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 go...my 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 bike...my 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 anytime...so 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! 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Tantalus Time Trial...by foot

Do you want to ride a bike up Tantalus as fast as you can? ~1500ft and a little under 5 miles...that's what happened on Sunday. It was the 40th annual Tantalus Time Trial (TTT) here in Hawaii. It is the longest standing bike race on island and a chance for local cyclists to come out and spend some time riding bikes and suffering uphill together. What a great way to spend a Sunday morning....
A few weeks ago, I was approached by my friend Sau (he is known to enter cycling races using all sorts of different bikes: beach cruisers, single speeds, full carbon race bikes, I'm sure he'd use a unicycle if he had the means or opportunity and on Sunday he chose to use....a BikeShare Hawaii bicycle). He had the idea that he wanted to race TTT on this BikeShare bike, so he approached our other friend Lori McCarney, CEO of BikeShare Hawaii to ask permission to borrow a BikeShare bike to race up Tantalus. She loved the idea and threw in a twist...wouldn't it be fun to get someone to run up Tantalus and race you to the top during the race? He suggested me.
Sure, why not, lets run up Tantalus during a bike race as fast as I can and try to beat someone riding a bike. I can do that, easy! Haha! The BikeShare bikes are meant to get you from Point A to Point B; they are heavy; they are commuter bikes, they are not lightweight race bikes meant for racing up mountains, so I was intrigued, sign me up!
There was a little banter between the two of us before the race, I honestly thought it could go either way. He was convinced that I was going to come out victorious and there was going to be a lot of "butt-kicking" (see links below) taking place. But running up a mountain vs. riding up a mountain...I wasn't sure. Sau is a great cyclist and even though the BikeShare bikes are heavy, I knew he would throw down a respectable time.
The race started and we both took off, me, a bit faster than I probably should have, Sau right on target. I might have told him my game plan and strategy ahead of time....that won't happen again but I did have a great Sherpa carrying water and music...that might have given away how close or far I was from Sau, but I would do that again if given the opportunity...thanks, Scott!

I thought my only chance at being able to come close to beating him was to get ahead from the beginning in the steepest part of the climb because once you get closer to the top the road flattens out a bit and there are a couple of flatter sections where he could pick up some time on me. I think I got a little over zealous in that first mile and ended up losing a bit of time in the end, oh well.

I should have kept my strategy to myself because he knew my plan was to go right from the start and he went as well. I kept him in my sights for the first 2ish miles of the climb and then once it started to flatten out, he put more time on me and I wasn't able to make that up in the end.

I think best case scenario, had I kept my plan in my own head and paced myself appropriately, I could have run maybe a minute faster and maybe Sau would have rode 30 seconds slower, which still would have had him winning in the end.

What a fun morning it was. And the fact that you, well Sau, can race a BikeShare bike up a mountain and still beat a good number of people riding fancy, expensive, super lightweight carbon racing bikes is pretty amazing. That bodes well for taking those bikes to get from one place to another all-the-while staying fresh and ready for your meeting, lunch, workday. etc. So, congrats to Sau, Lori and BikeShare Hawaii, I cannot wait for these bikes to make their official appearance here in Hawaii!

Final times
Sau: 34:43
Lectie: 37:34

and here are some links to the pre and post race interviews....

KHON Preview Story

KHON Recap Story

25:00 mark


Monday, March 28, 2016

Friends

disclaimer....not sport related...because #life #love #friends #theimportantthings #32loves117 #radoroverwedding #1776
Let's try to squeeze 7 adults in a car made for 5...smart. 

I love my friends. I love, love. What a weekend!
This pretty much sums up the weekend....
This past week, I was lucky enough to get to go back to the mainland for a wedding. Although it takes FOREVER to get back to the east coast, it was definitely worth it. It's been almost 4 years (Napa 2012....can we go back?!) since the 6 of us have all been back together, on a trip for an extended period of time. Make me miss college. #32loves117. The hanging out and living together with not a care in the world part, not the swimming and going to class part. Although I do kind of, sort of miss the swimming part (I can't believe I just typed that). Anyways.....
My college girlfriends and I rented a condo right on the beach on Amelia Island and spent the weekend together just like old times. Everyone was sans kids and mostly sans significant others (Nate and Jake, you were troopers!).

