Friday, June 10, 2016

Honu 2016

I'm late to the party in doing my race report, that's because I'm not sure where to begin. I'm overwhelmed with the congrats, support and love I have received since last Saturday. I'm overwhelmed with the start to my 2016 racing year. I'm overwhelmed by the epic day that was had by all and the caliber of ladies (and men) that were out there competing. Cudos to you all (Steph and Hailey to name a couple) for making me and everyone else out there work hard for every second.
Honu is always a difficult race. I haven't done a lot of 70.3 racing, but I'm pretty confident that Honu has got to be one of the harder races on the circuit. You never know what Madame Pele will have in store come race day. Usually it's calm, crystal clear waters, raging heat and whipping winds. Saturday, we had calm waters, rain (what?!), almost zero wind (again, what!?), cloud cover for a good portion of the morning and raging heat. You never know what you're going to get and that's the beauty of racing...making game time decisions, that you've hopefully somewhat mentally prepared for, based on what happens in the moment, because "Hey, you never know!" (NYS lotto anyone!?)
-No surprise, the swim is always my most favorite part of the race, maybe one of these days someone will make a race in which the swim is equally long when compared to the other 2 parts....wishful thinking. I've gotten over the fact that I'm always going to be in one of the last waves, so instead of thinking about having to swim through 100s of people, I think about it as swimming through lots of moving water! Dodging people and navigating around the overly crowded buoys is never easy, but just keep swimming and clear water will be found. I wanted to have a fast swim this year and thanks to my trusty ROKA swimskin, UH masters and the Kaneohe crew, FOTW, course record and my fastest Honu swim by over a minute!
-The bike ride was FAST!! Absolutely no wind made for some killer bike splits. I don't have a whole lot to say about the bike, I rode hard, got grumpy, for approximately 15 minutes in my typical grumpy place on this course (working on it!) and then got my head out of my @$$ and rode hard to the finish. A solid bike ride, but always room for improvement. This course is always fun because you can see people the entire way and the ladies out there sure chipped away a whole bunch at the lead I had coming out of the water. Nice riding!! I had some work to do on the run.
-The new run course looked as though it could be a bit easier than it had been in the dice. How do you make a ridiculously hard run course even harder?! Ask WTC because if that's what they were going for, they nailed it. This run course is NO JOKE! I just want to say thank you to everyone out there for all your cheers and if I didn't acknowledge you it wasn't because I didn't hear or didn't care, it was because I was doing everything I could to keep from curling up in a ball. Thanks Mike for being my carrot for the ENTIRE run, sorry I passed you there right at the end, but Steph was coming fast and and running a heck of a lot better than I was. To the BioAstin and HTC crew at the beginning and end of the road to nowhere, you were there right when I needed those extra cheers, thanks Sam, "You are a Honu!" This was the most mentally tough run I have ever done, focus, hard work, never giving up, relentless forward progress and all the cheers were what got me through. I have never worked so hard for a finish line or been so happy to cross the line the exact second I did.
To Raul, and my BOCA family, thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for me, this sport wouldn't be the same without you all. You've gotten me through a whole lot this year and I wouldn't be where I am today without your love and support. To ROKA, thanks for making the best swim equipment out there, you really are the best in the biz. Planet Sun Hawaii, thanks for always keeping me protected in the extreme Hawaii sun. BioAstin, thanks for helping me see how far I can push myself and what I am capable of.

Because pictures are fun, I'll leave you with some photos from the weekend!
Super proud of this guy for an over 30minute course PR!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Racing local style

