Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas on Kaua'i

I've been enjoying the post-marathon recovery time before we/I start to get going with IMCdA training.  Dave and I were fortunate enough to be able to hop on over to another island for Christmas. Since we've been in Hawaii for the past three years, we have always talked about vacationing to Kauai so we could hike and see the beautiful Na Pail Coast. Well, we finally got the opportunity and we were off to Kauai! We spent the long weekend hiking, exploring and seeing all that Kauai has to offer. I'm sure we missed a bunch of important things, but the weekend was jam packed with super fun activities. 

We arrived on Christmas eve morning and had a helicopter tour of the island scheduled. I know we were both pumped for this. I had never been on a helicopter before and was excited to get a birds eye view of the island so we could plan the rest of our trip. The flight started off calm enough and then our pilot asked if we wanted to take the bumpy route (more scenic) or the smooth route.  Well, Dave and the other couple on the helicopter voted for the more scenic route, read more bumpy and likely that Lectie gets sick route, so who was I to say no and "ruin" everyone's experience. I can tough it out for an hour, it won't be that bumpy.  That probably wasn't the best idea I've ever had. The helicopter tour was amazing for the first 35 minutes. The most gorgeous views and scenery I've probably ever seen. It was a bit bumpy (the helicopter would drop 10-15 feet at a time and I might have felt like we were going to fall out of the sky) as we were flying through clouds and a little rain and after about 30-40 minutes of that my body did not agree with what I was doing. Now, a helicopter isn't like a plane, obviously, you can't just get up and walk to the bathroom and splash some water on your face to make yourself feel better, you are trapped! I was still taking in the scenery and enjoying that part of the trip, but I was also seriously trying to keep myself from being sick (which didn't happen) and ruining the tour for everyone else involved. After my little episode, i felt much better and was able to enjoy, again, the last 10 minutes or so of the ride.

After the ride, we were gonna camp it for the night, wake up early on Christmas and start our hike. Before that we did a little exploring and found some pretty cool caves.

The plan was to do the 11 mile hike, camp at the end and hike back out the next day. We started early enough, the views and the trail were amazing; it was super, super muddy and slippery, probably a good idea that we decided to wear our five fingers because of all the river crossings there were. We made it to the first beach, took a little break, had a snack and then continued on our way. 

We went about a mile further than the first beach and the hike started to go up...and up...and up...and up....and it just kept going. We were climbing which wasn't physically intense, but I'm not so good with heights and we were right on the edge of the mountain/cliff and the ocean was directly on our left with no protection. I was getting a little uneasy and I think at that point Dave and I psyched ourselves out and decided to turn around and hike to the waterfall. (In retrospect we should have just kept going, we would have been fine and we were just being babies, oh well, next time). 

 We hiked the mile back and then hiked another 2.5 miles in to the waterfall, great decision, the waterfall was awesome. We had a great time! After the waterfall we decided to hike back out (at the end of the day we totaled closed to 11 miles of hiking for the day, not to shabby) and find somewhere to stay for the night. We got a place at the cute little Inn in Hanalei.

Got up the next morning, had some Cinnamon Buns from Java Kai in Hanalei, did a little more sightseeing and stayed at a hotel in Leihue the next evening.
Sunset from our hotel room
 Drove out to Waimea and saw Waimea Canyon, it's supposed to be the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Well worth the hour + drive to get there. I've never been to the Grand Canyon, but if it's anything like this, I sure want to check it out! While we were driving up to the Canyon, approximately 3400ft above sea level, we saw this crazy dude riding his bike up there! If you want practice climbing, this is the place to go for sure! It looked fun in a miserable sort of way.

 After the Canyon, we wanted to go find the "tree tunnel."  We saw it from the helicopter and thought it would be pretty cool to drive through. Apparently it used to be a 3-mile long road lined with trees that forms a tunnel.  It's only a mile now and it is pretty cool. It would be a nice place to run 1-mile repeats (if there was a better shoulder), ha.

  Then, we headed to the airport for our flight back to Oahu and back to reality...

Hope everyone had a great Christmas

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Down Time

It's been just over a week since the marathon and I've been using that time to recover. It's been....interesting. To quote Michelle, "Marathon recovery takes a while... especially if you had to dig super deep (which in the last 6 miles I sure did)! Be patient and go easy for a while and you'll be back to being springy in another week or two. Push workouts that are too hard too early and you might feel fine for a day or two but then those efforts come back to bite you in the ass like a week later."

