Wednesday, November 28, 2012

CROSSING THE COUNTRY

At the beginning of this month I got to drive and run across America. All in only 3 days. From Idaho to North Carolina by way of Alabama and Georgia. Long, long days.


( Each pin point on the map represents places we have been over the past month. From Portland, Oregon, to Yellowstone National Park to Georgia to North Carolina and back again.)

Our son, Daniel got married in North Carolina and we decided it would be more fun to drive across the U.S. instead of fly. It would give us a chance to see places we have never seen and also to stop by and see our daughter, Rachael, and our two grand-daughters, Maddie and Zoey, in Georgia.

Somewhere in the planning stages I thought it would be fun to try and run in each state we drove through. After all, how many chances will I have to do something like that. So I decided I would try to run at least 5k (3.1 miles) in each state, But knowing we would only have three days to drive nearly 3,000 miles I knew that would be tough. Plus the second day of driving we would hit 6 states. That would mean driving a thousand miles and running 21 miles all in 15 hours.

A pretty ambitious plan. One thing I didn't figure on was how cold it would be in the first few states we passed through. It's been six months since we moved here from Hawaii and I still don't have cold-weather running clothes.

I can say I didn't hit my 5k goal in every state and I did skip running when we passed through Tennessee, our sixth state in one day. It was dark, cold and I was tired.

Nonetheless, we had a blast. There were a lot of firsts for me. The first time driving across America. First time being in most of the states we've been in. First time in the eastern time zone. First time I've ran in 5 states in one day. (How many people can say that?) And my first time to see the Atlantic Ocean. Not bad for a couch potato.

So get off the couch fellow couch potatoes and get out there and do something. Have fun, get healthy. Life is calling ...

(Maddie and me making faces for the camera)


(Daniel and I at the beach at Camp Lejeune)

(Running in Georgia)

(Karen and Rebecca at the beach)

Karen and I at the beach)

(Maddie)

(I got the chance to shoot with some Marines at the shooting range.)

(Running next to the Atlantic Ocean)


(Echo Canyon in Utah)

(Daniel and Dawn's wedding)


(Running in Utah)


(Running at sunrise in Iowa)

Maddie and I shopping

Zoey.

(Running in Missouri)


The Atlantic ocean

(Stepping into the Atlantic)


(Rebecca at the beach)


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

ROAD TRIP

Athens, Alabama ... That's where we are tonight. Karen, Rebecca and I are traveling cross country from Idaho to North Carolina for our son, Daniel's wedding next Saturday.

We left Monday morning around 5 a.m. and made it to York, Nebraska by about 10 p.m. One of my goals is to stop in each state we travel through and run just enough to say I ran in that state. Its been fun. So far I've run in Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky. I missed Tennessee just because it was dark and frankly I was tired. I'll catch it on our way back. 

As I said we are in Alabama tonight (Tuesday) and I plan on running here in the morning. Tomorrow we head down to Tuscaloosa where we are stopping by to say hi to a friend from Hawaii who lives there now, then we are off to Georgia to see our daughter Rachael and our two granddaughters. 

The next day we head off to the East Coast and North Carolina to See Daniel and his bride-to-be, Dawn and attend their wedding Saturday. 

Come Sunday we do it all again and drive three days back to Idaho and running in whatever states we go through that I haven't run in yet. 


Running in Iowa at Sunrise. 

Running in Utah on Monday just after sunrise.

So there you have it. This is a first for me. I've never been to most of these states and running in them is a blast and makes for some interesting conversations. It's mostly been cold however. That's why I'm wearing jeans in the Utah photo. I don't have any cold-weather clothes since this is my first fall/winter
on the mainland since we moved from Hawaii. hmmm ... maybe I can get some clothing and shoe sponsors out of this ... lol 

See you out there.

