good as I feel right now, I'm one of those athletes who actually hates taper. Not shocking, given how much I enjoy training... But the taper is almost over and on Saturday I'll be able to let loose. Lol. I feel like a caged animal.

I dropped my bike off today at ITB where the nice folks from TriBike Transport will fly it over to Kona for me. It costs a bit extra to do it that way, but when you're traveling with a toddler and a car seat and a stroller, well, it's worth it. Actually, the very best part of using a service like this is that as soon as the race is over, when you're just exhausted and don't think you can take one more step, you just hand your sticky dirty bike over to the people at the TBT tent and go home to shower. That, even without The Toddler Factor, is a reason to use this service.

*The brake lever was removed from my bike last week (along with most of the other moving parts) by the mechanics at ITB. They are apparently not very impressed by my bike maintenance skills which made it necessary to replace just about everything that can possibly be replaced on a TT bike. I like to think that the 3000+ miles I've ridden this year have something to do with that, but they swore it was my lack of maintenance. Whatever. My bike feels brand spanking new right now and that's all that matters.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


One of the best things to do with a 19 month old on a Saturday afternoon is to take her to a party. Or "Par-tay!" as Moana would say. She loves parties. And we do too since they keep her completely entertained and wear her out all at the same time.

The party today was in an awesome backyard at a friend's house and there were going to be plenty of other kids for M to play with. Perfect. So she woke up from her nap and I asked her if she wanted to go to a party? "YES!" Of course.

Now that she goes to day care sometimes she has much better social skills and really likes playing with other kids. Check out how she nails Conner with the ball. Friendly, no?

In good news, it doesn't appear that Moana is going to be a softball player.

I don't know that I've ever seen such a friendly cat? Moana saw this cat as soon as we arrived and kept repeating, "kitty cat" all afternoon. So it was good that we saw it one more time before it was time to leave. Meow.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Trained And Ready

Today I had a key brick on my schedule and I wanted it to include one more opportunity to do a sustained 20+ minute climbing effort on the bike. It's relatively flat around my house so for me that means either riding about 95 miles, or putting my bike in my car and driving to my friend Jenny's house where I can do the loop including the climb in less than two hours. Obviously, I chose the latter option.

As I was driving to the ride start, I found myself feeling exceedingly anxious. Anxious mostly about how the workout was going to go. I really wanted it to go well. I guess I just wanted the confidence of knowing that my training is on track... that my taper is on track... I guess I was looking at this workout as an indicator of how my race might go at Honu next week. I know how long it takes me to climb Pineapple Hill on a good day (and on a bad day, lol!) And I know how long it takes me to do the brick run loop from Jenny's house too... I've been doing this particular brick about once a month for the last few months so it's kind of an indicator workout for me. Hence, the nerves.

But I mean, it's not like today was the race or anything. I mean, shoot, who knows how the race will go? I think I am ready. I mean, I know I am ready. As ready as I've ever been for a 1/2 IM anyway. I've trained a ton and I think I've been pretty smart and calculated about when to go hard vs when to go easy vs when to rest. I've definitely pushed my limits lately but I have not fallen off any cliffs while at it... In a nutshell, my training the last few months has gone almost perfectly. I know some people have a genetic talent that allows them to train for like a week and then pop off a stellar 70.3 and still kick everybody's ass, but, um, I am not one of those people. I have to work very hard for every minute of every race and with me there's no faking it. I either did the training and will race well, or I didn't do the training and it'll be obvious with my finish time. So I think that's where my nerves came into play today. I mean shoot, I've done ALL THIS WORK and I just want it to pay off on race day, you know??

I spent the first 30ish minutes of the ride today trying to convince myself to relax and just enjoy the fact that I was out on my bike. My heart rate seemed very low... like 10 beats lower than normal. Hmmm. I felt fine though so figured it was what it was. The good news is that as soon as I started the climb, it popped right up tho where I wanted it and then I kept the effort right at threshold all the way to the top. It was hard, but not like fall over and die hard... exactly what I wanted the effort to be today. And my time to the top was right on par with how fast I can do the climb on a good day with a headwind (like today). With a tailwind I've gone almost 2 minutes faster but that was a good tailwind... ;)

Anyway, I felt solid on the ride and then got off to go run. I've really been working on my run lately so to feel so stellar today was just great. I ran a good bit faster than I ever have on this loop and just felt like a rock star. I was not killing myself (telling myself, "Remember Michelle, today is NOT your race!") but just felt solid and like I could have kept going all day.