Recovery and down time are tricky things for me. I know it's a necessary part of training, it's the time your body needs to rebuild and rejuveniate after all the stress we've put on it for such a long period of time, but actually doing that proves difficult sometimes. While in the middle of long, hard training blocks, I look forward to this period of time when I can do what I want, when I want. A time in which I don't need to be so rigid or hard on myself if I miss a workout or just don't feel like doing it at that particular time. But when it comes down to it, do I dare say it, I really do love training and racing. It's sometimes hard to balance recovery and hard training, but it's something everyone needs to learn how to do in order to maxamize their training and get the results we all work so hard for.

I'm definitely not ready for the hard workouts to start just quite yet, I mean it's only been a week, but I do miss the consistency. A week or so more of some low key workouts and down time and I'll be ready to get back into it and start preparing for CdA!

Something fun that happened on Sunday since I didn't have to go on a 3 hour run or 3+ hour bike ride....Dave and I had a day of non swimbikerun fun. One of our friends brought us to Dim Sum (small bite-sized or individual portions of food traditionally served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. Dim sum is also well known for the unique way it is served in some restaurants, wherein fully cooked and ready-to-serve dim sum dishes are carted around the restaurant for customers to choose their orders while seated at their tables), something we've talked about doing for a really long time, but never had the time/never made the time because of workouts and such. And it was delicious and wicked inexpensive, I think the three of us ate (a ton) for less than $30! I'll definitely be back.

After Dim Sum we decided to go try Bubble Drinks. I've heard about these bubble drinks ever since we've been in Hawaii, but have never tried them. Well, I don't know if it's a good or a bad thing that I haven't tried them before because it was mmmm mmmmm good. If you don't know what a bubble drink is or you've never had it....try it! Bubble drinks are usually a cool, refreshing sweet drink with tapioca pearls sitting on the bottom of a clear cup.  If you are a texture person, you might not enjoy this drink, but I'm a fan.  I've heard there are good places to go to enjoy these drinks and there are no so good locations, I can't remember what the place we went to was called, but it was in China town.

After that excursion we did a little Christmas shopping and headed home, it was a great day and some wonderful down time. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Honolulu Marathon 2011

Pretty much sums up how I was feeling the last 5 miles

This might be a little lengthy....

First and foremost…I did it! I wanted to BQ and PR and at the end of the day, well morning, that’s what happened. Maybe I didn’t get there exactly as planned, but I got there. One of these days, I promise I will be able to stick to the plan throughout the entire race.

 “Nobody said it was going to be easy, they just promised it would be worth it”
Definitely a marathon/long distance racing quote, at least in my mind.

Dave and I decided to get a hotel room for Saturday night to avoid having to wake up at 1am, eat, get ready, drive the 30 minutes into town, find parking and huff it to the race start.  I thought this would alleviate some stress….we ended up getting caught in traffic for 90 minutes on our way to the hotel, great, just what I wanted to be doing, sitting in a car instead of laying in bed resting.  We decided to take a break and get out of the traffic for a while, so we grabbed an early dinner and then headed over to the hotel. We got upgraded, no big deal….

Checked in, went to the shoppette to get a few more supplies because what I already had packed just didn’t seem like it was enough.  It had been pouring ALL day on Saturday and the weather forecast called for rain all day Sunday, so we bought some ponchos. My plan was to wear the poncho to the start so I could stay dry for as long as possible and then as soon as the race started ditch it and deal with the rain. (at least it wouldn’t be hot if it was raining right?). Anyways, supplies purchased, up to the hotel room, bags unpacked and laid out for the morning so I wouldn’t have to think about anything, compression socks on and feet up.  The rest of the evening was spent relaxing and doing some last minute mental prep (maybe some words with friends thrown in there as well, because honestly, who can fall asleep at 8pm).

2:45am came quickly. Got up, looked outside (not raining yet, excellent), ate my breakfast (banana, Luna bar, dry cheerios (I tried to eat them with peanut butter, but I can’t stomach peanut butter, I know I’m weird, but I just don’t like it) and some EFS) and got my race gear on and ready to go.  By the time 4am rolled around Dave and I were out the door and on our way to the start. We planned on meeting our friends, right at the race start, but apparently it takes a bit longer to walk to the start than anticipated, whoops. We got there, used the restroom, saw a couple of friends, the fireworks started and we were off (the start this year was much more anticlimactic than it was last year, partly because we didn’t have much time to sit around and wait)!

