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 amazing...it 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....

...is 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 riding.....no rain!! It was a beautiful "fall" Sunday.

Only a few (maybe 2) long long runs left before the marathon...it'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 week...my 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