Phew. That was totally what I needed today. I mean, it's just amazing how easy it is to start questioning everything when you are tapering. Did I do enough? Am I ready? Of course I am. Logically I know that but somehow still question myself everyday. I'm ready to just go race right now and show myself what I can do but instead I have 9 more days to worry about it. Argh.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


So I'm faced with a new challenge that is quite exciting...

You know, you gotta love Facebook for the way it connects you with old friends. I've found a bunch of my old teammates from my high school swim team and it's been fun catching up with them and seeing pictures of their families, etc. I don't think a ton of them are terribly interested in the things I post about my training and racing, but apparently a couple of them actually are.

So the other day I got an email from one of my old high school teammates and he tells me that he and his wife are completely out of shape but have been inspired and are ready to change their lives. How are they going to do it? They're going to do a sprint triathlon! And they want my help. He asks if I'm ready to take on the challenge of helping them get ready for it... Um, YES!

But truthfully, this is a whole new challenge for me. Taking someone from couch potato to sprint triathlon is a much different ballgame than taking someone who has a basic understanding of training to the next competitive level. I mean, I got an email today that said, "Last time I rode a bike I was 12 and it had a basket and flowers..."

Ok then. Let's get started!

I find myself thinking hard about how to help them get started... how to develop a plan that will challenge them without hurting them... how to integrate some swim/bike/run into their lives without overwhelming them since they are not (yet, anyway!) training obsessed like so many of us... This is going to take some careful thought and planning and a lot of feedback from both of them about how things are going (since they are in Kentucky).

It takes me back to my first race... oh my... 15 years ago! It was 1995. I was 21 years old. I had my bike for a few weeks and had ridden it a couple of times but was still scared of my aero bars. The swim was in a cold lake and I scrambled to buy a wetsuit online that arrived the day before the race. Looking back, I should have just suffered through the swim without one because they gave away a prize of a new wetsuit to the first male and female out of the water without one, but honestly, the water was 59 degrees and had I done the swim without one it might have been my last triathlon ever. If my memory serves me right, I had a good swim, a decent bike, and a horribly hard 5K run. The course was so hilly... it seemed like the hills would never end! I was so glad to be done running that I don't even remember being especially happy at the finish line. But I think I got 3rd on my age group and, um, I was hooked. ;)

So I'll have to call on some of those memories to train my old teammate and his wife this summer... It'll be a new challenge for me, but I'm up for it... and I can't wait to see their finish pictures from their race in August!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Our New Training Partners

Lately there have been a couple of old guys showing up at the pool in the mornings... (I'm sure they will laugh if they happen to be reading this that I am calling them old- to us they are old. Like 50ish I'm guessing? They think Nalani and I are puppies... Lol.) Anyway, both these guys are ex-collegiate swimmers who happen to be rather out of shape at the moment, but even when ex-collegiate swimmers are out of shape, they are still faster than everyone else around them.

They have been sort of making fun of Nalani and me for working so hard in the pool and doing such 'long' workouts. Which is funny, because we haven't hardly gone over 3000M lately- but these guys just swim like 2000M easy and then get out and call it a day. Anyway, they are hysterical guys who have a great sense of humor and are fun to joke around with.

So this morning they ask about our set... What are we doing? They want to know... I tell them they wouldn't be able to handle it. Ha! Try us, they say...

So I tell 'em the set (a bunch of 100's, some moderate, some very hard, none easy) and we get started. Mark is immediately asking for more rest on what I consider to be quite a roomy interval already. Ha! No rest for the weary, Mark. 5 seconds. Let's GO! They are crushing Nalani and me to the wall every time but they are panting like I've never heard swimmers pant...

Half way through the set Brett busts out, "I haven't done a set this hard in 10 years!" Ha! I laugh. Nalani and I worked this hard last Friday. I start watching the piano fall on Brett's back and mark him as my target for the second half of the set. I pull up next to Brett and start feeling solid as I'm finally warmed up and ready to go hard. The four of us are swimming side by side in the middle of a long course pool with no lane lines and are creating a tsumani that runs all the little old ladies out of the water.

