Sunday, August 17, 2014

Kawela Triathlon

Yesterday was the first inaugural Kawela Triathlon here on Oahu. It was a laid back grass roots kind of 1/2 Ironman-ish event that was mostly fun because every triathlete we know was either racing or volunteering. Very family style out there yesterday! It was the kind of race where I got body marked by one of my best friends (lucky#7!), smiled at one of my favorite bike mechanics when he was on the side of the road with a cow bell, was handed water at an aid station on the bike by the guy who bought my condo last year, and was being hunted on the run by his bad-ass wife! It was the kind of race where afterward, while drinking beers, there were so many friends to talk to I didn't even have time to text my coach the results...

Unfortunately the swimmers once again got screwed with not only a super short swim, but also one where we had to run 1/2 mile in the middle of it. I know the majority of triathletes enjoy/prefer a short/easy swim, but yikes it's such a tired story I can't even get into it again.

I felt like I kept my effort on the swim/run/swim quite controlled... Finished the first lap of the swim in less than 10', 4th (I think?), got passed by ~5-6 men during the beach run, then promptly passed them all back on the second swim and exited the water again in 4th. (One of the swimmers who beat me out was a relay.) I glanced at my watch as I ran into T1 and saw it ticking over to 23' flat and just sort of groaned at the ridiculousness of that. Oh why oh why can we not have any triathlons on Oahu with legit swims?? Moving on.
Mahalo Kim Burnett for the photo!

Have to say, I was way off on my prediction for this bike ride! I thought it was going to be a ton faster and easier than it was... Might have been a more comfortable ride if my P3 was a full suspension bike? The roads on Oahu are ALL in desperate need of repaving. Yikes. We did at times have the benefit of a tailwind but interestingly it didn't translate over into the easy speed I sort of assumed it would... My plan was to hold back a bit on the bike in hopes of being able to run, so I don't feel like I blasted the bike at all... but I don't know... maybe I'm delirious but I just sort of thought I could cruise the ride easy speed but that's just not how it went. In good news I managed to nail my nutrition/hydration and came off the bike in 2:38 feeling pretty good. 3rd woman. Interesting though as I was riding I just couldn't wait to get OFF that bike, which is not like me normally!?! At least I managed to keep air in my tires, which is not something everyone could say. I heard tons of stories of flat tires and mechanicals out there on that rough road bike course...
Mahalo Kalani Pascual for the photo! 

Moving on! My expectation of this run was that it was going to be brutally HOT and that was spot on. The best news I heard at the pre-race meeting was when the race director said it would be fine to get "outside assistance" in the form of a bottle/drink from friends/family on the run course... YES that meant I could get ice cold Osmo on the run... So my friend/athlete Heidi stuck a bottle next to my run gear that I slammed in T2 (mahalo Heidi!!), then Scott was up there with another bottle on each lap of the run and I swear this is what saved my life on that run! I remain such a huge fan of Osmo and it's ability to hydrate an athlete during a hot event is like magic.
Mahalo Kalani Pascual for the photo! 

One lesson I think I will take away from this race is that Expectations are Everything. I think it's best for me always assume that it will all just be crazy hard b/c then when it is, I can handle it better! This was a perfect example b/c yesterday I thought bike was going to be easy, but then when it wasn't, I got kinda pissy and judgmental in my own head. But I predicted the run would be hellishly HOT and then when it was, instead of being upset about it, I was just like duh, of course it's hot and crazy hard! So it was all ok. Kinda funny though at the far end (Kaena Point) of the course, which we went around 3x, I kept seeing Heidi who was such an awesome cheerleader... The second time I saw here there she told me to run like a CHEETAH... ha! Yes what a CHEETAH I was... lol. By the third time I rounded that point (~12 miles in) I told Heidi that indeed I did feel like a CHEETAH... A cheetah in the Sahara Desert, in labor. So I guess it was a good sign that I still had a sense of humor at that point. ;)

In the end, I ran 1:57 which was good enough to hold on to my 3rd place OA (5:01). Being on a podium with these girls (behind Mariane and Lectie) was quite satisfying and a good way to end my 2014 triathlon season. :)
Mahalo again Kalani Pascual for the photo! 
Mahalo to the race directors/organizers for bringing a new local style endurance triathlon event to Oahu!

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