Tuesday, August 19, 2014

iTakeBioAstin

Last week Thursday/Friday was dinner/picture-taking/photo-shoot time spent with a bunch of great athletes and individuals here on Oahu. It was the annual BioAstin Ambassador dinner where we got the opportunity to meet and socialize athletes from the other islands, in addition we got to meet Nutrex Hawaii management (the brains behind the business!).


I love Hawaii offers us an environment that lets us be healthy, happy and active year-round. Being able to always meet people and have new experiences is something I love about this place!

Just wanted to share a few pictures of the enjoyable time we had last week. Many more to come soon

pretending to be yogis
 strong, beautiful ladies..I'm a giant
 better luck next time, Mariane


and on Sunday, after Kawela, Aaron, Raul, Hina and I went on a hike


Monday, August 18, 2014

Kawela Endurance Tri

The inaugural event here on Oahu...what a success and such a great event. How fun that we are able to have this event here in our home. Finally, a half-iron distance event on Oahu! Spending a few hours on a beautiful Saturday morning racing with your friends (if you are a part of the triathlon community on Oahu, you were at this event), getting body marked ever so lightly so that I didn't have to lose skin later in the day trying to scrub it off by my good friend Kim, getting handed aid from your friends, neighbors and teammates on the side of the road, finishing on a gorgeous beach with a local band (Smooth Remedy!), layin' in a hammock where it's nice and breezy (thanks KC), getting a massage oceanside and BBQing...sounds like a great Saturday to me! 
Where the race finished...how cool is this

It seems like everytime a race starts in Kailua, it starts with rain (Lanikai tri the past two years, marathon readiness 25ks...it rains on the windward side!). As we were setting up in transition the sky opened up...not an  ideal way to start a race, but as we headed down to the ocean in the still dark, early-morning, the rain stopped. We walked to the boat ramp, where the race started and as the sun began to rise behind the Moks and Flat Island we were off! The swim was a short two loop swim, with the current accompanied by an 800m beach run in between the two loops. The first loop I stuck to Tim's feet (I couldn't see anything...my own fault, I need new race goggles and I think I've said that after every tri this year and then the night before the race comes and I throw my old race goggles in the bag and don't realize they are old, scratched and have almost zero visibility until I get in the water race morning! Live and learn, I'll have new ones before Kona). 
Tim was probably quite annoyed with how many times I kept tapping/touching his feet (I know I would have been, but that's racing!). Exit the water after loop #1 and he takes off! I could just not keep up on the 800m beach run, not that I thought I really had a chance, but I sure tried, I didn't want to lose those feet and I thought that if I could stay close on the run, I could catch back up in the water and squeak past him, or at least with him at the end...no dice! Beach running and trying to keep up with Tim do not go together. Loop two of the swim, dive in, catch my breath, make up a little ground, but wasn't able to bridge the gap, I came out of the water first female and second overall.  

A side note....that beach run in the middle of the swim was no joke!Sprinting 800m and then diving back into the water to swim throws you for a little loop! It was fun to add another dimension to the race, not something we typically get in triathlons, as much as I dreaded it beforehand, it was actually kind of fun! 

this is NOT ok
The bike course is a simple, point-to-point course, there weren't many turns at all (maybe 3?), the course was well marked and police protected and even though it wasn't a closed course (hard to do on Oahu as there are only so many roads and way to get places), it was well supported and safe.I only got caught behind a tractor for a little while! :-) In my opinion a great, easy way to to get 56/57 miles of road to race on. The stretch of road this race is on is known for it's tailwind so one would think the bike splits for this race would be smokin' fast...they weren't slow, but they were not as fast as I would have predicted. We did get a few good sections of some relatively strong crosswinds, but they came and went quickly. The bike was pretty uneventful, grabbed some water/gatorade from friends, chatted with Aaron for a minute before he flew by me, saw 3 people on the side of the road with flats (yay for Oahu roads..not!), tried to get comfortable to no avail, tried to push the pace a bit, but wasn't successful in that regard either, so I just kept pedaling until I reached Camp Erdman. First woman to enter T2.

