Monday, April 27, 2009

THE THREE Hs

Hills, Heat, Hurting. That's how I spent my Monday.

Monday was my long brick day and I dreaded it and looked forward to it all at the same time.

It all started at 5:20 a.m. when my alarm went off. Time to get up for Masters.
We did a long set starting off with an 800 yarder then getting hard from there with 100s, 75s, 50s and 25s. 2,850 yards total.

(Hapuna Beach)

By 7:15 we were finished and then the long drive up to Hapuna Beach to bike. By 8:15 I was on the road biking. I haven't been on the Honu bike course since last year's race. It sure seemed longer, steeper and harder than I remember it being. No wind to speak of which probably accounted for my beating last year's race time by 15 minutes and not even pushing it that hard. I love the ride to Hawi. It's peaceful, beautiful and all up hill. The race course is 56 miles round trip. It starts at Hapuna Beach and rides to Mauna Lani resort (about 5 miles south) then turns north to Hawi. Then you finish back at Mauna Lani. But since I was parked at Hapuna I had to ride the extra 5 miles back to there.

(The road to Hawi. Actually the road back from Hawi.)

By the time I made it back to Hapuna I was just under 60 miles on the bike. The heat and lack of hydration (didn't quite take enough for the trip) was getting to me and my quads were starting to cramp a little. But I still felt pretty strong and I was psyched for the hour-long run I still had to do.It would be the longest bike/run brick (other than last year's half ironman race) that I have done and I was curious to see how I would do.

Back at Hapuna, I put my bike up, changed shoes, called Karen real quick to say "I love you" and took off. It had to be at least 90 degrees out and no clouds and no shade. I decided to run down toward Beach 69 since I had never been there and it would be a good time to go exploring.

(Hardly any shadow cast. No shade at all.)

I have to tell you, that road is like a roller coaster. Up, down, up, down, up, up, down. My quads were really burning and my heart was pounding out of my chest and I wasn't even going that fast.

Running, running, running. It was only an hour -- 30 minutes out and 30 minutes back -- but time felt like it was standing still. The farther I ran the hotter it seemed to get and there was no shade in sight. I could hear the waves breaking on shore just out of sight of the road. Calling to me like sirens of the deep. I made a detour down Beach 69. Tempted to dash into the water but decided to save it for when I finished.

I turned around after only 25 minutes and decided I would just run an extra 5 minutes when I got back to Hapuna. That was a mistake. By the time I made it to Hapuna I was toast. Overheated, exhausted and I still had 15 minutes to go (Hey, a negative split -- alright! Gotta find positive reinforcement, right?). So, with all my might to resist the temptation to head for the car, I pushed it up the hill past Hapuna and ran out to the highway and back. No shade and up hill on the way out. I was in survival mode but kept thinking what a great training opportunity. So I tried to pick up the pace but couldn't hold it. I reached the highway and turned around. At least it was slightly down hill now. I stopped for a second to click off a photo with my phone.

(It doesn't look that bad in a photo but this road has some roller coaster hills. The road that leads to Beach 69.)

I plodded my way back to the entrance to Hapuna. Too fast! I still had 5 minutes to burn. So up the other hill for the second time. I was dying but I really wanted to finish that hour run. Up, up, up again. 4 minutes, down, down, down and 3 minutes to go. Finally I turned into Hapuna's parking lot and headed for the car. One minute to go. I made a quick trip around the parking lot and finally, 1 hour and 1 minute later, nearly 6 hours (not counting the hour drive time) of actual training.

(The road to Hapuna Beach. No shade and no tropical breeze either.)

I headed straight for the showers on the beach. Fresh water sounded much more soothing than saltwater at that moment. Besides, I didn't feel like walking across all that hot sand to get to the ocean. I think I spent nearly 20 minutes standing under the beach showers just soaking up the cool water and washing away the grime.

One hour later I was getting ready for 8 hours of work. A long day, but hopefully it will be worth it come May 30.

Friday, April 24, 2009

DOWN TIME

Even with all the training for Honu (Hawaii Ironman 70.3) I've managed to get a little down time and click off a few photos. Here are some photos from around Kona.

Old A beach

Palm tree

Mongoose eating cat food

Tree at Old A

Rebecca and Aaron

Rebecca

Pineapple

Aaron taking photos

Plumeria and palms

Plumeria

Easter bird

Parasailing off Kona coast

Bree Wee underwater with the bike she discovered

The Kona coast from where we swim

A bicycle in the ocean at about 30 to 40 feet deep

Sunday, April 19, 2009

17 AGAIN

Ah, to be 17 again.



Karen, Rebecca and I went to see the movie "17 Again" yesterday. I have to admit it was funnier than I thought it would be and quite entertaining.

Well, today at the Peaman 10 mile mosey race, for a brief moment, I felt 17 again. I felt like I was back in high school when I could run as hard as I could for as long as I wanted. Mind you, I said for a brief moment during the race -- then the sugar and caffeine from the energy gel wore off and I came back to reality.

But for the briefest of moments ... Ah, I was 17 again, and a runner.

Friday, April 3, 2009

50 MILES OF GOOD ROAD

Today, after swimming 3,000 yards, with little or no arms left, I jumped out of the pool and went on my longest bike training sessions this year. 50 miles. Not long by some standards but then I remember back in November I had just had knee surgery and was off the bike, and all sports, for about a month. And it's been a long road back to getting into shape, so I'm happy with my progress. Today's ride was at an easy pace, about 60 percent effort and I didn't even have to kill myself on the hills. Just turnover a hard gear/low cadence (kinda like lifting weights while riding a bike) on all the hills.

There's just something about riding your bike early in the morning. The ocean on one side and the volcanoes on the other side. Inspiring to say the least. This week my training is getting serious and I've been feeling it in my legs -- a lot. Yesterday I went for my longest, and hardest, run of the year, 8 miles with a hard hill on every mile and two of those miles were all up hill.

But today was all about enjoying the bike. Something I haven't done for a long while. The bike has become an instrument of torture and I've dreaded getting on it for months. Trying to add speed on the bike is hard work and that's what I've been trying to do this year and as a result every session has been hard and painful. Lot's of hills, lots of lactic acid build up, burning lungs and burning muscles.

So after Masters this morning, I unloaded the bike and took off on a mission to enjoy 50 miles of "good road." Hawaiian sunshine, Kona's wind, good music, a banana and lots of hydration. Just cruising. A good way to start the day.

It's good to be alive! And with that, here's my cruising song of the day.


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