Dave and I found Aaron right away, awesome, great start. Kissed Dave bye and Good Luck and then we took off (After the race Dave informed me that we really did just take off, sorry, but you gotta do what you gotta do). I don’t really have anything significant to report for the first 12 miles (although, right at the beginning of the race, the course takes you through downtown Honolulu and you run past the Honolulu City Lights, which is Oahu’s Christmas light display, it’s super cool to see and since it’s still o’dark thirty, it’s fun for the 2 minutes you are running past). These first miles absolutely flew by, as I knew they would and I wanted to make sure I was controlling my effort and keeping it super easy because a marathon is a LONG way to go and I didn't want to get ahead of myself too early. I was pretty consistent: Average  7:57/mi. Perfect right on track, just as planned. Feeling great, staying positive, the miles are flying by at this point.

By this point the race has turned on to a 4-mile stretch on Kalanianaole Highway and we hit a wall of 20-30mph winds (no joke, seriously they were that strong!). I did the best I could at ducking behind people, but it’s hard when most of the people that are running around you are tiny. I saw Joy and she blocked the wind for me for a few miles. Thanks, that was great! Then it was a little Hawaii Kai loop, it definitely seemed much shorter this year than last year, which is a good thing. At the end of the loop I saw Michelle which was super helpful as well. She was wearing a “be relentlessly positive” shirt and that’s exactly what I needed to see at that point in time. She and her shirt are what got be back down Kalanianaole to the gas station. Pace update: Mile 13-21: Average: 7:44/mi (maybe a bit fast, but the plan was to work in 10ks and increase the effort as the race progresses, in retrospect I probably dropped the pace a little too quickly, lesson learned) And this is where it gets interesting….

I made it to 21 and started feeling it, by the time mile 22 and the gas station came, you could taste the finish line, but there was still A LOT of work to be done (mainly climbing back up DiamondHead…yippee!). Some lady that had been running near me for the past few miles had a friend/family member/spectator hand her a coke at the gas station and I seriously almost asked her for a sip of it, coke would have been awesome at this point in time. Note to self: next time you do a marathon, bring a little water bottle of coke so you can have it at the end when you need to dig deep, it’ll be just want you want/need to give you that extra push that’s totally necessary at this point in the race. I digressed.

From the gas station there’s about a mile in Kahala (torture) before you start the climb (even worse), at this point I had yet to stop, I was running through all the aid stations wanting to get as far as possible before I walked an aid station (maybe that was part of the problem, probably not though??). I get to the base of the climb, with a wicked cramp (it might have started at the gas station and I tried to ignore it and concentrate on my breathing and form hoping that would help, no dice). At the base of the climb, I spotted a point in the road ahead and told myself to run to that point then I could take a 20 second walk break, well I made it there and then saw the sign for water up ahead, now just get to the sign and the aid station will be there and you can walk the entire aid station. When you get to this point in the marathon you, well at least I have to start playing tricks on myself to keep the feet moving.

This is where it gets bad, once I started walking, I didn’t want to run again and the cramp just kept getting worse and worse. I kept getting passed by more and more people. It’s not fun. I’m not quite sure how, but eventually I made it to the top of DiamondHead and mile 25, I did not stay “relentlessly positive” (that’s something I’m going to need to work on for sure), I wasn’t in a good mental place, at this point, all I could think about was coke, wanting to walk, coke, why people do marathons anyways, they are not fun, coke and really just wanting to be done. I’m not sure how I willed myself to make it to the top given the mental state I was in, but I did.

At this point, my quads were on fire, I had one mile to go and I just wanted to finish. I wasn’t about to walk down DiamondHead so I started running. Maybe I can make up a bit of time I lost run/walking up the mountain. Once I got to the bottom of DiamondHead there was less than a mile to go and it was close to being the longest 1200 meters I’ve ever run. I finally made it to the home stretch, the last turn into Kapiolani Park; I hadn’t looked at my watch in a while because it was just discouraging. I saw that I had a little less than 5 minutes to make it to the finish which was less than a ½ mile away. I can run 800 meters in 5 minutes, I know I can, I’ve done it a million times (well maybe not a million, not even close, but enough times to know I can do it). That last stretch of road was miserable, long and painful. I could see the clock and the finish and I knew I could and would do it. All the training and time I’d put in, I wasn’t about to give up, “Nobody said it was going to be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.” I crossed the finish line in 3:34:07. A PR by 11 minutes and BQ!

That was my second marathon and I thought the second one would be easier than the first, but I should have known better. I had no expectations last year, it was my first marathon and I just wanted to finish happy. This year I had more to think about and more I wanted to accomplish, I think I did a pretty good job, but I also don’t think I will ever be 100% satisfied with any performance.  Even when you have the “perfect” race/game/performance there is always something that you can work on to make yourself that much better and that’s what I like about sports and that's what keeps us pushing to make ourselves better.