Last one fast one... all out sprint! Here we go... I think I'm gonna crush Brett on this one because he's just been getting slower and slower as the set progresses... but suddenly his ex-collegiate swimming genes come out of hiding and the guy is flying through the water. Seriously. He must have put 10 seconds on me in the last 100. I couldn't even get a draft he was so far ahead! Where did that come from??? Years and years of crazy hard collegiate training- that's where that came from. This guy is a complete bad ass. It also tells you a little something about the role our brains play in causing fatigue way before it is actually physically necessary for us to slow down.

At the end of the set Brett scolded the lifeguard for not guarding his life... he said the lifeguard should not let him do sh*t like that. Lol.

So we had an absolute blast this morning swimming with those guys. They made us laugh. They lightened up the workout. They made us raise the bar for ourselves. And they are coming back on Wednesday for more. :) Funny how I don't mind these guys swimming with us... not even for a second... maybe because they are just funny swimmers (not dorky triathletes, right, Angela? Ha!) and because they actually make our workout better by joining in. And I think it's good for Nalani to have people to push her in the water because I cannot do that anymore- she is so fast... We are both stoked about our new training partners. :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fairly Active On The Weekends...

We had some fun house guests this weekend.... Scott's aunt and uncle came to visit from San Diego and stayed with us last night. Moana had a ball with them and of course loved all the extra attention. It was almost as good as a visit from grandma! :)

Anyway, it was the first time I'd met his aunt and uncle so of course our conversations involved a lot of 'get to know you' talk... They asked lots of questions about my training and racing of course, which is always an interesting subject for those who are not exactly familiar with the sport. Yesterday the conversation went something like this:

"You biked how far this morning?"

"And then you went running? After you already rode your bike??"

It's funny because these workouts we do on Saturday morning are just completely normal for us, but when I say them out loud, to people who don't know the sport, I almost feel ridiculous. At one point this morning I was chatting with his aunt and said something about how we are 'fairly active on the weekends...' She was like, Um, I would say so. Lol.

I did not tell them how far I was running today. Maybe some things are just better kept to ourselves... But I can tell you guys, right? You guys understand. That's why you read this blog, right? So how's this... 14+ hilly miles... I felt average... just plugging along doin' my thang... checked my watch for my split at the turn around and saw I was there about a minute faster than ever before... cool... ran home solidly... never felt like I was pushing it but hit my watch at the end to see a negative split and a total time that was a full 3 minutes faster than I've ever done this run before. Now THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT! Sweet. :))

2 weeks til Honu.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Good Thing I Didn't Try To Be A Nurse

Forgive me, I'm going to take a moment here to toot my own horn. ;)

On Sunday morning before the race, I was walking down to the swim start and heard Nalani's mom call to me... she wished me luck and we chatted for a few minutes... and during those few minutes she completely managed to make my day. You see, she told me about how happy Nalani has been... how dedicated to her training she is... how much she is enjoying it and wants to succeed not only for herself but for me... I have been coaching Nalani since December and in that time she's made some major improvements in all three sports and it's just really fun to watch. I think in my heart I knew all those things that Nalani's mom was telling me, but to hear the compliments from her was really quite the highlight of my day. I don't think I mentioned this on my race report blog, but Nalani placed 5th OA on Sunday, 1st in her very competitive age group.

The following day, Monday, I spent a good bit of time on the phone with another one of my athletes who had a serious bike crash earlier in the season. She'd been entered in IMCDA and even though she had complete reconstructive surgery on her shoulder because of a grade 5 separation 5 weeks ago, she was still hoping to be able to race in Idaho. She felt very discouraged because so many people were calling her crazy and telling her she couldn't do it... the fact of the matter is that she could do it, if she wanted to... the conflict was that she didn't just want to go finish... she's done that before. This time she wanted a Kona spot. It was a delicate balance on my part, trying to be supportive while also being realistic at the same time... we finally came to the conclusion that she will be better off this year if she re-thinks her goals... so that's what we're going to do. It sucks for her, because she has the talent and the drive and the will and the dedication to really give it a shot, but she's gonna have to wait until she's all 100% healed up so she can train the way she needs to to reach her goals. Before we hung up the phone on Monday night, she told me how much she appreciates being able to talk to me... that she always feels so much better after we get off the phone... that in fact, her boyfriend and her roommates tell her to call me when she's getting down on herself because they have seen her spirits lift after our conversations. Man, that makes me feel good to hear that.