Friday, September 21, 2012

RACING AGAIN

I ran my first race in Idaho last weekend. The Rim2Rim canyon run. 7.5 miles of pain. It's the hardest running race I've done. As I posted on Facebook, the race was like running Kaloko ( a very steep,winding road in Kona, combined with running the Hawaii 70.3 triathlon running course (a half marathon on a golf course, hot roads and gravel) then running down Kaloko followed by running back up it again. All fit into 7.5 miles. It felt a lot farther than that though.

Anyhow it was fun finally racing again. It's been a while since my last race and it's my first race on the mainland since college.

I am still trying to adapt to mainland living and no ocean in sight. The biggest trouble has been not being able to swim anymore. The only swimming here is at the YMCA, of which we are members, but they have such an odd schedule for lap swimming that I have only made it to the pool once since we've moved here.

Cycling is another issue. There are no shoulders on the roads here and traffic is fast (75 mph on the freeways and 65 or so on the back roads) so it doesn't feel safe to bike. Most people bike with the bike club but they DO NOT allow tri bikes and I don't like riding in groups anyhow, so I've restricted my cycling to using the bike trainer in the garage.

So mostly I've only been running, which is fine. I like running. My goal is to participate in an ultramarathon sometime in the next year.

On the bright side, we have been doing a lot of road trips since we've moved. I even got to check off a bucket list item (going to Yellowstone and seeing Old Faithful).

Here are a few photos of some of the places we've visited:

Yellowstone 

the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Madison river in yellowstone

road trip to Balanced Rock

Hidden Lakes.

Jerome County Fair


On the Snake River at Twin Falls Park

At the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Craters of the Moon National Monument

Craters of the Moon national Monument.

Oh, we are planning a speed trip cross-country at the end of October and running in as many states as possible, but more on that in my next post. 
Be safe.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

BACK ON THE MAINLAND

(Derkes Lake around sunset)

Just a note to say we arrived safe and sound in Twin Falls, Idaho. Actually, we landed here about three weeks ago. However, our stuff ... all of our household items, including my computer just arrived. So we are officially moved off the island and on the mainland.

It's been a rough transition over the past three weeks. But what should I expect? Over the past 7 years I have only been out of Hawaii for 1 week. So there is going to be an adjustment period I suppose.

Anyhow, we made it. Our possessions arrived pretty much all intact and we have a roof over our heads. I have plenty of photos to post and maybe even a story or two to tell once things calm down and I actually get a chance to relax.




(Shoshone Falls)

(SNAKE RIVER CANYON)

Thanks for all your notes of encouragement and support, I'll post again soon.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

MY 7-YEAR SUMMER IS ENDING

My perpetual summer has come to an end.

As of May 24th my family and I are moving back to the mainland. I got a new job and a new adventure awaiting me in Twin Falls, Idaho.

I've learned so many things while living here it doesn't seem real that it is all coming to an end. My greatest fear is that I will become that couch potato I once was. Hawaii is so much a part of who I am now that I can't imagine myself anywhere else. I have met so many wonderful people here. Made so many great friends. But it's time to move on. Since three of our kids and two grandkids live on the mainland, it's for the best. We'll be able to see them more often.

I can honestly say I am a different person now than when I arrived in the Aloha state 7 years ago. I guess the true test of character comes from challenges, and moving to a completely different climate, culture and economy will certainly be challenging for me.

I have always felt that Kona made me special, at least, made me feel special. It taught me how to swim, how to bike and how to run. It  taught me how to be strong, how to be encouraged by encouraging others. To be inspired by inspiring others. Without it, without being here, seems like I just might be leaving my identity behind. The person I have learned to become.

I've never swum anywhere but here - the ocean and the Kona pool. I've never done a triathlon anywhere but here. I've trained with some of the best athletes in the world here (I wonder how often Lance makes it to Idaho?). I've trained with some of the best people in the world here - Kona People.

But, just like moving here was scary and exciting and a giant mystery of what to expect, moving to a place I've never been is just another step on this adventure I'm on.

