Sunday, July 29, 2012

Racing Anonymously

(Sorry about the lack of formatting and photos... Im posing from my ipad and cant figure out how to add the spaces?) We are having so much fun here at the lake! It's beautiful and peaceful and quiet and I'm not sure Moana is ever going to want to leave... She is having a blast playing with her cousins. It is super cute to watch. Of course since the sun doesn't go down til 9PM we have not been successful in getting her to go to bed on time... And naps... Forget 'em! Anyway. So I showed up to race a local Olympic Distance race in Portland this morning. I was really excited to do a race where I knew no one, felt no pressure (at all!), and had no expectations. And of course going in with a mind set like that resulted in a pretty good race... My assessment of it is that it is a race that reflected my training, which is what I always hope for when I race! :) Wave starts... There was an elite wave but there were only 3 men in it... They started 1' ahead of my wave which was 30-39 men and women. I lined up at the front, looked around for someone I thought I might try to draft and I have to say, it looked like slim pickings. Most of the women looked like deer in headlights and were not standing in the front line... One guy was wearing Swedish goggles and on the front line so I figured he might be my guy. I asked him if he was a swimmer and he said he was... Friendly guy. Introduced himself as Seth and then the horn went off and he was gone. So much for drafting Seth! No one else was near though so I swam alone for the whole swim... Well, until near the end when I caught and passed one of the elite guys. Maybe he should swim more? Anyway. I would say I felt good in the water- strong but relaxed and wasn't killing myself or anything. I did take note of how easy it was to swim in a well marked lake with buoys every 200M and no currents or chop or stinging sea creatures. In a wetsuit. Does it get any easier?? Felt like I took about a half hour in T1 trying to get my wetsuit off and then we had to run forever before they let us mount our bikes but finally we were allowed to start riding. The course was pretty lonely. The elite guy got out of T1 right ahead of me so I did have him in my sights for a little while but then he was gone. Then I caught/passed Swimmer Seth and then I was all alone again. Where was everyone?? I felt like I was riding pretty well but didn't seem like I was riding THAT well that the guys wouldn't start passing me, but indeed, I did not get passed on that ride today at all by anyone. Crazy! And while I was riding I was amazed at the lack of adversity I was facing... No wind. Perfectly paved road. Pancake flat. Cloudy skies and about 65 degrees. The only thing that could have made it faster might have been if there was only one u-turn instead of two. Other than that I swear there is not a faster course anywhere! Consequently I have a new 40K bike PR at 1:01:07. So that was cool. It was also sort of cool to come into T2 leading not only the women's wave, but then men's too! That was a first. I felt pretty solid running... Not fast but not slow and I managed to hold an even pace through the whole 10K. Men did start passing me once we started running and I saw some hard charging women from later waves when I was running back and I figured they were catching me but didn't really know so I just kept doing my thing... Crossed the line first but 2' later two more women came flying through so they beat me overall since they started in a later wave. Couple of thoughts about this race experience: ~Hawaii women are strong and there are a lot of fast gals to race with all the time which raises he level for us all. That's a good thing! ~The adverse conditions I face daily in training are awesome. While I may not always enjoy 25 mph winds while riding or dealing with hot sun and high humidity while running or significant ocean chop/current while swimming, I will say then on the off chance I get to race in ideal conditions, it is bliss and it feels so easy! I am glad I am not super spoiled in training because it would make me soft. ~Racing anonymously today really allowed me to just focus on swimming and biking and running as best I could without worrying at all about anyone else. That was great and as a result I feel like I did a better than normal job of racing to my ability. I need to figure out how to replicate this mindset even when I'm racing my friends. It's something about managing expectations and I'm going to have to keep working on this because I definitely don't have it nailed. ~They were serving (free!) beer from Kona Brewing Company at the finish line. They must have known I was coming! ;) Next up, more chill time at this lake house, daily swimming in the lake each afternoon, exploring Washington roads on my bike, running some of the Pacific Crest trail which is right out my door, watching Olympic swimming and gymnastics with Moana... then meeting up with friends in Boulder and pretending like I don't know them next week when we're racing.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Home. Alone.