What a gorgeous day it was to race on the beautiful North Shore of Oahu. If you haven't done this race before (second year running), I highly recommend it. It's almost Olympic distance. The swim is short, but beautiful, crystal clear water, reef with fish all over the place, the bike course is a bit long (almost 26 miles) and up, up, up, up snake road which we don't get to ride normally due to it being unsafe with traffic, but the road is completely closed to traffic for the race and they repaved the road which is great. The run is a little short of 6 miles, but exposed, hot and not totally flat...prefect training conditions for a Sunday morning 2 weeks out from Honu. I'm surprised more people don't do this race....I highly recommend it. We need more people to come out next tell your friends! 
I had been planning all along to do this race, but come last week, I was less than motivated, tired and not sure it was the best idea in the world. (I just  had a bad attitude). But I signed up Friday night and said I'd play it by ear race morning. 
My alarm went off Sunday morning and ughhhhhhhhhh, it was early, but I had made the commitment to Chris to race and it really is a great race (see above) and like I said before, perfect opportunity to race before the race! And I'm so glad I adjusted my bad attitude...we GET TO do this, we don't HAVE was a beautiful day out there and I know a lot goes in to putting on these races, so I'm glad I left my bad attitude at home! 
The highlights....the swim is beautiful and the course was different this year, much easier to navigate and deeper water with less reef. Attitude adjusted as soon as the swim started, I really do love swimming in the ocean, as long as I don't think about the things that are always lurking below the surface. Anyways, beautiful swim. The first few and last few miles of the bike are on a rough road, but what's new, that's riding on Oahu. Getting the opportunity to ride up snake road always makes for a fun ride! The run was uneventful (for me). Lots of cheering and yelling for everyone else that was out there on the course. It's so much fun racing with friends.
I can only hope that next year more people turn out for this race. Thanks Chris, for putting on a super fun, safe, family friendly, challenging, local style event! 

Unrelated....but I wanted to share.....if you haven't seen this floating around Facebook then please check it out...BOCA Hawaii. My BOCA Ohana. 
Proud to be a part of such an amazing group of people who are always there for you no matter what! 

*Thanks Miki and Kristy for the pictures

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

South Shore Classic

The South Shore Classic is a unique swim race here on Oahu and this was it's second year running. Here's how it works. There are actually 4 different races: Women's 1-mile, Men's 1-mile, Elite 2-mile (men and women) and the Keki race. It's a pretty unique format for racing and glad it came back for the second year. 
For the 1-mile races...the first people in the water are those 70 years of age and older, then, 1 minute later women in their 60s start, 50 seconds later all the people in their 50s start, 40 seconds later all the 40s head out, 40 seconds after that, all the 30s head out, then 20 or 30 seconds after that if you are 29 or under you leave. In the 2-mile race all the women (or teenage girls and me) leave first and then a bit later the men (or teenage boys) leave. I'm not sure how far behind us they went (maybe 3 minutes?), but women left first followed by the men. In all three of these races, the first person to cross the finish line is crowned the South Shore Champion. 
Saturday happened to be a huge South Swell here on Oahu. The south shore has actually been pretty mellow these past few months and wouldn't you know, the day of the race, the surf comes up and it's ripping out there! Yessssssssssss! Since there was such a swell and the surf was breaking right on shore, the course needed to be modified a bit to keep everyone safe. (Course changes happen all the time, you just gotta roll with the punches, in the end everyone is swimming the same course, so it doesn't much matter what the course actually is as long as you know for yourself that you can be safe out there). So, I think the courses were actually a bit shy of 1-mile and 2-miles.
The 1-mile race was a 3 loop course with a run on the beach between loops and the 2-mile race was 5 loops of the same course (the runs on the beach were pretty legit, deep-ish sand and not short). Now, if you know swimmers, typically they hate running...I used to be one of them, my how the times have changed! 5 runs on the beach in between swimming loops in the surf -filled ocean was music to my ears. All the swimmers were crying a little bit on the inside (don't get me wrong, 15 years ago, I would have also been a little sad that the race directors were making swimmers run in a swim race!), but I was super stoked!
I've said it a million times before but girls are vicious in the water, especially swimmer girls. The gun went off and I was immediately shoved, pushed trampled these girls. It's all a part of racing I guess. By the time we made the first buoy it was still a crowded mess (I really, really don't like swimming in the ocean with people all around me, thank goodness for me that that doesn't happen all the time and I give everyone a whole lot of credit for having to swim with people all around them for entire swim races or portions of swim races, it is NOT easy).
My goal was to stay with the front girls the whole first loop then try to make up some time on the beach runs. I came out of the water 10th-ish and proceeded to run past about 6 girls on the beach! YAY running! The next loop, I passed another girl in the water and then one more on the beach and was sitting 3rd. I was able to stay with the two girls in the water and then pass them on the beach, I was holding my own with 15yos! (I don't know how old they were really, but HSers I think.). Anyways the last loop was me and one other girl, we entered the water at about the same time and I proceeded to face plant running in, whoops! The swell had come up again for the last loop and we were kind of getting pummeled  throughout the entire last lap. As we were rounding the last buoy, she caught a wave and took off, missed that opportunity (I guess I should practice my body surfing skills) and lost my timing chip in the process (it actually washed up on shore before I got there!). I tried to catch a bunch a waves coming in to the finish and failed miserable. The guy that ended up in 2nd overall caught a wave right at the finish to get into shore right ahead of me. Results are here
Thanks Todd and John for inviting me back again this year, what an excellent race you guys put on! Great sponsors, great people, great atmosphere, great entertainment!
If you're on Oahu next year around this time, I would seriously consider this race!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Late Post...Training Weekend

I've been slacking...two weeks ago we spent the weekend on the Big Island for our annual training weekend. I love this trip. It's an entire 4 days full of nothing but swimming, biking, running and being with friends. No other commitments or responsibilities.

