Thursday, July 31, 2014

What not to do...

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

This could get a little 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 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 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 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


Oh how I've been neglecting you lately, blog, I'm sorry.
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 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!