This is so rare... like unheard of rare... I am home in my house, alone. It is clean. Laundry is done. Schedules are written. I don't have to go get Moana from school this afternoon and I don't have to cook dinner for anyone tonight. And did I mention that my house was clean?? Seriously, this is never the scenario in my world... but TODAY it is! :)

So in reality what happened was that I was having a not-so-rare brain-dead moment when I was booking our tickets for our trip to the mainland... accidentally booked Scott and Moana to leave today and myself tomorrow. Whoops! And interestingly, when you call the airlines and try to explain that Ironman training took your brain away and you booked your tickets on the wrong day and would like to change them to the right day, they say matter of factly, That will be $310 change fee. In which you reply, Um, no thanks. I'll just hang out at home by myself for an extra day.

It worked out really well, actually... having a whole 24 hours at home by myself is turning out to be simply pure bliss. I love my family and all, but a whole day here without them is pretty nice. I've been super efficient today and got all my work done no problem. And I cleaned! I remember when I was a kid, before we went on vacation my mom would always insist that we clean the house... as a kid I never understood why we had to do such a thing (kid logic: no one is going to be home WHY does it have to be clean???) but now as a mom I get it. Coming home from vacation to a dirty/messy house sucks. So now I always clean before we go away.

Tomorrow I'm heading up to Washington where we are staying at a house on a lake that apparently requires a trip on a motorboat to get to the front door. Most of Scott's family will be there so Moana will have a blast playing with her cousins and I am going to sit on the deck with my feet up and read trashy novels. (Seriously- my neighbor just dropped off the first 2 Fifty Shades books... I am all set!)

It won't be all lazy though... in researching the area to find where I might swimbikerun I found that there is a little local triathlon at the next lake over on Sunday morning... and I have to say... the thought of participating in a local race where I would be completely anonymous and know no one was just incredibly appealing to me! It felt all grass roots and reminded me of the good old days when I would simply find a race on a race calendar and show up knowing nothing about the course or my competition and just swimbikerun as fast as I could until they told me to stop. That's pure joy right there. So I entered the Olympic distance race and even though I am pretty sure I have trained every last fast twitch muscle fiber out of my body, I totally can't wait to do it! :)

From Washington then I'm headed over to Boulder for the 70.3 the following weekend... that one will be super fun too I think but in a totally different (less anonymous) way... mostly b/c at that one there really will be quite a few people I know. I've got three athletes racing that one plus some of my really good friends from high school live there now so we're having a little mini 20th reunion dinner... and then of course all the friends I've made from social media too... knock Facebook all you want but I think it's super cool that I'll get to hang with a bunch of awesome people I've 'met' through that site! Rumor has it that Kerrie is trying to cancel the swim and get me drunk first so no promises on performance at that race... Lol. But if Lucho is there watching then you can bet I probably won't walk on the run b/c that would be embarrassing to do in front of your coach who you're meeting for the first time after 18 months of guidance.

So there you go. Let summer vacation commence!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What A Weekend!

We just had an awesome weekend. Tomorrow is Scott's birthday and the best present I could give him was some quality family time so I rented a condo on the beach in Haleiwa for the weekend and we took a little vacation. It was awesome waking up and drinking coffee and looking at this the last few mornings.
Yesterday morning I finally participated in one of the North Shore Swim races of the summer. I actually meant to do the one two weeks ago but forgot to enter before the price went up and the thought of paying $50 for a 30' swim didn't sit so well so I skipped it. I managed to enter the one yesterday before the price went up though so I showed up to swim... For whatever reason these swims didn't interest me all that much this year and consequently the whole time I was swimming yesterday all I could think was I just don't care about this... In reality I think that is some sort of protective mechanism where my brain sends those signals out because I am pretty fatigued from accumulated Ironman training the last few months and my fatigue seems to manifest itself via those types of thoughts. Anyway, not surprisingly, I did not swim well at all. In fact, I got beat by a 65-69 yo woman running up the beach! Lol. Classic. Granted she is bas ass (BUT she is 65-69!!!) She has never beaten me before so I thought that was just so funny. And I know my mom will fall off her chair when she sees this but I'm going to post it anyway because it is exactly indicative of how I felt about that race yesterday.

So naturally since I was so trashed, after the swim I went and ran up/down a long hill. It was ~7.5 miles from sea level to ~1000ft... and then back down.
In all honesty I felt like death right from the first step. Had Nalani not been with me there's a good chance I would have turned around after the first tenth of a mile and spent the rest of the afternoon drinking mai tais on the beach with Scott and Moana. Instead I sucked it up and considered it to be good mental training for Ironman... practicing putting one foot in front of the other when you feel like death... Just like Ironman! So that was perfect. In good news I was only in my own personal hell for maybe 5 miles and then my legs came around and it got a little better and I was glad I persevered. And if you're wondering what the repercussions are of pounding downhill for 7.5 miles, I'll show you. Beautiful, eh? I should lose that one just in time to go to Canada.

