Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Today was so awesome, can you tell I was like a kid on Halloween?!  Big smiles, big happy, it was a sweet day!  Today was the Kahakai Keiki Triathlon, a day to really help the youth of Hawaii have some time submersed in sport.  Kids raced, kids fell over, kids began to walk, but everyone of them loved it!  If you ask me, this is where it all begins, right now in their young ignite dreams and encourage goals. 
 High fiving Kainoa :)
Then it got tricky...

Halloween!  Kainoa still had yet to decide on a costume, when he announced it would be cool to be grapes.  Instant flash back of my costume as a 6yr old!  My mother put us into giant clear garbage bags and filled the garbage bag with all colors of balloons, calling us "jars of jelly beans".  So... I safety pinned balloons all over Kainoa and he was indeed a bunch of grapes!  It was perhaps brilliant until the kids with swords began popping him.  It was also perfect as a squad of children ran from house to house, I was certain my child would survive the tumbles and falls over each other being a life size pillow cushion! Being grapes might be the most fun $1.50 on a bag of balloons ever got us!

The evening wrapped up with a glow stick busting open.  Above is Kainoa.  That is indeed him from with particles of glow from head to toe!  I feel sick now, everyone does in our group, too much candy is possible!  Now, let the fun begin...officially I'll begin the count down to Christmas! 

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

For The Love of Sport...

 Life in sport is good.  I think when you look at anything you truly have a passion for you can find something, anything, concerning it that just makes you feel an inner smile.  From the time I learned to kick a ball to swimming my first lap across a pool, sport has been a huge part of a lot of happy in my life.  The people you meet, experiences you grab hold of, all the life lessons you learn, and of course the opportunities...

Speaking of opportunities, I've been given a very cool one.  TriLanai has asked me to host a clinic prior to their "Tri Lanai". That excites me in itself, helping the growth of sport in the islands!  Lanai is a rather quiet island, beauty nestled all over, and roughly 3,000 people make up the population.  Chris, the director of the event has a very big desire to help encourage sport and healthy habits on the island, boost the economy, and he has a handful of charities that are Lanai based he wants to support through the races.

 It was a ripple effect of people coming through my life all passionate about sport that have played such a giant roll in where I am today, so of course the opportunity to go be part of something that can possibly create some ripples in someone else's life matters to me.
Speaking about triathlon will be the easy part.  It is the "mountain bike" part that is new to me.  I figure if anyone is coming to a free clinic about the event they must be more rookie than me.  That said, I went to Grant Miller, the owner of Bike Works and possibly our islands best mountain biker, for a little help.  He loaded me up with the perfect amount of tools and tips to share with those coming to learn about this "triathlon" sport.  Finally I'm ready to share and feel in the position to not just laugh at myself (however, I'm okay with that too).  Just to make sure I can practice what I'll preach, I sent myself out on my first EVER solo ride on a mountain bike!  With everything Grant taught me ready for usage out there, it occurred to me that sometimes we teach better when we don't just assume people already know everything because it's so familiar to us...

IF you happen to be reading this and are on Lanai this weekend, stop by the beach, (you know the one, the only beach next to the hotel, the only hotel on any beach on the island). Friday from 3-6pm it's all things "TriLanai"!  It should be a good time covering the basics to the avoiding rocks...

The other exciting part of this, is returning to beautiful Lanai!  I've only been once and loved it so very much!  This time will be even more awesome as 2 of my favorite people in the world will be along for the journey!  I'll give you a hint, one is 6 and the other is roughly 30 years older than 6...

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

HIgh and Dry...

We did it, the island survived another tsunami.  A one footer hit and we all breathed a sigh of relief.  The sirens were going off, anyone living on Ali'i Drive was evacuated, and the beaches were closed.  Everyone woke up with anticipation of the ocean commotion.  How was the surge, did we get surf, and is the Peaman Biathlon still on?!  The beaches were closed until 6:30 or 7am, then the race was on.  And you know us crazy locals, any excuse to gather together near the ocean (race or not), we land there.  The ocean was beautiful even with the bit of unknown that lingered from the quake.  We had some surges, a few people that would not even set foot in the water, and the visibility was a little poor, but it was pretty enough and race we raced.

The race plan pretty much went like this:  Beat Mike DeCarli.  He and his family are wonderful friends and next weekend would be his day to claim all the smack talk possible with the TriLanai facing us.  There is no secret, down hill scares me, bad, and he is an animal, the kind of guy on a mountain bike that will jump things, race things, and hit rocks on purpose-for fun.  I just wanted to have one moment of glory in front of him before next weekend when he laughs through my tears down a hill...