And then yesterday another athlete called in a complete panic ('A' races are coming up soon... 'tis the season for panic!)... 20 minutes later I had talked her down off the ledge and when she was able to breathe again she reiterated some of the same things I'd been hearing from my other athletes over the last few days... that she always feels so much better after talking to me.

So I've been coaching for 6 months now and it appears I am a good fit for the job. :) I have a couple of new athletes coming on board now too which is exciting... I think I may have to cap myself off soon though so I make sure I can still manage everyone appropriately while also starting that Coffees Of Hawaii sales job next week. I'm gonna be a busy mama!

Horn tooting over. Now you know what I'm NOT good at? Being overly empathetic to my husband when he's got a staff infection in his knee and it hurts to walk. I know he really is in pain, but let's be real here. While cleaning up after himself is clearly completely out of the question, somehow he can muster up the energy to get himself the ice cream out of the freezer... I guess I can't help but think that if he were a woman, he would still manage to figure out how to take care of himself and his child even though his knee hurts. Why are women so much better at this kind of thing? Phew. Good thing I didn't try to be a nurse. That is most definitely not my calling. Sorry, Scott.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Honolulu Triathlon

Yesterday was the Honolulu Triathlon 'Festival'. It's our only annual shot at an Olympic Distance Triathlon without having to fly away from the island, and pretty much the biggest event Oahu puts on each year. My personal opinion is that it's getting too big- not that the Triathlon itself was too big, but they tried to accommodate everyone by putting on a Sprint Tri, Olympic Tri, Sprint Duathlon, Olympic Duathlon, relays for all those events, a 10K run race, 1500M swim, 40K bike race (all individual events) and maybe even some others. It was bordering on ridiculous how many different events were going on. But I digress...

Anyway, I felt ready for this race and had a decent day! The swim was rather uneventful, which is how we always want swims to be... the biggest challenge we faced was the continuous wall of men we had to plow through. I didn't feel like I had a stellar swim, but it was fine. I ran up the beach with the girls I would have thought I'd be near (22:50ish) and once we got onto the bike there was just one more lead swimmer to go catch.

I took the lead for the women about 10 minutes into the bike and focused on pushing a good steady pace the whole time. There were still plenty of men ahead to pass and I felt like much of the time I was just riding out to the left and passing people. So that was fun. :) I heard that there were groups of people drafting behind me but I didn't see or pay attention much to that... Anyway, I felt fine about my bike. This course is flat and fast with nothing to slow us down but two u-turns, and it's just about a mile short of a 40K, so times were fast. The top four gals on the bike all split 1:01:xx and I was right in there with 1:01:34.

Coming off the bike I felt good- smiling of course because I was winning! :))) But then of course we had to start running (why can't they just end the race after the bike? LOL!) I held onto the lead for about a mile and a half before Ingrid caught me. She was flying! I didn't feel like I was running as fast as I wanted to be running (are we ever running as fast as we want to be running??) but held on for 3rd OA in 2:13:50ish, (within a minute of second place). I checked my split at the end and saw that I ran 46:xx (can't remember exactly the seconds) which is less than a minute off my open road 10K PR, and the race directors said this was a full 10K... so even though I want to, I really can't complain about my run.

After the race I was chatting with Ingrid and she was asking me how I felt about my race... I expressed frustration that I am not running faster- I know I am doing all the right things and I am getting faster all the time but it's just not magic and takes so much time and I just need to be patient and keep doing what I'm doing and it'll get better I know... but I told her I ran 7:30's but wanted to be running 7:10's. She laughed, and said that she'd like to be running 5:30's! So I guess this whole wanting to get faster thing is just a normal part of who we are as competitive athletes and it doesn't matter how fast you are- you always want to get faster! So I felt better after talking to her. :)

Here we are with our daughters after the race!

