Aloha!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep," -Robert Frost

This morning Coach Eric was nice enough to let me jump in with his swimmers (coach Paul made a new rule: No more swimming solo, I float, snorkel, and play mermaid too much). Kona Aquatics is only Mon. Wed. Fri. so I had a problem... The rest of my team was up North doing Lavacamp, I was on mom patrol and had to do my training solo once I got Kainoa to school...however, with the no more solo swims my only option was Coach Eric's group. I LOVE them, but they hurt. Hurting is good for me, I think.

After that it was a ride. Now I was REALLY missing my team. The head winds felt like I was riding up a massive hill with a grade of 20%... about the time my legs asked WHY they are still going I jumped on the wheel of some man who passed me and the legs were saved, at least for another couple hours...

Now home-sweet-home and it was breakfast time... actually it was almost time to get Kainoa from school but my body wanted breakfast & lunch, so we had it, even though dinner was soon coming too. By the time dinner got here I was so tired from the past couple weeks that my son and I went out to eat! Anyone that knows me knows I prefer to cook, bake, and have bbq's at home, I absolutely love cooking...today there would be none of that... there was no energy to play Rachel Ray and then clean the disaster that happens when I cook... so a mother-son-date it was!

Over Killer Taco's with Kainoa I was thinking about each and every day the past couple weeks I wondered how I would make it another mile, or make another mile faster, or make another mile further... some days it really feels like there are no more steps left in my shoes and no more strokes left to swim in my arms... I love it though, I love it so much and love that this is my job, I want to go to work. I suppose people that have papers and deadlines feel similar, they wonder how they will finish the paper... we just do...

But there is definitely something more than just loving this life and this career... a lot more... there are a lot of great people that make all this possible for me and keep me going one more mile, one more stroke, a little further, a little faster...

And since I have this promise to keep to them and these miles to go for them I am going to keep on keepin' on...at least till Saturday (I heard a rumor that Saturday I have a FULL day off, no swim, bike, or run). I do not remember the last time I had nothing to do but nothing! Not getting my hopes up just yet...

Anyways, it's almost April and I haven't even done a massive shout out to my 2009 team! Better late than never... in no particular order, here is my 2009 team:

Big MAHALOS to:

Trakkers: Keeping families connected to their athletes and keeping families/friends connected through websites!
Argon 18 Bikes: The most feisty, free spirited bike I have ever ridden! It just wants to go, go, go! Not to mention it handles even the longest days in the headwinds like a champ!
Lifesport Coaching: Finding a good coach is like finding the right shoe, every foot is different, and my feet don't fit just any shoe! One of my missions in life is to have as much fun as possible yet be the best I can be... Coach Paul has helped me find that road that leads to success while enjoying the journey.
K-Swiss: Keeping the feet happy and the training clothes fun & functionable! loads of styles and colors that make whatever the running mood a good one.
Bike Works Hawaii: Keeping my bike and me in one piece! (and they play well with Kainoa).
Splish!: Makes swimming fun, need I say more??
Blue Seventy: The wetsuit feels like you are swimming naked, that's important to me! I live where we NEVER have to wear one of those things so come race day in a cold water race I am not in the mood to deal with getting choked and rashed by a big floating wetsuit!
Healing Hands Massage: My muscles need this and appreciate this...to keep going you have to recharge the batteries!
Johnson & Blanton: My manager!! Travis totally does all the behind the scenes stuff, keeps me organized, and makes sure I am not getting myself into anymore trouble than I already do! Yet, he lets me keep a relationship with my sponsors, not just hog all the communication with them...
Kona Community, The Club in Kona, Kona Aquatics/Coach Steve, friends, Kainoa, & my family: Along for the ride (not that you had a choice!!). This is the start of year two as a professional and you totally gave me the guts to chase a dream and keep me reaching for brighter stars! I LOVE you guys!!

Tomorrow, out to help with the Lavacamp! More miles please!!

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Macca ONLY beat me by 16 minutes...

Do you want to know what Chris McCormack said during his winners speech? Here's what he said, "Great race! Incredible competition, especially those Lifesport women! For sure if I had biked up Kaloko & followed it up with track repeats, rode the Ironman course Friday, ran it on Thursday, swam it a few times, and had to chase a scooter on my bike doing intervals and time trials they would have beat me!" "Luckily I am tapering for Oceanside and my legs FELT INCREDIBLE!"

Just kidding, he was so much fun to have at our local race mixing it up with the local boys! He even cheered for me on the run! Talk about an honor to line up next to him at a race!

A couple of the pro men pre-race trash talking... Marr is warning Macca to watch out!


Antonio all ready for his first race!!

