Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Venture Race Hawaii

*Side note....this was a test run, the organizers wanted to try out the idea, see what worked and what didn't and if it was something people would enjoy being a part of in the future. Survey says, people loved it and they will make some changes and hopefully put on another one in the near future with more people! :-)

My friends Joy and Amanda were out riding one day, the same typical route they ride almost every weekend and they decided they needed to change things up, make things more fun again. Doing the same thing over and over again can get a bit monotonous and when you get bored you get tired and lazy, you stop paying attention and it can become not fun anymore. They were ready to change that. They wanted to spice things up. We are all active people and like to get up and move around and be outside, sitting around all day doing nothing can get old as well. So they came up with what they dubbed, “Venture Race.”
The idea was a combination of a Scavenger hunt, Survivor and The Amazing Race, with a little triathlon thrown in there. We didn’t get a whole lot of prior information, just that it was going to be a fun day with friends and bring stuff to swim, bike and run. We arrived at 6:00am Sunday morning ready for instructions and an adventure. Our trusty planners Amanda and Joy were ready and raring to go. We were told to, first and foremost have fun, next follow the instructions on the cards and post our finds to Facebook or Instagram so they could check and make sure we were following the rules and the third and final instruction was the “bitch slap,” if you wanted to road block or give another team a penalty, you needed to ask a stranger to take a photo of you and your teammates posing in a swim, bike and run position and then text the photo to Joy or Amanda.
The first leg was the bike leg. The cards were given out and one of the teams just took off down the road. We had to find three different places on the island and either take a picture or a video at the location. We had pictures of the places as well as a few sentences describing the area we were looking for. My team, “always naughty, sometimes nice” decided to look at the cards and figure out where we were going before we left. Well…..that took a bit longer than I thought it would. I wasn’t entirely sure where to go, we googled, facebooked and put our minds together and came up with the first two places right away so off we went! On our way to the first location, we were thinking about the clues given on the third card to try to determine the location of the playground. There were certain words underlined in the clues and brilliant Michelle, said, “how do you say coconut in Hawaiian?” trusty google told us it was Niu, so Nui Valley was where we were headed to find the third location on the bike (after we successfully found the first two stops). When we got to the third location we were pretty sure we were at least the 2nd team there, we hadn’t seen the group that took off in the beginning, but when we had to go down the slide at the playground, it didn’t look like anyone had been there yet…hmmmm were we ahead? We checked off the third item on the bike and back to the park we went.
When we got back to the park we realized that we were the first team to arrive, but we had been “bitch slapped,” so we had to wait 3 minutes before starting the next leg of the race. 3 minutes is a long time when you think people are gaining on you…note to self….don’t draft in a race and get a time penalty…this was a for fun game with friends and that 3 minute wait was stressful!
Anyways, the three minutes ended and we were off on the run portion. We figured out where all the run stops were right away…running around this area quite often pays when you are looking for hidden items. Snapped a few pictures and pau!
We got back to home base and they weren’t even ready for us to go on to the swim, or “water play” portion of the race. We ran with Joy down to the ocean and received our instructions. We needed to blow up an inflatable animal and then one of us puts on the inflatable and the other two people hold onto the inflatable with one arm and swim with the other arm out to Joy, around her and back in to shore. Swimming with 1 arm dragging another person isn’t easy, but causes many belly laughs, which was the point of the day. We made it back to shore and were the first team to arrive.
Winning wasn’t the point of the day, but we are all competitive people so of course we wanted to win! Haha. The point of the day was to have fun with friends, laugh, be active, enjoy and remember why we love this sport. Afterwards we had a brunch and “awards ceremony” at our friend house. Thanks so much Joy and Amanda for putting on such a fun event. And thanks to my teamies Michelle and Lauren, go us!! I’m excited for the next edition!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Getting out of your comfort zone

