Sunday, October 30, 2011

Botanical Gardens and Old Pali Pictures

It only rained on us a little this week so these pictures are missing the torrential downpour feel and the waterfalls and rainbows, but even without all that, it was still a pretty good run this morning.

Through the botanical gardens.

Most of the pics I took today look a lot like this. I should figure out my camera settings.

What does that sign say?

Whatever. Breakin' the law... breakin' the law...

The fun part... Old Pali.

All counted there are 6 gates to pass through on this run. Each way. They can try but they cannot keep us out.

Mountain running with an ocean view.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Freebie Swim Workout

Some days we just swim really easy. Today was not one of those days.

I know some people think swimming is boring or whatever but I promise you, if you're paying really close attention to splits and changing up your effort to try to hit different paces, swimming can be every bit as fun as a track workout. :)

Given that we're training for a 7K swim, our key days are at least 4K right now. Here's what we did today. Can modify/shorten it if you're looking to do a good quality swim workout but are training for something shorter... (And if you're one of my athletes maybe you saw a version of this on your calendar this week!)

1500 straight swim with paddles/bands/buoy. First 500 easy then descend the 500's from there. Take ~15" off each 500 (~3"/100) so you're finishing at a solid effort last 500. (And yes, I was checking my watch during flip turns so I knew my pace each 100.)

5 x 300's where the first 200 is steady effort (t-pace +3-4") and the final 100 is @t-pace (which feels hard at the end of a 300). Pick a send-off interval that gives you ~20" rest and repeat! If there's not 3-4" difference in pace between your first 100's and you last 100, you're going too fast on the 200. Slow it down so there's a difference in PACE, not just effort. Check your split at the 200 to make sure you're hitting the right paces.

2 x (100 fast, 2 x 150's moderate effort, 100 fast!) rest 1' between sets. Think of these as broken 500's. Interval for the first 100 is t-pace, so you have to swim faster than t-pace to even make the send-off (it's really touch-n-go), then the 150's settle into moderate effort but again, keep the interval tight so not much rest at the wall- like 10". We went on t-pace +10" for those. The 'rest' is more like active recovery during the 150's. Then you don't get much rest going into that final 100 so it's time to dig and get under t-pace again.

100 c/d easy. Finally. You get to go easy. And you get to stop thinking. :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blah blah blah...

I spent a bunch of time thoroughly cleaning Moana's room (it's been a while). Since she is turning THREE on Thursday, all her 2T clothes got put in a box that I'm giving to a girlfriend who has an 18 month old daughter... I also got rid of a bunch of 'baby' stuff that we will not be needing. It felt ridiculously good to purge.

I went through my drawers as well... I have an insane amount of race t-shirts. While I don't mind giving many of them away, some I just feel a need to keep, even if I know I am never going to wear them. The oldest one I found was a Wildflower shirt from 1999. And why is it that I never wear my Ironman finisher shirts? I have a whole drawer full of them now and they are just taking up space. I cannot bring myself to throw them away but I cannot think of an occasion to wear any of them. So there you go. They just take up space as I find myself unable to purge them. (In the same vein I am unable to stop training for and racing them. Hmmm.) Maybe I should learn how to quilt.

In the midst of all the organizing I collected all of Moana's hair ties and headbands and barrettes and bracelets (they were scattered all over everywhere) and put them each in their own little bowl on her dresser. She got home and found the little bowls and exclaimed, "Look Mama! Accessories!" She then proceeded to pull down all the bowls and dump them out and play with all her accessories. Perfect. Her room was clean for like at least a couple of hours anyway.

You wanna know the trick to getting your 3 yo to eat broccoli? Steam it a bit and then pour a little good balsamic vinegar over it. Tonight Moana said, "More broccoli please!"

Moana insists every night that even if she does not finish her dinner, daddy is NOT allowed to eat it. Interestingly, it seems ok if I do.

Between bouts of cleaning and organizing, I am running. A lot. Lucho turned me into quite a durable athlete this year and I have found that the more I run, the more I thrive. I have not found my ceiling there yet, though I may try looking for it in the coming months.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Having Fun With Running!

So I woke up early this morning... drank good coffee and listened to the rain pounding our roof and worked a bit until the sun was almost up... Put a long sleeve shirt on (first time all year I think?!?) and headed out the door to meet Nalani for a run. Running when the rain is coming down in buckets is our 'winter' running at its best.