I don't know much about Twin Falls other than that it's on the Snake River Canyon. The pictures look pretty. There is no Masters swimming there, which is very disappointing to me. Hopefully there will be lots of good running trails and biking routes. Whatever the negatives are, the positives will outweigh them. Our son, Jon, lives in Portland (about 9 hours away) so we will be able to see him a lot. Rachael is in Georgia and Daniel is in North Carolina so it won't cost nearly as much to see them as it does now.

So, here's to a new adventure. Scary, exciting, mysterious! Just like doing my first Ironman.

I'd like to leave you with this song by Loudon Wainwright. It characterizes my 7-year summer more than anything I could ever say.



Oh no, I just realized I'll have to change the name of this blog next month. Maybe I can call it "The Spud Life," or "Beets Me." (They grow sugarbeets there).

Thanks so much for following "The Kona Life" all these years. I'll start posting my new adventure once I get settled and come up with a new blog name. Take care my friends, Randy

Friday, April 6, 2012

THE TRUTH ABOUT DOGS, AGAIN ...

I was re-reading some of my old posts and came across this one. It still makes me laugh. I posted this in May 2009.


Before rumors fly rampant I thought I would give the real story.
A few days ago I went on a bike ride with professional triathlete Bree Wee.

Wee and I rode about 50 miles, mostly uphill it seemed. We were climbing the last 5 miles or so before we reached the turn around to head back. We were moving at a pretty good pace when we simultaneously decided to have a sprint race uphill. The extremely large sounding dog in the driveway we had just pedaled past had no influence whatsoever on this decision. I promise.

I think Wee just wanted to run me into the ground, but to her surprise I flew by her and left her at the mercy of the beast quickly gaining on us. We were easily hitting 30 miles per hour (well I was, Wee was struggling to keep up), uphill on one of the toughest parts of the Ironman course.

After all was said and done I can say I out sprinted a pro triathlete up hill on the bike. Well, that's my version and I'm sticking to it.

Now the rumor going around about our "sprint" goes like this ....

Bree and I were biking along at a pretty good clip when we passed a driveway on our side of the road. We heard a large dog begin to bark. No biggie, we were moving too fast for a dog to catch us. But to my surprise that barking (a large pitbull by the sound of it) was getting closer.

I picked up the pace a little but the barking got even closer. My heart began to race, not from the pace but because I was sure I could feel the breath from that vicious, cyclist-eating pitbull on my ankle. The barking was so close now I new I was going to feel its teeth sink into my flesh at any moment.

I was pounding the pedals so hard that I left Wee to fend for herself. See ya! I have this terrifying fear of barking dogs that overrides all sanity.

Closer and closer the barking got. Suddenly, a pickup truck pulls up beside me and slowly begins to pass by. The dog's barking is in my ear now. "OMG! It's a giant pitbull!" was my first thought. And then I see it. A border collie in the back of the pickup happily barking at the funny bikers.

Relieved and embarrassed, I sit up and slow down to let Bree catch up.

Both of us laughing, I weakly muttered "Boy, that was a good opportunity to sprint. I thought that dog was chasing us."

Bree: "So did I until I looked back and saw it was in the back of that pickup."

Me: "You know, dogs are excellent sprinters." Still trying to cover my tracks.

A little while later on our way back I was riding out on the road (that's what I like about riding to Hawi, not much traffic so you can ride on the road some) and Bree was riding on the shoulder when she looked over at me and said, "not taking any chances with this dog, huh?"
I said, "What do you mean?"

She points a little ahead of us at a little rat-looking dog running along the side of the road ignoring us.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

BABIES, MARINES AND SHOWERS

It's been a busy few months. Rachael finally had her baby, Zoey Jane Permenter weighing in at 9 pounds and change.


Baby zoey.

Daniel is home from deployment and is on leave visiting us now. He'll be heading back to Camp LeJeune soon. He reinlisted so he'll be Marine for another 4 years.


