Aloha!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Playing In Florida...

It's been super sunny skies, cloudy nights, and orange filled days here in Florida. Today my big sister skipped school, (shhhh, she's the teacher) and we took the boys to Marina Jacks. The very marina my sisters and I grew up at. It was time to let them cause a ruckus and run naked the way we did as little kids...






In triathlon news...

A box showed up at my parents house. It had a real race outfit in it. One the girls & boys of the K-Swiss team are sporting at triathlons around the world. One Belinda won an Ironman in and Amanda won a half ironman in... not to mention the men have been sporting some good results in it too. I've never worn a real outfit that is all "triathlonish". My first few races were in Roxy bikini's, then I got wise and lucky and got on the Splish team.

Here it is:

AND they were nice enough to keep the "Kainoa" on my bottoms! I'm pretty excited to wear it. Of course I will miss my Splish, maybe I will wear it underneath, ha ha.

In record breaking news... I beat my "pack-my-bike" PR today! I got it packed up in 12 minutes! My old record was 14 minutes, seriously, Antonio impresses me more and more every day! Talk about an easy to pack and unpack bike! I can handle that!!

Off to eat more oranges, I gotta load up on the Vitamin C so I don't get the Swine Flu!! Hope everyone is healthy!!

*PS: If you live near Sarasota and want to swim PLEASE join me tomorrow, I miss Kona Aquatics SOOOOOOO much. And if swimming isn't your thing, come run! JEN C, that means you!!

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Saint Anthony's Triathlon...

I love this race. It is so well organized & super supported (as in the volunteers, photographers, massage therapists, and crowd are simply amazing). St. Anthony's is like the Ironman of Olympic distance in the way it has nearly 4,000 athletes and some of the best of the best in the short course world. It's also the North American short course season opener so it attracts almost everyone who is ready to shake off the off-season cob webs.

Truthfully the race scares me. It's like swimming with fish, riding with time trial specialists, and running with gazelles. It's just a different breed, a short course speedy breed (well, some of them rock the long stuff too, ANDY POTTS, to name one). The thing I love is that the competition drives you to be your fastest on that course. It's fast from the start and just never lets up till you cross the finish line. Being a long-distance chick I knew I was in for some pain and would easily be swam over, road over, then ran over, if I was in la la land (that can happen on the long stuff).

I started to do this race only because it's near my family and I like to race. Now I like it just because I need to be scared to death if I want to get any better in this sport, and these girls scare me...

The swim saved me! I have been nervous all week (you know me and swimming). Let's just say the swim is not my specialty and it's not that fun getting out of the water like 5 minutes back when swimming with fish. As soon as the race announcer said the swim was canceled for the age groups but not the pros because it was too rough I KNEW right then I would like it. I stood on the beach and smiled from ear to ear! Finally a swim that I might have fun in... and I did! It was so fun getting trampled and flipped and flopping. It was incredible to get out of the water in a pack! YES, I actually got out with some girls, and my swim time was faster this year than last! Something about seeing an ocean that resembles Hawaii made me get a little peace inside...

Out of the swim in 12th place with that little pack of 5 I found in the surf, I mean swim, the only thing on my mind was finding Antonio (my hot bike) and riding as fast as I could! Coach pretty much told me if he looks at the bike splits and it doesn't look like I "rode it" he would make me ride down Kaloko 500 times (he didn't really say that, but he said some stuff that scared me). So I just sat on my bike and pedaled. I found myself nearing the front of the race and just knew (again) that my bike was made for me, that is such a good feeling when you have to hang out with it a lot...

(see above) This is the most hilarious foto EVER! I'm about to jump on my bike, totally fearing coach getting mad about my ride, so I tried to do the "Sara Mclarty" ITU launch... it's supposed to be really fast. I met her in Honolulu's ITU race a few years back and she became one of my favorites (it was like my first season in sport) so I watched this ITU training tips video of her launching on her bike about 500x a day. Today was the first day I tried it... You know I love trying new things on race day...


Off the bike and into my brand new blue K-Swiss bubbles, I was so excited to run... this time I would start mello and build... I promised I would since I blew it at Lavaman Triathlon. The start was totally controlled, in fact I was passed at mile 1 by 2 gals and didn't panic, I would "build" and try to catch them back. Once it was time to build there was no-go. It's like my body is stuck in long distance pace. I felt so good, I was actually READY to run, eager to go hurt, wanted to run hard and chase, but my legs said, "we love the long distance pace you train us at". And that was that. Trying to find one more gear was like asking my legs to do a ballet dance or something, they just wanted to hang out in 6:15 zone (the exact zone I ran my tempo run at, my long run, my run with Luis, and only slightly easier than that 10 mile race). I guess I have them well trained for that. I was kinda bummed, in fact it made me want to actually train for a short course race (coach will never agree on that)... so me and the legs just ran as best as we could and tried to get Dede (she was my rabbit).