I didn't bring my camera along this morning but in searching through my photo albums I found some shots from years past... given that this is my all time favorite run of course I have taken pictures before. What these shots are missing though are the raging waterfalls that were covering nearly every crevice in the sheer mountains and the double rainbows we saw as the sun was rising this morning. I made a comment to Nalani that even when it's raining this run is awesome. Her reply? Especially when it's raining.

It hasn't stopped raining here all day. I am completely tempted to go do this run again right now.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Having Fun With Swimming!

This morning Nalani and I went to the beach to ocean swim with a new gal who may come on as an athlete of mine next year. Super cool gal- after we met her Nalani and I agreed that she would be hard not to like. :) She's also going to be hard to beat next year because without much ocean swimming experience she swam stroke for stroke with us for an hour... and she can run rather well. I can't wait to teach her how to ride a bike efficiently. Yikes! The gal has talent. Better yet, she's genuinely nice.

Anyway, there was a box jellyfish warning this morning but we ignored it and swam anyway and I'm so glad we did! It would have been a shame to miss today because the water was warm and clear and awesome. I'm fairly certain we had a tail current both ways which has never happened to me in 7 years of ocean swimming. But we swam out 30' and got way further than normal so we figured it would be a long ass haul back... yet interestingly, the return trip took right ~30'. Amazing. I will say though, as awesome as the water was, the best part about the swim today wasn't really the swim- it was the cool girls I did it with. :)

So here's a fun BatShitCrazy story for you... Driving home today Nalani and I started talking about epic swim workouts we could do leading up to the Double RoughWater Swim (coming up Dec 4). I threw it out there that we should do 50 or 60 x 100's... She said "Well if we're gonna do 50 we might as well do 60." Good point. I said then that maybe we should do 70 b/c that's about how long the Double Rough is. Nalani immediately nodded her head in agreement. "Yes, let's do 70," she said. How far would Nalani go? I pushed it to find out... Clearly I've been reading Hilary Biscay's blog too much so I threw it out there that we could try to tackle 100. The car was silent for ~3 seconds before Nalani got this giddy grin on her face and said "YES! Let's do THAT!" There's a reason why I love that girl. So the remainder of the car ride was spent trying to figure out the logistics of swimming 100 x 100's... it would have to be on a weekend b/c she does not have time to swim for almost 3 hours prior to work... but our pool is only open from 12-1 for lap swim on Saturdays so we would not have time to fit it in there... We settled on the Marine Corp base pool on Sunday, Nov 13... start time TBD. If you're local and you want in on part or all of that let me know. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

Mamas out there know that sometimes we have to play little tricks to get our kiddos to eat. Moana likes to take her time eating and I am not super patient about that so sometimes I find myself rushing her a bit. To be fair, if I don't, she'll take a full hour to eat three bites.

She knows from experience that her dad is like a garbage disposal and will eat her food if she doesn't eat it (He does not throw anything away. Ever.). It has happened that after he has eaten the rest of her dinner, she decides she actually wanted to eat it afterall. So it's become a little joke around here that she better eat her food before daddy eats it.

Tonight Scott was playing soccer so Moana and I were on our own for dinner. As is her pattern, she was taking her own sweet time to eat so I whispered that she should hurry up and hide her food in her belly before daddy comes home so he won't eat it. What a fun game, she thought! This worked for like two bites and then she thought maybe it would be just as good to hide her food near her belly under her shirt. I assured her that the best way was to *really* hide it by getting it into her belly through her mouth. Eventually I heard Scott's car pull in so I told her she better hurry up! Daddy was almost home! Well, with that she was paralyzed with fear and couldn't even eat another bite and then burst into wailing tears when Scott walked in the door. Argh. Greetings, Daddy!

So anyway, that backfired. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Though looking back, instilling fear when it comes to daddy arriving home was not exactly a brilliant move on my part. #mamafailed. #wontdothatagain.

Her birthday is coming up a week from today. And she knows it. She keeps telling me that her birthday is coming up and she is going to be THREE. I asked her if she wanted something special for her birthday dinner? She said, "Yes! I want cake for dinner!" I know a lot of you will be quite proud of her for that. :) #offseason.