One great thing about yesterday was that I finally found a pair or running shoes that I can race in that don't require socks and are still super light and comfortable! Nalani and I both wore our Saucony FastTwitch 4's and I'm happy to report that I didn't even feel a slight hotspot anywhere on my feet (and I *always* run with socks so I was worried about this yesterday). How cute are we in our matching shoes? ;)

Anyway, last night Scott and I went to a little post-race party at a friend's house, then out for a very rare date night dinner by ourselves. Today is our Anniversary! Scott and I have been married for 2 years now! Phew. ;) I'd be lying if I said it's been sheer bliss the whole time, but the good news is that we are both committed for the long haul and I appreciate how patient he is with me. Especially in supporting all my early morning training and racing... Last night at dinner I gave him a new wedding band. I know that 2 years is not a 'Gold-giving' anniversary, but he lost his ring in the ocean (surfing) a little while ago and I was pretty set on making sure he has a wedding ring back on his finger. Call me crazy, but that man is not available and it should be physically apparent by looking at his left hand. :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Unique Day

I feel good. It's the kind of good that comes from being all caught up on everything. The kind of good that you feel after you've changed the sheets on your toddler's bed and vacuumed under the couch. The kind of good that you feel when you're fresh and energetic and ready to RACE. And it's only Thursday.

I have to say, I'm surprised that I feel so good during this recovery week. I guess I was expecting to feel somewhat lethargic... I expected that it would take longer to eliminate the fatigue I accumulated during my 3 week training camp, but I swear, one easy day and Nalani and I were both good to go at the track on Tuesday morning. And then after a great swim/bike yesterday, I was relaxing on the couch and my foot was just twitching... like I've got all this energy that is just waiting to be spent on Sunday. It's a cool feeling, really.

This morning I put Moana in the jogger and ran her down to her day care. (It's maybe 20ish minutes away if I'm jogging.) I left the jogger there and ran home without it, planning to pick up the pace a bit to 'comfortably hard' during the last mile. I remember when that effort resulted in about 7:45 from the corner to home... lately it's been more like 7:20... today I felt light and fresh and the same effort yielded 7 flat. How cool is that? I love how our bodies adapt to the stresses we put them under.

Anyway, I sit here now and find myself with some quiet free time. Most of the schedules for my athletes have been written, my house is clean, the laundry is folded, and I don't have a bike ride to do today. What ever shall I do with myself? I have a whole hour until it's time to go get Moana. Maybe I'll relax on the couch and read a book. Wow. This is indeed a unique day.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

White Girl Can Jump!

Moana has been working on jumping for what seems like months now... and it appears she's finally got it! Both feet off the ground. I'm a proud mama. And she's big on having an audience who will "watch!" (Please disregard the blueberry stains on her shirt. She's 18 months old. There are new stains everyday.)

I took Moana to the library yesterday afternoon... what a great free resource! We've been checking out 6-8 books and rotating them through the nightly line-up for a couple weeks before exchanging them for new ones. In truth, I think I am more bored of Moana's books than she is. She seems to like the ones she's got memorized already. But I need a little variety, and she does too, whether she knows it or not. ;)

Anyway, our town library has a bunch of big stuffed animals up on high shelves and Moana goes crazy for them! It's all quiet in the library with people sitting and reading/studying and then there's my daughter yelping out, "BEAR! BEAR! BEAR! BEAR! BEAR! BEAR! BEAR! BEAR!" while she points all the way across the room at the specific bear she wants me to pull down for the hug. There are also little tables and chairs that are sized for toddlers and of course she loves that. We don't have room in our condo for an extra table/chairs for her so she gets a kick out of toddler sized furniture when she sees it.

Outside the library there's a big grassy park, and given by the way she had me chasing her all over the library, I figured she needed a little free play time to run and run and run. This park was perfect for that! Something I found interesting was that as soon as we got to the grass she sat down and insisted on taking her shoes off. Yes, my daughter has hopped on the Barefoot Running bandwagon already. And she runs right on the balls of her feet. Good girl. Natural instinct I guess, which is what those barefoot advocates talk about. So I kicked off my shoes too and did running drills barefoot in the grass while chasing her around. She thinks it's funny to watch me skip and bound. Then I demonstrated 'forward' and 'backward' running... you know how they do that on Sesame street... over and over and over... "Forward! Backward! Forward! Backward!" Yeah. We did that for a while. It was fun! This quality time we get to spend together, giggling and laughing while running around barefoot in the park, is priceless.

