Sunday, May 14, 2017

Honolulu Triathlon... Moto Motivated

On Friday afternoon I got an email that said my name was on a list of local athletes suggested to start in the 'elite' wave. I wasn't planning on putting myself in that wave but somehow having someone else suggest me for it made it ok. In hindsight I'd say it was 100% a good choice! Having clear water to swim in and open roads to ride without shouting on your left on your left ON YOUR LEFT the whole time made for a way more pleasant (and less scary!) race experience...

They gave me #666 for this race. I decided that meant I should race like a bat out of hell! #beastmode

I drove to town at like 4am and parked on a side street not too far from the race start. My parking spot happened to be on a road right outside a bar where a bunch of people were hanging out after a night of partying... and all along the sidewalk were homeless people sleeping. This was not lost on me as I got my bike out of my car and realized that my wheels likely cost more money than those people see all year. Mental note: I live a life of privilege and it was a privilege to get to race today. #BeGrateful

Prior to the swim start I wanted to get in the water to warm up a bit... I looked around for someone who might speak English who would be able to zip up my speed suit... I asked some guy I didn't know and he tried to get it zipped up but in the process the zipper totally broke. DOH! Never fear I had a spare speed suit in my bag (I already mentioned my privilege) so I ran back to transition to swap speed suits and was good to go. Phew.

Swim was clean. I don't have a lot of starting speed but after the first buoy managed to pull away from some others who do have starting speed! There were several folks up ahead and I had one person near me but for the most part it was just head down swim strong for 23min. SO much better than swimming over/around/through a billion men in the age group waves! The only issue I had was that the sun hadn't come up like I thought it would (5:45am start!) and my dark tinted goggles left me wanting to see more clearly. In good news I don't have much fear of swimming in most scenarios so I handled swimming in the 'dark' just fine. If there was one thing I would change about how I executed this race today though, I would have chosen clear goggles. 6am race start would have resulted in being blinded by the sun on the way back... but 5:45am start is too dark for tinted goggles!
Look at that clear water! #soloswim

I heard that there were a couple women in front of me getting out of the water so onto the bike I went into HUNTING mode. This race they have lead moto for the lead male AND female(!). In 20 years of racing I've never had a lead motorcycle AND I WANTED ONE. So. Off I went. It took ~50min and a lot of watts (and some twinges of cramping) but eventually the cop on the motorcycle looked back at me like wait you're not my gal but I just smiled and waved as if to say I AM NOW YOUR GAL. GO!

Carly and I (all matchy matchy in our custom Coeur Sports kits!) were the only 2 women to crack an hour on that 22 mile course this morning! Want to learn how to ride a bike fast? I'd be happy to teach you. #callmemaybe #shamelessplug

Onto the run I knew my lead wouldn't last, so I wasn't surprised when the first Japanese gal went storming by... Carly went by a bit later than the other Japanese gal... I felt ok though and was ticking off pretty steady miles ~8:30s which for me off a bike like that would be filed under the 'great job' tab. Somewhere around mile 2 I was running along and saw Moana and Scott (yay!)... Scott was attempting to take a video and in the process, he let go of Maia's leash... and of course Maia was like HI MOM OH WE'RE GOING RUNNING YAY I LOVE RUNNING I'LL COME WITH YOU!!! Ha! I just about tripped over myself as she came at me. The video is pretty darn funny. I'll text it to you if you want to see it!

Was happy to not get caught by anyone else. The last 1/4 mile or so is along this stretch of path and when I got here I had this overwhelming sense of gratitude... Like just so happy to be healthy enough to be out there racing and competing and I don't know... Even if I wasn't smiling the whole time, I just really had fun with it all today!

Afterward we all hung out in the park and talk story while drinking beer/champagne which is a bit of a tradition at this point. The only real negative thing about this race is that they don't do an age group awards ceremony. They call the top 3OA up onto the podium, but not AG. Instead they tell the age group athletes to go to the table/tent to collect a coin that serves as the award. #WTF? That makes no sense to me. Age groupers want to be acknowledged and stand on a freakin' podium when they get top 3! In a lot of ways this race is great and I like it, but in this way it's a #fail. Seriously. Win your age group so you can stand in this line and collect a cheap coin? Makes it imperative to simply race for the experience of racing... Certainly at this race it's not about getting an award! And this isn't me bitching that I didn't get one- I pulled myself out of AG when I agreed to the elite wave... I just think that age groupers should be acknowledged for their efforts and their success. That's all.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


OMG... It's mid- May! Reports from some athletes on the mainland make it appear as if it's still winter (what? snow? are you serious?) but around here it's starting to feel like race season! Our temperature shifts are slight, but it's definitely a few degrees warmer now and the sun is coming up earlier and it just feels like spring.