In other Moana-isms, she saw an older man out jogging today. She said, "Look! He is running!" Then she added "He's not going very fast. He should run faster." Ha! I assured her that he was probably just diligently building his aerobic system via MAF technique. #teachthemearly.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

She's Gonna Be A Fairy

Man I was a sucker today. It's almost Moana's birthday, and it's almost Halloween... That is my excuse. :)

I took Moana to the mall this afternoon to go shopping for a Halloween costume. In the car on the way there she decided that she wanted to be Hello Kitty for Halloween. I thought that was rather clever for an almost 3 yo to decide something like that on her own, especially given that I have not really exposed her to Hello Kitty (Grammy did buy her a very cute HK shirt though so she does have one of those). Anyway, at the mall we went to the Hello Kitty store. Yes, there is a whole store dedicated to Hello Kitty and yes today was the first time I ever walked in there... but unfortunately I'm sure it will not be the last. They did not have any costumes in there- interestingly no clothing at all- just little overpriced knick knack things that would keep a 3 yo interested for ~3 minutes. So we moved on.

Found another store that did have Hello Kitty clothing... I found a rather cute little dress with HK pictured on the front so asked her if she wanted to wear that for Halloween and she replied matter of factly, "That is not a costume. That is a dress." Ok then. Let's move on.

On to the Party Store... Holy crap. You know, I am not the most creative person in the world (to put it mildly) so this store was just completely overwhelming to me. I pretty much just stood in each aisle for a few minutes with my eyes wide and with this dumb look on my face like I've never seen so many little items that I guess are supposed to make little kids parties way more fun. Moana, on the other hand, was in heaven. Eventually we found the costume aisle and that, I will admit, was quite fun! Moana can be quite opinionated when it comes to her Halloween costume... she knew what she wanted and what she didn't want. It felt a bit like wedding dress shopping, but eventually we found the one... She's going to be a ridiculously cute fairy in a few weeks. Stay tuned for pictures after Halloween.

Then somehow I got caught up in buying a bunch of other very cheap crap. It was all just so cheap. Like $1 for this and $1 for that and before I knew it I was spending $40 on a bunch of crap. But we do now have party hats for Moana's birthday party (she *really* wanted those) and Hello Kitty plates to eat off of... (They sell Value Packs of magic wands?? 20 wands for $1.89? Can't beat that, right??) along with some other cheap little toys to put in party favor bags for her classmates at school (better than candy I suppose). Moana was over-the-top excited about some of the dumbest little things but hey, she's 3 so her tastes are different from mine. And today was the day I gave in to the fact that 3 year olds can be happily entertained for quite some time by dumb little plastic toys made in China.

Anyway, Moana and I really did have a blast this afternoon at the mall. Coming home I taught her a chant (I think it was a cheer actually from when I was an 8th grade cheerleader) "I like it, I love it, I want some more of it..." So we came home and she put her Fairy costume on for Scott (wings and all) and she then started chanting I like it, I love it, I want some more of it! Scott was like, That's it. You're not allowed to be alone with her anymore. Lol.

If you came here for training news, you'll be disappointed this time. If I pay attention to social media it appears that right now I should be eating cake and ice cream and feeling totally burnt out from all-things-triathlon. I am not burnt out though and I am not eating much crap. And while I do not have a 'training schedule' per say I do have the thumbs up to exercise as I feel... and I'm sure if I told you what I feel like doing right now I would be judged til no end as a crazy triathlete who doesn't have her priorities straight... so I'll just keep it to myself for now.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Playlist

The Awards Ceremony after Kona was inspiring (to say the least). The best part (I thought) was the video they put together and played at the end... super cool. I looked for it online somewhere but didn't find it... BUT, through the magic of Shazam (love that ap!) I captured the playlist they used for the video. It's now on my ipod and you can bet I'll have all these songs burned into my brain after the amount of running I plan to do while listening to them in the next year. So whether you were there at the awards and saw that video or are planning on being at the awards next year, here are the songs to inspire you in 2012.

Have a Little Faith In Me; John Hiatt
Sunny Hours; Long Beach Dub All Stars &
Shine; Shannon Noll
Back to Front (Circular Logic); DJ Shadow
Coming Around Again; Simon Webbe
Lasso; Phoenix
Harder Better Faster Stronger; Daft Punk
Hold You (Hold Yuh); Gyptian

Friday, October 14, 2011

Someone (Anyone???)

