Friday, September 30, 2011

For all your Kona people....

I don't know where I found this, but I really like it and it might be helpful when you're all out there on the hot lava fields come next weekend...

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.
- Author unknown

I'm super excited for the race, I know so many more people racing this time around and I wish you all the best of luck! I'll be there cheering you on all day long!! Les, Lindsay, Michelle, Claire, Rachel, Nalani and Emily have an awesome day, race your hearts out and "Don't Quit"

Claire gets here tonight and Les tomorrow, can't wait!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

100 miles

Long run Saturday and Honolulu Century Ride on Sunday, you think I'd be tired and sore come Monday morning, but no dice. I feel great!! I'm pretty sure it has to do with the fact that I'm finally understanding and figuring out my nutrition  and my liberal use of e21 (2 every hour)! e21 really is magic!

Sunday, was my first real long ride. I finally made it 100 miles!!! I'm sure there's many more of them in my near future, well maybe not until after the marathon in December, but that would qualify as near future to me.  I was a bit anxious going in to the ride as my longest ride before this had only been 70 miles (my fault not Craig's!) and piling on 30 extra miles might be a little difficult.

But I had great least for the first 25 miles. The plan was to ride with the group for about 25 miles, then I was going to meet up with Aaron and he and I were gonna ride to the turn around and back to about 75 miles in and then I'd book it home alone.  Well, of course that didn't happen.  We made it to the 25 mile point and met up with Aaron and his bike broke, I'm not sure what exactly happened, but he had to go home and get a new wheel and that was going to take quite a while, so I decided to go it alone....couldn't convince anyone to tag along with me.  No biggie, good practice for racing 112 alone, right? I thought this was going to be torture riding by myself, with no music and no one to talk to, but riding along the Windward side of Oahu is really beautiful and the miles just fly by. Good time to focus on nutrition and hydration as well, no distractions. Especially when your bike computer malfunctions and all you have to look at is cadence, no miles, no MPH, no nothing, just cadence, but that's also good practice right? Especially since I tend to pedal much to slowly. Before I knew it, I was at the turn around, what? 50 miles done already? I feel great! Took a little break to get some more fuel and I was heading back to town.

Guess who I ran into on my way back? Aaron! He went home, changed his tire and came out to meet me.  We rode together for about 10 miles and then he was off to go find some other people. Nice little distraction around mile 60. I was still feeling great, not tired, not sore, not wanting to get off the bike probably until around mile 90.  10 miles from home and I just wanted to be done already.  I popped some more e21 and I had all sorts of new energy and the last 5 miles were a breeze.  I finished in abour 5:34 (actual riding time, not including the few breaks I took at aid stations), not to shabby for my first century ride, I was very happy. T-shirt collected, finisher certificate in hand, I headed home. The drive home (which was only about 30 minutes) felt much longer than the 5+ hours I just spent on my bike.

Now what you ask? Well, Claire gets here on Friday is staying the night with Dave and I and leaves for Kona on Saturday! Leslie D (also going to Kona!) gets here on Saturday, I have a 25k race on Sunday then, Les, Mrs. D and I are leaving for Kona on Monday!!

Heading can't tell in this picture, but the sunrise was gorgeous

Support Crew Kim!

I must be going super fast!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

When did this happen?

When did I get to the point where I can run 8.5 miles (and follow it up with 15 the next morning) and not want to lay in bed and sleep for the rest of the day? And it's not like all I did yesterday is wake up and run. I had work, came home, made dinner for Dave (and me when I got home) then went running and after that I had all the energy in the world?! Friends came over, we played cards, it was a crazy Friday night! So, my run wasn't an LSD run either, it was 50min tempo, so under 8:00 pace. Then I had long-ish, easy 15 miles this morning. What?! I don't get it, I guess I'm turning into a bit of a runner???, which is still weird to me because less than 2 years ago I'd never run more than 3 miles...a little over 3 months until marathon #2, stay tuned....

Friday, September 23, 2011

What a difference YARDS make...