Dave also finished! He completed his first marathon!! So proud!

Thanks for everyone that was out there cheering all day, running with friends for a while, handing off snacks and drinks and helping get everyone to the finish line. It really was a great day and I’m super happy with how it turned out. I can finally walk like a semi-normal person (I might even attempt a short run tonight), but that’s a marathon for you and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Marathon Prep

Everything I might  need tomorrow all packed up and ready to go.
Yes, it's a mess and it's driving me nuts, it will be cleaned up and organized VERY soon.
5:00am tomorrow.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Race Week

I can't believe it's Friday of race week already! Only two more sleeps until the marathon. :-)  It seems like yesterday, it was August and the Marathon Readiness Races were just beginning.

Last week was a typical taper week: antsy, agitated, starving, grumpy, tired, sore, etc. Nothing I did felt good, but that's typical, at least for me, if I didn't feel that way I would be worried.  So, when this week rolled around I was hoping I would feel a little better than last week and I did/do to an extent, it's getting better by the day and that's good because the race is getting closer by the day! Today is a rest day and I think it will be just the trick to get me totally ready for Sunday morning at 5am!

Monday night was the Readiness Dinner they have every year after the series (5 races, 111k) is complete. It was a nice distraction from the restlessness I was experiencing. Check it out Rachel was 1st female overall! Great fast running lady, I sense a sub-3 marathon for you! Kim was 4th overall, can't wait to see what Sunday has in store for you! And I ended up 2nd overall. 

Wednesday was the obligatory 4x400m sprints, race week speed workout. It went famously!  Was super happy with where I was at and getting pumped for the race on Sunday.

Thursday night massages, also a standard race week activity. Much needed. Who ever complains about a massage anyways? Not this girl!

Rest Day Friday

Saturday, packet pick up and last minute race prep

5am Sunday Morning....GO TIME!

As my college swim coach used to say, "The hay is in the barn!" Let's do this!

I'm so ready for this race, I've done a lot more preparation this year than I did for the marathon last year (I had a much stronger training base going into marathon prep this time around which I'm pretty sure helped some) and can't wait to see what happens on Sunday. I've got my race plan all set and ready to go, picking up my packet tomorrow, then it's game time!

Marathon #2, here I come...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Turkey Week Recap

Last week was a pretty great week: got my new blender and had two Turkey races. The Turkey trot was Thanksgiving morning and then Saturday morning was the Turkey swim.....

A while back I talked a little about our little training group coming up with a name for ourselves, just one of many ways we pass the time on some of our longer runs. Well, we kind of stopped talking about it and then Kim came up with these....

Enter Sunny Doom!
Just a fun little name for a group of people that like to swim/bike/run together. We decided that the Turkey Trot would be a great place to unveil our super cool race singlets (they had our names on the back as well).

So, the Turkey Trot is a 10 mile road race in which you are not allowed to use a watch, music or anything else that might help you pass the time. You can choose to do this race for fun, by yourself for a nice little pre-stuff-your-face Thanksgiving dinner or you can enter as a team. (We chose to do it as a team) Here's the catch, you have to predict your time and that's how the winners are decided, so it's no longer about how fast you go, it's now about how good you are at controlling and staying on your own pace, which I'm not so good at.  The thought of not having a watch and being able to constantly be able to check and make sure I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing is a bit anxiety provoking for me (so it's probably a good thing I did this race).

So, in order to make sure there's no funny business, everyone is given a popsicle stick prior to the race starting and you have to write down your name and your predicted finish time.  A little birdie told us that the course was a tad short of 10 miles so we/I sort of took this into consideration when guessing my time.  Somehow I came up with 1:15.46.  Craig had told me to shoot for 1:12, but I knew I wasn't going to be able to go that fast on this particular morning so I added three minutes, now the 46 came from no where, 46 doesn't mean anything to me, I just picked a random number. So we start the run and Aaron and I end up running together, chatting and just going through the motions, it's the same course/loop that basically every running race in the state is completed on, so it's pretty boring. We're running along at what I feel is a pretty good pace and we keep chatting with people we pass/people that pass us and ask everyone what times they have written down on their sticks, and by their answers we deduce that we have to be pretty on target for the times we had written down on our own sticks. Finally, we are about a 1/2 mile from the finish and since it's close to the finish, people start zooming past us, well, we decided to stay the course since we felt like we were pretty close to our targeted time and guess what, we were! We crossed the finish line in 1:15:46...exactly the time I had predicted (there ended up being 5 people that guessed their times exactly, pretty impressive if you ask me and I'd bet that I won't ever be guessing my time to the second ever again)! I'm not exactly sure how that happened, but it was a great start to Thanksgiving.