The weekend was full of lounging, wedding festivities, rehearsal dinner, putt-putt on the golf course, going down memory lane, talking about the future, photo booth-ing, dancing, drinking, eating and celebrating us (and Trish and Brandon, of course). I also learned how to snapchat and faceswap and bitmoji...I'm not old yet!!
I can't believe we've all been friends for almost 15 years...maybe we are getting old! We live all over the country, Arizona, Colorado, DC, New Jersey, Hawaii and Florida....and to be able to get back together and not miss a beat after having not seen each other in ages is what friendship is all about.

However it's not like we don't communicate, sometimes I wake up to 64 text messages (no joke, it really was 64 the other morning) from our text string so we definitely keep in touch. I miss these girls so much and am so thankful we were able to have this weekend...it just keeps getting more and more difficult to have these weekends as everyone gets married and starts having babies. So I am #thankful for times like this. LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!
I know I said this was #notsportrelated, but we are triathletes of course so we did manage to squeeze in a few runs while we were there. Leslie and Nate nearly killed me on one of them, but it was probably one of the better runs I've had, so thanks for that.

Great wedding, great friends, amazing weekend!  Thanks to the Rado and Rover families for having us. We'll come back anytime!

I'll leave you with a few more snaps (not snapchats) from the weekend....






Arizona with these peeps for the night and heading back home tomorrow...
Are they not the cutest kids ever?! 


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Malaekahana 40km TT

I don't know how to race a TT on my bicycle. Well, I KNOW how to do it, but when it gets hard, I don't want to say I give up, but I back off a bit because it's hard...I don't know why I do this because I don't do it when I'm swimming or running (hmmmmm?)....I know that's not the right thing to do when you are supposed to be racing your bike as fast as you can for an hour, but I do.

Riding bike up hills, I don't seem to do this, I can push, push, push uphill, but in flat, fast TTs I struggle. And I finished and felt like I could go for a pretty solid run...#triathlete. Congrats Kristy on taking the OA, much deserved!!
I guess I don't have a ton to say about this race other than I need to learn how to push harder on a flat, fast course, it was windy, the roads were semi wet, there was a headwind with some pretty gnarly crosswinds on the way out and a killer tailwind coming home. Carl and the other folks at Outtabounds Hawaii did a great job putting on this race, hopefully next year more people will come out!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

10,023ft

Sunday was my third time riding up Haleakala and it didn't disappoint. You never know what you're going to get in March. It could be clear, sunny skies, no wind and 70 degrees or it could be cloudy, rainy, wet and cold, cold, cold. Well, let's just say we lucked out this year and had almost perfect weather for our ascent. 

The ride is actually quite nice, if you don't mind climbing up a mountain on your bike all morning.  And any day you get to ride bikes is a good day in my book! It's a totally achievable ride, if you are prepared and have the right support. Thanks to all the BOCA support people, family, coaches and cars that were there for us, it would have been a much less enjoyable day without you all out there! Definitely a must do if you enjoy riding your bike in cool places.
You can break down the ride into 3 distinct sections and each of the sections should take about the same amount of time to complete, so it's nice palatable chunks instead of thinking you will just be going up, up, up ALLDAYLONG. The first section is from Paia town to Kula Lodge at about 3000ft. The second section is from Kula Lodge to the visitors center at 7000ft and the final section goes from the Visitors Center to the summit at 10,023ft! Making sure you have enough liquid and fuel before starting each of the sections is always a good idea. The most difficult section is definitely the middle portion of the climb, it's the steepest and seemingly takes the longest. But, after you pass the visitors center ($8 to get past on a bike) the final section flattens out quite a bit and you can kind of jam the rest of the way to the top.  