I've been having motivation issues when it comes to swimming lately. I don't want to get in the pool and I am definitely not going to swim in the ocean alone. When I work up the motivation to swim, I get to the pool, swim about 3,000 meters and get out, pathetic I know, but that's all I've been motivated to do lately and that has taken a lot.  I guess it's partly due to the fact that all the open water swims are basically done here for the year, I don't have any races that involve swimming (expect a little sprint tri in a couple of weeks) and it's pretty much marathon and building up the bike focus right now. So I've been swimming 1-2x week and calling that good, that's plenty enough to keep my swim fitness where it needs to be.

Anyways, I think I decided what my problem is.....
I'm a yards swimmer and always have been. So when we moved here almost three years ago (I can't believe it's been that long already!) and all pools were meters, I thought that was a bit crazy so I kind of just stopped swimming. It took me a while to get back into it and once I did LCM didn't seem that bad anymore. I certainly didn't want to race LCM, but finally I decided that it makes more sense to train LCM than yards for longer open water swims. Obviously, the ocean would be ideal. But I'm not a fan you live on an island surrounded by the ocean, get used to it!, I'll do it, but I much prefer being on the pool, swimming yards, so why not just swim yards all the time you ask,? well on this little island it's rare you find a SCY pool, or at least I haven't found one that isn't on the opposite side of the island from me.

Finally, I bit the bullet and start swimming LCM and it wasn't terrible. Over the past year I've been swimming a good amount, 3, maybe 4, but probably 3, times on a good week. So, now that all read most of the pools have switched over to SCM my hours in the pool have drastically decreased, again. I've learned that I absolutely hate despise swimming SCM, it's so depressing : you don't know what your times mean, it takes so much longer to get to the other side, you take so many more strokes per length, etc. Give me LCM over SCM any day. Which brings me to my current problem...pools switched to SCM now.

At the pool on Tuesday, I decided to swim SCY! I don't know why I didn't do this a month ago when the pool switched over to SCM or SCY. I had an awesome swim, super confidence boosting (side note: the old man in the lane next to me asked me how to kick and if he should bend his knees (think 2 year old child learning how to swim, kicking and bending their legs and not moving anywhere) because my kick looked much different from think? You're wearing a flotation belt, fins, and a snorkel to get yourself down to the other end of the pool, I would hope my kick looks a little different from yours, I've been swimming competitively for 20 years (wow 20 years that makes me feel old)! I was very nice to him and helped him out for a little while and he was super appreciative. I think he even got from one side of the pool to the other (25yards) in about 3 minutes, instead of 5 after I helped him!)

With all that babbling I just did, I guess I could have just said, I am a little more excited about swimming today than I was at the beginning of the week. So from now on it's either SCY, LCM (if I can find one or am in the mood to drive to one), or the ocean if I can brave it.

Happy Swimming

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Riding Bikes

So, I'm really starting to like riding my bike. It's not that I didn't enjoy it before, but when you ALWAYS ride alone it gets pretty boring, not to mention you (I) just ride super slow when I'm alone. There's something about having other people to ride with that keeps you motivated and makes you want to ride a little faster than usual (probably so I don't totally embarrass myself and  get completely left in the dust).

Now, I'm by no means FAST on the bike, I know I've got A LOT of work to do, before CdA next year, so I'm really happy that biking is growing on me!

Just keep biking, just keep biking, just keep biking (Finding Nemo, anyone?)

Calling it "riding bikes" instead of training, or long bike, or tempo ride, or you get the point makes it seem so much more fun! It makes me think of being a little kid and going out to ride bikes (which I wish I did more when I was younger....too much time in the pool I guess :) ) and who doesn't smile when you think of riding bikes when you were younger?! Minus the whole learning how process....lots of bumps, bruises and falling off (but that still happens now too doesn't it?)

Back Then there was no nutrition to worry about, no cadence or power meter to focus on, no bonking on the run when you have a brick workout, it was pure enjoyment and fun times with friends. So, even now when there are long rides, hill repeats, time trials or trainer workouts, I'm liking calling it "riding bikes," it makes me smile and want to go hop on the bike for 5+ hours. I'll still be worrying concentrating on my nutrition, cadence or whatever the focus of the ride is, but riding bikes, for now is super fun!