I wasn't happy with my bike at all...go faster next time and don't be a wimp, I think I might need to write that on my bars, don't be a wimp because that's how I felt I rode my bike on Saturday, like a wimp, I'm tired, my legs hurt, the roads are crap, my legs are heavy, are we done yet?, really 7 more miles to go?. Well duh! you are racing, it's not supposed to be easy and it's not supposed to feel good! Ugh, why I get into my own head sometimes and stay negative and pissy on the bike is something I seriously need to work on. Always something to learn and more work to be done. I got of the bike and it was time to run so I didn't dwell on it anymore. I knew Mariane was not far behind and needed to get running! 

The run was a dark horse for me on Saturday, I have gained a lot of run confidence in the past year, but after my issue, and just beginning my run build again (not an excuse even though it sounds like one) I have a whole lot of work to do to get back to where I want/need/can be come October 11. Plenty of time for that.

Anyways, the run was going to be brutally hot, and we all knew this. It is a 2.5 loop course on a fairly flat (two small inclines), super exposed (read no shade at all) road to nowhere. Plenty of aid stations and encouraging words from people throughout the race, you were never truly alone, which helps! 

I started running and felt ok. Then I started to get negative, why, I have no idea, but this is also not ok. It took me probably 9 miles to stop being pissy and start running like I knew I could. That's waaaaaaaaay too long. Mariane passed me at mile 6-ish and I should have stayed with her, I believe I could have picked up the pace and stayed with her, but I didn't. Another lesson learned. Mariane and I chatted after the race and neither of us were in a very good place mentally and yet when we were racing we both thought each other was super happy and strong, all rainbows and butterflies. The run finishes right along the Ocean on a grass/beach section at Camp Erdman...beautiful. I was able to finish up the race, just two minutes back from Mariane and right behind Aaron. 

The take away from this race....don't be a wimp, keep pushing forward and quit being negative. I think sometimes the biggest limiter in racing is our own minds. We've put in all the necessary work to have a great race, but if you let those negative thoughts creep into your mind it can ruin (this might be too strong of a word) everything you've worked so hard for. Being mentally strong is probably more important than being physically fit and capable of a great race. 

I am happy with the end result, I put together a fairly strong race and am happy with how it all panned out. Being able to share the podium with these two ladies is always a great day! 

Thanks so much to all the volunteers (I think there were actually more volunteers than competitors in this race), without you, this race would not have been possible. Thanks to BOCA Hawaii for putting on such a great, family, community, fun race! I will most definitely do this race next year!!

(Thanks Kim Burnett, Rachel Ross and Kalani Pascual for the great pictures)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

What not to do...

...or the five stages of grief...

This could get a little lengthy...you are forewarned.

I'm not really sure where or how to start this post, but it's probably a good idea for me to get it out there.
Let's rewind to March, well, if I'm truly honest with myself maybe mid/November (but we will go back to September/October 2013 at the beginning of marathon training).

Last September I got invited to run Hana Relay with a kick ass group of ladies and it was super fun. That race ignited the beginnings of my like/growing to love of running. After Hana, my focus was building up to the Honolulu Marathon in December.

I was running more and was more focused in this build up than I ever had been before and I was loving it. I was still swimming and biking, but my focus was definitely more on the running aspect of swimbikerun. After some of my longer or more intense runs, I would sometimes have a little niggle in my heel and then getting out of bed and taking those first couple steps in the morning never felt very good, but as they day went on the niggle went away and I was back to normal. Nothing too be concerned about (at least that's what I kept telling myself...mistake #1). I wasn't icing, I wasn't stretching and generally I wasn't really taking care of my feet. It's not that I didn't have the time, knowledge or resources to put to use, I was just ignoring and deciding that this wasn't an issue. It hurt a little, but it always went away and I was still able to run (and I was running pretty well). I was ignoring it, pushing through, being "tough" and not wanting to draw any attention to a potential set-back or make any excuses (mistake #2). This went on through the marathon and I actually had a great marathon (which didn't help with my not dealing with a potential problem).  (Stage 1-Shock and Denial)

I biked a ton in December and January. I was running, but I wasn't running hard or a lot, so there was very little if not no pain in the foot/heel area. Enter February/March and the beginnings of triathlon season/training. Time to start running more again and balancing out/loading more swimbikerun to get ready for the season.

