Monday, February 23, 2015

Hill Hell Day...Part 1

Yesterday one  of our friends, who was visiting from another island decided it would be "fun" to get a group of folk together to do an epic ride, riding all the ridges on Oahu, basically 85+ miles with over 10,000 ft of climbing! He decided to call it, "Another bad idea." Aptly titled. Who knew there was that much climbing on Oahu! It would have been quite the epic day, had we done what was planned, but we diverged from the plan a bit, thank goodness, my legs couldn't handle any more climbing yesterday! It was still a solid day of riding and climbing. We rode about 60 with over 6,000 ft of climbing in not very much time.

Climb #1 Tantalus, my weekly staple.....about 1500 ft to the top, 5 miles up, 5 miles down
It's always a good idea to start a ride sprinting up a mountain because you forget a spare inner tube and have to go back to the car to fetch it and the group (of pure cyclists mind you) decides not to wait for you...

Climb #2 St. Louis Heights...just shy of 4 miles...just over 900ft of elevation gain...average grade 7.49%, max grade 17%

The best part about this climb, was the mini pit stop at this park (Waahila ridge State Park) at the top. This climb is no joke and I get to do it again this coming weekend! 

Climb #3 (we skipped Sierra Drive and Laukahi, I'm sure we will do them this Saturday) Proceed to Kamehame...just over 3.5 miles to the end, 1085 ft of gain, average grade of 9%, max grade 18%. (I love this climb, even when my legs are screaming at me, this is a great climb, I think my favorite here on Oahu)...the views at the top are totally worth it! 

Climb #4 (kind of) Makapu'u, Not sure this really counts as you have to go up this hill on almost any ride you do on the east side of the island, but I'm counting it yesterday because that's how tired, heavy and sore my legs were. 

Climb #5...Waimanalo back roads...this doesn't really count as it's not truly a climb, a hill, or a mountain, It's a gradual hill that I absolutely cannot stand, hidden in the back roads of Waimanalo, if you've ridden with me you know what this road is and if you are ever here and ride with me, you will for sure hear about it. It's nothing special really and if you were riding on it, you wouldn't think twice, but I despise this piece of road, not because it's difficult, but because it gets me everytime! 

Climb #6 Old Pali...we did this in reverse, so I don't have true data of info, but we took the Old Pali then hiked a bike, under the freeway for a few feet and made our way to the Nuuanu Pali Lookout. 

There was a Climb #7 Pacific Heights (3.5 miles, 721 ft of gain, 9.11% average 19% max grade) I opted out of this one as we will for sure do it this coming weekend.

Yesterday was a beautiful day for riding and thanks, Rick for getting all of us together! A great morning was had by all.

Saturday, February 21, 2015


I finally bit the bullet and joined a masters team (UH Masters) again and it was amazing! It's super nice to be able to hop in the ocean or a public pool almost any time I want, for free, but to be in the pool with other people who love and want to swim is great. I get that already on Wednesday mornings, but the other 2-3 times a week I swim is usually on my own and that is getting old. There's only so much motivation I can/want to give myself, alone in the pool and I want a new swim routine! I have been wanting to shake things up a bit and start swimming with a group again so.....I went to my first practice last night and actually getting to swim with other fast people was everything I hoped it would be and more! They offer 11 practices a more excuses for not swimming. I'm looking forward to continuing swimming with this group and can't wait to love swimming again!
On another note, I swam in the Ocean with the BOCA fam this morning and I had to bust out the wetsuit because it was sooooo cold! But it was a beautiful morning to be swimming outside in the ocean, in February, lucky, I know.

Friday, January 30, 2015

100 things

I guess I'll play....

1. I think this is going to be really difficult.

2. I don't like talking about myself.

3. This is an easy one..I started swimming competitively at age 6.

4. After college, I never thought I would swim again. Nor wake up in the morning to swim. Never say never...

5. I LOVE swimming again and wish I could swim with more people more often. I do a lot of swimming on my own.

6. I want to start swimming on a master's team, I just need to MAKE the time to go the first time.

7.. Swimming in the Ocean is fun...I'm just starting to really appreciate the ocean and what we are so lucky to have here year round (crystal clear water that's not very cold)...even though it's kind of sort of wetsuit swimming weather in the water now.