 After the biathlon my mission was to get a crew to go tackle the mountain biking with me.  The crew didn't exactly form BUT all a girl needs is one...and I got Masuda!  After convincing him it would be "really fun" on a Sunday, he was game on.  Up the hills he was not liking me.  He can ride a mountain bike but I'm not sure he liked the hill I picked.  On the down hill however, it was a sad, sad, sad sight to see.  He was just like DeCarli and the brave boys!  Jumping things, racing, and scaring the )($%# out of me!!  He said, "I thought you were joking when you said you are bad on downhills".  It was better than my ride last week, but it was ugly.  Anyways, we have 6 days till the race so I plan to get on the mountain bike again and maybe again...

Sunday ended with a perfect sunset and a much brighter outlook on the coming week than the runaway moment I had early this week.  Hope your Monday is the start to a good week too!

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

My pumpkin has officially died. Maybe Hawaii is too warm to keep those things alive for more than a couple days.  It feels like the winter months have finally arrived.  This mornings bike ride never got "hot hot" and I woke up cold.  Our weather man no longer says, "Today will be a low of *76 and a high of *88"  Now he says, "Low of *73 and high of *84".  That said, we took it upon ourselves to go for a venture in the up country.  A low of *68 lingered around this part of the island and all of a sudden I wanted to put up a Christmas tree!

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Here I run again...

You might not believe this, or if you know me at all this is no surprise.  But I got on a plane, to Maui Tuesday afternoon.  I swam, rode my bike for a few hours, got caught in a wind storm that reflected my life (good and blessed, but so windy, you have to be strong or you get blown over).  On the way to get mountain bike shoes from Bike Works, I took a detour without any previous plan or intention.  This momma knew one thing, her son was at his dads for a week, while I was planning to be in Florida for the REV3 happening Sunday, and then the wind storm came, tornado like...

I'll leave it at that, a girl has her own story filled with all the details that would make a good movie.  Well, I firmly believe the best map in life is your heart.  At the red light, bottom of Ka'iminani, left turn was the bike shop, right turn was the airport.  Turning right, to Mokulele and for less than the cost of groceries for the week hopped on a plane that was departing in 19 minutes to Maui.  I stood there with only my wallet, phone, and the clothes on my back.  This moment felt like a 32 year old run away on a mission.  And I was.  But not running from anything really, I was running to keep the peace in my life...
Landing on Maui I found Masuda who had no idea I was flying over (but neither did I), grabbed hold tight, and he gave me the look I needed, "Everything is going to be okay".  Then we bought a clean shirt.  Also some run shoes, a sports bra, and run shorts (no comment on the purchases, they are very important parts of my life).  On the beach I found a million little shells, most of them broken but reminding me that they are even more beautiful sometimes after they have been wave washed, beach bound, and ocean drenched. 

I swam in the ocean with a dozen giant turtles, played in the waves while surfers danced, and floated on my back looking up to the sky, feeling so thankful for the good parts of life. Amazing how what you focus on really does take up more space in your thoughts.

We took a sunset run too...

Waking up to another run, Maui always has the best runs.  17 miles of beautiful valleys had me alive as ever.  Who knew all it took was a hug, a 37 minute flight, and less than the cost of groceries  to change the direction of the wind in my sails.   The best part of this morning was leaving the house with a single sentence given to me, "Do you have everything you need to be successful today?"  How can a girl not get caught up in finding a lot of peace in her life when you are given all that encouragement!?  I did indeed have it all...and more.
I ran and ran, mile after mile, doing something I am so very blessed to do both physically and as a big part of life.  Then I found a dollar.  Pennies always turn up in my life, but a dollar?!  It was a successful day on the horizon. That lead me to play a game, just start counting blessings...
This venture has shown me once again that changing the direction of the wind in our sails if we must, really will put us back on course. While not everyone can island hop for $39 bucks, I know off the islands it is possible to just get in the car and take a scenic drive to reset the focus.  And with just the clothes on your back it's easy to discover we really have all we need while the closet full of everything else back home is just bonus.   Here I sit on Mike's office computer, in my stinky 17 mile drenched run clothes and pictures from instagram, thinking about how tomorrow when I fly home and get on my bike I'm secretly not even afraid of how windy it might get in my sails...

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Finally landed a good Monday!  Usually Cindy Lauper and I sing that "Manic Monday" song together every Monday, today I forgot that song even exists!  Determination was the word for the day, determined to be happy all day long.  Swim practice began with me in a funk, coach asked if I'm all good, a friend asked too, and of course I said, "Yeah, awesome"...but it was one of those Mondays.

