Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Today was my first day of refocus. I began training specifically for the Kona Marathon. So with my legs still sore from the half Ironman, I went out for a short run starting at the pool and running along Alii Drive and back. Although my legs were sore, they felt strong and pain-free and I realized that I had gained something from Honu that I hadn't expected — confidence! I had gained a little speed, a little strength and a lot of confidence.

Back in my cowboy days we used to teach horses to "free up their legs." We would say a horse's legs "were bound up" if they weren't taught correctly. If you taught a horse to free up his legs, he'd be faster, more relaxed and more obedient. (In this photo that's me on our Tennessee Walking Horse, Jasper. One of his first rides.)
To do this you would teach a horse to disengage his hind quarters or cross one leg over the other as you asked him to move in a tight circle. Once a horse learns this, you can see a difference in his handling, his performance and his attitude. He learns to trust himself, to have a little more confidence in his abilities.

A few months ago, I was telling Karen that I wish my legs would free up the way I used to teach horses to do. I just couldn't get any speed out of them. They were constantly tight and sluggish. On occasion when I would do fartleks they would, for a moment, free up and I could feel the speed in them.

Well, today, although I'm sore, my legs felt as if they were finally freed up. They were relaxed, and I felt faster. Maybe Honu helped me turn a corner on my running. Maybe it gave me the needed confidence to achieve my next goal, the Kona Marathon.

“I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes.” — OPRAH WINFREY

I finally got to try out my Zoots today. My employer bought them for me to race in at Honu, but since I was fighting an injury I didn't have time to break them in. They are great. I'm nearly a forefoot runner in them. I've never paid that much for shoes before in my life ... wait a minute, I didn't pay for them — sweet!

While I was running today past the King Kam, this woman comes running up beside me. She asks me if I have ever done the Ironman. I tell her no, but I did just do the Half Ironman.

She then asks me if I know who Andy Baldwin is. I say yes. She asks, "would you take a picture of me? It's for Andy." She shoves a camera into my hand. I stop running. She jumps in front of the King Kam sign and strikes a pose. I click off a shot. She changes poses. I click off another shot, all the while I'm thinking, "this is really killing my average per mile time."

A guy walks by. He asks if we want him to take a picture of the two of us. I say that we are not together, but thanks.

She spots the hat I'm wearing. "OMG, your hat says Ironman on it!" She grabs my hat and runs to the King Kam sign again. "Take my picture again, make sure you can read the Ironman hat."

She asks me, "So this says Kona, right?" pointing to the King Kam. Stupid me, I say, "Well actually, no. Most people recognize the sea wall and the church steeple as Kona."

"Well, let's go for a run then," she says, and off she goes toward the sea wall with my hat, which is actually a Honu Half Ironman hat. The one I got for finishing the Honu Saturday, so it means a lot to me.

We get to the sea wall with her blabbering the whole way about how she knows Andy. I click off another photo or two with her standing there in my hat with the sea wall and church steeple in the background. Nice composition. Years of being a professional photog is paying off. I'm tempted to ask her for a copy, but then think better of it. I'd rather have one of Karen, anyhow.

She hands me my hat, I hand her the camera and I take off running. Smiling, I think "T.I.K. This Is Kona!"


BreeWee said...

Who is this woman??? I totally agree, only in Kona do such random things happen???!!!

Hope you are recovering well and glad you love your shoes! I am stoked for you to run Kunitake's race, one of the BEST!

Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) said...

I've been reading a lot about people with shoulder injuries a lot worse than mine. It does of course worry me. I find that the swimming kind of helps. I think it is the other things I might do with my shoulder that might make things worse, although the nature of freestyle does increase the chances of wear and tear. I tried butterfly once or twice today and was a lot more comfortable (because there is less of that kind of motion that gets me a bit). However, I take your advice, and will scale down on the freestyle. Take care with your running training.

James and Lindsay Cotter said...

So glad you've been following! Congrats on your recent 70.3 finish and I love your Lavaman jersey. I am the assistant race director for that race! Its the best, I'm bias of course. :)


This week is our last week in our brick and mortar house. We have started sleeping in our fifth wheel, going to work during the day and sp...