Yesterday I went bike riding in the mountains aka mountain biking aka (for me) lots of hike-a-biking....do I own a mountain bike? No. Have I ever been mountain biking? No. Have people been asking me for months, maybe even years to go mtn biking? Yes. Have I ever said yes to those questions before now? No (excuse #1, I'm training for______, excuse #2, I don't want to break something, excuse #3 I'm so uncoordinated). So since there's nothing big on the horizon and a whole bunch of other wimpy inexperienced triathletes were getting off the road and I had a bike to borrow (thanks Ben) I decided why not. And I'm glad I did! I don't know that I love it, I don't hate it and I'm not sure it will become a regular thing, but I won't always say no.
Now just FYI....if Marcy is in charge of teaching you how to mtn bike...she does not take you the easy way...for example, "We are going to go down a hill now" changed to "we are coming up on a plunge" and then finally the "double steep plunge is right ahead, you can walk, but I'm going to ride." Ok, I'll walk, thanks! And oh yeah, "we might run into some bulls up ahead, but don't worry, just keep going you'll be fine, there also might be some dogs." We all survived and came away unscathed. Kate, thanks for bringing up the rear and waiting up for us newbies and showing us how it's done.
Kudos to everyone that gets out there and gets dirty. Mountain biking is no joke. I am truly humbled. #gettingoutofmycomfortzone. It's tough to get over the fact that mountain bikes are made to roll over logs, rocks, mud, holes, everything we try to avoid on the road and getting my mind to know that it's ok to go over those things is tough. Combine that with the fact that single track exactly what it sounds like...narrow, hard and scary (I know, we don't have great bike lanes here in Hawaii so riding in small, narrow space should be fine right? nope!), we had a long, but ultimately fun morning. I'm not sure I will ever become a true mtn biker or XTERRA athlete, but it was sure fun to get out there, try something new and enjoy the day with a bunch of tough ladies. Maybe I'll try again in a few weeks on a more mellow course...
An interesting article Kate found about the "Interleaving Effect" and the science of learning. Interesting she found this the same day a lot of us were trying to learn something new. <<<<Check it out
Thanks for all the pics Karen!

In other news.....I am super excited to announce that I will be joining another amazing group of ladies this year!! Can't wait to get to know everyone in this family and to represent with #heartandcourage all year long!

Friday, October 21, 2016


Well, it's been 2 weeks, so I'd say it's about time to get my thoughts on page. I've struggled to put together a typical race report, so that's not what this is going to be. This was a really HARD race and a TOUGH day for me. It is KONA, it is the World Championships, if it were easy, it wouldn't be KONA. I had a GOOD day and a day I can be PROUD of, but the competitor in me always wants more and BETTER. There are always things I can improve upon and I think that's one thing that makes Ironman/long distance triathlon racing so much fun...no matter what there's always room for improvement. I may not have had the day I wanted to have, but I am proud of myself for NEVER GIVING UP and finishing the day I started. It would be a disservice to everyone that has been there for me over the past months and years if I quit because it wasn't the day I was hoping for. Scott did much better job of putting words to paper....
So, instead of your typical play-by-play, I want to say thanks. I am by no means going to be able to thank each and every person that has helped me get to where I am right now, but I will do my best. Please don't be offended if you are not mentioned by name, that does not mean you are not appreciated...I truly appreciate all the Kokua from everyone. 
Thanks is not enough....
Scott...Thank you for believing in me always, for supporting me no matter what, for knowing exactly what to say and when, for putting up with my crazy early mornings and early nights, for making and delivering breakfast and lunch to me at work, for loving me no matter what, for being my bike sponsor ;-) for being the most encouraging, accommodating, loving partner I could ask for...I can't wait for our upcoming adventures
Raul...I couldn't ask for a better coach, friend, mentor. You know when to push and when to back off. We had a great season, one I think we can both be proud of, I'm just sorry I couldn't deliver 2 weeks ago...we worked hard and the best is yet to come.
Michelle and Gary...for always being there for any kind of ride or run or room/bed or dinner, no matter what time or how crazy, I can always count on you two...well Michelle anyways! :-)
Kendra...for putting up with my crazy since January...thanks! Now we just need to get your bike back together.
Jeff...always up for any kind of ride, no matter the time or distance, you're game!
Ray and Scott...thanks for keeping my bike in top shape...it's had some issues this year and you've been there to take care and always fix her up.
My family...no matter what I can always count on you guys...daily phone calls, 6000+miles and if I need you, you're here in a second (well 10 hours), but whenever and whatever I need, no questions asked. I could go on and on about your love and support over the last 32 years, but that's an entirely different post.
BOCA...my Hawaii family, I'm so luck to have found you all. Such love and support.
ROKA...the best in the biz...racking up FOTWs thanks to all of your support!
BioAstin...glad to be part of such a great group of people. Happy to support and represent such a great company and product
UH Masters...5am is early, but it makes getting in those swims much more enjoyable...thanks DJ for always pushing me and Dan for the killer workouts.
Turbo Tuesdays and pre runs...Ryan and Co. these Tuesdays were essential and I always look forward to them.
George...I will start taking care of my body better next season, I promise!
Jaco...see above!
Planet Sun...go long, go strong, go protected....thanks for keeping my skin protected in the strong Hawaiian sun!
32 and 117...Thousands of miles separate us all, but no matter what we are there for one another, I couldn't ask for better girlfriends!
All the rest of the Kona competitors....thanks for making it a long, fun day out there...until next time