Fighting water, fighting myself.  On a hot round of 20x75's I did that thing you sometimes want to do in the pool, "ughhhhhhhhhhh, 17 more!"  Then I smacked myself silly, asked Jordan who was leading if I can leave on his feet (hes way faster than me) and decided I better make something of the workout, chasing feet would help my brain work and not slack...I almost drowned. Like a girl on a mission determination took over.

Then I got an idea after taking Kainoa to school...

Swap up the tri bike for the mountain bike.  The race director for TriLanai happened to of entered me in his race next weekend (an off road one) and I have not been on a mountain bike since October 2005 when I flew over the handle bars in Maui and landed in the hospital only to find out I was pregnant not dying.  Back to the bike.  Kawika let me borrow his mountain bike, we found one of my favorite hills,we went up then down it. I may have actually just fallen down it...

 The flat parts, the grassy parts, and the non-lava rock with big chunks wanting to kill me, I am really good at!  It's all the other parts that I pretty much stink at.  Not to mention I ran up the hill in one spot pushing the bike faster than I did trying to ride it while falling over backwards.  SO yeah, it was a comedy.  Next weekend will be too.  The swim and run part I can handle.  It's the bike part that I'm surprised they are even letting me be part of.  I want elbow, knee, and other parts of my body covered in pillows!  All in all, any reason to land on the island of Lanai is a good one, even if it means there is a chance of coming home bruised and bloody...
Not that surviving the down hill sent me into a frenzy to thank my lucky stars or anything, but I was even more determined to keep enjoying the day.  I mean, that hill was incredibly fun on a bike, in fact I want to do it again sooner than later! My attitude snapped right into place and I was on the run.

2 hours of run later, landing here:

Aloha ahiahi :)
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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Peek a boo....

I love it!  The holidays are finally here, okay most days have some celebration to be found...BUT I love when the holidays that Hallmark and the calendars claim come rolling in the year.  Pumpkins are covering the island, we got lost in a giant corn maze, and of course the baking has begun!

Other than baking the pumpkin seeds, here is a little island twist on your pumpkin bread...

  • 1 1/4 cup flour (any kind depending on your diet)
  • 3/4 cup oats
    1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 or 4 shakes of pumpkin pie spice
    sprinkle of salt
    1 cup sugar *you might want more, or use maple syrup or agave
    1 egg
    3/4 cup pumpkin puree
    3-4 bananas, very ripe, mashed
    2 tablespoons yogurt
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  1/2 cup coconut shreds
  • 1/2 cup macnuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or carob chips (whatever your diet eats)
  • 1/2 cup chewy gingers 
Mix the dry ingredients on one bowl and the wet ingredients in another.  Add the dry to the wet, mix well, bake *350 for about 35-40 minutes.  It will be YUMMY!
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Peek at Thursday....

Today I discovered, it takes very little to make it through a long day.  Most days begin at 5:30 wake up, out the door to 1st grade drop off by 7 (unless 6am swim practice happens), and land home about 4:30 after Kainoa's swim (unless 6pm swim practice happens).  Between out the door and in the door, with sport, life, work, motherhood,  I've discovered everyday is like a "much easier" Ironman.  My emergency bag is also way more fun than a few gels and more socks!

Not that you asked, but Ill show you what was in my bag today and typical of everyday...

1  Salted Magazine (or any book), a must for sitting on the bleachers during kid swim
2  Tiger Balm, something always wants a rub down
3  Emergency Iron, for the days I think I might faint and its happened
4  Papaya money, 9 for $2
5  Sunscreen
6  Markers or pens, I like to write a lot
7  Snacks for me (or Kainoa) and water

 With only a few remnants of Ironman around town, I've soaked up every last drop of training company possible.  Today was a ride with the UK crew.  We took the beautiful, much enjoyed, scenic route up and over the hills and through coffee fields.  They enjoyed it more than Queen K and I was just so happy having company...tomorrow they leave and then it really will be back to a quite town...

 I've also discovered Instagram takes up roughly 6 minutes of my day!  A few seconds here and there, Wendy busting me in full "Instagram action" adds up to 6 good minutes of entertainment more fun than chick magazines and reality TV.  Maybe because its a mix of pictures and friends, not sure exactly, but today I really liked it and hope the "hooked" feeling I have wears off soon...

Aloha ahiahi!!
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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dear Reader...