March brought about one of the first races of the year, Lavaman over on the Big Island. At this race, the last two miles or so is on lava rock and sand. Not a race you, well I, should wear racing flats. I'm just not suited to run on lava rock in racing flats (hard lesson learned). During the end of the run, I landed just right, well, actually, wrong on a piece of lava rock and it hit my heel right in the money spot. Ouch, but it was a race and I kept plugging on, finished with a great result and my little mishap with a piece of lava was long forgotten (mistake #3). We had a great long weekend of riding bikes and swimming on the Big Island.

A week or so later after a hard Thursday night speed workout with the BOCA Honu training group, I woke up Friday morning and could barley walk. I could put zero weight on my foot. (Stage 2-Pain and Guilt). I cried, I didn't know what to do or why this happened (really Lectie, you didn't know why after months of ignoring something it finally got to the point where you were forced accept that something was wrong, that I wasn't bulletproof, that I needed to do something?! Oh boy, if I could go back now and deal with it in December, well probably September or maybe even earlier, if I'm honest with myself, I would..live and learn, there's nothing I can do right now to change what I didn't do months ago), I was upset, scared, nervous, and angry.  (Stage 3-Anger and Bargaining with a little bit of Stage 4-Depression/Sadness).

I went to Saturday workout which happened to be a killer double brick and I couldn't run, I could barely walk. How am I going to race Honu in 2 months when I can't even walk right now?!). I made myself a deal, I'll go to the doctor, get some exercises, do them, ice, aqua jog like crazy, take care of my foot and not run for 2-3 weeks, do everything the doctor says, even get some Hokas to run in when I can start running again, and then in 3 weeks I'll be good to go and ready to get back at it for Honu training (probably should have done this a looooong time ago). Three weeks with no running, being diligent about stretching and exercises to strengthen and help heal my foot, taping and icing will cure me. Plan instated and I was good-to-go, or so I convinced myself again.

Seeing Dr. Zen at the Zen Center Hawaii was the turning point for me. First and foremost, he is an athlete, he understands what we do to our bodies, but he also knows how to take care of them and he is committed to keeping us on the road doing what we love. We, as athletes, need to listen to our bodies, be diligent and not deny and ignore problems because that will only make things worse. Dr. Zen is the most knowledgeable doctor I have ever have the pleasure of working with. He took close to two hours for my initial assessment and was confident that we could get through the next two months and have a strong race at Honu. Initially, I was less than confident (I could still barely walk), but at this point truly trusted him because he came highly recommended and was not just your in and out kind of doctor that pushes through patients to make the money. I could tell he was committed after just seeing my that first time. I went to see him once a week for the weeks leading up to Honu and slowly, I was progressing. The pain was still there, but I was able to run pain free, it was just sore afterwards and in the mornings. I wasn't cured, but I was moving in the right direction.

Honu came and went, I had a great race and wasn't debilitated afterwards. However, my pesky little problem was still hanging on. I now had 4+ months before Kona and needed to get this problem solved. Dr. Zen recommended I go to a podiatrist since what we were doing wasn't "curing" me. I did that, was diagnosed with Planar Fasciitis (joy joy joy!), got a cortisone shot, didn't run for 3 weeks afterwards, and my foot felt great, well 90% great.

My work with Dr. Zen continued and continues to this day, his modalities allow me to be active and continue doing what I love. It's preventative and overall good practice to continue with him and I will.