Life after an Ironman that didn't go as planned is very similar to life after an Ironman that did go as planned. I spent a couple days being physically sore and then started to feel better. My blisters are healing but I'm about to lose 3 more toe nails. Moana is still as cute as ever and wants to be a Princess for Halloween (shocking I know). Laundry still piles up around here and I still cook and eat good food. (I've indulged a little but not that much. Mostly because fruits and vegetables make me physically feel good while ice cream and cookies make me physically feel crappy. Doesn't seem worth it?)

I've had some interesting conversations this week. A couple good ones that made me feel better... including one with Coach where I started to tell him how my legs felt and he said he didn't care how my legs felt... How's your head? Good point. Probably more important right now is how's my head vs how are my legs...

A lot of people I just kind of know have asked me how it went last weekend. I'm always unsure of what to say to those people because really, they're just being polite in asking. They don't know the difference between 10:34 and 11:04 in Kona so I've tried hard to just fake a smile and respond with something like "It went well" and then change the subject.

I did have a really great conversation with one of the older ladies at the pool this morning (yes I was at the pool this morning). She was one who genuinely did want to know how the race went... she's watched Nalani and I train for years... so we talked for ~30' before actually getting in and swimming and I let her into my head and told her what I really thought. And then she told me what she really thought and it came across as so genuine that it was easy for me to hear. This woman is in her late 60's and swims very slowly. She told me that she has asked herself many times why she swims... she knows she's never going to compete or try to win anything... but yet she's one of the most regular patrons of the pool year round. She simply said she enjoys doing it and it makes her feel good.

It can be so cliche to talk about 'enjoying the journey' but she was just so right... and I genuinely have enjoyed this whole journey... and I will continue to enjoy it for years to come. Which means that even when your big race didn't turn out like you thought it might, life goes on and you show up at the pool a few days later and swim another workout.

But let's not get too sappy here, ok? I'm no where near giving up. In fact, I have a theory as to why my race didn't go so well last weekend (it involves horror-mones and tampons so I won't go into the details for fear of scaring either one of the men who read this blog) but there's a part of me that is dying to have another shot... sooner rather than later. And seems like 6 weeks later would be an excellent opportunity to test this horror-mone theory of mine so I've become like Desperately Seeking Susan trying to find someone (anyone???) who knows someone (anyone???) who can get me a back door entry into IMAZ. In the name of research, I mean. I'll be like a one woman show testing the theory about our ability to perform at different times of the month. I've emailed many people individually pleading to help but it seems that a back door entry into IMAZ is not especially easy to come by. But if I don't ask then for sure it won't happen so I thought I'd put it out there... If you are or know someone (anyone???) who can convince one of those WTC folks to assign me a race number for November 20, let me know, will ya? Mahalo.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Ok grab a cup of coffee because this is probably going to be long. I have a lot to say. ;)

When I crossed the finish line on Saturday I smiled because I was done and let's face it, it's a privilege to get to race in Kona and the day I can't smile there is the day I should retire. That said, I was less than thrilled with my performance and at the time did not think I would write about it at all. And then a couple days passed and I got to witness the very inspiring awards ceremony last night and got home tonight and spent an hour going through all the great pictures people took and well, I'm not so pissy now. Which means you guys will get the race report after all! :)

That said, I'm not sugar coating this at all... it's exactly how it went down as I remember it tonight.

Race morning was fine. I woke up ready to go get my best Ironman. I was confident I was going to have a great day. Mentally I felt calm and collected and I went about my business doing all the normal pre-race stuff. When it was time to get in the water I found Nalani and Scott and we got in together. Nalani's husband had a great spectator spot on the wall and got some great photos. Can you see us? It's like Where's Waldo? (Hint. Scott is wearing red.)

Giving Scott some swim instructions that went something like Best to start on the left of that Ford buoy but stay left rather than cutting over too soon and getting close to the buoys. Just aim for a direct line to the far turn buoy that we can't really see...