Here's a couple of pictures from the morning...

On to the Turkey Swim.  

Dave and I post-race
The Nu'uanu YMCA holds the Turkey Swim sometime during Thanksgiving week each year. Dave and I thought it would be a fun little race to enter and since we haven't been swimming very much lately this swim, being only 1.2 miles is relatively short and we would be able to put things into perspective and let us know what kind of work we both need to start doing come the new year.

Well it was pretty chilly Saturday morning, a fleece jacket and sweats kind of morning: I know, I know, I used to live on the east coast and there's no way that I should think being able to go for an ocean swim at the end of November in Hawaii is chilly, but trust me, live here for long enough, your blood thins and everything below 75 feels cold! Seeing as how cold I was before the race, I decided to skip the warm up, bad or good idea, I'm not so sure yet. The course was just a quick little out and back at Magic Island/Ala Moana Beach. A straight shot, no waves, no worries about sharks or any other ocean critters coming to get you because this beach is pretty protected (at least I choose to believe it is and if you know otherwise, please do not tell me). My plan was to hook on back of the lead group and just cruise the swim for the rest of the time. Well that didn't work, I'm just not in the swimming state of mind right now, I stuck with them until almost the turn around and then they took off. I totally could have kept up by hanging onto someone's feet, but right now I just don't like being uncomfortable swimming. I was happy to drop back and swim 3/4 of the race by myself. I finished in 30:21 (ended up 1st in my AG), about 2 minutes slower than my Honu time (and even this wasn't a dead out sprint because I had a bike and a run to follow the swim) For only swimming 1x week (about 2-3000 yards a pop, that's not too shabby). One of my smaller goals/things I'm going to be working on after marathon season is to be comfortable being uncomfortable while swimming. How I was able to do that for so long in college, high-school and age-group swimming, I'm not so sure right now, but I will get back to that point before CdA.

Dave ended up 2nd in his AG at the race!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Crisis in the Kitchen

So the 10-mile turkey Trot was this morning, but more on that later...

Last week, I managed to break 2 blenders and a food processor...all in 1 day!!! That's some feat and it's also almost the worst thing that can break in the kitchen, especially when I use my blender everyday!! Panic!! What am I going to do??? I could go to the store and buy another crappy, cheap, reasonably priced blender, but for as much as I use mine, it would probably end up broken in a few months to a year and then I'd have to go out and buy another one or I could bite the bullet and one of those fancy ones they are always demo-ing at Costco.

I guess Dave was talking with his Mom and she offered to buy us one!! Score! So, I did some research and was debating between getting the Vitamix or the BlendTec and guess which one won....
The BlendTec
very user friendly and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new blender
This was probably the easiest, fastest smoothie I've ever made! So this blender is makes smoothies, juices, sauces, dips, jams, salsa, spreads, soup (it really heats the soup when you blend it too!? how does that work, I'm excited to try out that function!), all sorts of different beverages, fondues, salad dressing, batters, syrups, bread dough, ice cream (what!? can't wait to try this out either). That's just a list of the few things this amazing blender makes.
I also made some pie crust last night, look at how nicely it forms the dough into a ball and you don't even have to do all the kneading yourself!

Super thankful for this gift and I'm looking forward to making some tasty treats with it in the near future!

Happy Turkey Day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Marathon Readiness Series....complete

The half marathon, 21k, last race of the marathon readiness series, was on Sunday. It also happened to be my last scheduled long run before the marathon. What to do, what to do?

I could either bag the race and just run on my own or I could wake up wicked early, run before the race, run the race and turn it into my FFLR, as was the plan. Well bagging a race is never something I choose to do, if it isn't necessary, so an early wake up it was. I got in an easy 7 miles before the race and then it was game time!

Check out the cool race singlet I got to wear

The Race:
I think, had I done the first seven miles and didn’t need to stop for 10 minutes or so for pre race instructions the beginning part of the race wouldn’t have been as difficult as it was. The first six miles were a struggle (strong headwind, tired legs, mentally not in the race yet); however, I was able to be pretty consistent; right around 7:35s (thanks Aaron for keeping me going). Finally, right before the turn around point, I got my second wind and was feeling great. I started to pick up the pace and was able to finish out the race feeling strong.

