Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Ironman is only 10 days away. Maybe 9. I can never figure out if you should count today or not. Anyhow, it's less than two weeks away.

I'm getting excited. Then I get scared, then excited again. Some days I think I'm ready and other days I think I need more time. But there is no more time and the time that is left is taper time. Time to let the body recover but not shut down. It's a thin line between the two. Too much relaxing and the body will think it has done its job and go into hibernation. Too little rest and I'll go into feeling exhausted.

Last year I tapered too much I think and I felt that on the bike. This year I think I'm a little wiser and trying to taper just enough to get the rest I need but still keep the body and mind in a state of readiness. To do that I'm still doing some intense training this week but trying to combine it with some fun as well. Like yesterday. I'm did three separate training sessions but trying to have fun with them.

Yesterday morning I swam to the King's Buoy with a friend. A bunch of Ironman athletes were already in the water swimming. Big swells, big waves and lots of dolphins greeted us at the Kings buoy. We even saw a manta ray swim under the dolphins and it made me wish I had a camera with me. How often do you see that? A manta and dolphins in the same shot.

We swam with the dolphins (who were in the middle of mating so they stayed around for a long while), played tag with them and envied them for their swimming ability. It was a great swim and very relaxing. That afternoon I had a quick little hourlong run along Alii Drive. I probably ran it a little too hard but I had fun seeing all the triathletes out and about. There were plenty also lots of tourists to run around.

About the time I got home it started pouring rain and then I waited for Masters swim practice last night for my final session of the day. Each day the workouts are getting a little easier and a little shorter. This weekend I'll do my final distance training. Nothing real long just a couple of hours on the bike and an hour and a half run. After that it's just rest and hydrate for the last week. short little rides and runs and a lot of swimming but nothing hard, just playing in the water. After all, Ironman for me isn't a race, it's an event. Something to finish. To attain to.

Well, gotta go. Time to swim to the Ironman buoy. Hopefully lots of dolphins and rays and athletes and friends will be out. And speaking of friends.

I met an Ironman athlete yesterday from Orlando, Florida. His name is Rajesh and this will be his first Ironman. If you get a chance stop by his website at: I borrowed this photo from Leann.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I'll come right out and say it: I don't like crosswind while I'm on the bike. In fact, it plain just scares when I'm going downhill.

This past weekend was my peak weekend. My longest ride and run leading up to Ironman. I'm not sure I'm doing my training correctly but that's what I did last year and it seemed to work. Saturday was a 120-mile bike ride. From my house to Kawaihae, about 35 miles, then start climbing for about 40 miles. 18 miles from Kawaihae to Hawi, take a right and keep climbing another 20 or so to the summit of Kohala Mountain Road just above Waimea. Then you have a steep and very windy descent for about 7 miles into Waimea and another long descent to Kona some 40 miles away, depending which way you decide to ride.

(The elevation profile for my 120-mile ride. The big hump in the middle is Kohala Mountain Road)

Did I mention the wind? Out of the 120 miles I rode Saturday, about 100 miles of it was either into a strong headwind or a crosswind. On the climb past Hawi to the summit it was mostly a strong, and very loud headwind. The wind blowing through the trees would howl so loudly I couldn't even hear my iPod on full blast.

(The first elevation sign appears. The summit is at about 3,600 feet. I had planned on taking photos of all of the elevations signs as I came to them but it became so windy I couldn't ride with one hand and I didn't want to stop.)

And when I reached the treeline at the summit the wind had turned into a shrieking, howling, incredible crosswind making it extremely difficult to stay on my bike. Stopping to take photos I could barely stand up. I was so tempted to get off my bike and hitchhike down to Waimea, but the wind was blowing too hard to take a hand off the bars to stick out my thumb.

Besides, I figured, what doesn't kill you, only makes you think you're going to die, so I made my way -- very slowly -- along. Scary. I've never been on a bike in that much wind before, let alone trying to ride down a narrow mountain road dodging traffic and wind gusts. I kept wondering if they ever have to ride in this kind of wind in the Alps or Pyrenees mountains during the Tour de France.

(View from the top. I nearly lost my cell phone taking this photo, the wind almost blew it out of my hands.)

By the time I rolled off the mountains my hands were so cramped from holding the brakes and my arms were so tired from trying to hold onto my bike I had to stop for a few minutes to rest up. The funny thing is my legs felt pretty fresh and that was after about 80 miles of riding.