8. I grew up in Syracuse, New York, UpState, not the city, they are two totally different things. My parents still live in the house I grew up in.

9. I've been in Hawaii for 6 years.

10. I thought I'd only be here for 3 years (see #9), but now couldn't see myself anywhere else.

11. I haven't put this out there, on the world wide web, but in all honesty...Came to Hawaii, married, thought I was happy, pretended I was, I wasn't, I stayed, he left and I couldn't be happier with where my life is now.

12. Not sure how I feel about putting that little tid bit out there.

13. I am truly the most happy I've been in a very long time.

14. When I got to Hawaii in 2009 I was super out of shape....30 pounds heavier, out of shape
15. My college swim coach had been trying for years to convince me to do a triathlon to no avail..he finally convinced me to do a marathon and thus began my journey back to fitness.

16. Never ran more than three miles before 2010.

17. In 2010 ran my first marathon.

18. I have run 6 marathons since, 3 open and 3 Ironman

19. I stand by the fact that an Ironman marathon is "easier" than an open marathon

20. I started triathlon in 2011 with Hawaii 70.3

21. Since then I have completed 5 70.3s and 3 Ironman's (one 70.3 and 1 IM on the schedule for this year)

22. I've been skydiving, it was amazing, not something I ever thought I would do and I don't think I could ever do it again, but glad I had the experience.

23. I have a tattoo on my right foot, a hibiscus flower that I got when I first got to Hawaii.

24. I'm not even a quarter of the way there yet?

25. I used to only wear black swim suits, not the brighter and more obnoxious the better.

26. I have my master's degree in School Counseling.

27. I work in a middle school as a Behavioral Health Specialist

28, I want to get my spin instructor certification.

29, I miss being a swim coach and I want to start coaching swimming again in some capacity.

30. Triathlon has given me some amazing friendships and relationships.

31. That being said...32 and 117 4lyfe! bff4eva HA!

32. This is hard

33. I love having a coach to guide and push me to and past my limits as well as reign me in when needed.

34. I have a younger brother that lives in Maine, way to far away in my opinion.

35. We used to drive each other nutso and now I wish we lived closer and could see each other more often.

36. The one bad thing about living in paradise is being so far away from friends and family...but at least it's a great place to visit.

37. I went to Italy in high school (Florence, Venice, Rome, Tivoli, Tuscany, Pisa, Verona).

38, I would love to go back to Europe and explore some more countries, but it's such a trek from here.

39. Someday I want to go to Australia

40. and New Zealand

41. and bike tour France

42. and bike tour a whole bunch of other places

43. I tore my ACL in high school when I went skiing with a boy.

44. Bad decision, couldn't swim for weeks.

45. Didn't have ACL surgery until after I was done with college swimming (that's how I got out of all the running!)

46. and now I love running...I can't believe I just uttered those words, but I've said it before, I really do enjoy running.

47. Only other surgery I've had was getting my wisdom teeth removed and that was terrible!!

48. I just got a new bike!

49. Hopefully I can figure out the electronic shifting and I don't break it..yikes!

50. Hawaii turns you into a blood has thinned and now I think high 60s and low 70s is cold. I swear I grew up on the east coast and know what REAL cold is.

51. I do not miss the snow.

52. I take that back...I miss the first couple hours of snow: the slush, dirty, brown, nastiness that snow turns into after it first hits the ground, that's what I don't miss.

53. I was on a bowling league with my mom when I was in grad school (I have my own shoes and ball)

54. I've bowled a 200 before (probably can't get close to that now)

55. I used to play baseball and softball

56. I was a cheerleader in elementary school (gasp!)

57. I also took dance, tap and ballet when I was super little (not evidenced by my killer moves on the dance floor now).

58. I also did synchronized swimming for a year before competitive swimming

59. When I started swimming for real, I was so excited I said, "I can't believe they swim back and forth and back and forth in the pool, this is so fuN!!"