Interestingly I was not at all sore this morning and nothing actually hurt. I'm just systemically tired. Apparently even if you spend the rest of the weekend lounging at the beach, you'll still harbor some fatigue after a day like that. (File that under 'duh'.)

And of course I watched the online coverage of IMLP on and off today... It was quite humbling to see that many (almost all?!?) of my friends who were racing there were chewed up and spit out by that course today... and these are some very strong women who I compete against and I know they were trained and ready yet they did not have the day they anticipated. That is further confirmation in my mind that Ironman is a different beast... it is NOT like a half ironman... if you're having a bit of an off day in an Ironman it can easily cost you an hour or more vs what you anticipated... and there are just no guarantees that it's all going to come together on race day. I'll be interested to read race reports and hear what they think happened... but I know that feeling of just being DONE on the marathon yet still trying to get yourself to the finish line (walking in many cases!). For me I think it is going to be more of a mental battle vs a physical battle in Canada... and to that end I'm tailoring my training to put myself in scenarios where I just want to be *done* yet I will not allow myself to be done (note my run yesterday!). So far I am succeeding in this. I capped off 52 miles of running this week with a moderately long brick today- running 6 miles off the bike at IM pace when it was middle of the day and super hot and I did it by simply turning my brain off and running. I did not allow myself to think about it at all. I just did it. So that is going to be my race plan for IMC. I'm going to execute like a robot with no brain. Or try anyway... ;)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Run

When you live on an island (and have lived in the same spot for 7+ years!) and are training for an Ironman, it can get a bit boring. My problem (if it is a problem?) is that I am a creature of habit and I tend to ride and run the same routes over and over and over.... we don't really have that many roads to choose from anyway- especially for biking b/c most of our roads just suck and are highly trafficked with tons of lights, etc... but the fact that I do the same run routes over and over is pretty much just a result of my own habit of just choosing the same routes time and again. I can be a geek too and I like to compare times on my routes sometimes I race myself, etc.

So my plan today was to run long and yesterday I decided that I needed to do something different for this one. I have two 20 mile routes that I tend to do... I either run south to Lanikai or north to Chinaman's Hat. 10 miles out 10 miles back la la la (read: BORING!) same same every time. I like those routes b/c I know them and I know where I can stop for water, etc but today I wanted to do something more epic. I know I am 100x more motivated when I am attempting to do something I am not altogether sure I can do... so I spent some time yesterday on Map My Run trying to find a more interesting loop to run today.

This morning at swimming I described my intended route (a giant loop through two towns) to Nalani and she agreed that it would indeed be epic. While I have run all of these roads before, I have never combined them in such a way as to create a full on 22 mile loop.

Nalani and I spent some time discussing the pros and cons of running the loop clockwise or counter-clockwise... One route had me running big hills (but likely shady and cool) for the first half and then flat/hot/tailwind along the coast for the rest of it... the other way had me running hot/flat/headwind for the first bit and then hitting the major (yet cooler) hills around mile 12. Nalani thought the heat at the end would be worse than the hills at the end but I disagreed so chose to do the hills first... even though I thought maybe the long/steep downhill in the first half would trash my quads so completely that I might just end up walking the last hot bit...

Anyway, I have to say, I definitely had some fear as I started out this run... maybe instead we could say it was a very healthy level of respect for the route... that sounds better, no? Regardless, I started off as easy as I could and kept it mellow with the full understanding that at some point I was going to feel like death. I have to say though, it really wasn't that bad! Really, the worst part was the end when it was hot. (Nalani was right!) For a bit I actually thought I was going to luck out because ~16ish miles in I could see it raining up ahead and I was thinking ohhh this would be beautiful if I could just run the last 6 miles in cool rain but unfortunately the wind was blowing pretty hard and I was not running fast enough to actually get under the rain. No. Instead the sun came right out from under the clouds and beat down on me making it absolutely sweltering after all that rain. (Think 99% humidity!) So that was fun. I will say though that when I stopped in a Burger King to fill my bottle with water somewhere ~15 miles I just felt bad/sad for all those people sitting in there eating that shit for lunch. Unbelievable to me in this day and age when all that information is out there that a place like Burger King would actually be full of people scarfing down that stuff that is not even food. Anyway.