I know I missed a ton of people, but just know this....Thanks is not enough, but THANKS from me to you.

Until next time Kona.....

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Vacation post Ironman

It's always fun to spend a few days on the back end of an Ironman, or any big race for that matter exploring the area...so we did just that!

We went to a Rockies Game!
They lost, but that's ok. Saw some batting practice, checked out the row of seats 1-mile high, made the jumbo-tron, had drinks at the tavern, watched some Olympics at the Restaurant and saw a beautiful sunset!

Touring the Broncos Stadium
Never something I would have said, hey, let's do this, but it was actually super fun! Really interesting, especially if you are a Broncos fan. The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame is there too...definitely worth checking out, I highly recommend it!

I've been through and around Seattle a whole bunch of times, but never had the opportunity to spend actual time in Seattle City Center. Scott got us a CityPass and we had a 12-hour layover on our way back home...perfect time to explore! We went to the Space Needle, Public Market and had all sorts of delicious food, EMP, Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum (definitely worth the $$ and time!!) and Etta's for lunch (thanks Casey for the recommendation!). 

and now we're back home and back in the swing of things. Happy Wednesday!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Ironman Boulder 2016....Anything is Possible

In case your Facebook hasn't been blown up enough over the past week from our incessant posts, facebook live videos and some post race vacationing, here's one more. I have to do a post race recap from my first Ironman WIN! 
The short of it is this....three words, one for each discipline, and if you want to read the nitty gritty, by all means, keep reading...
The swim...weeds
The bike....fast
The run....uncomfortable
The morning starts off like any other race morning, very little sleep and an early wake up. This might have been the first big race that I've actually been able to get down breakfast without gagging and force-feeding myself. Win #1 of the day. My mom wasn't there to braid my hair, but thankfully Grant and Nikki to the rescue.
Logistics with this course are a bit difficult. No one is allowed to drive to the reservoir on race morning so that means all 1700+ athletes, families, spectators, EVERYONE had to shuttle out to the race start. 
Pre race, I was actually quite calm....Scott, Grant and Kirk might have another thing to say about that. Don't get me wrong, I was nervous, but nerves are good and compared to past races I knew I'd done everything I could to get me to this point and my only job now was to go out there, race, have fun and do what I've been training for.
The rolling swim start...why oh why can't we just have mass start swims again!? In retrospect, this wasn't HORRIBLE, it wasn't IDEAL, but it wasn't the worst way to start a swim, only downside I can see is not knowing about what or who is behind you. But I guess when racing you shouldn't concern yourself with that; do what you can do for you and don't worry about others. Anyways. I lined myself up in the "Less than 1 hour" group and this might have been another first....I got zero comments from AG men about me being up in front. Win #2. (That picture is NOT when the race started, thankfully, I was able to weasel my way up to the front of the line before the gun went off). 
The gun went off and we ran maybe 5 steps and were off swimming. The swim course goes like this...you swim out for a long time, make a left turn, swim across the reservoir for another long time through a sea of weeds and algae, make a final left turn and head back to shore for the last long time (*can you tell I thought the swim felt long? It wasn't, it just felt that way to me). Super easy sighting and calm, cool water, just not as clear at the Pacific! The swim broke up pretty quickly and right away I found myself swimming with 3 men, away from the masses. The four of us swam together for the majority of the race until the lead man took off, I tired to go with him, but kept getting blocked, or at least I felt like I couldn't get around the other two men in front of me, I don't think it was their intention, but every time I zigged, they zagged and I couldn't make the break (thanks for not being an agro, angry AG man when you couldn't shake me Conrad!). At this point, I knew we had a sizable gap on the rest of the group so I just settled in, no need to get frustrated and waste energy to make up less than 60 seconds to the lead man. It was really nice to have the paddle boarders right up ahead to make sighting easy peasy! The rest of the swim was uneventful and I made it FOTW female and fourth overall. 

