Monday, April 18, 2016

Lanikai Triathlon...ADAPT

It wouldn't be Lanikai Triathlon without some rain!
The weather forecast said 50% chance of rain on race-day, I don't think there has been a Lanikai without at least some sprinkles during the race, so I expected it wasn't going to be a beautiful, Hawaiian day with no wind, no rain and full sun. And I was right, but that's the risk we all take when doing this sport we love, we participate OUTSIDE and have to deal with the elements, be it wind, rain, sun, snow, heat, cold, etc. The elements are the same for everyone and we can choose to take them as they come, embrace them and race OR let a little (well yesterday a deluge) rain derail the morning. I saw #HTFU and race. So race I did!
I always like getting to races super early....get a parking spot, get my transition area set up, get in a good warm up and have plenty of time to say hi to friends and get back into race mode. I had everything all ready to go, was warmed up and about to start the final prep and....RAIN, RAIN, RAIN...I'm not talking sprinkles, I'm talking absolute downpour. People went looking for shelter, under trees, under the tents set up in transition, anywhere we could find cover just waiting for the rain to stop...well it didn't...and it was getting closer and closer to race start.....oh well, if conditions got too bad,the race director would make a call for whatever would keep us safe...out into the rain I went to get my transition area set up and ready to shoes were soaked, sunglasses definitely not going to be used, keep bike shoes clipped on bike and risk slipping on a wet road trying to get velcro-ed in or leave them off?, decisions were made and changes to race plan happened, but you know what? Everyone else was dealing with their own little problems....ADAPT! That's what we need to be prepared to do in any race situation. We are lucky if a race goes 100% according to plan all the time, but usually it doesn't and we need to make decision on the fly on how to adapt, overcome and move forward. These are the days that make us stronger and better athletes. Go with your gut and what you believe will work for you and it probably will.
Greta job ladies!!
By the time we headed to the water for the race start, the rain had stopped, it wasn't hot and we were chilly, but the sun was coming out and it looked like it was going to shape up to be a beautiful morning. AND IT WAS!
Briefly the race...

the swim....the women always start 3 minutes back from the men and we all know how I feel about that, I don't like it, but it's a fact of triathlon racing, so I've learned to embrace it. Use the men to slingshot around and get some easy drafting, that's what I have to tell myself. The swim was longer this year and it was a bit choppy, but the longer and choppier the conditions, the better for me. I loved every second of it. FOTW (including the men...sorry Tim!)

onto the goal, push, push, push as big a gear I could as fast as I could and I think I finally wasn't scared that I wasn't going to be able to run off the bike if I did that and ended up having a pretty decent bike ride! One that I can be happy about...progress!

prior to the race everyone was concerned with road conditions as there is a short (read....less than 1/4 mile) section of road that is pretty horrible. There was some quick fix patches that went down on the roads that made the section totally ride-able.....even with the wet roads and steel plates (that you didn't have to ride over), one could safely stay aero, ride hard and fast without losing almost bike course roads not an issue in my option (I digress). 
blurry...but end of bike, wet roads, but totally do-able! 
the run....just a 5k...well a little more than a 5k, but a fast relatively flat run through Lanikai. Goal...just run fast and try to pass people along the way. That's one good thing about starting 3 minutes back from the men...always people to chase. I just ran, no thinking, just run. Not much to say about this other than it's good to be running again and I'm starting to really look forward to the rest of the racing season!
All-in-all a great morning and an excellent way to kick of triathlon season 2016! Congrats to everyone that raced yesterday! Way to stick it out and roll with the punches! That's what racing is all about! 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Tantalus Time foot

Do you want to ride a bike up Tantalus as fast as you can? ~1500ft and a little under 5 miles...that's what happened on Sunday. It was the 40th annual Tantalus Time Trial (TTT) here in Hawaii. It is the longest standing bike race on island and a chance for local cyclists to come out and spend some time riding bikes and suffering uphill together. What a great way to spend a Sunday morning....
A few weeks ago, I was approached by my friend Sau (he is known to enter cycling races using all sorts of different bikes: beach cruisers, single speeds, full carbon race bikes, I'm sure he'd use a unicycle if he had the means or opportunity and on Sunday he chose to use....a BikeShare Hawaii bicycle). He had the idea that he wanted to race TTT on this BikeShare bike, so he approached our other friend Lori McCarney, CEO of BikeShare Hawaii to ask permission to borrow a BikeShare bike to race up Tantalus. She loved the idea and threw in a twist...wouldn't it be fun to get someone to run up Tantalus and race you to the top during the race? He suggested me.
Sure, why not, lets run up Tantalus during a bike race as fast as I can and try to beat someone riding a bike. I can do that, easy! Haha! The BikeShare bikes are meant to get you from Point A to Point B; they are heavy; they are commuter bikes, they are not lightweight race bikes meant for racing up mountains, so I was intrigued, sign me up!
There was a little banter between the two of us before the race, I honestly thought it could go either way. He was convinced that I was going to come out victorious and there was going to be a lot of "butt-kicking" (see links below) taking place. But running up a mountain vs. riding up a mountain...I wasn't sure. Sau is a great cyclist and even though the BikeShare bikes are heavy, I knew he would throw down a respectable time.
The race started and we both took off, me, a bit faster than I probably should have, Sau right on target. I might have told him my game plan and strategy ahead of time....that won't happen again but I did have a great Sherpa carrying water and music...that might have given away how close or far I was from Sau, but I would do that again if given the opportunity...thanks, Scott!

I thought my only chance at being able to come close to beating him was to get ahead from the beginning in the steepest part of the climb because once you get closer to the top the road flattens out a bit and there are a couple of flatter sections where he could pick up some time on me. I think I got a little over zealous in that first mile and ended up losing a bit of time in the end, oh well.

I should have kept my strategy to myself because he knew my plan was to go right from the start and he went as well. I kept him in my sights for the first 2ish miles of the climb and then once it started to flatten out, he put more time on me and I wasn't able to make that up in the end.

I think best case scenario, had I kept my plan in my own head and paced myself appropriately, I could have run maybe a minute faster and maybe Sau would have rode 30 seconds slower, which still would have had him winning in the end.

What a fun morning it was. And the fact that you, well Sau, can race a BikeShare bike up a mountain and still beat a good number of people riding fancy, expensive, super lightweight carbon racing bikes is pretty amazing. That bodes well for taking those bikes to get from one place to another all-the-while staying fresh and ready for your meeting, lunch, workday. etc. So, congrats to Sau, Lori and BikeShare Hawaii, I cannot wait for these bikes to make their official appearance here in Hawaii!

Final times
Sau: 34:43
Lectie: 37:34

and here are some links to the pre and post race interviews....

KHON Preview Story

KHON Recap Story

25:00 mark