Maybe next time I'll try it going the other way and see if the hills at the end are indeed worse than the heat? Either way, this run was epic and I am stoked that I did it and did not die. On a MONDAY nonetheless. Who runs 22 miles on a MONDAY?? 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

On Drafting

I do a ton of riding by myself but yesterday I did a long ride with a small group of guys and it got me thinking about the benefits of riding alone vs riding with a small group. There are definitely pluses and minuses to both and maybe some of you have heard my thoughts on this, but I thought maybe I'd organize them here in a blog-like post. :)

Let's start with riding by yourself. I think riding alone is awesome for a lot of reasons- both physically and mentally!
~The ability to focus for a long time on your own is important if your plan is to race longcourse triathlon. Being able to entertain yourself by yourself for 5-6 hours is super.
~Chances are your pacing when you're by yourself is going to be more even/steady/appropriate than it would be when you're with a group. I have totally seen that this year since I am riding by power... I just hit 'lap' on my garmin and get in my aero bars and work at an effort that produces the numbers I want to see for extended periods. Doing a specific workout is no problem when it's just you and your power meter!
~I think that learning to ride into a headwind or crosswind without having someone block it for you is critical. Too many times I see women sitting on the wheel of stronger men who do all the work and they're just cruising along behind not working as hard as they should be and not learning how to accept the frustration of pedaling into a strong wind. Sometimes you just have to face it solo.
~You'll prob spend a lot less time stopped on the side of the road when you're alone. More riders almost always = more issues whether its mechanical or otherwise... When I ride alone I can get a 5 hour ride done in <5:15 total time start to finish b/c I don't spend any time talking to anyone at my water/bathroom stops. I'm all business and just go get it done! This has become more important since I have been married and had Moana... when I was single I could spend all day on a 5 hour ride. Now I don't really have that luxury of taking the entire day to do something that can be done in 1/2 day. Mama needs to be efficient! :)

So that said, sometimes it's awesome to ride with other people and we can really benefit... again both physically and mentally!
~Riding with others makes the time pass by so much faster. 110 miles is 110x easier (mentally anyway) when you've got other people around. So even though it might take longer b/c of additional stopping, it feels like it goes by quicker.
~You're probably safer with a group- especially if you're riding with people who know how to handle their bikes. Cars tend to see a group of three riders easier than they see one. Both times I've been hit by a car it's come from behind when I was alone.
~If you're riding with people who are stronger than you, you can still get an appropriate level of work in. In all likelihood (if you're drafting) it'll require more spikes and lulls in your effort (vs the steady state you can do on your own) and this is even if the person you're riding behind is riding really steady. While drafting your effort just naturally ebbs and flows more b/c of wind or hills or whatever. At times though- depending on your current fitness level- this can be a really good thing to work on (going above threshold for a short while then below it again, etc).
~If the people you're riding with are fairly significantly stronger than you- and you're fit enough to physically handle the load- then riding with others can be hugely beneficial especially on the mental side. It can require huge amounts of concentration and confidence to stay on someone's wheel when you're suffering... I do think this takes time and practice to master and you'll likely get dropped a lot before you really get it... but hanging on when you'd like nothing more than to just ease up and relax is a skill and will certainly make you a stronger rider if you force yourself to do it. Yesterday I was riding behind Armando and ninety miles into the ride he was just killing it and the headwind was so strong and I just wanted him to ease up a little but he would not and then I lost focus for like a second and immediately I was off his wheel. ARGH! I had 2 choices- ease up and ride alone into that headwind at my own pace or hurry up and drill it for 10" to get back on his wheel... I chose the latter and OUCH it hurt so bad to get back on but after that I did not lose focus again and just stayed there glued to his back wheel like a sticky booger. On those days you learn that even when you're hurting your body is capable of so much more if you can just make your brain shut up.

So there you go... good sides to both types of riding! I think the ability to do both is important to long course racing success... so if you always ride alone, find some people to ride with once in a while! It'll probably be fun and you're sure to learn a lot. And if you always ride with people, suck it up and go alone every once in a while. Your mental tenacity will be stronger for it and you might learn that you actually like your own company. :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sleep and Plants... Magic Cure!

The game we play with Ironman training has us trying to figure out the balance of Train as much as you can! with Stay healthy! Sometimes balancing those out is a real challenge. Especially when you really enjoy training a lot (and training hard!)