Speaking of priceless, look who graduated today to TWO ponytails? Oh my she's looking like a little girl now instead of a baby.

Monday, May 10, 2010

How Much Food Can One Triathlete Eat?

I got on the scale to weight myself this morning... I figured that after the big 3 week training camp I just put myself through that surely I would have dropped down to race weight. Nope. Gained a pound. I'm wondering how this is possible? Let's do the math...

60 hours of training over 3 weeks. (Yes! I did say it was a big camp.) At, let's say a conservative average burn of 500 calories/hour, that would be 30,000 calories. At 3500 calories/pound, in theory, had I eaten like a normal person, I would have lost 8.5 lbs. But instead, I gained a pound. So you do the math and figure out just how much I ATE in the last 3 weeks! Lol. It makes me think of The Biggest Loser folks. I don't know how many hours/week they put in, but must be a lot to lose that much weight week after week. And I wonder how they control their appetites? When I'm training a lot I'm just plain hungry ALL THE TIME. There's no not eating, you know?

Anyway, I'm not actually worried about my weight. I just thought that was an interesting point, and kind of an accomplishment really- to train so much but not lose any weight! Ha! It's not like I was eating a bunch of junk either... all good stuff... well, 90% good stuff... ;)

In good news, I feel super fit and durable. I managed to fit in that big training block without throwing myself off any overtraining cliffs, as evidenced by the fact that I ran my fastest 5K ever on Saturday morning. (Even with that extra pound! ;) I ran 15 seconds faster (21:26) than I did on the same course last year (21:41) and split the race much more evenly. In fact, I ran pretty much even splits at 6:53 for all 3 miles. Sort of makes me want to actually train and rest for a 5K to see what I could actually do without carrying the extra fatigue? One of these years...

This week I'm cutting way back on the training, and hopefully the eating too. Sunday will be my first Olympic Distance Tri in 3 years! Last time I did this distance was 2007 (on the same course) so it should provide a good comparison to gauge my improvement. There should be some fast gals there to race with too so it'll be fun to play and see how it all shakes out.

In other good news, I got the job with Coffees of Hawaii! I got an email on Friday from the plantation manager outlining some of the details. Essentially I'll be calling on local restaurants to see if I can get them to start serving local coffee (instead of Italian coffee, duh) and then I'll need to manage those accounts once I get them set up. Scott and Moana and I went out to dinner on Friday night and I struck up a conversation with our waiter about the coffee they serve at their restaurant... By the time we walked out I had the business card and cell phone number of the restaurant manager who was chomping at the bit to hear more about the local coffee plantation and how he could get his hands on some of that Moloka'i coffee. Perfect. I'm gonna love this job. I feel like a hunter capturing these accounts. It's a win/win for everyone though when local restaurants support other local businesses. It's a no brainer, really.

Finally, an update on the EPIC5 guys... their 5 Ironmans in 5 days on 5 islands turned out to be a bigger logistical challenge than they had anticipated. Looks like they're still going to complete it, but in 7 days rather than 5. It's been taking them a really long time to complete each one, and several times now they have not completed until after midnight, which makes it tough to get up before the sun comes up the next day and fly to another island to start all over again. In fact, they started Ironman #4 on Maui yesterday morning at about 10 and didn't finish until 5:00 this morning!! They ran (and walked) all through the night. So looks like today will be an off day and they'll start in Kona tomorrow morning for the 5th and final Ironman. Ironman #3 was on Moloka'i and of course they were sponsored by Coffees Of Hawaii while they were there- staying at the COH plantation house and being catered too quite well it appears. I just cannot fathom the fatigue they must be feeling. They're getting 75 hours of training in about 7 days. I wonder if they're cool like me and managed to gain any weight this week?

Thursday, May 6, 2010


It's Thursday. My free day. The day where I have ambitions of accomplishing everything and end up accomplishing only some schedule writing and my own training. Perfect.

But the good news about today is that my free day happened to fall on the same day that Rich Roll and Jason Lester were doing their EPIC5 Ironman on Oahu. Haven't heard of these guys? They are amazing Ultra Endurance athletes and are trying to be the first to do 5 Ironmans in 5 days on 5 different Hawaiian Islands. They did the first one yesterday on Kauai, then flew over to Oahu last night do repeat the swim/bike/run here today.... then onto Molokai tomorrow, Maui on Saturday, and then finally the Big Island on Sunday.