All-in-all I was super happy with the result, a 9 minute PR is never something to complain about and I ended up 2nd or 3rd AG (the results posted 2nd, but I’m pretty sure they were messed up because I saw Joy finish about 20 seconds ahead of me and we started at the same time). This was hands down the largest and fastest race of the series and normally I’m not a huge fan of half-marathons, but I was pleasantly surprised with this race, it was super fun and I’m looking forward to the marathon in 19 days!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Christmas in a cup.... back!
This made my Monday morning. If you haven't tried it, you HAVE to! It's called "Winter Dream Tea Latte" from Coffee Bean & Tea Lea. It's a seasonal drink, so you better try it while it's in season. I wait all year for this treat and it's well worth the wait! It really does taste like Christmas in a cup and when you don't get snow in Hawaii EVER, it's nice to have a little something that reminds you of winter without having to deal with all the nasty snow.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Not 1, Not 2, Not 3, Not 4.....

....but 5 flats today on a 35 mile ride?! Seriously? How is that possible? I mean really? People need to quit throwing glass out their car windows on the side of the road, it really screws up bike rides.

It wasn't me that flatted 5 times, however one of those 5 flats was mine. We went out riding today with a bunch of the IM CdA group (7 of us that were up for it today) for a nice, leisurely, aerobic, low intensity ride. Don't you know that never happens!  We met at Kailua Beach and decided to head northbound since last weekend we had such a dry beautiful ride out on the windward side of Oahu. Well today was another story. 
Totally felt like this when I flatted

It wasn't dumping rain on us, but the roads were wet, wet, wet and with the wet roads brought terrible road conditions. I swear when the roads here get a tiny bit wet #1 people drive like there's 5 feet of snow and ice covering the ground...hello people, it's just a little water, you would NEVER survive on the east coast and #2 the water must bring all the tiny pebbles, debris and glass right in our path, great! So much for a calm Sunday ride.   

The ride went alright I guess, considering we had to stop a million times for flats, oh yeah and Franzy's water bottle cage fell off of his bike on the ride today too, so all-in-all not an awesome ride and we didn't even get to go the super scenic route that I like so much, oh well there's always next time.

On the positive side of things, I did get to change another flat and sooner or later I will be good at it. Maybe next time I won't have 6 people standing around me in a circle, breathing down my neck, telling me what to do and making me super anxious (thanks for all the suggestions, love you all!).  One of my goals for the next 8 months is to become confident in my tire changing ability.

I CAN and I WILL learn how to change a tire quickly and proficiently before CdA!! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

1 month to go

Just a few pictures from the weekend. Nice Kailua/Kaneohe/North Shore rain!! It was a beautiful "fall" Sunday.

Only a few (maybe 2) long long runs left before the's getting close. I can't believe marathon season here is over in about a month! Crazy, it's gone by so quickly! It seems like yesterday that summer was ending, the readiness series was beginning and the marathon was sooooo far away.   Well, here it comes, ready or not (I'm ready, I feel ready), 1 month to go, it's crunch time.

This past weekend was a long run 3:10, I got in, right around 22 miles (with the IM CdA people) perfect, just right. This coming weekend, shorter faster is on tap. Anything under 2 hours seems like a "short" run to me now, which is mind boggling, who would have tought that I'd ever think a "short" run is less than 2 hours. I still can't wrap my head around how my head got to that point.
The following weekend is the infamous FFLR (FastFinishLongRun), which might be interesting seeing as how it is also the day of the last race of the readiness series (the half marathon or 21k). So, as of right now the plan is to get up super early and run for an hour/1:30 before the race, easy peasy, super relaxed and then run the race...stay tuned. After that it's Thanksgiving week, the Turkey Trot (10 mile team run, no watch, no music, predict your time, closest team to overall guestimated time wins...should be fun times with CdA crew again) and Turkey Swim, then it's the most wonderful time of the year....taper time.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Night Swimming....In the Rain

Swimming and I have been having a love/hate relationship lately, but I think we're finally starting to get our groove back.

Wednesday, I had a swim on the schedule and totally wasn't feeling it after my run so I decided to go home and relax for a while.  Now, the pool I swim at has crazy hours (7:00am-9:30am you can't be open early during the week so I could swim before work? seriously what kind of pool doesn't have early morning swim hours!?, 2:15pm-5:00pm again, if you work, how are you supposed to make this time work for you!? and 7:00pm-8:30pm sometimes this is my only option and I usually totally ignore it because I don't want to go back out again after I've already come home. I guess that's what I get for living on the west side of the island where there is a whole lot of nothing.

I was feeling really guilty about not going to swim on Wednesday, so I hopped into my car and headed up to VMAC around 7 to get my swim in late night style. I haven't swum at night in forever and to top things off it was raining out. You'd think the rain would turn me off from swimming even more, but it's actually super fun! There's something about swimming in the rain at night that is very peaceful and calming. I'm definitely going to add night swimming back into my rotation, especially if it keeps me motivated.