Dede and me at the finish line rolling to support the Blazeman!! Yeahoooooo buddy! This one's for you! When all was said and done I was stoked to have finished one place better than last season... 9th to 8th, I'll take it. Seriously, the women in the race had me so inspired! They are phenomenal, so talented, and it totally rejuvenated something in me.

Hanging with Jen at the finish! She will be racing next season! It'll be her first one! GO JEN!
Of course more family time... 14 family members were at the race and it was such a blast to see them all over the course! THANK YOU FLORIDA FAMILY, I love you!!

Kainoa sporting all his favorite companies on the playground...

Mom, me, and my Kainoa... Thanks mom for all the Kainoa-sitting!! I know he is a handful (literally). After the race back to Sarasota we went. 30 pounds of ice in the bath tub, a pool party, dinner, and of course the famous family golf cart ride we take EVERY NIGHT! This sunset we took it to visit the horses and tractors...


A HUGE hug and mahalo to my family, Ironbob & Ramon "Ramser" Serrano for the fotos, the entire crew at St. Anthony's, my coach for scaring me (I mean coaching me), to Jen and all the great cheer leaders out there, to the awesome competition who helped me race my best, my training partners, and of course Travis Blanton, The Schott family, Argon 18 bikes, K-Swiss, Trakkers, Bike Works, Blue Seventy, Healing Hands Massage, Splish, Kona Aquatics, and Lifesport!

GOOD NIGHT!
I better sleep, I got another day to live-it-up tomorrow!!

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Double Coffee Day...



I'm not a coffee drinker, but if I was, today would be a double coffee kind of day! Driving in Florida is so different than it was when I lived here and so different than driving in Kona (around and around and around). Remembering things like $1.00 to get over a bridge, on and off ramps, 4 lanes of traffic in EACH direction, and merging, what's that anyway?, had me fearing for my life. I finally made it to St. Pete for bike check in and the lovely meeting. Once in St. Pete I accidentally missed an exit, drove down a street that was blocked off for St. Anthony's Triathlon, then drove down a one way street in the wrong direction! By the time my heart rate reached 210 I decided to just pay for parking (that is so against my rules), coach would be proud I wasn't being cheap for once...

Did I mention while driving down the blocked off road (still not sure how I ever even made it on that road) I drove right on by 2 of my sponsors, excited to see them I honked so loud, only drawing more attention to myself when I should have been hiding for driving on that road-illegally!

Safely parked it was time for reinforcements... expo's scare me BIG time, so do pro meetings. Immediately I teamed up with Josh Schott and Travis Blanton (da manager), 2 of my biggest supporters. We made some jokes, laughed, I got to take their picture (you know I LOVE my camera), and I even convinced Travis into attending the pro meeting with me! YES! I wouldn't have to be the nerd sitting by herself!!!! Finally I was calmed down... enough to make a joke that is... more on that later...

Look at Katya (my team mate) in the back ground on the poster! I can get her to autograph one for you, but it'll cost you...

After that it was time to visit K-Swiss! Not only do I love being part of the K-Swiss family I love the NEW BLUE SHOES! They look like under water bubbles! They remind me of snorkeling...and yes, tomorrow I am wearing BRAND new shoes during a race (okay, so it's only a training day for me) but I am using them. That rule: don't wear new shoes on a race day, I think it only goes for new shoes you never even heard of. I've been in the K-Swiss since December and they have been amazing for me, I'm trusting them again.

Back to that little joke...

Coach knows I'm scared of the pro meetings, so the manager and I had a plan. He sent a message to coach saying I am nowhere to be found. Later another one that I am lost. Then after the meeting a message that the meeting is long over and I never showed. Coaches orders were: FIND HER! We pretended I was still lost, in a surf shop or something, scared to show face at the meeting. A few minutes later we sent this foto (above) to his phone saying he found me having my 7th hot dog... poor coach...he is getting more grey hair by the day!

On the drive back to my family I made some Kona calls. Wanted to hear about the surf, the group ride, how everyone is. Tomorrow is the Captain Cook Challenge. For about 45 seconds I got sad hearing about it. I love racing at home, one thing I never want to lose is the small town girl in me that enjoys the local races more than anything. When I got into sport I never imagined I would one day be flying to beautiful places, amazing races, and getting to race against some of the best athletes in the world. At times I am so scared & intimidated. Other times I want to challenge myself to see just how far I can go in sport. In both cases I am thankful for where I came from and where I just might go with all of this. Today really helped me feel that with the support my sponsors lavished upon me...

Heading into tomorrow, training day or not, thank you so much to all my sponsors and family, this is all possible because of you!

Back to the parents it was time for dinner from the grill and a golf cart ride (my parents ride that thing EVERY NIGHT!) Kainoa will be driving it solo by the time we leave here! It has been wonderful being around my family this week. If you happen to be at St. Anthony's tomorrow and need a fan club you can share mine! MY ENTIRE Florida family will be there, first or last place they will root for you as if it's the Olympics!

Have a great Sunday everyone!

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Aloha From The Sunshine State!