60. RED WINE over white

61. One of my favorite trips was a girlfriends trip to Napa

62. We need to make these happen more often, but babies and distance make it tough. thank goodness for texting and email.

63. I want to run Boston at some point.

64. I have a whole lot of first cousins 35, I think.

65. That's embarrassing that I'm unsure 

66. I just learned where my name came from..kind of!

67. My grandmother's name was Electa, when she was little, they called her Lectie (I knew that).

68. Her father was a member of the free mason's and their symbol or something that has to do with the group is a 6-pointed star and one of the points on the star is called Electa, so that's where my Grandmother's name came from and then my name came from hers.

69. I'm hesitant to push the publish button.

70. I really enjoy reading and have been in to non-fiction lately...just read "The Boys in the Boat," highly recommend it.

71. I'm now reading "Wild:From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail"

72. I spend way too much time on my phone

73. I like reading blogs and social networking, social media and feel like I know so many people out there in blogland...creepy? Not sure,but it's fun to have a "connection" to what's going on out there in the triathlon world.

74. I love cooking and sometimes wish I would have gone to culinary school.

75. A cooking class would be super fun. There are cooking classes that happen at one of the community colleges here and I WILL go to one of them sometime.

76. LOVE farmers markets. Have started going much more this year and how much better is fresh, local produce than what you get at the grocery store?

77. Kombucha...I'm addicted and I need a mother...anyone in Hawaii have one so I can start to make my own.

78. I think making a cookbook would be fun, but I would have a hard time writing actual recipes

79. I don't bake.

80, This is kind of fun, but a little scary at the same time

81. I hate having dirty dishes in the sink

82. I enjoy a good tequila (I blame this on my mom)

83. The first time I saw the ocean I was 16 (lakes and rivers growing up)

84. I used to be scared of the ocean. Now, big waves are intimidating, but I will go swim if there are waves and the choppier, the better.

85. I lifeguarded all through high school and some of college

86, I was a "cart girl" at a golf course a few summers in college

87. I get seasick (most of the time, not all the time)

88. I get airsick (not on commercial flights, but on little flights and glider planes, whoops)

89. I want to go in a hot air balloon, but not sure if that's the greatest idea

90. I would love to get my Scuba cert

91. Someday soon, I want to do 100x100, but need a friend to do it with

92. The longest I've ever swam was 7.5 miles and it was on accident

93. I want to see the Northern Lights

94. I've been to almost all 50 states, 11 to go (most in the mid-west)

95. I hate not being organized or having a messy desk/work area

96. I like making lists, and lists on paper. Crossing out what is done is so satisfying.

97. Paper calendars/planners are still in my life (I can't get used to electronic schedules)

98. I love sleep and am in bed pretty early most nights (read 9pm)

99. I'm much better about icing and stretching and taking care of my self in this past year than I have been in the past. Being a swimmer, I never really stretched, rolled or iced much (well I iced my knee), but that is something I've learned is a very valuable and important thing to keep up with

100. Family and friends are the most important things in life.

Welp, that wasn't terrible, but hitting publish is taking me a while....I challenge you to try this! It's not as easy as it seems!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sharon's Ride

Yesterday was the 12th Anniversary of Sharon's Ride. This ride serves as a memorial to Sharon Rosenfield, nurse and teacher who was killed during a cross country bicycle ride in 1993. She was deeply involved in supporting epilepsy and epilepsy patients. 
"Sharon's Ride Run Walk for Epilepsy was started in 1996 in St. Louis, Missouri by Dr. William Rosenfeld and Dr. Susan Lippmann, neurologists who specialize in epilepsy and who created the event to honor the memory of Dr. Rosenfeld's sister. Sharon's Ride takes place at 7 sites across the country, Honolulu being one of them."
It was wet, it was rainy, it was chilly, it was hot, it was sunny, it was windy, it was a quick 100k AND it was a great morning spent with friends who like to ride bikes. AND I got to try out my fancy new aero helmet that Aaron got me for Christmas. It was comfy and warm, great for a colder day here in Hawai'i. Everyone thinks he looks like RoboCop in his, so I suppose now there will be two RoboCops out there riding bikes. 

