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.
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.