Tuesday, July 21, 2009

H-E-DOUBLE HILL

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” -- Nelson Mandela

Sunday was the Run 'Til You Ralph Peaman race. It's a 6.5 mile race up Kaloko Drive and you have your choice of running it or riding a bike. I chose to run it. I've only been up Kaloko a couple of times but always in a vehicle and not under my own power so I wasn't sure what to expect. I have to admit it was much harder than I thought it would be.


(Running up Kaloko.)

I was warned beforehand that I should avoid looking at my heart rate monitor during the race and that there would be parts of the race where walking would be faster than running. Those words of advice came in handy during the race: There were spots where walking would have been faster than running (although I only tried it for a few steps on one hill) and I did avoid looking at my Garmin to check my heart rate. (Once I got home and downloaded the race I was surprised to see my average HR was near my maximum heart rate and I also hit a new max heart rate. -- that is one steep hill).

To celebrate surviving Kaloko you think I would have taken it easy on Monday, right? Not a chance. After swimming at Masters, Rob and I rode out to the Cemetery (of course hitting a couple of the hills a little hard) then we decided to ride down to Kukio Beach, which has a nice little climb back up. No rest for the wicked I guess.

Tuesday was another hill day. I ran Walua Road, which is about 3 miles up hill and then 3 miles down hill. I did some pace work on the way up just to make it fun then just let gravity bring me back down. Once I got home it was time to hit the weights -- something I've neglected all month long. A few reps for the legs, then the arms, then the legs again. Then some core work -- Lunch time and a quick break. Normally that would be my training for the day but I promised Rebecca that we would go up upper Nani Kailua and see if we could spot the wild turkeys running around there.

(Karen riding Walua road a few months ago.)


It would be about a 2-mile round trip so I threw on my running shoes again and Rebecca and I headed out to hit the hills in search of wild turkeys. Oh, for those of you who don't know, Rebecca is in a wheelchair and her wheelchair is NOT one of those nice, light racing chairs. It's heavy and slow. Well, maybe it's just that I push it slow, but it is heavy.



Off we went. Rebecca sitting there keeping an eye out for turkeys and me trying not to have a heart attack pushing 100 pounds of girl and wheelchair up hill. As we ran along we got plenty of thumbs up and honks of encouragement from passers-by. We were rewarded right off the bat with a wild turkey in a yard. As the incline steepened my arms and legs and lungs burned. Sweat was raining down on poor Rebecca who was my captive human training machine. We managed to make it up to where the really steep part begins with no more turkey sightings. But I had nothing left so we stopped there so I could catch my breath and Rebecca could dry off.

All in all it was a fun little "Turkey shoot" up the hill. So if you see some wacky old guy out running up a hill pushing a wheelchair it'll probably be me and Rebecca. So give us a honk and maybe a push when no one is looking. It's a hard workout but you can't beat that free ride back down. ZOOOOMMMM!!!

(You can't tell but I am running here while pushing Rebecca up Nani Kailua Drive. We started on the lower part and worked our way up to the steep upper part across Queen K.)

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