Just keep your fingers crossed that I can learn how to ride fast eventually!

Aaron and Dave mid riding bikes today
Riding bikes on Tantalus        

Dave and I taking a quick break while riding bikes

Saturday, September 17, 2011

18 miles and the Signal Ball

Sometimes (well actually a lot of the time) when I log into TP, I really do think Craig is a crazy person and after having him as a coach for three years in college and about a year and a half doing this swimbikerun thing, I'm convinced he is.  I saw that my workout yesterday consisted of an hour bike followed by a two hour and thirty minute "Breakthrough, Fast Finish, Long Run." Well, #1, it's Friday and good thing I took the day off because the Signal Ball was last night and there was going to be no way that this workout was going to be done. I guess there's no #2. I convinced Dave to run the first part of the run with me. The catch: we had to be done with an hour and a half of the run before 6am cause that's when he had to do a Regimental Run with work.

4am comes quickly, especially when you are anticipating your first long run of the season (I can't believe it's that time already!!). So it's pitch black out and we're running up on Wheeler, easy breezy for the first hour, no big deal, we've got this. After a little more than an hour we head over to Schofield so he can meet up with the Regiment (10-ish miles down, 1 hour to lost toenail is doing ok by the way in case anyone was wondering). I say bye to Dave and continue on.  Now I need to start picking up the is where Craig is a crazy person.  10 miles down and instead of being done because, let's be honest 10 miles is a prett good run...NOPE!  Let's start to pick up the pace.  The next two mile are a gradual uphill battle, great, just what I want after 10 miles of running, a slow uphill, well I'm hitting the paces I'm supposed to be hitting dead on!! I get through those miles and then it's 2 miles back downhill and I'm actually still starting to go faster (I know, I know, it's downhill so of course I'll go faster), but it flattened out and I still kept that pace going...I'm back onto Wheeler and I have about 20 minutes left, no more water, no more gels, crap! I run past my car and seriously contemplate stopping, but I know I'd be mad at myself if I did, so I finished those 20 minutes and I even ran the last half mile ALL-OUT, just like TP told me to! 18 miles before 7am, not too shabby.

Every year the Army Pacific signal Corps holds the Regimental Ball and it was last night at the Hilton Hawaiian village in Waikiki.  A great night out on the town.

There was the opening remarks, arrival of the official party, posting of the colors, national anthem and invocation (ceremonial stuff).  The introduction of distinguished visitors, speeches, toasts, fallen soldier ceremony, UH Tahitian dancers performed, the King's Guard also performed, we had dinner (it was actually really good for once, the last two years dinners were not stellar), the Keynote Speaker: Lieutenant general Carroll F. Pollett, awards presentations, closing remarks the benediction and retiring of the colors. Typical Signal Ball happenings.  Our gift this year was a wine glass, it's pretty nice, I'll use it again for sure!

Anyways, we had a good time, it's always nice to get dressed up every once in a while and wear something that isn't spandex or lycra and full of sweat.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lost a toenail

So, I haven't even had any super long runs yet this marathon season and I already lost a toenail after last night's speed workout (I'll spare you the picture, I'm sure you've seen one before). I guess that means the running's going well?!

Wednesday afternoon speedwork: When I first started running abut a year and a half ago, I dreaded speedwork Wednesday's, now they are almost my favorite part of the week (when I'm having a good day, haha). I don't usually go to the track, #1 because it's too far away and the traffic sucks in the afternoons and #2 track workouts alone are not fun, so I either use the treadmill at 1% or a marked course on the road. Yesterday was 3x1.25 @ HM pace and I convinced Dave to go with me.  Probably the best speed workout I've had to date.  Was able to hold low 7:00s (712, 706...then right around 655) for all three of the repeats! I felt super strong, like I had another gear, which seems crazy to me that I could be running that pace and still feel like I could go faster, Craig must know what he's doing with all these speed workouts!