Without giving away all the secrets, here are a few pictures recapping some of our 2016 weekend!
right outside our room....awesome and terrifying at all once

Ride from Waimea to Waipio Valley via Old Mamalahoa Hwy

 Sunsets at Hapuna

Running in matching neon is always more fun

 Ride the Honu bike course all the way to Pololu!
Swim and run 

The reward

Monday, April 18, 2016

Lanikai Triathlon...ADAPT

It wouldn't be Lanikai Triathlon without some rain!
The weather forecast said 50% chance of rain on race-day, I don't think there has been a Lanikai without at least some sprinkles during the race, so I expected it wasn't going to be a beautiful, Hawaiian day with no wind, no rain and full sun. And I was right, but that's the risk we all take when doing this sport we love, we participate OUTSIDE and have to deal with the elements, be it wind, rain, sun, snow, heat, cold, etc. The elements are the same for everyone and we can choose to take them as they come, embrace them and race OR let a little (well yesterday a deluge) rain derail the morning. I saw #HTFU and race. So race I did!
I always like getting to races super early....get a parking spot, get my transition area set up, get in a good warm up and have plenty of time to say hi to friends and get back into race mode. I had everything all ready to go, was warmed up and about to start the final prep and....RAIN, RAIN, RAIN...I'm not talking sprinkles, I'm talking absolute downpour. People went looking for shelter, under trees, under the tents set up in transition, anywhere we could find cover just waiting for the rain to stop...well it didn't...and it was getting closer and closer to race start.....oh well, if conditions got too bad,the race director would make a call for whatever would keep us safe...out into the rain I went to get my transition area set up and ready to shoes were soaked, sunglasses definitely not going to be used, keep bike shoes clipped on bike and risk slipping on a wet road trying to get velcro-ed in or leave them off?, decisions were made and changes to race plan happened, but you know what? Everyone else was dealing with their own little problems....ADAPT! That's what we need to be prepared to do in any race situation. We are lucky if a race goes 100% according to plan all the time, but usually it doesn't and we need to make decision on the fly on how to adapt, overcome and move forward. These are the days that make us stronger and better athletes. Go with your gut and what you believe will work for you and it probably will.
Greta job ladies!!
By the time we headed to the water for the race start, the rain had stopped, it wasn't hot and we were chilly, but the sun was coming out and it looked like it was going to shape up to be a beautiful morning. AND IT WAS!
Briefly the race...

the swim....the women always start 3 minutes back from the men and we all know how I feel about that, I don't like it, but it's a fact of triathlon racing, so I've learned to embrace it. Use the men to slingshot around and get some easy drafting, that's what I have to tell myself. The swim was longer this year and it was a bit choppy, but the longer and choppier the conditions, the better for me. I loved every second of it. FOTW (including the men...sorry Tim!)

onto the goal, push, push, push as big a gear I could as fast as I could and I think I finally wasn't scared that I wasn't going to be able to run off the bike if I did that and ended up having a pretty decent bike ride! One that I can be happy about...progress!

prior to the race everyone was concerned with road conditions as there is a short (read....less than 1/4 mile) section of road that is pretty horrible. There was some quick fix patches that went down on the roads that made the section totally ride-able.....even with the wet roads and steel plates (that you didn't have to ride over), one could safely stay aero, ride hard and fast without losing almost bike course roads not an issue in my option (I digress). 
blurry...but end of bike, wet roads, but totally do-able! 
the run....just a 5k...well a little more than a 5k, but a fast relatively flat run through Lanikai. Goal...just run fast and try to pass people along the way. That's one good thing about starting 3 minutes back from the men...always people to chase. I just ran, no thinking, just run. Not much to say about this other than it's good to be running again and I'm starting to really look forward to the rest of the racing season!
All-in-all a great morning and an excellent way to kick of triathlon season 2016! Congrats to everyone that raced yesterday! Way to stick it out and roll with the punches! That's what racing is all about!