Last week when I was in Kona I went a day early and stayed a day late... mostly b/c I just wanted some extra time on the Big Island to truly drill myself (that's what trips to the Big Island are for, no?) and I think I was successful in finding the edge of my cliff again! In fact, I think for the first time in quite some time I actually started to slip down it... Nearly 30 hours of swim/bike/run in those 7 days... the most I've ever done... ending with a 4.5 hour brick on the last day at just above 70.3 race pace/power... That was enough to do me in for a while. I had some planned down time for the rest of the week after I got home and it was really interesting- I felt fine (great actually!) after that last w/o but as soon as I got home and allowed myself to shut it down, I mentally and physically went into a bit of a coma. Not really of course but damn if I wasn't just completely useless for a few days.

Then in the middle of the night on Saturday I found myself up and running to the bathroom thinking I was going to throw up... so odd b/c I never throw up... and I didn't actually do it that night either but I did wake Scott with my dry heaving. He asked if I was ok and in my still sleeping mind I replied that I thought I was just playing out part of the dream I was having (the dream where I was puking)... odd. I let it go, went back to sleep and got up the next morning to get ready to ride. It didn't take long before I realized I was in no shape to ride a bike that day. Nausea, chills, fever, achy, low energy... Totally sucked b/c I had a couple of guys I coach showing up at my house ready to roll at 6:30 and I had to go out and meet them and tell them they were on their own. Blah! But there was just no way I could ride.

Anyway, the point of this post is about how I managed to rid myself of that virus in what I'd say was a pretty quick turn-around! Whenever I get an email from an athlete telling me they think they are getting sick, I tell them to support their body as best the can with sleep and plants. And I mean it! Sleep and plants! Magic cure. Here was my personal opportunity to try it out again...

So Sunday I ate pretty much nothing but fruits and vegetables. Literally- everything I put in my mouth had previously grown from the ground and I hit as many colors as I could. Mango, apple, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, kale, spinach, blueberries, strawberries, orange, lilikoi, banana, tomato, avocado, etc. I also drank a couple mugs of apple cider vinegar mixed with hot water (like ACV tea). I took a nap mid-day and then I went to bed at 8PM and slept until 7AM Monday morning. Monday I wouldn't say I woke up feeling spunky but def better than Sunday. I continued on my plants only diet and by mid-afternoon I felt like maybe I could attempt a little jog. There's a lot of nutrition packed into those plants and I swear they are the best medicine! This morning I felt nearly normal- good enough to ride my bike and run- and now I feel good again! Sleep and plants... magic cure!

Being sick 7 weeks out from your Ironman is in no way ideal... in the end for me I think it was a good reminder that there is indeed a cliff I can fall right off if I'm not careful... It takes a lot for me to get there and I'm glad I went searching for it even if I did start to slip down a bit. It wasn't completely catastrophic or anything- just a good lesson. And a good reminder about the power of plants. So there you go... get your sleep. And eat lots of plants. :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

(First Annual) Ironwomen Training Camp in Kona!

So I'm sitting here feeling immensely satisfied with how that training camp went last weekend... Of course it's over now and I've got a ton of other stuff to do (yikes I am way behind!) but I want to get some thoughts down about the experience while they are still relatively fresh in my mind.

Of course we all had an amazing time... Though seriously, who ever leaves a training camp and says "Nah that really wasn't very much fun..." Ha! Not us!

I flew over before the sun came up last Wednesday morning... rode 105 miles by myself and then finally got to meet Mary in person! She flew in a day early and helped me get everything ready for the rest of the girls. We checked into our sweet house- which was right off Ali'i Dr past the 4 mile marker- and then made a Costco run stocking up on all things fruit and vegetable while chatting like old friends.
Everyone else flew over Thursday morning... I didn't really try to kill anyone on Thursday as the first day of camp tends to be a bit nervous as everyone tries to get to know each other, etc... so we headed to Kealakekua Bay for an ocean swim... We were looking for dolphins and while many times this bay is full of them, we didn't find any. Still a superb swim though!

 Then we went for a run along what can only be described as the true road to hell. I'll say it was indeed peaceful out there but yikes if it didn't feel like an oven. Welcome to Hawaii!

