Monday, September 16, 2013

Na Wahine, Koko Head, Happy, in that order...

There is something really special about having a bucket list, or wanting to do a bunch of things that mean something to you.  These things, our bucket list desires, have such a pretty way of keeping us feeling alive inside.  For oh, 10, maybe 11 years I have wanted to go up Koko Head.  Not really sure why it has taken so long to live out this thing on my list, since I find a way to land on Oahu at least a few times a year, but it has.  I chalk it up to the "perfect timing".  Sometimes these moment just happen and for me they are nearly impossible to believe they could happen any better...

Sunday after Na Wahine Triathlon (more on that in a second) I had something that I just had to do, climb up Koko, I mean why not.  I'm not racing Kona, I am not entirely sure of my race plan at the moment, I'm teaching a bunch so it at least feels like I'm being a responsible working adult, so just do it right now was basically my mission.  With Mike and two of my favorite friends in the entire world at my side, we just decided to eat eggs on bagels then go climb an old train track to the top of a crater, all for a view..


It felt like the world just wrapped it's arms around me to do something as simple as tackle another something off the good ol' bucket list.  Once up there I was in absolutely no mood to come down, I wanted that moment with those friends to last for way longer than it did.  So I of course told them of another thing on the list, this dock, and we went back down in search of that only to not find it.  No problem, one day, the next perfect timing.  Anyways, the lead up to Koko Head has been a lot of soul searching my inner gut & heart.  I'm crazy passionate about so many things in this life it almost freaks me out to think we only get 100 or so good years to make it all happen.  Maybe that is why I love triathlon so much, it just never really runs out  of possibly goals and challenges to chase down. That said, I have been just a little busy wondering about 2014 year and exactly how to make it all happen for sport.  Ahhh, deep breath,  I am just going to chill out and keep making dollars subbing right now, then put it all together when I am calm enough to be sensible, not just run all over the world like a girl on a mission forgetting to smell some flowers on the journey.

Back to Na Wahine Triathlon...
Saturday morning I swam in bait balls, played underwater with Kainoa, and took a 10 minute jog.  My bike was on Oahu, left it there last Sunday after Vegas to save the $100 bucks it cost to fly it over from Kona.  Kind of weird not having my bike for a week, a race week nonetheless.  It worked out okay, this race was entirely for fun and to support women triathlon in the islands...

Masuda and me cruised over late Saturday afternoon. I was of course giddy to finally see him after all the travel and his work in Hilo.  Races are forever and always better when shared.  We stayed in the city, so prefect for a little change of pace from the calm Kona life (that I adore).  For the first time in maybe forever, the honking cars, bright city lights, and ruckus in the streets made me feel happy.  I could appreciate it, something I never imagined I'd like.  We went to dinner at 9pm, very late for me, especially on a race night that starts at 6:30am!  But I rolled with it, the race intentions (fun and supporting women in sport) had to stay more meaningful than to "Go, fight, win".  Part of me really wanted to just race for fun too, without pressure of points and a pay day.  That said, late dinner was perfect.

Finally got my bike together and I must thank Jeff at ITB Bike Shop of Oahu.  My front wheel was flat from Vegas so he let me borrow one for the race, THANK YOU JEFF, you saved the day!  Off to bed, finally...

We woke up to little sprinkles that you all know means one thing on an island, a rainbow!  I was so happy, it was the morning of my 10 year anniversary in sport!!Exactly 10 years ago yesterday morning I was in that same swim peeing my pants, scared!  Now I was the girl on the beach with my friends laughing & knowing it only hurts for an hour.   KC (The race director) of Na Wahine puts on one of the best races in the world, honest!  Take it from a woman that has raced all over the world!  When someone is so enthusiastic about what they care about it just shines right through in all they do.  This race is beautiful! It brings together women of all shapes and sizes, all races, all kinds of jobs, all fitness levels from pro to 1st timers, and then it has all the men that love us there to support what we mean in this world.  Not to mention the  friendships we make standing on that beach and crossing the finish line. 

The race.  It was a 500 yard swim where I clung to Leahi's feet.  Yes, the super swimmer of Hawaii, who just swam the 26 miles from Molokai to Maui did her first triathlon!  She gave me a nice ride and then I was just going for it on the bike.  My legs were burning so much from Vegas the previous Sunday, but I know how to shut them up having done these things for 10 years now.  The run had just one goal, to run anything in the 17 minutes for the 5k.  Um....15 steps into the run I was wanting to crawl.  My legs were way more toasted than anticipated.  We did okay though, 5:55 pace landing 18:26.  It had to be the great crowd support and just feeling so happy to be racing that made me keep moving forward so fried.  You know, I was highly considering racing an Ironman in November but I am thinking to rethink that.  let you know...

Oh that gorgeous finish line, my first one, felt it all over again.  KC, seriously, thank you so much for being the start to this life that I am leading.  One of the things on my bucket list "do a triathlon" 10 years ago, actually transformed my entire life.  I love that woman for what she has done for me!

I also have a HUGE mahalo to Rick and Lori Keene for helping make the trip happen and holding my bike on Oahu for me so I could save $100 bucks!  You both are such beautiful people, xoxox!

AND you know, one of the great reasons to do this race, to support women in triathlon, absolutely landed worthwhile!  Two of the great high school swimmer girls from the Big Island came over too and did their first ever triathlon!  They did amazing, had a blast, and perhaps have gotten bit by the tri-bug too!  Finally, the good news, when you win a local race on Oahu you get your own bike caddy...see....
Oh, the answers to the questions (by the way, we have the winners so no more emails :)
1.  Splish
2. Hawaii 70.3 and Ironman Louisville
3.  Philippines
4.  Spam Musubi
5.  Kona Aquatics
6.  Na Wahine & Vegas 70.3
7.  Ironman Hawaii 07
8.  Ironman Australia
9.  Masuda
10.  Surfing.

Okay, Bed time...



Check out Ruster bags for bike transport.

TJ Tollakson developed a "hen house" in conjunction with Ruster for packing bikes and makes them fall under the airline weight and size requirements for high priced checked bags.

I plan on savings up the pennies to spend $475 on one that will save me close to $2000 next year.

Maybe TJ will give you the "pro" discount!

And you know.... Melbourne does have lots of points and is your kind of race.... (without a broken foot)

Lucy Francis said...

Bree you sold it to me, I want to do the Na Wahine tri too :-)
I've seen a program on tv about Koko head, sounds like a great lungbuster to me, but with views like that it's worth it.
Take your time to decide on 2014, plenty of time to take a breather and recharge your batteries.