So we swam out to the front left and treaded water... listened to the drums beating and the helicopters overhead and tried to keep my heart in my chest. I heard my name and turned around to see Ange so we wished each other well and then finally the cannon went off and we got underway. I don't have a lot to say about the swim other than that I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't get violent for me really at all. I've had way more violent swim starts and I was completely prepared for war but shockingly I had a ton of clear water. (The first 40 miles of the bike totally trumped the swim in the chaos department- stay tuned.) I didn't do a lot of drafting on the way out, mostly b/c I didn't trust the men around me not to slow down... sorry but I was looking for a woman b/c my experience is that strong women swimmers tend to set out at a pace they can maintain, while many men set out at a pace they cannot and therefore slow down and I did not want to get caught behind that. After the turn buoy I did find eventually find a guy who seemed to be swimming a good pace and he was off to the left swimming a little wide on his own so I cruised on his feet and felt like I was having a decent swim for sure. I was happy in the water!

Getting out I saw the clock... 1:01?? Um, ok, that was my slowest Ironman swim ever. That was weird. But then I heard Michelle Ford's name called out and I was running shoulder to shoulder with my friend Erica McClurg into T1 and started the bike with Julie Dunkle so I knew I was in good company. I completely let go of the swim time knowing that it was just long or whatever. Those girls are all strong swimmers so to be in their company was perfect. Indeed, post race I saw the swim times and seemed everyone was ~3' slower than they should have been. Once again, a lesson that swim times in triathlons don't matter for shit.

I started the bike and right away did not feel super. Hmmm. That's okay. My plan was to start slow and ease into things so I tried not to stress about it. It was crowded around me and I just let like 200 people pass in the first mile. Then climbing Kuakini Beth Shutt passed by and I looked up and saw that the 3 people immediately in front of me were Michelle, Beth, and Julie and I thought about how cool the blog world is because without blogs I would not know those girls at all. Instead though I felt like I was in the company of friends. :)

Anyway, another 300 men passed me in the next few miles, some of them very closely (read, scary!). A few women went by too and while I wanted to be able to respond to that I really just felt like I could/should not so I continued to just do my own thing. I was riding without any data at all (I left my watch in my dry clothes bag before the race started so I didn't even know what time it was) which normally would be perfect for me... However... when the only data you have on your performance is your place among your competitors... and you are a decent swimmer at the World Championships and therefore being passed by 100 people per mile... well... I was fairly certain that I was having the shittiest bike ride ever... even though I felt like I was moving along well... it seemed like everyone else was moving along faster.

In the first ~15 miles I was being passed by steady streams of men mostly one at a time. Normal for crowded course conditions. Then a group of 4 men passed. Then no one for a while... then another tight group of 6 men would pass... then no one for a while... then another group of 6 men would pass... um, really? Warning: rant coming up. This was not a situation of the course being too crowded. The drafting I saw on the course was flat out blatant wheel sucking cheating. At one point maybe 20-25 miles into the bike I went by an aid station but didn't need anything so I moved left into the center of the lane to stay out of the way of people who were trying to grab bottles. Then I got swallowed up and passed by men on both my right and my left, which freaked me out because that is not normal in a triathlon! So I glanced behind me just to see if I had room to move right or left and, um, there were streams of cyclists coming at me for as far as I could see. I was probably going ~20mph but was being passed like I was going 10. I swear I have never seen anything like this in a triathlon... I had flashbacks to how scared I was at that big bike race on Oahu last month- it was just like that. I screamed out loud as they swallowed me up and pretty much just stopped pedaling because I didn't want to get caught up in it. Eventually they all passed by... all 40-50 of them... and I was left coasting with my jaw dropped open. I saw some women hanging on to the back of that group and that just pissed me off but what was I going to do? Where were the race officials?!? Julie was off the back of that group and commented as she passed by me How do you like that peloton?!? She said that 3 race officials had gone by but had not been able to split up the group. We just watched them ride off into the distance... they must have been going 24+ mph which is not hard when you are in a huge group like that... And sure enough, there was a motorcycle riding next to the group but even then it wasn't being split up at all. Eventually they were out of sight but I had a hard time not continuing to be pissed about that. Julie and I played a very legal game of leap frog for the next 10-15 miles and I swear every time I got close enough to her I bitched out loud about the drafting and then finally was like, I should just let it go already.

Today I saw this picture on Facebook. Unbelievable, no? If some of the bike times seemed outrageously fast on Saturday, this is why.