Happy swimming!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I looked up recovery in the dictionary and here's what it had to say (the pertinent definitions)...
re·cov·ered re·cov·er·ing \-ˈkə-və-riŋ, -ˈkəv-riŋ\
1: to get back : regain
2: to bring back to normal position or condition
3: to make up for
4: to find or identify again
I really believe that recovery is essential for my mental state as well as for improved performance. Everyone has different ideas about recovery, for me, when I see recovery week on the schedule, I get super excited, it's gonna be a nice relaxing week. Well, it never actually turns out that way and I think this past week has taught me that recovery is essential, it's not always as fun as it seems like it's going to be and it's important to push through the funk because when you come out on the other side, you'll be stronger, more focused, rejuvenated and ready to tackle the last push before the big race.  

Last week was recovery week for me which meant shorter, less intense workouts and 2 days off??? What? That never happens, EVER!! The week started off pretty normal, nothing eventful or worthy of a blog post (clearly since I've been slacking in that department). Tuesday was alright, a normal day really, I think my body didn't really know what was coming yet; well, by the time my Wednesday night run rolled around, I was feeling terrible. I had no desire to complete any of the workouts and when I did get around to doing them, I was not motivated or 100% focused, I was kind of just going through the motions because I felt so off (tired, sore, lethargic, etc).

I had the worst feeling runs I've had in probably 3-4 months, but that's all part of recovery right? I guess my body was telling me it needed a rest and time to "get back again, bring back to normal position or make up for" all the weeks and months of hard training. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (especially Saturday) were all a struggle, it's not like the workouts were all that difficult or intense, I just felt tired...sort of like the taper funk that happens when you are resting and recovering before a big race. Finally, Sunday rolled around and Dave and I decided to go on a little group run (I had my fingers crossed the whole drive there that I'd be able to keep up and wouldn't fall apart like I had been doing all week) and guess what?? I was feeling back to normal-ish. I didn't want to stop and walk at all, excellent! I think it was a combination of #1 recovery body got some time to rest and recovery which is the whole point of the week right? and #2 the company!

Recovery week came just in the nick of time, I really do think that had I not had recovery week last week, it could have turned into a not-so-productive and frustrating week of training. I've never spent so much time in my compression socks as I did last week, but recovered I am. I'm rested, refreshed and I'm ready to get back at it!

It's only Wednesday, recovery week is a thing of the past and I'm back in the swing of things....6 weeks until Honolulu Marathon.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween

I know it was Halloween yesterday, but just wanted to share the extent of our evening. When you don't have kids you resort to dressing up your animals....
Kea the Squirrel

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ko'Olina-ish and PF Changs 30k

I’ve been slacking; I know I haven’t posted in a while, but nothing cool has happened since Kona until last weekend. And after my huge failure at the Ko’Olina tri, I haven’t been in the mood to post.

So, I guess I’ll quickly post about that race. I was super excited for it, a nice little sprint tri (Dave was doing it to!!!) on my side of the island, which meant no wicked early wake up call and a short drive home afterwards, not to mention it was a sprint so I’d be done in just a little over an hour! We got there, got all set up and body marked (they gave us tattoos so we could apply them ourselves to save from being written on with permanent marker, which you would think is a good idea, but the genius that I am, I tried to apply the tattoo without removing the plastic covering beforehand so that was ruined and permanent marker it was, great start to the morning, Lectie). I should have just quit right then and there. But no we continued on with the morning.  It was about a 10-15 minute walk from transition to the start of the swim and believe it or not, it was a bit chilly that morning and I just wanted the race to start because I was getting a little cold. So the swim started in waves and Dave was in the first wave and I was in the second.  I didn’t think I’d have any chance to catch up to him (and I didn’t he ended up beating me in the swim portion by 2 seconds!), I just wanted to be out in the front of my wave away from everyone else. The swim of this race is a little different from other tris being that it is swum in 4 different lagoons and you have to run between each lagoon (swim, run, swim, run, swim, run, swim). Anyways, I had a GREAT swim! I was super pumped, out of the water way in front of my group just as I had planned. Into transition (a little slow for my liking, but finally off on the bike).  Well I made it 2.5 miles and then…FLAT! Great, just what I wanted a flat on a sprint tri. #1 I’m terrible at changing them and #2 really a flat on a sprint tri?! So, I hopped off the bike and began the S    L    O    W process of changing the tire, I was so proud of myself, I got the tire changed and went to inflate it with the CO2 and what do I hear, POP! Great, I busted the new tube. Let’s just try another CO2 to be sure……POP again. Well now I have a spare tube, but I’m all out of CO2, time to walk back to transition.  That was a very long 2.5 miles back, mostly because I was super embarrassed and disappointed in myself, I’ve never DNF before in a race and I don’t like that feeling.  When I got back to transition people were finishing and I just made it in time to see Dave finish! He did a great job! Ended up 4th in his age group!  Even though Ko’Olina wasn’t what I expected it to be, live and learn I guess.  Note to self: time to start practicing changing tires.