Truly, the only real fix to my problem would be to stop running, for I'm not quite sure how long it would take, let my foot 100%, really 100% heal and build up again from there. After the shot and my 3-5 weeks off from running, I began again...slowly...and I'm able to "run" again. It is taking time to get my run fitness back up to where I want it to be and I realize the process is going to be a slow one, but I'd rather it be slow and not completely trash my foot again than to ramp up too quickly and not be able to walk. I'm definitely still not 100%, but I'm leaps and bounds better than I was before Honu and I'm being a good little patient doing all my exercises, stretches, icing, running on softer surfaces, and slowly increasing my mileage. It's not great, but it's better and I will continue to slowly increase the mileage in my build to Kona (Stage 5-Acceptance and Hope).

That's my foot story...To Be Continued...post Kona

Anyone have an AlterG treadmill? :-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Pineapple Hill Road Race

This post is waaaaaay over due....and then I will get to the post I've been meaning to write, but it's taken me a long time to get together what and how I want to talk about my foot!

I've said this many times before, but bike races are hard!
Pineapple hill road race is a little local race here on Oahu. It's actually a pretty small race (we live on a small island). There were only 6 women total doing the entire race. It's a two loop race (about 30 miles) for the women (2 years ago we did 3 loops, I wish it was still 3 loops, 2 loops is to short in my opinion). Usually the first loop of the race starts out pretty mellow and then after the decent on the second loop, people start to execute plans and work with their people.

This year was different. It's hard doing a bike race without a "team" or people to work with. I'd much rather the starter say go, and everyone work on their own and whoever gets to the end first wins, no drafting, everyone for yourself...but that's not bike racing. Oh well.

The first loop was pretty mellow, the second loop two girls took off on the decent and for the life of me I just couldn't pedal hard/fast enough to keep up. I knew I could work to get them back on the hill, but it's so frustrating getting blown away DOWNHILL!!!

see...sitting on my wheel trying
to make me go slow
Chiyo had already taken off on the first lap....then there were 3. I saw the two other girls up ahead on the second climb and they weren't that far, if I put in some work I could totally catch them and then wouldn't you know it, one of the girls dropped back. Great! So, her new plan was let's pull this girl far away and wait for Lectie to come by and then I will sit on her wheel the whole way up the hill and make sure she doesn't catch my teammate that I just worked to pull ahead. Stupid bike races. But that's how they work and if you have a team and teammates strategy plays a big role and you can't fault them for having a plan. That's what you do.

Well, that's exactly what happened, except....I was able to bridge the gap and catch right back up and pass her teammate! Now, I was pulling both of them! Argh! Bike races! Then, they both took off on me right before the last turn near the end of the race and with everything I had, I could not go with them. The girl, I pulled up Pineapple Hill was gone and she was not catch-able. But the other one was within reach with less than a mile to go, I put my head down and went for it and was able to catch her within 50 yards of the finish!

Long story short, bike races are hard, it's more fun with a team, they should let us ride with the boys, I don't like drafting in racing.



Thanks Sau for the pictures!

Friday, July 11, 2014

WiliwiliNui Ridge

Last weekend Aaron and I decided we wanted to go on a hike. We haven't gone on a hike in a long time and since I'm just now starting to build up my run (more on that in my next post...an update is needed), this was the perfect time and opportunity to take advantage of another great weekend in Hawaii before my weekend days are totally full of swimbikerun FUN!

WiliwiliNui Ridge in Hawaii Kai. Make your way to Hawaii Kai (kal hwy). To get there....go to the top of Laukahi Street, tell the gate guard you want to go on the hike, he will give you a parking pass, park and find the trail-head. Super easy.

What an amazing hike. It's not long, about an hour up and an hour back down. Wide trails at the beginning, but toward the end there are some stairs, and ropes to help you navigate. I thought it was going to be a little scary at the end, but it wasn't, I survived and the views and payoff at the top were amazing. You can see almost the whole island from the top. EVERYTHING. You get views of the West side, Waianae Mountains, KoOlina, town, Waikiki, East side, KokoHead, Makapuu, Windward side, Kailua, Mokes, Kaneohe, Chinaman's Hat. Basically the only part of the island you can't see is North Shore.

A few pictures to spark your interest...