Anyway, I did really try to keep a positive attitude amongst all that. At one point (after the peloton passed by) my athlete Teri came up next to me in an official race vehicle and cheered me on and got photographic evidence that I was not actually a pissy bitch for the whole ride. ;)

Ok blah blah blah. The bike went on forever. I was fairly certain that all 1800 competitors in the race had passed me in the first 50 miles, but shockingly I saw that there were actually still some behind me after I turned around in Hawi. (Btw, it was very windy on that climb... easily the windiest I've felt while racing up there and between Honu/Kona this was my 8th time racing up that hill. It was a nice tailwind going down though!) Interestingly, not many people passed me on the return trip. Phew. My legs sort of finally came around and I felt more like me after ~mile 75 (love it when it takes 75 miles to warm up?!?). I was mentally prepared for it to be really hard from Waikoloa to home (that section is pretty much all uphill with a headwind) but turns out this was the best part of the whole race for me. I remembered training on this section with Kiet in August and I gained a sense of confidence and I started picking off cyclists ahead of me one by one. I felt a sense of relief that maybe I didn't suck at cycling after all.

Coasting down Palani into T2...

I did not know my bike split which was fine... I knew from how many women I saw pass me in the first 1/2 that I hadn't had the bike I was hoping to have but whatever... it wasn't terrible... and then off the bike jogging through transition I was like UH OH. Quads were starting with twinges of cramping and I wasn't sure what to make of that. I'd followed my nutrition plan exactly, drank what seemed like plenty of water, took e21 every hour just like I always do... but my legs were not happy. Hmmm. Damage control time. I just told myself to relax through T2 and maybe after a minute or so the muscles would relax and I'd be ok... I used the porta-potty in the change tent and actually saw my right quad muscle bunch up... um, that is not good. So I took my time through T2... poured lots of cold water on myself, and eventually got moving.

Looks like I am happy here, doesn't it? I put on a good act for the camera because I swear I don't remember being this happy running up the hill out of T2.

My plan was to jog easy for the first 5ish miles down Ali'i Dr. I really did not feel good at all though and I knew I was going really slow and it was not easy. I was trying to figure out what to do... I didn't think I needed to eat more- I'd taken in as many calories as I'd planned on the bike (which was plenty... and I was taking Vespa too which always reduces my need for calories) and I'd peed twice on the bike and again in T2 so I was not dehydrated. It did feel really hot and the sun was out in full force so I kept drinking water and shoving ice down my top. Nothing was helping though. My quads were just twinging and eventually just full on seized up which stopped me in my tracks completely. ARGH! I HATE THAT. Eventually I adopted this jog/walk routine to keep myself moving forward and pretty much spent the rest of the marathon in damage control mode.

Letting you into my brain at this point is tough... I was pissy for sure because I knew I was not having the day I had planned on... then I'd get pissy because I was not following my plan of being Relentlessly Positive... so then I'd try to perk up and think about something good but I was completely incapable of interacting with anyone including my friends who were passing me. Ange was so nice- she ran by like mile 5 or 6 and was asking if I needed anything and she was trying to be so encouraging and I just totally couldn't respond other than to tell her to just keep running. And while I was happy for everyone doing so well, the rate at which I was being passed made me certain that I was the only person out there having a bad day and I was trying to talk myself through that and be positive but then those positive thoughts would last like 10 seconds and then I would go back to wondering why I suck at this so badly. I remembered writing in my race plan that I was not going to cave... Was I caving? It seemed like I was and that's what pissed me off most. But my muscles were cramping. So is that caving? Could I will myself not to cramp? I didn't think I could. But maybe that's why I couldn't? I don't know. And that bugs me.

After I got up onto the Queen K the clouds rolled in and the temps dropped like 50 degrees and I saw Chris Lieto jogging at a snails pace and I swear that was the most inspiring thing I'd seen all day. Not that I was glad he was having a shitty day or anything, but it was a good reminder that what we do when things aren't going well is defining of our character... The fact that he was hanging in there when clearly he was not having his day was exactly the thing I needed to see. (I had already seen 5 pro women run by toward the finish, including Rinny who was absolutely hauling ass down Palani- I swear I've never seen anyone run so hard with such a determined look- it was incredible!)

So I trudged on... doing this little walk/jog thing that seemed to be the only thing that would prevent the full on cramping seizures. I drank Coke at most aid stations, took e21 every so often, and backed off the water b/c my hands were looking bloated. Finally I got to the Energy Lab for my special needs bag, grabbed Moana's little blue shovel (it was time to dig) and carried it with me to the end. Teri took this picture ~20-22 miles into the marathon... you can kinda see the shovel stuck in my bra. And again, I swear I do not remember smiling but photographic evidence shows otherwise. (Thankfully this picture does not show my feet because they were most certainly both on the ground.)