Not a whole lot to say about this...pretty much the same as last year...hold on for as long as possible then ride strong and hard the rest of the way. I held on for a shorter amount of time this go around, but I ended up with a faster and more consistent ride this year when compared to last (I know conditions can dictate pace and time so I shouldn't look at time as a predictor of fitness). Even though I wasn't able to stay with the big boys (and Michelle, and Chiyo) for very long, I do think I had a better, stronger, steadier ride this year.

A big, huge thanks to Michelle for hanging out at the top of Makapu'u and waiting for me because without her, it would have been a very lonely, windy sufferfest out there on my own. We were able to ride the rest of the time together trading pulls and pulling a whole bunch of boys around the island. No shame there, seems quite typical for this ride. If you can't hang with the big boys, the next group just lets you pull them around (after they skip one of the loops for a snack break and hop on to catch your draft). We prefered it that way though, pulling and setting the pace rather than drafting and getting an easy ride. On the last climb we dropped them all and rode to the finish strong, together. Better watch out for this girl come June and Haleakala.

If you're up for a fun, fast, police escorted (if you can hand with the lead boys), supported ride, this is one you should for sure check out. A great event, for a great cause....until next year.....

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December Happenings

Since I'm still trying to kick this cold/flu/whatever it is that's going around, I'll just give a brief update, in pictures of what's been happening around here this month.

It's Aaron's birthday month and I tried to make this month extra special with a fun little gift everyday this month.
December began with a check in on my's getting better, much, much, much better,but still not 100%. We will get there!!
 December was filled with my attempt at cyclocross
 Xterra Trail Run WC
 The first Christmas tree Aaron and I decorated
 Lots of epic looooong swims
The Honolulu Marathon
 Aaron and Davide's Birthday
 Holiday dinners out
Riding bikes with friends

 Running up mountains with friends
 BOCA potluck/frisbee/end of the year celebration
 More holiday dinners
And the boys scavenging for cookies after a holiday dinner

It's been a great year! Looking forward to 2015, with many more memories to be made, goals to be worked towards and new adventures!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Eve

Thanks for organizing a great morning Kimi!!!
A Christmas Eve tradition here in Hawai'i, started, by none other than Kim Burnett (if it wasn't, I'm saying it was). I can't believe I've been here for almost 6 years already and this is the first time I've participated in this fun morning. If you know Kim, you know how she enjoys her early morning workouts. So here we go, Christmas Eve morning, 6:30am Tantalus run, bike, jog, walk, enjoy and be merry with a little champagne celebration at the top! What a morning it was! Here's a few pictures!

Monday, December 8, 2014

XTERRA WC Trail Run OR.....

...........a realllllllllllllly loooooooooong day of running.

This run is no joke. AND signing up on a whim when Aaron, Gary and Michelle decided to do it was probably not my smartest decision ever. I've never been back in Kualoa Valley much farther than the parking area shown above and it's one of the most beautiful places on the island. A nice little trail run to enjoy the stunning scenery and start whipping my butt back into shape seemed like a great idea...famous last words.
The run starts out pretty fast with a short downhill and then right into about a 3/4 mile uphill (if you aren't toward the front of the pack at this point you will/could get caught behind people when you get to the single track section). I made the mistake of going too fast for my current fitness in the section and spent the next 3 miles trying to clam myself down allthewhile trying to not eat it on the steep, fast (if you can run downhill in piles of slippery mud), muddy downhills. After this we get to a single track section (how people ride bikes on this part, I seriously have NO IDEA!) where you are rewarded with sweeping views on the Ocean and a technical, narrow, rocky, muddy, slippery section. Just perfect for someone who is super coordinated like myself. After this there's some more inner trail/forest-y sections with a couple of stream crossings, I did keep my feet dry on almost all of these, thank you very much...but probably should have just ran through them instead of gingerly speed walking/trying not to fall and keep my feet dry. 