*Side note to race directors....if the turn buoys are RED, please don't let you lead paddle board escort use a paddle with a RED blade because every time you sight, you think you are almost at the turn buoy, but you aren't! Maybe that's why the swim felt long! 
I think now is the right time to say thanks (and thanks is not enough) to the best sherpas and cheerleaders a girl could ask for! These 4 were all over the course ALLDAYLONG. I never knew when they were going to pop up and that certainly kept me moving forward! And not just these 4...Nikki and Joe came down, over, across? from Fort Collins to be there for the day and there were countless others cheering from back home on Oahu and the mainland, so thanks! I heard you guys ALLDAYLONG and couldn't have done this without all of you! 

Out of the water and onto the bike. I knew the bike was going to be fast, but just how fast I wasn't really sure. The bike was a multi loop course, basically 1 mini loop that was about 24ish miles and then two bigger loops that worked out to be about 45 miles each and then finishing in downtown Boulder at the HS. The bike course is beautiful. Clear, 90% smooth roads, well marked, very little traffic and did I say beautiful? 
I had a plan and the goal was to stick to it no matter what. Stay consistent and strong for the first 3.5-4 hours then start building for the remainder of the ride and into the run. I was passed by one of the girls somewhere between mile 20-30 and I just let her go, I wanted to go with her, but I had a plan and someone blasting past wasn't going to change that and for a split second, I thought, go! because I could have, but I stuck with my plan and kept telling myself, it's a long day, anything is possible and you know what,? and it ended up paying off in the long run (ride). I re-passed her again on climb around mile 80 and was able to finish the ride still in the lead. 
I saw my support crew maybe 10 times throughout the ride and to be honest, I have zero idea how they were able to sneak attack and find me all those times, but seeing them was a boost of energy and adrenaline that was much appreciated and needed! 

So off of the bike we had to run probably 2 miles to get through transition and into the change tent (not really 2 miles, but it was a looooooooog way!).

I don't have a ton to say about the run (but you'll get some running commentary of what was going on in my head throughout the run) and I'm sure if you've made it this far you are probably getting bored already because no bike pictures (problem solved...I ordered them and just updated)! So here's one to break it up a little bit....
The run....the run was tough, but what Ironman run is easy. It was completely on Boulder Creek trail, a beautiful path that is closed from traffic, protected and somewhat sheltered that you can walk, run and ride bikes on, however, the entire run was on concrete path. If you've never run on concrete path, it's hard and unforgiving on the body. 