The last quarter to third of a mile to the top is a doozy. This section is almost nicer when you can't see what's up in front of you. We had a beautiful day so you could see every steep section and sharp turn in the final push to the top! When you make the final turn to the summit the road gets extremely steep and you, well I, just want to get off my bike, but you are so close and have ridden almost the whole thing anyway but you just need to keep plugging along, get out of the saddle and press on, you're almost there! 
The reward at the top is so worth it, especially when you worked for it and you didn't just ride in a car to get there! 
I am beyond proud of this one ^ what a trooper, her first trip up Haleakala and she didn't give up, not once!!!

What a great day! 36 miles (well 42 from the hotel) from Sea-level to summit! And look at the sky!!! 
Then came the descent. The weather started to turn, the clouds rolled in, the temperature was dropping, so we needed to bundle up to head back down the mountain (that might be a little dramatic, but it did get cold on the descent, I mean look at what I'm wearing!) #thinblood. I don't love descending, but I would rather descend than sit in a car, potentially get car sick and be back at the hotel in the same amount of time. 
All-in-all it was such a great day on the bike! I love this mountain and I will be back in June for Cycle to the Sun once again!!!




Monday, March 14, 2016

Maui Part 1

Every year at the end of BOCA's cycling clinic we take a trip over to Maui to climb Haleakala (the world's longest paved climb, from sea level to summit at 10,023ft)! Last year was the first year I went over and I sure wasn't going to miss it this year.

But first, on Friday night we had a nice dinner at Hana Ranch Provisions in Paia town, super yummy "farm-to-table" meal. Because that's the trendy thing to do now, right?! And we ended the evening with some Gelato, of course. Gotta fuel up for the weekend!

Saturday morning was the West Maui Mountain loop ride. 60-ish miles 4,500ish feet of climbing....
It's always a nice ride, maybe one of my favorites...however with outer island riding, it's hard to choose my favorite because the roads are so nice and smooth AND the drivers are not jerks AND there are actually shoulders you can ride safely on AND there's actually bike lanes AND it's Maui. 


Anyways, the ride is always touted to be a nice cruise-y social ride, with a stop for crepes and coffee at Maui Swiss Cafe in Lahina right before the final push home. The last little stretch home is always a doozy...riding into what feels like 40mph headwinds for 15-20 miles to get back to the hotel. But it's a great day and ride and if you're ever on Maui, a must do! 
A few snaps from the day.....








Haleakala up next....


Friday, March 11, 2016

10 day challenge

I've never really done one of these before and I saw Sonja post about a 10-day challenge  to "feed your soul." 10 days, I can do that and what's the worst that will happen, I'll be happy and doing things for ME (it was my month)...sign me up!

So the premise is..."feed your soul then see what happens to your body, your confidence, relationships, career and happiness" and I thought, why not?! This is the year of new, big, bold dreams, so let's do it.

Everyday we got an email that had directions, gave us something to think about and then we were to take a picture around that topic and post it to social media, FB, IG, twitter, etc. with #skinnydipsociety #challenge and @katiedenouden

That's it, easy. So here's a recap of my 10 days

Day 1:
Flowers For ME

Day 2:
Send Some Love & Gratitude

Day 3:
Write a fear and "Let it Go" (burn it, baby)

Day 4:
Your theme song, thanks Trish for assigning this song to me! Always think of you when I hear my fight song!

Day 5:
What are your cravings? Surface craving, to go home curl up in bed and watch a movie, real craving= health, happiness and fitness. Get outside!

Day 6:
Make Space. De-clutter, De-stress, get organized again. Since I basically live out of my car during the week, this was an easy decision!

Day 7:
FAIL

Day 8:
FAIL

Day 9:
FAIL

Day 10:
FAIL

So, I guess I'm not very good at things like this, but at least I gave it a try and it was fun while it lasted!

This is totally not something I am usually into and at points I did say, this soooooo isn't me, it's a little too hippydippy, BUT I will say, in the end it was nice and refreshing  to have something different to focus on for 10...well 6 days, something to do for just me. A 10-day  6 day challenge worth doing.