Anyways, when I saw the 11 mile marker sign, I really contemplated just turning and going back to the start (and little did I know the run hadn't even gotten difficult yet!), I didn't turn and I kept moving forward, I just kept reminding myself, this is a fun exploring training day, but when you are as competitive as I am, it's hard to not want to compete and not having the experience/skills and technical abilities this run is very humbling. 

Now, the real fun begins, I knew to be prepared for the "death march," what exactly this was going to be like I wasn't so sure, but I knew it came around mile 9 or 10, I'm still not sure, I think I blocked it from my memory. But around mile 6/7 the group I was running with got to a little hill and EVERYONE around me started walking, so I started walking and then we were at the top, I thought to myself that couldn't have been the death march, but everyone walked so I walked, Then it was down a little hill and up another one, again EVERYONE walked, so I walked, group think at it's finest. Were these the death march? Nope, just short little spurts, these little hills were killing the group I was around. I could have and should have kept running, but I thought everyone must have known something I didn't know so they walked and I walked. Groupthink. After these two teasers I told myself I would keep running until the death march and I did, but it wasn't much farther at this point. I would run the little uphills and get blown past everyone I passed on the climbs going downhill. At one point, this man said to me, "Wow, you're really good at running uphill, but you really suck running downhill." Thanks, buddy, I hadn't noticed! 

The death march is no joke, I really don't know how people run up that thing. I'm not sure even if I was racing and if I was in great running shape that I could run up that thing! It's steep, steeper than you think steep is and never would I ever think people would run up it, but they do and I would love to watch how that's possible some day. At the top you think you are going right into a dead end, but nope, they take you down into a super steep, muddy, slippery, narrow, root and rock filled single track that drops down, down, down, down, there are even ropes to help stay standing and you bet I had to use them! I almost stayed clean, but had one slip into the 6 inches of mud, yuck! This mile downhill was my longest (timewise) mile of the day, sooooooo slow, downhill! Once we got to the bottom of the steep single track section, I was so over running and still had a mile or 2 to go. I just wanted to be done, but kept putting one foot in front of the other enjoying the scenery.  

We were somehow back onto the single track we were on at the beginning of the run, how we got there, I'm not so sure. I was able to navigate this section a bit better than the first time around, but still found people running up on me and when I heard them, I stopped, stepped aside and let them go on their way, I wasn't about to ruin someone's run because I cannot run on technical trails. The fact that they call this section fast and soft makes me laugh! Finally, after waaaaaaaaaaay too much time out there on the trails I was done. I was not a happy camper when I crossed that finish line, I joked about how long it was going to take me before the start and said 2:30 and I thought that was crazy long, there's no way it will take me that long and if I was still out there then, somebody better come save me, but funny enough, I finished in 2:27. 

Trail running is not the same as road running and just because you are a semi-decent road runner does not mean you will fair well on the trails at all. This was a "fun" way to get back in the valley and see parts of the island I'd never seen before, but I'm not so sure how I feel about trail running RACES. Getting out on less technical trails and getting off the road is fun and I'll for sure keep doing that when I get the chance, but racing trails totally different. 

I have a ton of respect for everyone who was out there yesterday, it is NOT easy! I don't know how people can run so fast on trails, I guess it's a bit like mountain biking and CX, you have to be a little fearless and not worry about injuring yourself. I found my self constantly thinking about twisting an ankle, breaking something or having to get rescued because I hurt myself in some capacity. I don't think you can be a fast, competitive successful tail runner if you think like this. I also think you need to run on trails more often than 2x a year. 
Whenever you get the chance to try something new and hang out with great friends in a place like this you should never pass on the opportunity! I will however, think a bit more on it before next year...yesterday I was a total, never happening again, 1 and done mentality, today, I'm not a never again thinker, but I'll have to consider it a bit more and won't just sign up on a whim.