Took the day off from work tomorrow for Dave's Signal Ball and I need to get in an hour ride followed by a 2:30 Breakthrough Run beforehand so it's going to be an early morning.

Sleep well,

Monday, September 12, 2011

Riding Long and a Sunscreen Plug

Yesterday I got in my longest ride EVER! 70 miles, I know it's nothing to brag about because, lets be honest, 70 miles isn't long compared to where I'm going to need to get before next June, but I was happy with the day I had on the bike. 9 months until CdA, plenty of time, but only 2 until my first Century Ride,  yikes!

I'm so happy I have friends who like to ride bikes and who like to ride bikes for a long time because I convinced two of them to join me yesterday and although I can't keep up with them, they definitely kept me going the whole ride. It's amazing how fast 4 hours goes by when you have company and aren't looking at your bike computer every five minutes watching the miles slowly tick away. I didn't take any pictures the whole ride, whoops, Kim says if I don't take pictures it didn't happen, well it did happen and I'll be sure to take pictures next time, my bad.

Next weekend I have another big ride scheduled to get ready for the Century Ride the following weekend and we talked about doing a point 2 point ride next weekend from Ewa to Kailua with a little Waimanalo back roads loop thrown on at the end for a little extra, we'll see who is game and who isn't...stay tuned

Side note...I just bought some new sunscreen from PlanetSunHawaii and it is AMAZING! I was out in the sun riding for ~4hours, got no sunburn whatsoever and didn't have to reapply once. (A great buy if you are coming out here for Kona and aren't used to the sun, also just a great buy). This is the first suncreen I've found that can truly withstand sweat and doesn't run into your eyes. The face stick sunscreen is pretty thick and kind of a pain to apply, but it's worth the effort (you can wear it in the water and it'll stay on through a long bike run afterwards without reapplication),  and the regular body sunscreen, nothing special there except it stays on and leaves you sunburn free...a first under this hot Hawaiian sun.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Waikiki (not so) Roughwater

This is a few days late, oh well, you'll live, I'm pretty sure about 5 people read this anyways. So, I get up on Monday morning (usually my day off) and another race...yipee!! I was NOT in the mood to race at all so I decided before the start that I was going to use it as a nice little training swim with 1000 of my closest friends! People come from all over (New York, Cali, Texas, Australia, Japan, etc) to do this race, it's not a casual local ocean swim race like the North Shore Swim Series that happens over the summer.

I get my start wave and find out I'm in the first wave, great, just what I didn't want, a bunch of crazies running into the water and swimming on top of each other to find clear water (nothing compared to an IM start, I'm sure, which I'm totally anxious about, btw) I settled into the back and just walked into the water behind everyone.  I'm sure people were thinking what is this girl doing, why isn't she running in with everyone else!? Well that wasn't the smartest idea, now I'm way behind and swimming alone, just what I thought I wanted, but I HATE swimming in the ocean, especially alone, the whole shark/wild animal thing doesn't appeal to me, I'm a pool swimmer for sure. 

So I sprinted my butt off to get to the first turn bouy and once I got there I settled in behind a group of, of course, 13 year-old girls! They were going at a pretty good pace and I had some nice feet to swim on the whole way, but they can't site for anything, everytime they pick up their heads to look where they are going they stand straight up in the water and I practically swim over top of them! argh! But, no complaining here, they were good feet and I swam with them the entire way, saw some pretty cool fish (no sharks!) and ended up finishing right around an hour (1:01).  Not too shabby for just finding some feet and drafting the whole swim. I would have liked to be under an hour and had I been trying and not daydreaming the entire swim, I for sure would have been, but like I said before, just a nice little training swim with 1000 of my closest friends!

No pictures from the actual race, but here's a few from before and after

Kim and I post race

Kathryn, Harry, me, Kim, Frans, Aaron and Jane pre-race
Joy, Kim and I...thanks for coming to see us Joy!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Runners HI 20k

This race is right in our backyard, which by default makes it my favorite race of the series.  I don't have to wake up at 3am to get there and after the race it's a quick 5 minute drive and I'm back home and into the icebath!