Yep, back in Florida! I tried, I really did, I tried to move as far from Florida as I possibly could... like a 15HR trip away from home by plane & stop overs. Ahhh, but my awesome family keeps me returning! Every time Kainoa and I are enduring that LONG trip I say, "Never again". Yet here we are "again".

This time on the plane I said it and meant it...

In Kona no problem sitting Kainoa and I side-by-side. In Phoenix they would not put us in seats next to each other. No joke. I begged and pleaded, explained he is only 2 years old! They retaliated with, "Plane is full, sorry, should have changed seats on computer". I thought about giving them a taste of their bitterness by attempting to allow Kainoa a seat away from me, they would have come running, begging for forgiveness. The flight attendant stood in the middle aisle asking for volunteers to switch us... the excuses were hilarious! Everything from "Don't like aisle seats" to "I don't drink", were the reasons nobody would switch us. At that point thoughts of travel to Florida ever again were "NEVER"!

We finally got a less grumpy woman to switch us, she complained all 4.5 hrs of the flight about how bad the seat was though. Funny, they all looked the same to me.

We are finally here and I forgot all about it. My older sister did half of my run with me while my mom and the 3 little boys (Kainoa and his 2 cousins) chased us on the golf cart around the neighborhood. Talk about a GREAT support vehicle!


I also swam...
Swimming in the ocean NO PROBLEM. Swimming in an outdoor pool in Kona, not TOO bad, swimming in an indoor pool in Florida... OH MY GOSH! This would take major, MAJOR, major will power! To force the swim into action I got to the pool at exactly 11:55 with Kainoa in tow. I put him in the YMCA child care for 1hr. Only one hour because it closes at 1:00pm. That meant I would have exactly an hour to swim, to finish the workout. Swim as in swim, not swim as in float, talk, mingle, socialize on the wall, take 500 drink breaks, ask the life guard the pool temperature. I would have to swim the workout as if I love swimming in an indoor pool.

Let me tell you, that hour could be the longest blog post of my life, it was hilarious. I will end it there... my only warning is to never try not to socialize, it's dangerous! Finished the swim just in time to save Kainoa and life was good again...


After the swim Kainoa & I had lunch at Whole Foods, Kona should get one of those! Then to Fast Tracks Bike Shop. Just a little heads up, if ever in the Sarasota area and need a bike shop, they are wonderful! Really kind and really helpful... believe me, Nick & Bike Works are the only ones I let touch my bike so to say another place is good-I mean it.

Then I rode the bike. I would love to report that I felt AWESOME. However, I felt like I had been sitting on a plane for a long time and that I felt like an elephant sat on my legs and squashed me silly. It's okay, I have over a week till St. Croix to shake em' out...


Family dinner then bath time. That's a day in Florida for ya...

PS: If anyone knows this bridge near Tampa, WHAT IS IT and WHERE is it? Incredible, from the plane it looked a million miles long. How awesome to run over the ocean like that for a million miles!

Bed time.
Good night from Florida!
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Monday, April 20, 2009

CSI Kona...

Mission: To find a bike that Brent and I swam over 2 weeks ago.

Location
: On the way to the Ironman buoy, about 400-500 meters off shore, directly in front of a row of 10 lawn chairs. (that's as good as my directions get)

Who
: I invited anyone who felt like looking for a bike on the ocean floor, only Randy, Leann, and Phoebe showed up.




It was finally time, time to find that white bike I have been thinking about for nearly 2wks! Honestly, the reality of actually finding it was slim-to-none. The ocean is HUGE and DEEP. When the CSI Kona crew showed up I tried to give them my best directions. "In front of this row of 10 lawn chairs, about 400-500 meters out." Over coral & reefs filled with vana we go...

It was hilarious to witness four of us spread out deep in the sea looking for a bike nobody had ever seen but me. I am sure they were looking for a "bike", one you could maybe pull up to shore and ride. We looked, searched, swam, searched more, and laughed hysterically as we really had no clue where to look other than in front of some lawn chairs...









As we got deeper and deeper out to sea, where the water was cool and calm I felt so close. I had this strange feeling I had seen the same coral heads and sand tracks before. The ocean bottom isn't really changing, maybe I did recognize the area....

I saw the bike! I screamed so loud I am sure people on shore were about to call for a rescue crew. The CSI Kona crew came swimming over... they looked... and came up laughing! I am sure they were as excited as I was to find the bike, just not sure they knew it would be such an ugly old piece of junk...

Look at my bike!


Can you see it?! Way down there? I tried to touch it, I think I need a tank! A little too deep for me... my ears almost exploded!







It was so exciting to see it again. Truth be told I was not going to rest till we found it. Now I've seen it so I can move on... no more bike-searching during every single open water swim!












There really is nothing like being under water... it is absolutely amazing!! A whole other world for sure. After playing mermaids we all had work to do. What a great way to start the day though!! Just as we set foot on shore we looked back to admire the beauty of the ocean we just played in.

Little did we know, following us in were a handful of open-water life guards...

If you are ever in Kona and want a really fun ocean adventure, just swim out about 400-500 meters in front of 10 lawn chairs on the way to the Ironman buoy, there is a bike down there!

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