One Ironman is a lot. Two Ironmans (in a year) is enough to make most triathletes want to throw their bike off a bridge. 5 in 5 days? I cannot even imagine. And then add in the logistics of it all... flying to different islands each day... packing up your bike every night and then putting it back together the next morning before starting off again? And how much food would you need to consume to fuel that journey?? Nuts. Or avocado sandwiches apparently.

Anyway, on their live website you can follow along and see where they're at and read their Twitter updates about all the stuff that they are facing. Like how Rich's bike didn't make the flight from Kauai to Oahu last night... and then when it finally arrived how some random part on his seat post was broken so they had to wait until The Bike Shop opened this morning to get that part fixed before they could start riding... Anyway, they also have a GPS tracking device telling us where they're at which is helpful for those of us who want to stalk them.

I was planning on riding about 40 miles today and I knew that if those guys were planning 112 miles on this island, in all likelihood they would be riding in my neck of the woods at some point. This island just isn't that big so they couldn't exactly hide. So I stalked them all morning and then got all dressed up in my Trakkers cycling kit headed out around 12:30 on the road where I figured they would be... So here comes the fun part!

It was about 2:00 and I was on my way home when I saw them coming at me the other way! I'm sorry I'm a bad blogger because I don't have pictures or video of this part (sorry!) but I totally just flipped a U-turn on my bike as soon as I saw them and then soft pedaled while I waited for them to catch me... all the while feeling like an awestruck 13 year old girl who was stunned into silence by the presence of her heroes. But then when they finally caught me I ended up with some type of diarrhea of the mouth where I just couldn't help but babble on and on about how I was hoping I would see them out there and was cheering them on and blah blah blah. They were probably rolling their eyes but at least Rich was nice enough to humor me and ride beside me and chat for a while.

I will preface this by first saying that I am a happily married woman (and plan to stay that way)... but, um, Rich Roll is smokin' HOT.

He's really nice too. He didn't seem irritated at all by my stalking. They were not riding very fast so it was easy to just pedal and chat. Like I said, I was wearing my Trakkers kit so he asked if I was on the Trakkers team, to which I replied that I was... and then started to tell him all about the GPS technology that they could be using. So there. Clearly I did my part for Trakkers this year in promoting it with someone like Rich Roll. ;) What was funny though was when he asked me if I was a pro. Me? A pro? Lol. Pro Stalker, maybe. No, I'm just a stay-at-home-mom who ditched her kid at daycare today so I could come out and hunt you down and drool for several miles before turning around and finishing my own ride heading home...

I tried to not be a complete pest, so after several miles I wished them both well and then flipped another U-turn and came home. Then I started thinking about the logistics of the rest of their day... It was after 2:00 already and they weren't even half way through their ride (because of the mechanical and late start they got on their ride)... and they weren't going very fast (guess pacing is important when you're tackling 140+ miles of swim/bike/run every day for 5 days in a row...) Anyway, they won't be off their bikes until something like 6:00 tonight and THEN they'll start their marathon... Rich laughed and said he anticipates much walking in the dark tonight. He said they're flying to Molokai tomorrow morning at 6:30- which makes sense because the last flight out tonight is probably at like 9:00 and they won't be done with their marathon yet... That is crazy stuff. Makes all my training seem like nothing.

Anyway, that was my EPIC day. Awesome. I'm still star-struck!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Please Turn Off The Heat

I know I've complained about how HOT our pool has been before, but here's yet another post about it. Feel free to skip this one if you aren't interested in reading about the nausea that accompanies swimming hard in water that is 86+ degrees.

When I sit down and plan our swim workouts (a week or more in advance) I don't normally take into consideration the water temp at the pool (though at this point I'll probably have to start). I just think about the type of work I want us to do. So when we're doing threshold work, typically the intervals are tight. Sometimes tighter than others, depending on multiple factors.

This morning the intervals were tight. And getting tighter as the set progressed. Given that the water was so HOT on Monday that I thought I was going to die at the end of workout, I knew that this one was going to be especially tough. The intervals were for 100's that I wasn't sure I could do even if the water was 78 degrees. My solution? Bring a bottle full of ice water to squirt on myself between items. Maybe that would help.