For me, the run did not start out feeling great, but it usually takes me a bit to get my run legs after the bike. I started running and instantly tight, burning quads, 
"oh well, it's the beginning of the run, it'll go away, ok it's been 3 miles, it should be getting better soon, nope, ok a mile or so more and I'll be good to go and can really start running, I want to run smooth and fast, I can run smooth and fast and comfortable, oh there's Scott and Grant and Kirk I better keep running, they've been out here ALLDAY and look how excited and happy they are, keep going don't stop, what is that beeping I hear, it's not my watch, it keeps beeping and it's kind of obnoxious, mile 6-7ish and one of the first u-turns, oh there's the beep, there's a bike following me and she has a walkie-talkie, glad I noticed that for the past 45 minutes, there's a bike following me,?! oh boy, and it says 1st place female on the bike, I better keep running, there's Kirk again yelling and screaming, and now Scott, motivating me like crazy, ok, ok, keep going, keep running, beep, beep, mile 8 aid station up ahead, I need to walk through this aid station get some ice, shove it down my pants and then my legs will feel great and I can run the rest of this marathon, run again, wow, now it's even worse, ok reassess, beep, beep, marathons aren't supposed to be easy, they especially aren't easy at the end of an ironman, suck it up, there's magic in misery, keep going, there's still a bike 
behind you and every time you run through the crowd everyone is so happy and excited, smile it'll be easier if you just smile, aid station, walk, ice, water, coke, ice, run again, beep, beep, just keep moving forward, you have to keep running you never know when Scott and Co. will pop up and you can't be walking when you see them, this hurts so much, smile, breathe, keep moving forward, you are over half way, now you really can't stop, just walk quickly through aid stations and get back to running as much as it hurts, you'll be more upset if you stop now, it's just a little pain, haha, a little, oh look, it's Nikki and Joe and Scott, they are so encouraging and I'm such a jerk for not even being able to acknowledge them, and they have some seriously bad math skills, because the splits they are giving me are way off, I know I'm not great at math, but I'm pretty sure they are lying to me (they weren't, I couldn't do math), beep, beep, keep moving 10k to go, you can run a 10k any day, why is this so difficult, I'm not even running that fast, don't walk, don't walk, aid station walk fast run again, nope, walk, what are you doing, why are you walking!? run again! just keep going you are almost there, almost, and out pops, beep, beep, 
Roberto, he can't do math either :-) (turns out I can't do math when racing), oh there's Scott again, good thing I'm still running, magic in misery, magic in misery, ok 5k left only one more uphill then we are home free, oh man, this is taking FOREVER, this hill is like everest, finally to the top, turn around, 2 miles left, bike still with me now she says you're almost there, finally! downhill, almost there, this might be the longest 2 miles of my life. Scott again! he says I'm almost there and he'll see me at the finish! the finish can't come soon enough, 1 mile left, if I can run this in less than 8:30, I 
think I can break 10 hours, what?! how is that possible, this hurts, I just need to get to the finish, less than 1 mile to go, just keep going, this hurts oh so much, magic in misery, anything is possible, breathe, why does this hurt so much, you're almost there, bike lady says, the chute is up ahead she's going to turn away now, I made it to the finishers chute, is this really happening, am I really about to win my first Ironman?! I think I am, ok, pull yourself together, zip your jersey, take off your glasses, you made it, this was the hardest run you've ever done and you're almost done, high five every little kid in the chute and take it all in. Finally Mike Riley says, From Kaneohe, Hawaii, you're first women's finisher Lectie Altman!"
 That was a really tough marathon at the end of the day and the only thing I have to say to people out there is just keep moving forward, you never know what's going to happen and if you aren't hurt or injured, it's just pain and that's temporary. 
I couldn't be more happy with how the day went, the run was tough, but I got it done and I just want to say a huge thanks to everyone that helped us get our first win! To Raul and the BOCA family, I can't thank you guys enough, Scott, you are the best sherpa, supporter, helper, boyfriend, get me whatever I need before my race a girl could ask for, The Johnson's for being great hosts, we miss you in Hawaii, ColoRADo is lucky to have you, Nikki and Joe, thanks for volunteering and coming out to support me, Roberto, thanks for the pre-race bike course recon, Mom and Pop, best parents a girl could ask for, Michelle and Gary for always being willing to come out to ride or run with me regardless the distance/set, UH masters swimming, Kaneohe swim crew. ROKA for the fastest wet suits and best swim equipment on the market hands down, thank you, Planet Sun Hawaii, keeping my skin protected all day long, BioAstin Hawaii for helping me recover faster so I can train harder and anyone that was out there yelling cheers of encouragement along the way, thanks!!!   
Congrats to everyone that raced last Sunday and see you in KONA!