In the last couple miles I remembered what my coach told me and my mantra became just freaking WILL your legs to run... just freaking WILL your legs to run... just freaking WILL your legs to run... just freaking WILL your legs to run... I swear that is the only thing I thought to myself for I don't know like maybe 20 straight minutes? I should have thought of that earlier because it worked. Running down Palani I grabbed the shovel out of my bra and held onto it tight and actually started smiling for real.

I finished in 11:04. I know I should not bitch about that at all because it was faster than I've previously gone in Kona, but it was just not a day that felt reflective of the training I have done. Which just leaves me more determined than ever to freaking figure out how to run a marathon off the bike.

In good news, my athletes Nalani (10:58 new PR by 13'!) and Scott (13:15 first IM finish!) both did really well and finished happy. :)

And my husband and my daughter and my mom looked cuter than ever out there supporting me all day!

So I hope this doesn't come off as too much complaining... I just wanted to keep it real. It is a privilege to race in Kona and I do not take that for granted. And even on a day that didn't come together as I'd hoped, I would way rather be out there racing than watching (lesson learned form last year!) Attending the awards last night was awesome and a good reminder of how incredible this race really is. And this morning I flopped around in the ocean and looked at the fish and just swam super easy by myself and that was a good reminder of the fact that I do actually truly love this sport. Especially in Kona. :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011


This morning when I was making coffee I started telling Scott... "48 hours from now we'll be..." And he was like "STOP! Don't even go there..." So apparently the trick to not being nervous two days before the World Championships is to just not even think about it. So instead we just drank our coffee and pretended it was a completely normal day and headed down to the pier for another swim.

I can't remember the last time I've had a morning where I've seen so many people I knew before 8AM. Nalani and I rode cruiser bikes down to the pier and saw Ange driving down, then Mike and Sandy and Mark, then I met Marni and saw my friends Kristen and Olwen while checking our dry clothes bags, then Ben, Rae, Roberto, Trish, and Diana were all finishing up their swims while we were standing on the sand contemplating putting our caps on. We were just about to start swimming when Michelle and Sonja got out so we delayed swimming while chatting with them. Then I finally got to meet Molly as she was about to jump in the water. Liz was getting out and then "Oh there's Mary!" so we hung out chatting with her and then finally went ahead and started swimming. Coach did say 'social swim' this morning so really, I was just following the plan. I'm such an obedient little athlete.

We did the obligatory coffee thing while treading water (poor me) and then finished up just as the Underwear Run was getting underway. I had no desire to jog along Ali'i Dr in my underwear so there was never any intention of participating... though I suppose I could have done it in my bikini as many did... though that really isn't participating in the 'underwear' run, is it? Kurt decided that there should be some set of 'qualifying standards' for the underwear run. Had those been enforced only ~1/2 of the participants would have been allowed in. But those who were in... we *all in*... or maybe more appropriate *all hanging out*. Lol. There were times when Nalani pointed and I really just should have looked away. Yikes.

Interestingly, in a little bit I'm going back to the pier to have a chat with a woman who is here writing a story about Kona Ironman for Outside Magazine. Mary gave her my contact info and the email I got from her said, "How about 3:00ish? I'm waiting to hear back from Dave Scott about what time he is available..." Ha! Yes. Interview me and Dave Scott. Because we're like, totally in the same category. Or maybe she just really wants very different perspectives for her article? That must be it. Regardless, I think it's pretty damn cool I get to do that. I'll let you know how it goes.

For now, I'm just doing more chilling out and relaxing. It's a good thing I get to exercise ALL DAY on Saturday because this whole not-training-just-resting thing is driving me nuts. I'm bored and I just want to go swimbikerun. Conditions should be perfect on Saturday. I have not actually checked the weather, but it seems the south swell will be gone so the swim will be normal, and if the weather stays like it has been all week, it won't even be hot. Maybe a bit windy but nothing out of the ordinary. Kona is getting soft.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's Just Getting Better

If it's possible, today was even better than yesterday. I am having a blast so far this week... so far it's really everything I hoped it would be (maybe even better?) and I'm having a hard time containing myself. :)

So many good things... trying to remember them all! Swimming this morning was a blast. The water wasn't very clear b/c of the south swell that is churning everything up but it was warm and really nothing to complain about. In fact, I hope it gets way bigger/messier in the next few days b/c it's fun to watch people freak out. Anyway, I met more fun people down there again this AM and it was all very social as you can tell from my new profile picture on Facebook. ;) Scott and Ange and I swam for a bit before ending up at the Coffees of Hawaii boat where Scott was pretty sure he'd died and gone to heaven.