Races, running and working out in Ewa is always HOT, HOT, HOT. I was pleasantly surprised when we started the race and the sun wasn't completely out yet, there was hope that I would be finished before the super heat began.

I'm trying this new thing, it's called warming up before races.  Craig always writes in my TP log to get in a good warm up and cool down before these things start, but I always figured, I'll just warm up in the first mile of the run, who wants to run extra miles anyways, I sure don't.  Well these last two races I have been following directions and it definitely helps warming up (Craig you were right all along!), I think I'll continue to do that from now on. :-)

So this race is a 3 loop course (about 4 miles each loop), which I kinda like. You run the first loop, build into the second one and then you just have the last loop to see what you can do.  Well before the race started Kim and I were talking pace and I let her know I was shooting for around 7:30s....the horn sounds and we take off, we're running together for the first 4/5miles and I keep checking my watch and seeing 7:15-7:20, I'm thinking wow, we're doing great, a little ahead of the paces we wanted, but we're almost halfway done we can totally keep this up.  I lost her at one of the aid stations and kept on plugging away.  All I kept thinking was I better be able to hold this pace for the whole race or Craig is gonna kill me for not following the plan. I start the final loop and I'm beginning to feel it a little, so I pop some e21 and I'm good to go.  The last 3/4 mile hurt pretty bad, but I made it and in a PR as well!

So I get to the finish, super pumped that I went faster than I did last year, which was really my goal the whole time and I go get some water to start re-hydrating and I keep thinking, where are all the other girls?, I saw Rachel (who by the way just did IM Canada last weekend and she raced today, I definitely won't be doing anything like that, that's for sure) she'd been done for a long time and Karen was a minute behind me, but where was everyone else?? I forgot about it and just watched everyone else come in.  Well they posted the results soon after this and I ended up 2nd overall for females!! That's why there were no other girls....I think I might be getting pretty good at this running thing...I'm not sure I'd say I love it like I did when I was swimming year round, but it's growing on me for sure.

Here's a few pictures to recap the morning
Me and Karen, 2nd and 3rd OA

Kim got the W for her age group! and she was 7th overall!

Me, Kim and Karen  

I'm elite? I guess so, today!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Lonely Pineapple Loops

Well, Dave is off to VEGAS and I have two races this weekend. So last night was a wild night.  Mojo's Surprise Half Birthday Party
Mojo and Joy blowing out the candles after we sang happy birthday
Presents, cake and all. Mojo is one spoiled chihuahua. I've never been to a birthday party for a pet, let alone a half birthday, but a good time was had by all and I'm sure we'll be celebrating 4 years of Mojo in another 6 months!  

Saturday morning and a race tomorrow, what to do what to about go on a 50 mile ride, yes please! I decided to skip the group this morning and opted for a bit more sleep (I know, I know, last week I said waking up early to workout wasn't as bad as it used to be, but I just wanted to not have the obligation of meeting people and getting there at a specific time). So much for sleeping in, I was up at 7am and ready to go! Headed up to the NorthShore for a pineapple loop and then back home, with a few detours to get in the miles and the time. (Side note...Pineapple loops alone are not fun at all!!!) 

Good idea or bad idea, I'm not sure yet, I've been doing my longer rides with groups lately or at least with one other person, which has been nice because it gives me someone to chase, someone to talk to (when I can catch up) and someone to help pass the time.  Today was HARD.  I know it wasn't super long, but it was a long ride for me by myself.  I'm starting to get in more miles on the bike, so hopefully it'll get easier and more comfortable. It was probably good that I went alone because you do races alone and I needed to be in my head and make sure I could push through whatever was telling me to stop after 30 miles...I made weekend we'll try again and go for longer...
I always want to steal a pineapple and for sure I could have used one today on the ride,  but I definitely don't want the $500 fine, so I settled for some EFS and gels instead...mmmmmmm
Just another day in paradise  
Time to rest up for the rest of the weekend...Marathon Readiness 20k tomorrow and Waikiki Roughwater on Monday! 

Happy Long Weekend!