My awesome tattoo! I know you want one... nothing like spam musubis to power you through a race!!

Transition area getting ready for action...

Brooke and me goofing off as usual, gotta love the sister!!


A couple of the pro women trash talking prerace


Mary & Sam
Vern!

Jimmy and his better half :)
Bike Support!

Hawaii's fastest Amatuer and Big Island boy, Luis De Latorre

Freezing!



Big Island's favorite male pro- James Cotter

Lisa out of the swim after dominating the rest of the pro women feild! (and most men)...

Heather, Maggs, and I out of the water off to get Lisa...



Tim Marr riding strong!
Cotter chasing Macca
Dominating!
Brent in the mix! (after trashing his legs all week with the Lifesport gang)


Lisa
Jimmy day & Luis

Doug Leopold
Annette Leopold (maker of Too Good To Be True Cookies of Kona)

Raul and Keith... first flat of the day!
James and his dad!! (James is a local boy, legally blind & super into triathlon!)

Finally done! Sorry coach, messed up the pacing plan, next time! GREAT race Lisa, it was an honor to race a real life Olympian!! Taking 2nd to you is incredible! But watch out for next year, I am skipping that long run, long ride, the hill, the track sessions, anything out to the Ironman buoy... and you have to do double what we did this week!

Beach Party with Lisa & Brian!

Jimmy and the Lifesport gang

Shakas with Jimmy
(check out that cool shirt too, can you tell I love my bikes??)



Seriously, there is no place like home and a day like this reminds me why my home is on this island! The first triathlon is always a huge welcome to the season... nice to see where your fitness is at, nice to get back into the groove of something you enjoy, but even cooler is being surrounded by people you love! The Lavaman Triathlon brings out almost the entire community of Kona! It's the little brother to the Hawaiian Ironman. If you aren't racing it solo you are on a relay, if not on a relay you are watching, if not watching you are volunteering, if not volunteering you are at the beach talking story...

Lavaman was my very first Olympic distance race so I absolutely hold it second to none in the short course triathlon world... I still remember that race like it was yesterday. To prepare I swam maybe 9,000 yards a week, ran about 12 miles a week, and would do 2 rides to Vets(25 miles) and one to Scenic (36miles) each week. For taper I would do half of that and call myself tapered. Today I found myself laughing. Today I am in such a different spot in my tri-life.

Leading up to the race we did the Ironman at least twice this week. NOW THAT IS A TAPER!

Going into the race with a smashed body was the best thing (now that it is over) that I may have done so far this season. Every time it hurt I was able to remind myself of some session in training this week that I overcame something. I was able to remind myself this was only 2hours-not all day! I was able to learn to push through the most tired, fatigued, heavy legs I have EVER used in my life...

Today the field was loaded with talent... 2 multiple Ironman winners, 70.3 champs, ITU super stars, Olympians, it was such an honor for this small town Kona girl to line up in her back yard with these incredible people... and today... I wanted to be part of it...

My race plan (yes, I still use one even on short races, it's the rookie in me that won't go away) was to try and swim without looking at fish, coral, and turtles, ride hard (coach said to move it on the bike knowing my legs were trashed and most likely not going to be happy runners), then run the first 5k easy and the final 5k fast. (I have this pacing problem we are trying to fix) and we thought letting the trashed legs warm up would be smart too.

Rather than full details, there are a lot, here is the short version...
I love swimming in A-Bay, felt every mile of the week on the bike, and I MESSED up my run plan! The only goal coach really had for me was to fix this pacing problem. I jumped off the bike and ran as hard as I could for as tired as I was! first 3 miles easy, no. I found myself in front of the Olympian (Lisa Mensink) and thought that was the COOLEST thing ever in the world! I wanted so bad to run as hard as I could in hopes by the time I died I would be too far in front. It was working till some where between mile 3-4. Everything hurt so bad. It was actually a relief when she passed me, then I would begin breathing again! My new goal became don't let Heather catch me now that I totally trashed my pacing plan and every last muscle in my legs.

Seeing that finish line (even though I would't get to it till AFTER running a 1/4 mile in the sand) was such a welcome relief! Being Sunday after this crash week is also a VERY welcoming experience! AND tomorrow is ONLY a swim!

A HUGE thank you to Argon 18 for my amazing bike (I think this bike and me are going to get along really good), Bike Works, K-Swiss shoes, Splish suits, Blue Seventy, Lifesport, Coach Steve & Kona Aquatics, Trakkers, Johnson & Blanton, Dawn Henry, the Lavaman race directors, the volunteers, my incredible team, the Kona community, my family & friends!

Great race to ALL the finishers too
!