Speaking of Scott... he arrived in last night from Kentucky... his first time ever to Hawaii... about to do his first Ironman on Saturday and he is soaking all this up like a kid in a candy store*. It's really quite cute and it is so good for me to be around him right now. Not that I'm jaded or anything (really I'm not!), but, having lived here for 7 years and just having been around this for a while, it's just easy to forget how incredible it really is for most people who have not previously experienced it. Scott notices everything (the sunsets and the fruit and the geckos and the canoes in the ocean) and genuinely enjoys it all, which makes him extremely pleasant to be around! And it is a good reminder for me as well... he is helping me soak up this experience through the eyes of a newbie in a way that I would not otherwise.

At some point I'll get into race mode, but not yet. Physically I feel awesome and mentally I feel even better... so I will be fine on Saturday... but honestly I haven't given the race much thought. Instead I'm just enjoying the social aspect of this week so far. Maybe on Friday I'll try to transition to race mode?

*Speaking of a kid in a candy store... we hung out on Ali'i Dr watching the Parade of Nations this afternoon/evening, per Kerrie's recommendation. I'm pretty sure she was trying to sabotage my week with that one because all those people threw so much candy at Moana that we're going to be set well past Halloween with the stash she collected.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Scene

Our condo here is awesome and provides all sorts of ammenities... like a free public computer in the lobby! So, yay! Updates from Kona! :)

We arrived yesterday afternoon and driving into town Moana was like, "Oh look at the bike! Oh and another bike! Look there's another bike! More bikes!" That pretty much sums it up. I don't remember so many people being here so early in years past, but it seems like indeed, the economy in Kona is doing just fine this month. This place is packed. This morning we finished swimming* at ~7:30 and there must have been 200 swimmers in and around the pier getting ready to swim and another 200 people just hanging out on the wall watching the scene. That's really what it is... a scene.

I was looking around yesterday and feeling such a mix of feelings... on one hand, I was like all these people are so dorky! All wearing some sort of triathlon race kit/clothing (really? to the grocery store?) and compression gear and really brightly colored running shoes and just generally looking dorky! So I was trying to explain my conundrum to Nalani... like trying to balance my knowledge of the fact that these people are such dorks yet at the same time I am one of them. Lol.OK I have not been able to bring myself to wear any compression gear here yet. I do think I'll probably not venture out in public in it this week. Something about trying to limit the scope of my own dorkiness while being amongst the Mecca of it here this week.

One of my favorite things about this week though has to be running into so many old friends and meeting lots of other bloggers too. I hadn't even been here for an hour before running into Kerrie and Glen at the farmers market, where Rain caught a big green gecko which thoroughly entertained Moana. Then this morning Nalani and I met a bunch of gals down at the pier to swim... Beth and Libby and Katie and Michelle and Sonja. What a fun group to swim with! It was all good until we were on our way back in and there were swimmers everywhere coming right at us. I am amazed at how many people were swimming with their heads up their asses down and just generally not paying attention to the fact that swimmers were coming right at them the opposite way. I managed to avoid most of them by moving to the side. Caution: There are no lane lines at Dig Me Beach. Pay attention!

Anyway, tomorrow morning looks to be another swim with Ange and Mary and maybe some others? Kona is so fun with all these people here. It's nice to be able to balance my need to be social with the little bit of exercise I still want/need to do this week... then I have the perfect excuse to be a hermit most of the afternoons b/c I have volunteered to be on duty while Moana naps every afternoon from like 12-2. Yep. Grammy go take a break and go do whatever you want... No problem... I will hang out in our condo and read a book while she sleeps... Perfect. :)

My athlete Scott arrives in a few hours so hanging with him will be super fun the next few days... then my husband Scott (too many Scotts!) will arrive on Wednesday... so it's just going to keep getting better for a while before it gets hard. Stay tuned for more from The Scene...

*Kerrie will be happy to know I got my Panic swim training this morning. We did the whole course. Phew! I can do it.