Now onto the fun part, last weekend was PF Chang's 30k. My FAVORITE race of the Marathon Readiness Series. Some of you might think I'm crazy, but I really think that 30k or 18.xx miles is the perfect distance to run.  It's not a full marathon so you don't necessarily hit the wall, it's too long so that you can't sprint for 18 miles (thank goodness), but it's just long enough so you can get into a good rhythm, hold that pace and feel strong throughout! Well, that's what I did.

For all of the 4 races in the series so far, Craig has comanded, given orders to, suggested paces that he knew I would be able to maintain throughout. At each and every one of these races I said that there was no way that I could hold that pace for that long, I was skeptical to say the least. At all but the 25k, I was able to meet his/my demands goals. Somehow, somewhere I have started to enjoy running and have turned into a pretty decent runner.

The one bad thing about this race is that it starts at 5am which means waking up and seeing a 3 on the clock, ugh. Anyways, Dave and I were up and out the door and he proceeded to fall asleep as soon as we got into the car, typical! :-) Got down to the start, got in a little warm up run in with Kim and Bill and we were off. Dave and I got seperated before the start which I was a little upset about, but when the gun went off I was in full on race mode, game on!

The plan was to take the first couple of miles and build into race pace, then hold for the remainder and if I had anything left at the end, just go for it and it worked pretty well. I ran with Aaron for the first 10 miles or so, we were holding a pretty consistent pace, right on target and I didn't even have to look at my watch a whole lot, excellent! 10 miles in, Aaron was hurting a little so I pushed on. I got a little overzealous at the turnaround and sped up quite a bit, whoops, I hoped that wasn't going to come back to bite me in the ass. I recovered and got right back on pace. I finally saw Dave and that gave me another boost of energy that kept me moving forward. The miles were ticking away, not too fast, but not unbearably slow either. 

When I got to DiamondHead hill it started to get a little rough, I needed to break it down from there, make it to Traingle Park, then the top of DiamondHead, then the bottom of the hill, and then the dreaded LONGEST ROAD EVER!  I was fine until that last stretch of road, I swear every race that road gets longer and longer and longer and longer. When you get down off of DiamondHead and you make the final turn into the finish, you think you're almost there, but it's still 3/4 mi (I don't know if it's really that long, but it seems like it's 3 miles!). It takes all the mental strength I have to get me down that road every single race I complete and you'd think it would get easier because I know what to expect, but it doens't. I just need to mentally prepare myself for that road come December 11.

All-in-all it was a great race! I'm super happy with the results. 9 minute PR from last year and I felt much better after the race this year than I felt last year.  Dave did awesome as well, a personal best! It was his longest run to date! Go us!!

I can't believe we never take pictures together after races, we need to get better at that, but here's a couple from the race.   

Could be one of my favorite race pictures...both feel off the ground!

It was dark out for most of the race

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Ironman has to be the most inspiring athletic event that there is. Where else can people from 18-81+ be competing for 17 straight hours?! That's impressive, I don't care who you are. This past week definitely made me thankful, happy and excited that I signed up for my own little piece of Ironman. CdA, June 2012. Can't wait!

It's a little daunting to think about it, but after watching the World Championships, I'm inspired. It was awesome to be at the event and know a few people that were racing and every time each and every one of them, ran past us on the side of the road they all had a huge smile on their faces. I know it couldn't have been all smiles for them all day long, Ironman is a loooooooooong day, but I never once saw any of them looking like they were struggling...kudos to Leslie, Claire, Rachel, Michelle, Nalani, Emily, Lindsay congrats on your finishes!

Here's a few pictures to recap the week.

view from our lanai

Les, Craig and Claire pre race

we swam to the Coffees of Hawaii boat almost everyday

it was delicious

playing in the water with our cool new blueseventy suits from Mike

Me, Claire and Les

the crazy swim start


Leslie D!!




Michelle (I think I caught you mid-sip, but I swear you were smiling right after)

Sorry about the sideways pictures, I can't seem to figure it out tonight...I'll try not to let it happen again
Check out all those smiles!!!
Great job ladies!!