Daniel arriving at Kona International Airport. First time he's been home in a while.

Aaron and Grace's baby is due in a few weeks. We just had a baby shower for them at Old A's last weekend. Don't ever throw a baby shower here in Hawaii. It's a lot of work and stress and food and stress. But the games were fun and they got a lot of baby stuff.



Grace opening her gifts while Rebecca plays baby bingo.


IN OTHER NEWS ....
Now that I'm on the road to recovery from all my ailments, I've been doing more and more training. Almost as if i were training for ... something. I had planned on racing honu (Ironman 70.3 Hawaii) in June but because things aren't looking so secure at work, I am looking around for jobs on the mainland and I'd hate to pay all that money to register for the race for nothing. You don't get refunds from Ironman, other than a token $75 if you withdraw way early.

So I'm training but with no plans of doing any triathlons in the foreseeable future.

However, my swim and bike times have been improving lately which I'm happy about since I haven't been training that much and my speed is better than when I was in shape 2 years ago. I just raced a 10 mile time trial on the bike last weekend and averaged 21.4 miles per hour. My best average before that when I was training for triathlons was only 20.5. Not bad for only 6 or so times on the bike in the past year and a half. It's still not fast fast though. The guy who won, Penn Henderson, averaged 30 mph. But he could and should be a pro.

Have a great rest of February. Hope it's not too cold where you are. Well, time for an ocean swim. Take care.

Monday, January 2, 2012

BACK ON THE BIKE

Hope everyone had a great New Year's Day and I hope you all have a great 2012.

The year isn't exactly starting out the way I wanted. I've been suffering from an achilles tendon problem every since the Thanksgiving Day race when I stressed my left tendon/calf area. The race was a 10K with the first half uphill and I ran it harder than I should have and yanked the tendon or muscle or something in there.


(Karen and I wading through a tidal pool by the harbor.)

Anyhow that was what, 6 weeks or so ago and every time I think it's getting better it starts hurting again. OK, I probably push it too hard like this past weekend. I've only run about 2 hours over the past 6 weeks since I hurt it but I had gone a while without it hurting and thought I was ready to run so Karen and I did a 5 mile hilly trail run in our vibrams last Friday. Then Aaron and I did a 30 minute road run (not in vibrams) on Saturday. Then on Sunday Karen and I were doing a slow cross country run (basically flat course over grass, gravel, sand, and a little pavement in our vibrams.

With in a couple of steps after we hit the pavement (about a half-mile into our run) I felt a twinge in my left calf/achilles tendon area. It didn't really hurt but I knew what it was and now if I step wrong (whatever that is) I can feel a significantly more amount of pain. Most of the time though there is no pain.

Anyhow I decided not to run this week until Thursday or Friday and then only on trails. So far I haven't been injured while trail running, probably because I run more flat-footed on my injured side and take shorter strides.

I was supposed to start my triathlon training this week. I have a schedule made out with distances to get me to my long, swim, bike, run goals by June but I guess I'll have to improvise on the running for now.

It's just funny almost that the thing I want to do the most - run - I've been doing the least for the past year.

Now for the good news ...
After being off the bike for 15 months (since the Ironman World Championship 2010) I did my first road ride today. It was only an hourlong but it felt a lot better than I thought it would. No ankle pain at all which plagued me nearly all of my training for Ironman. It felt like I had a broken ankle with every pedal stroke. Just the thought of getting back on the bike over the past year would send waves of nausea thinking of all those hours and hundreds of miles pedaling in pain while training for Ironman. But to my surprise it felt good. I'll try to post a video of my first ride back later. I even passed someone - on an uphill. That's how excited I was to be out there.

Since I can't run this week I decided to try biking every day instead. I'll see how that goes.

Here are some photos of the first sunset of 2012 in Kona. Have a great year everyone.








SCRIBBLING AND DOODLING

A little scribbling while watching TV. I guess it's good practice to help loosen up my sketching. And, as you know, I can use all ...