Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mamalahoa between 2 hills...

Sometimes all a girl wants is some lychee's, but it's not always lychee season... in that case, rambutan. There are also those days where just a banana will do, like hour 3 into a long ride, when you've had enough of those gels! And of course, those days where you just keep going because you know it will all be worth it and the words "family day" wait up for you on the training plan...
For 2 weeks I've been logging in the sweat covered miles and hours knowing today would land me at the beach. Coach purposely put "family day" down with the sole intention of working hard towards this day then INDULGING in it full force with absolutely no care in the world but family/friends without any sort of "should I be training more" lingering. Oh I have craved this day and worked ridiculously focused so on THIS DAY I'd embrace it. The soreness, fatigue, and tiredness when I woke up this morning was evidence enough that "family day" had arrived.
Before landing beach side with a fishing pole, Kainoa, good people, a beach chair, and of course that giant pile of rambutan, I wore myself to the point of "one more step, just one more, just another one is all..." and it's been a really long time since Ive felt that sensation of questioning "how much more can I go". It's always a funky spot to land, its the edge of holding strong yet not getting sick, injured, or burned out. Today was a great day to know I pushed to the point of "just one more" and survived without landing face first in a hole. These weeks are so good for us in a really strange, somewhat humbling, goal chasing kind of way...
Yesterday was the tipping point. The final push on some hard work. It was South Loop finished up with Kaloko. If you aren't familiar, (both are popular landmarks for Hawaii and in cycling). South Loop is the landing spot of the famous Captain Cook. It's snuggled in a beautiful blue bay that gives us a 4-5 mile climb up, up, up to land on the Mamalahoa Hwy. Getting there isn't too bad, its an hour or so ride from town, some climbing similar to Hawi style, and much more laid back then in-town riding. Riding the curvy, long, climb out of the bay is pretty good for the soul if you know what I mean.
Once you reach the top Mamalahoa Hwy is waiting for you to hit the cruise control. This hwy is nothing like your typical hwy, its slow motion. It's more of a countryish style road tucked between coffee farms, little shacks, and fruit stands. However, this is where coach tells me to "punch it" and we move through here faster than the local traffic flows. It was full force until I landed here (see above). After the past couple smashing weeks of "this gel and that sport drink in excess", there is no way a gel, a sporty drink, a salt, or anything else could satisfy me for even another mile. Done. My jersey pockets were filled with fruits and I was powered up for one more climb...
Doing my best to prepare for the final climb, I enjoyed my last moment of "flat" riding on this stretch. And then... Kaloko found me, or I rode into it actually. This is a 6.2 or 6.5 mile climb that lands in the "almost cold enough to snow" tree covered volcano better known as Hualalai. By this point all I wanted was to get off my bike, but I had to get up a hill then down it before that idea would become reality. Let's just say, ouch. If I'd of been on a road bike, or maybe had more gears, or perhaps not have felt so trashed prior to going up then just maybe, it would have been "fun". But it was nothing but "get the job done" for me, maybe not even smiling, probably even irritated with the IPOD by this point. Then down. From the bottom of the hill to home, that half hour ride I must have done in my sleep because I do not remember how I got there, maybe rode with my eyes closed and my head rested on my aero bars. 4.5 hours of climbs with only Mamalahoa between them kicked my okole!
From the bike, to Kainoa's school, to the market for berries all happened quicker than T2 on race day! The only thing that was faster than that would be how fast we polished off the berries! And today... all day CHILL OUT with just a tiny, tiny run into the beach...


Blogger Lucy Francis said...

What a lovely way to rename "recovery day" = Family day!
and that fruit stall is the perfect aid station. I'd had no trouble fuelling up:-) yum!
it looks like i've missed one of your great recepies so I'll have to go back and make notes. just in time for my cycling club 1st race of the year on 12th. we're all supposed to bring home baked goods to have with tea/coffee afterwards and you just saved my butt...I'll let you know how it goes down :-)

January 30, 2011 at 8:19 AM


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