Friday was the longest day of the camp... We were in the water at the pier swimming at 6:45AM. One thing I have to say I was super impressed with was the ability of these women to get it together and be totally on time for everything. No slacking or dragging ass in the mornings at all!
That swim may qualify as my favorite ocean swim of all time. Water was warm and clear and glassy... we got out to the King's buoy and did a bit of a regroup/assess where we were going and immediately spotted a group of spinner dolphins jumping and playing... so scrap the rest of the swim plan! We spent the next 20' totally just playing with those dolphins... There must have been 30-40 of them all around us. Magical! No one could swipe the goofy grins off our faces after that...
Then it was on to a long ride to Hawi and back. I think I did a good job of scaring the girls into fueling and pacing correctly... The eating started immediately post swim and pretty much didn't stop for the rest of the day. :)
It was a good day on the bike... winds picked up for sure and were near Honu levels... It was indeed scary at times but everyone did great and I only had to talk a few of them off the ledge... and had one rather serious #quitbeingapussy #yourestrongerthanyouthink talk that resulted in a major breakthrough in confidence. :) I think that's really what these weekends are about.
Funny little story here... Thursday afternoon I did a little basic bike maintenance clinic with the girls (which is funny if you have ever seen the state of my bike- do as I say, not as I do...) But one of the things we talked about was changing a flat tire... everyone said they were totally comfortable doing it except Mary who assured me she didn't need to know b/c her husband always takes care of that kind of thing... Lol. Madam Pele had something else to say about that though and Mary got her practice ~85 miles into the Friday ride. Good news! She is now capable of changing her own flat tire. :)
So 116 miles later we rolled into our driveway. I was seriously impressed with how everyone held up. That was NOT an easy day.

I'd say everyone went to bed early but really we all just laid around with our iPads and laptops. What would camp be without bunk beds??

Saturday morning again came early as we were off to Hapuna Beach for an ocean swim race! It was only a mile but it was a good solid effort for sure! Gotta love these Big Island show up and sign up races they don't even charge you for... We came away thinking that these Big Island girls can swim! It was highly competitive. We held our own though and 4 of us came away with age group placings. Oahu girls can swim too. :)

I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little worried about the upcoming run... Jennifer (our awesome massage therapist/sag for the weekend!) was driving the van and dropped us off on the Queen K (about 7 miles from the airport) and it was time to run home. Yep. 10:30AM start running along that desolate highway... We piled on the sunscreen (I tried to tell Elizabeth that one coat of Planet Sun would be sufficient but she went ahead and applied 4 anyway! ;) and headed off.
I think a good thing about having a fairly high level of fear about a workout (or group of workouts) is that you respect it/them enough to really fuel and pace correctly... and then it is never really as bad as you think it might be. It was hot and we had a headwind most of the way but in good news Jennifer was driving the van and stopped every few miles for us so we could dump ice in our bras and refill our bottles. Seeing that white van up along the side of the road was like a beacon... we laughed about it being a mirage... but really it was perfect to be so supported the whole way. The worst part was arriving at our street at mile 18.5 and having to go an extra 3/4 mile past the house and back... but the determination to make that damn garmin say "20" was high and we did it!

The carnage...

Evening massages, a great home cooked meal, and a view like this helped with recovery for sure...

Sunday morning we slept in an extra 1/2 hour or so and then headed out to ride the South Loop... beautiful route that is definitely worth doing if you're in Kona. Lots of climbing there basically from sea level to ~1500 ft back to sea level back to ~1500 ft. This ride was pretty mellow just get it done kind of thing... including a nice little stop at a cute little coffee shop along the way.
A 7ish mile brick run into "The Pit" finished off the day and as Nalani and I sometimes do, we ended up drilling it (and each other!) there toward the end... progressing down to a pace I held for an open 5K over the winter. So ya, after that it was like stick a fork in me...

Or give me a martini.

Monday morning was on the mellow side... couple pots of coffee... jog down to the pier... another successful search for dolphins... more good coffee/conversation... and an acai bowl from Basik. A perfect finish to the long weekend! :)

I think universally the girls flew away from Kona knowing that they are indeed capable of WAY more than they ever thought. I spent the whole weekend being so proud of all of them. That kind of training is no joke but they handled it all so well. I'm already looking forward to next year! I'm thinking it'll probably be later in the summer next year... probably August so mark your calendars and let me know if you're interested! I liked the small group b/c it is easier to manage so I am going to limit the group to 6 again... I'll also keep it 'all-inclusive' meaning I'll rent the house and car and do the meals, etc. Those logistics worked out really well. It was indeed everything I imagined it could be and I can't wait to do it again! :)