 My apologies for the giant slacking of posting, Ironman came to town.  As you know, it takes up the entire Queen K, all the grocery stores, and a lot of time with it's week long activities/expo.  It full on helped the economy of Hawaii by a giant 4% (thank you Ironman athletes and supporters!). As with every year, it makes me proud to be a triathlete.  Seeing the floods people who spend countless hours chasing a goal all here to live out what they accomplished, not to mention so many fit people running round!  Very encouraging to say the least.  I played my role in the very important underwear run by of course, running in tighty whitey's.  Ali'i Drive was filled for a mile in nearly naked people and a banana being chased by a gorilla.  You had to be here...
 ...And then came race day.  Saturday was incredible. It began by racing down the street because, "Andy Potts was coming!!"  From there it just got better and better, more exciting, and more fun than I've ever had watching.  If I couldn't be in the race my job was to get as close to it as possible...learn, watch, enjoy. As with all long races, there is always a bit of drama thrown in.  Round one was a flat tire. 

Just after the last "Tech Support" vehicle went by a man got a flat.  He tried, spectators tried, we all tried to get his bike back in the race. All the way from Kentucky he traveled and there was no way we wanted him to miss out on his Ironman at mile 12 of the bike.  SO....up the hill I drove to grab my race wheel.

I know what you might be thinking, hopefully you aren't one of those.  Some rules are meant to be broken, in this case, "outside help" is one of them.  He was behind the last tech support car, (that counts as far enough back in my opinion to not be taking another mans race up front), nobody would be coming back for him, we couldn't call tech support because the radios they were given were broken (honest!), and in some small way I considered myself "tech support".  You know why, the tech support vehicle was at my house all night long, I could have jumped in it at 3:45 in the morning with the boys and actually been "official", but I didn't.  So I gave the man my wheel and he was back on the road like a half hour later from his flat.  AND he finished the race!  That's what I think Ironman is about in some small way, to have trained and worked hard to be here, then to fly all the way over from Kentucky, to have a mechanical that needs a new wheel, to wait a LONG time, then not give up...let me repeat that, to not give up...

Speaking of not giving up, look at Sarah at mile 12 of the bike!  It was pretty cool to see a studly pro girl like her barfing her brains out while flying down the highway and NOT GIVE UP.  Of course it did not make holding nutrition in very easy or staying hydrated, but we all found a lot of respect for her and it did make a little fun dramatic display of gross for us spectators...
 ...and then my pick for the women's win, Caroline.  I knew without a doubt it would be her or Leanda, I have admired them both from a distance since getting into this sport, and I follow my favorite girls and boys, so I had a feeling it was their day to shine. I got to know Caroline a lot better this season at the races and she surpassed everything I ever thought about her as an athlete and person.  Her and Leanda's battle had me in tears throughout the day.  I was up close in the race and could see a fight to stay in the lead and a fight to be in the lead.  Up so close, any of us cheering, couldn't help but feel Caroline giving it everything to hold off Leanda.  You could hear her pain as she breathed, you could see in her eyes a desire to be the champion and embrace the hurt to make that reality.  Leanda was just absolute focus, fearless, it was so incredible how patient she looked and confident too as she ran her race and made her move.  I cried when they passed on the way to the energy lab. I cried when they were 4 miles from the finish line and the move was unfolding, it took 2 miles to happen, but when it did, you could almost hear tears.  It was an incredible race they gave us and my applaud is loud for them both, it truly was a blast to watch.  Congratulations to both Leanda and Pete for giving all of us spectating a very good day to remember...

 As for the hometown, I had my favorites too...all of them!  It was so much fun seeing training partners and friends all part of such a big deal in our little town.  The best was running a mile with my first ever training partner.  I was a paddler then, skipping practice, out of the canoe and wanting to ride a bike.  He caught me and we became swim-bike-run friends in that instant!  He took me on my first few rides, swam me out very far into the ocean, and of course smashed me in running..till one day he didn't.  But that's another story.  I cried with him that entire mile, just talking about old memories, laughing at how far we have come, and then just enjoying a moment of his Ironman.  I'm really thankful for everyone that let me share a little of their Ironmans with me...
Finally, the yard.  Ironman weekend took a big tole on is EXHAUSTING cheering! I landed in a hammock, did a lot of garden work, and harvested bananas. Masuda was the best company ever, keeping my chin up and my heart focused forward not on a day I missed.  Then I found the greatest Filipino slippers from his cousin in his garage, no ka oi!! 

 Kainoa of course basked in the Ironman fun too, however as of this moment is words are still, "No, I do not want to do that".  And that is okay with me.  Life is back to normal on the island, most the crowd has gone home, and the grocery has eggs again....


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