Thursday, July 10, 2014

30!

Oh how I've been neglecting you lately, blog, I'm sorry.
Rewind.
Backup.
June 22

"Turning 30: it's all a big joke until it happens to you." Well it's more like, "the next thirty years will be the best years of my life." I can't believe I'm 30! What?! How did that happen?

It all started out as a regular Sunday Worlds shop ride from BOCA. I should have known something was up when Aaron kept insisting that I take out the Pinarello for the ride instead of my TT bike. But I have Kona ride training on my mind and was set on doing my long rides on my TT bike. Lesson learned. We showed up at the shop ready to go with the usual crowd (I learned later he sent out this massive FB message to people to try to round up a huge group for a long-ish social birthday ride for ME...thanks to all who came!). I let the boys decide where we went seeing as how they had Cycle to the Sun the following weekend and this was their last long-ish ride before they left...so it was a Pali/east side with Sierra Drive climb at the end (see, climbing, should have listened and took the Pinarello!).

We got back to the shop, unloaded bikes, grabbed clothes and in I walked to balloons, brunch, cupcakes and a World Cup watching birthday party!  Not what I thought we were going to be doing for my birthday, but it was a great time and such a surprise (until someone may have said some things on the ride that got me a little curious, I thought something was up, but wasn't totally sure, good thing I'm sometimes clueless, for the surprise's sake anyways). A World Cup tie (I think, I can't remember, soccer scores and stats don't stick with me) for USA, a nice little Sunday ride, a fun party and time to hang out and relax with friends, all made for an excellent birthday.
He's a keeper!
My Mom made these shirts for one of my races and asked what size to make for Aaron, I told her medium and I guess I should have specified MEN's medium. Regardless, he still wore it and wore it again for me for my day! What a great man!

Thanks, Aaron for putting together such a great morning/day, so thoughtful and couldn't have asked for a better day with better people! Raul and Hina, thanks for letting us use the shop for my party! M & G, thanks for helping Aaron get all set up while I remained clueless (for the most part). And everyone that came out for the ride/game/food/good times, I appreciate it and it made my day very special!

AND what birthday is complete without a birthday swim!? Michelle, Nalani and Mark treated me to a stellar birthday swim Monday morning, the day after. I believe Michelle put it best, "I'm glad Lectie only turned 30 and not 40 because 10 more 100s would have killed me" or something like that.  A special 30x100s was swum, it wasn't your standard 30x100, of course it had a twist. And I, cannot even remember what the twist was. I hate when I forget to write down great swim sets! Sorry! If you want to know what it was, I'm sure Michelle can inform you. Thanks for the swim Kaneohe morning swim crew!



Monday, June 2, 2014

Honu 3.0

What a day, what a race. Third time racing Honu and...third time's a charm! If I had to pick one word to sum up my day's experience, it would be unforgettable. Saturday was a day when everything came together in just the right way. I was finally able to truly believe in my training and preparedness and was ready to put it all together. What the mind believes, the body achieves.

A quick recap in case you don't want to read the long version...one of my goals coming into this race was to have the fastest woman's swim of the day, continue pushing from there and whatever happens, happens. I knew it was not going to be easy as there are a lot of "fish" in Hawaii and Ocean swims tend to be quick! I ended up first woman out of the water including the pro women and third fastest of the day (pro men/women and age-group men/women). Secondly, I was able to lead the amateur race from start to finish. Totally surreal. WHAT!? REALLY!? I can't even really believe it actually happened (pardon my grammar). I put in the work and knew what I was capable of, but having all the pieces come together like that makes this race unforgettable. What the mind believes, the body achieves. My first major win and KONA! Stoked!!!

The long version....
Race morning started out just like any other race morning..it was filled with butterflies, forcing breakfast down, the usual. Pretty uneventful.
We got to transition early, early, early and had plenty of time to spare, just the way I like it, no rushing, not hectic, time to compose myself and get ready for what lies ahead. Tires pumped, transition area situated and organized, then right on down to the beach. I love racing here in Hawaii. It is paradise. 