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Kinda Like Ironman...

Today was a lot like Ironman... A lot. Started with a swim that just kept going, and going, and going. When you think you are done, there is more. Our more was drill work. Again, we think we are done but instead we put on the paddles and pull buoy, then we take off the buoy and keep on going. Literally after that I take off my cap (what more can we possibly do?) and we get warm down, cap back on.

The swim felt like an open water swim where you miss the draft and are all alone... I lead my lane and after drafting Justin the past couple swims it was a challenge... to make it hurt worse Brent was leading next to me and I just wanted to "pretend" to keep up so I was just kicking like a mad woman and pulling till my lats froze, then I got smart and just decided to leave before him, sometimes 5, other times 10 seconds, he still beat me back.

Now it is ride time! Kinda like Ironman a lot of people start out together and things are good being surrounded by others. Our group started as 10. Like Ironman 2 are off the front and outta sight. (that would be Justin and Brent). That left 8 of us girls in a pack...




It's easy to keep focus when you have so many people around. Not to mention it was a beautiful day! Then the day begins to unfold. Things happen, winds come on, heart rates go up and down, calories run low, pacing comes into play, the body starts to do weird things, people spread out, the brain begins to say weird things... it's just like Ironman...



Our group begins to spread out. We are 6. Then 4. Then 3. Then the wind picks up stronger and the sun comes out brighter. Up ahead we see one of the boys yet we just do our own thing knowing the day is LONG and there is A LOT more to go. Our long ride becomes a zone 3 section of the Hawi out-n-back...

Maggs, Lindsay, and I decided to pull till we are blue in the face then swap spots. We would have traded off by swapping positions when your legs couldn't handle anymore, but after yesterdays run that wasn't an option, the legs were already missing-in-action, so we went with the "blue in the face" thing.


Almost to the Hawi turn around we see Brent just coming down the hill... we are SO DARN close! Maggs gets a brilliant idea... "Lets get him!". I bust out laughing and we are off, chasing Brent! Seriously, I went beyond pulling till my face was blue, every part of me was blue! Then we get passed up by some random man who was following us, so Maggs gets another brilliant idea, "Let's get him". She pulls till she is blue, I hit a rock the size of Texas and think nothing of it, now my legs REALLY feel horrible! Then Lindsay pulls till she is blue in the face and at this point I am barely hanging on, my legs feel like crap and my bike feels like it weighs 200 pounds!


To the bottom of the hill and I get a good idea, look at my wheel. NICE! A big flat, glad it wasn't the legs! Lindsay is a genious at changing flats, we let her do it in hopes we can get back riding and catch our stalker...

Lisa Catches us. The bike wheel is one of those kind that pull out reverse, rather than explain it I just say, "girls, don't ask, it's Canadian". They all look and laugh...nice, I am talking to 3 Canadians! Maggs, Lindsay, and Lisa are ALL Canadians! Katya Flys by. 2 CO2's later we are off. The legs feel awesome by the way... JUST like Ironman!

Nearing Waikoloa the day gets even more like an Ironman. My incredible Canadian team turns off... they are done... and I am alone... no worries... in an Ironman you spend a lot of time solo and this would be a good time to finish strong. Really I was missing my team but at the same time I was feeling strong and enjoying being back on the course remembering so many happy moments during Ironman...

With 18 miles to go, the boys long gone, and flying solo I see Katya! At this point I have never been so happy to see another person on that long lonely Queen K after a LONG windy day. Unfortunately, that was her stop. Heather passes during my aid station pit stop and things look bright again... time to catch her, company the final 18 would be good right about now! Up the hill and 3 miles later I catch up, 15 miles later we are DONE! Having company made the final strecth so much easier...and zooming into the parking lot with half the team waiting was like crossing the finish line... completely spent yet so fired up about all that you accomplished, kinda like Ironman...
Oh, and that banana bread, nobody got any! Coach Dan took fotos all day long while coaching and doing aid stations on the side of the road. His best foto, is this, PROOF that Coach Paul stole it!

An Iron distance swim and ride later we are done. In 2 days we have a race, that will be our "easy" day as it is just a race and a 90 minute ride after. Tomorrow is a ride, a run, a swim, and helping with the Keiki Triathlon. The race Sunday is going to be hysterical as we all try to gut out a fast swim-bike-run after this training load. Nobody is worried about the results or how the legs will feel (we already know what to expect). It's next weekend that we are thinking about... most all my team is headed to Oceanside or New Orleans 70.3... my fingers are crossed for them that this load of training is not hanging heavy in their legs on that race day!! Lucky for me my race isn't till May (I am hoping to be recovered by then).


Compression socks on, life is good!

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