I'll cut to the chase and tell you that while it felt phenomenal to squirt my face with ice water (this probably prevented me from actually bursting into flames), it did not help me make the intervals. There really does come a point when it's just too hot to hold a fast pace. Just FYI- that point is apparently right at 3100M in 86 degrees.

Nalani and I were both pretty grumpy upon finishing the workout this morning. I couldn't help but think, in this time of budget crisis for the state, where they are cutting pool hours and lifeguard pay to save money, WHY WOULD THEY SPEND $$THOUSANDS$$ EVERY MONTH ON HEATING A HUGE LONG COURSE POOL WHEN IT IS 80+ DEGREES EVERY DAY NOW AND THE (FREE) SUN WOULD HEAT THE WATER JUST FINE ALL ON ITS OWN???

Walking back to the locker room I asked the lifeguard about who I needed to contact to get the heaters turned OFF. She told me to talk to Barbara, who is the pool manager, who is not normally there first thing in the morning but happened to be in the office today. Perfect.

So I walked into the office and asked the same question... Just a little background information- Barbara is clearly NOT an athlete. Barbara has probably never exercised a day in her life. Barbara was talking to another old lady and when they stopped their conversation I asked my question. Both old ladies responded to me with daggers in their eyes saying, "Don't you dare!!" They were completely serious. They went on and on with a serious tongue lashing tone about the old ladies with arthritis who need to pool to be warm so they can stand around in it and not get a chill. They told Nalani and me that we were young and that we could suffer and if we didn't like it, go to another pool. Well then. Aloha to you too.

Looks like it's gonna be a HOT summer at the pool boys and girls. I'll have to start rationing my ice... set some aside for ice baths while making sure I have enough to take with me to the pool...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Moana Dances With The Stars

We have quite the little dancer on our hands. Ok ok, I know we're not supposed to let them watch much TV, but Dancing With The Stars came on before bath time tonight and guess who got all caught up in it?

And yes, she wears my medals all the time.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Now I'm The Annoying One

A long long time ago, in another life in Arizona, I was engaged to a triathlete. I remember him coming home from training days and I would ask, "How was your workout?" And every time, he would go on and on about how GREAT it was. Every. Time. That drove me nuts. (Note how supportive I was as a partner. And note that in the end I ended up married to a non-triathlete. That was not an accident. Anyway...)

I remember thinking, "How could anyone possibly have a great workout every time out? That's just not possible." It drove me nuts because I was not having stellar days every day. My stellar days seemed few and far between and random and unpredictable. (Note that this was in the days when all triathletes just winged it because coaches did not exist.)

I thought of that story about my ex because I got home from my long brick yesterday and Scott didn't even ask how it went. But I had to tell him anyway. "It was AWESOME!" I yelped. His reply? "Of course it was. You always have awesome workouts." And it occurred to me that I probably did sound like a broken record. Ok, it's not like every workout I do is actually awesome, but lately, the key ones, the ones that really matter, have been spot on.

So now it's me. I'm the annoying one who always has great workouts. Sorry if that's super irritating.

But can I go on? And tell you how I backed up that long brick with a long hilly run today and how it was just SUPER?!? Annoying. I know. I'm sorry. But it was just so great! I felt strong... not that I was crazy fast or anything, but definitely solid and came home with a negative split, knowing that if it mattered I could have thrown it down and really run hard there the last few miles. Nalani and I met up (accidentally- we just happened to be at the same place at the same time running in the same direction! Seriously. What a coincidence!) and we ran together through the beautiful Botanical Gardens and up an old mountain road that is unmaintained and it was *dumping* rain and you just couldn't wipe the smile off either of our faces. Ok. I'll stop now.

Anyway, tick tock. Honu is in 5 weeks. Less than that now. 5 weeks from right now it'll be over. It seems like we've been training for this race forever and I'm just so excited that it's finally getting close! Everyone I know is going to be there (all the cool kids are doing it!). Registration is still open in case any of you are looking for a crazy hot hard 70.3 to do in less than 5 weeks... But I digress. My point is, I can count the number of key workouts I have left on one hand. Most of the work has been done. Couple more good long training days, one tune-up Olympic Distance race, and a solid taper and then it's Game Time. Tick tock. Game Time.