The swim at Hapuna Beach is one of the most beautiful swims, possibly in the world. The gun went off and I was alone, I mean completely alone, um where is everyone?! am I going the right way?! These thoughts seriously crossed my mind. Then I hit the first turn buoy when I caught the back pack of men. Surprisingly, I did not get grumpy, I kept my head on straight and was able to hug the buoy and keep right on swimming past those men. The second turn buoy, same thing, no problems at all! This swim was going great. Then the final buoy, and the turn directly into the sun toward shore (you hope!), can't see a thing, hope you are going the right way. Exit out of the water, forget to look at the clock or my watch,swim felt strong, controlled and fast, no complaints, run up the steepest hill EVER, I think it gets steeper each year, it doesn't, I know, but it sure feels like it does, enter transition, swimskin off, glasses on, helmet on, shoes on and out. 

I was off and riding by 30 minutes...well, I guess my swim must have been pretty good considering we are 30:XX into the race and I'm already riding, nice! Now, the bike was a little bit of a dark horse for me, but I wasn't going to let any negativity get into my head during this ride, I've been riding a lot better lately and my confidence in my bike has increased, there's still plenty of work to be done, but I knew, and more importantly believed I could ride aggressively and still be able to run afterwards. If anyone passed me, I was going to try my hardest not to let them get out of my sights. I did get passed by one other girl, kept her in my sights and began to regain time on her as we started heading out to Hawi....she got caught up in a group of men and they all went down, I think/hope she's alright. I heard her bike suffered the worst of it and she is physically , but it's unfortunate she wasn't able to finish the race. The rest of the bike was fun, gasp, fun?! Climbing to Hawi still no one there, and still haven't glanced at my watch to check time of race or anything, just keep on doing what you're doing, it's obviously working. So far, so good, what the mind believes, the body achieves. Made the turn in Hawi, headed home. Some crosswinds, but nothing unmanageable...and then there were some aggro age group men that didn't like getting passed by a girl, I passed them, they passed me and slowed down, then I'd pass them, then they'd pass me and slow down, back and forth and back and forth all the way to the 3 hills in Kawihae, then they were no more! Small victory!! Back to the Fairmont and onto the run. 
the BOCA fam
The run course at this race is no joke. This is the most challenging part of the race, in my opinion, it's not just a half-marathon, it's a half-marathon off the bike, on one of the hardest, hilliest, humid-est (I know that's not a word), zigzagging, golf course, bike path, road to nowhere, hells kitchen run courses on the Ironman circuit. When I got off the bike, I knew I was having a great race and I just needed to hold it together for 13.1, I've run that distance many times, it's not that far. That's what I had to keep telling myself. What the mind believes, the body achieves, one step at a time. This course offers many out and back and opportunities to see everyone out on the course. I would like to apologize for not responding to many of you out there spectating and even competing, I kind of had blinders on during the run. I needed to stay focused and stay the course. It was great to see all the friendly faces out there on the course with encouraging and supportive words, I might not have responded back, but I heard and all those words of encouragement kept me moving forward and got me to that finish line. Special thanks to Aaron who ran by my side for a bit, even when he was struggling himself, he was able to talk to me and give me the support and encouragement that I needed to keep my head in a good place and focused on the goal. I'm not very good at responding, but thanks, I was listening and appreciated it all! The last two miles were pure torture, I didn't allow myself to focus on anything but getting to that finish line. Those 15 minutes took FOR-EV-ER. But I made it! I crossed the line in a new 70.3 PR, AG win, overall amateur win and a Kona slot...mission accomplished! 
Kona!

Thanks for all YOU do!

Women 30-34
I couldn't have gotten here without the support of my parents, Aaron, Sherpa extraordinaire Michelle, Raul and the BOCAHawaii family, Planet Sun for your performance suncare and UV protection (Go Long, Go Strong, Go Protected), RokaSports for your amazing, swim skins, Dr. ZenBioAstin, REAP Hawaii, Recovery e21. Mahalo!!