There are 3 races that I tend to do every spring... Lanikai, Honolulu Tri, and Honu. Lanikai was a few weeks ago. It went ok. I went a little faster than I did 2 years ago and won my age group so, nothing to complain about. Well, I mean, I pretty much always complain about how my run sucks and should be faster, so I guess that's something to complain about... but, whatever. I got to wear my new Coeur team kit and I love it so that was cool!
Honolulu Tri is coming up this weekend. Maybe I'll write a more interesting race story about that one! Depends on if there's anything interesting to write about I guess.  I am looking forward to doubling the distance from Lanikai though... Those short fast races are so hard!

I started coaching the Kailua Masters swim team. I have to say, having the opportunity to be on deck and coach people in person has been awesome. I mean, it's just totally my thing! I love it, I have fun with it, and I think because of that, the athletes who show up are also having fun with it! Even when I make them tie their feet together...
Seriously though, its definitely the case that being on deck has helped me gain confidence as a coach. I don't get to do as much 1:1 stroke correction there as I'd like, but I get to do a little. It's enlightening though to get to watch how these athletes respond and step up to challenges and work together. I have no doubt that people who show up regularly will get faster. If you're local, come join us Mon/Wed nights from 7-8:15. If you ever come visit Oahu, drop in with us! I mean, for $5 you can't beat the workout experience!

My main coaching gig continues to grow and thrive. It almost feels weird how TeamBSC is growing... since we've brought on a couple new coaches and they've brought on their athletes, our private team page now has 66 members and I don't know some of them!?!? I mean, last month I saw a pic posted on the TeamBSC FB page and it was of 2 of our gals who were running Boston and they got to meet up b/c their coaches teamed up to work together and put them in touch... so there I was looking at that picture from this island in the Pacific and thinking WOW... How crazy that the team has grown to that point where these athletes get to have a 'teammate' at a race like Boston... and I don't even know either of them? I mean, it's crazy in a good way and looking at that picture made me think that what I started sort of on a whim 8+ years ago has turned out to be so much more amazing than I ever even hoped it would be. I feel like I'm blathering on a bit right now b/c I don't really have words for it, but, well, it's super cool. I don't feel like our growth has been forced. I haven't had to drill myself into the ground to accomplish any of it. I think the basis for our success is that we are passionate about triathlon and we love helping athletes succeed and we do our best to be the best that we can be and that's really all there is to it, at least in a big picture sense.

On a personal level, I've allowed myself to develop very real friendships/relationships with my athletes... Making myself open/available and communicating a lot facilitates this... and because of that, the personal satisfaction I feel when an athlete succeeds is fulfilling in a way that I don't think it would be if I closed myself off more and went about coaching in a more stoic way. I think a lot of athletes these days are craving the coach/athlete relationship where they know that their coach truly cares. So it's totally a win/win!

Lest you think that life here is all perfect, I have a sad shitty story to share as well. Did I ever write about our most recent rescue dog, Duke? I can't remember. Anyway, I saw Duke on a local pet rescue FB page and felt an instant connection like I wanted to help him. So I took him in... In a lot of ways, 2 dogs is a lot harder than 1 dog... but the dogs also had a blast with each other and the level of happy craziness in the household skyrocketed. It was all good until Duke bit one of Moana's neighborhood friends. We were shocked and obviously super concerned... I set about on a mission to rehabilitate this dog. I thought I was doing a good job with it and seemed like he was gaining confidence and getting better... but then out of the blue Duke bit my husband's sister when she was here visiting. After spending the day in the ER with her getting her stitched up, I had no choice but to return Duke to his original rescuer. It was one of the saddest days of my life, if I'm honest. He's such a sweet dog to those in his immediate pack. I hope one day he finds a home where they can help him overcome his anxiety so he can be around (and trust) people he doesn't know.