I don't think I'll ever ride over Kohala Mountains Road again. It's not that it is that hard of a ride -- 30 or 40 miles up hill -- but the wind is just too much for me. The ride was spectacular though. Horses, cows, lot's of pine trees. It looked a lot like Eastern Oregon to me.

On second thought, I may make my way back up that mountain. Only next time I'm leaving the bike at home and running the thing. That'd be great! I bet I'd reach the summit faster than I biked it.

(Heading to the summit above the tree line.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Yes, it's true. We are thinking about getting a divorce.

Not Karen and I. It's my gold-digging, money-hungry, ungrateful bike and I. All that she-devil wants me to do is spend money on her. New racing wheels, new chain, new tires, new tape, new, new, new, buy, buy, buy ... And today was the breaking point. I was out on my ride when my bike -- that beeotch! -- screamed at me "BUY ME NEW PEDALS!" Without giving me a chance to argue she forced me to turn around and slowly make my way back home on broken pedals.

(diamonds, gold, silver! Is there no end to her vanity?)

I decided then enough is enough. As soon as Ironman is over, she's packing her bike bag and moving out. She's taken enough blood, sweat and tears, and money from me. If anyone is interested in a money-hungry, greedy bike ...

But seriously, today I hit a milestone that only a numbers geek probably appreciates. I surpassed all the miles I biked the entire year last year in only 9 and a half months. I also surpassed my total run miles from all of 2009 last week as well. Here’s the numbers:

BIKE 2009
239 hours 4,119 miles

BIKE 2010 (Through Sept. 15)
243 hours 4,137 miles

RUN 2009
156 hours 900 miles

RUN 2010 (Through Sept. 15)
161 hours 958 miles

Swimming is a different story, however. I’ve actually swam a lot less this year than last:

SWIM 2009
178 hours 415,788 yards (236 miles)

SWIM 2010 (Through Sept. 14)
113 hours 300,925 yards (171 miles)

Take care and be safe out there.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010



Thirty-two. A number.

32 the year: Jesus was crucified. Peter (traditionally) becomes the first pope.

32 is the fifth power of 2 and the atomic number for germanium. It's the freezing point for water.

"32" is the name of a song by Mr. Mister.

32 was the winning car number of Ray Harroun in the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911 and the jersey numbers of Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, Bill Walton, Sandy Koufax and David Beckham among numerous others. Did you know a soccer ball is made with 32 panels of leather?

There are 32 Kabbalistic Paths of Wisdom. It's a full set of teeth and the code for international direct dial phone calls to Belgium. Chew on those waffles for a while.

A comic book's average number of pages? 32

The New York Times streak of Page One stories on Abu Ghraib ended at 32 days in a row.

The number 32 is used 11 times in the Bible.

The number 60 is used 32 times in the Bible.

In the Gospel of Matthew, the expression "kingdom of Heaven" is used 32 times.

In Numerology: 32. A lucky number. Usually associated with combinations of people and nations. The person should hold to his own judgment and opinions, if not, his 'plans are likely to become wrecked by the stubbornness and stupidity of others. It is a favourable number if it appears in connection with future events.

Future events?

My future event is the Ironman World Championship.

My 32? That's how many days until Ironman.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Friday is a long day for me. It starts at 5 a.m. with a little 3,000 yard swim at Masters. Then a little 6 1/2 hour bike ride, about 110 miles depending on the wind. After all of that I get to go to work until 11 p.m. and then finally bed, but just for a few hours. Then I get up around 5 a.m. again and go for a quick 18-mile run. Ah, the joys of training for Ironman. Just a few more weeks then it's taper time and vacation and lots of sleep and rest and hydration. Then the big day! (butterflies are stirring ...)

Oh, you may not believe this, but today (Thursday) on my run a butterfly flew up beside me and joined me for about a quarter mile just floating along beside me. What do you think that means? One escaped from my stomach? Good luck? Bad luck? Float like butterfly, bees like to sting? Who knows? Any how, it was pretty cool having this beautiful butterfly cruising beside me for a bit.

A thought for today:
A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, 'Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.'

The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water.

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful. But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

The Lord said, 'You have seen Hell.'
They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one.

There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The holy man said, 'I don't understand.'

'It is simple,' said the Lord. 'It requires but one skill. You see they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves.'

37 days until Ironman and today my stomach is full of butterflies, minus the one that got away. Where's the confidence of yesterday?


I wonder who the first person was to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here, and drink whatever comes out?"



THE GOOD NEWS: After taking the winter off I got out there and ran a little today. IN OTHER NEWS: I just found out I have...