Sunday, March 11, 2012

Outseason done; Short Course starting

After 21 weeks of mostly consistent training I have completed my out of season training for this year. During that time I swam 27 miles, 1086 miles of biking, and 207 miles running, for a total of 1320 miles. Benchmarks for the end of this training cycle include 500 yd. swim in 0:10, bike TT 18 mph for 1:00, and 5k run in 0:25 minutes. My current 500 yd swim is 0:12:29, 60 min. bike TT 20 mph, and 5k run 0:31. As you can see I'm closing in on the 500 yd. swim; I have made the bike TT, and the 0:25 5k is within reach. Overall I am very pleased with the results and looking forward to the next training cycle.

I am now switching over to the Short Course training plan which concludes May 12 with the ITU San Diego Sprint. This is a twenty week plan from Endurance Nation and I'm plugging in at week 12. Major changes include more training sessions per week with on average 3 swims, 3 bikes, and 4 runs with an anticipated time of 11+ hours. The time needed to do the swim workouts usually exceeds the projection so 11 hours will be more like 12+ hours. I will also include strength/mobility training on Mondays and Fridays.

The workout plan for this week:
M. Swim 60   T. Bike FTP 60/Run 25   W. Run FTP 60/Swim 60  
Th. Bike FTP 60  F.  Swim 60   Sa. Bike V02 120/R 45   Su. Run FTP

Program design is based on further development of speed. That means tough individual sessions for me but it should help with quicker recovery and less physical stress over the long haul. I am looking forward to the next few weeks. It is my hope that for the long days this crazy Washington weather will cooperate and allow me to get outside more.

Our Tri Team is gearing up again for the next season and I am happy to be included again as an active member. We should have a good presence at local events along with several national events.

Until the next time, A Hui Hou, see you on the road.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Off season almost over.

Lot's has been in the works since my last entry. I have committed entries to San Diego ITU in May and IMFL in November. Between those will be two local tri's and the Lake Stevens Half. Maybe some others, not sure yet. San Diego is an opportunity to set a sprint time and compare with previous seasons, maybe even qualify for Nationals. Lake Stevens 70.3 in July offers the opportunity to qualify for Las Vegas in September and IMFL hopefully a spot at Kona 2013. I also registered for the IM Hawaii lottery getting three chances this year under the new rules.

Training has been going well. Climate in the Northwest hasn't offered much in outdoor training so I've spent more time on the trainer and treadmill, in addition to the regular spin and pool sessions. Strength training usually twice a week, flexibility and mobility workouts two or three times a week. I'm getting lots of advice from Martin and Brian at the shop. Particularly helping with equipment upgrades and maintenance. Started sharing experiences and some workouts with Blue Fire Fitness. Blue Fire gives me the chance to complete workouts on the Computrainer, which has given me a little more information on performance. I've been following the OS, off season, workout from I'm just completing the 20 week program. The emphasis of the OS plan is speed improvement, "get fast now, go far later." Intervals have been at a greater intensity, I'm running faster now, faster than in many years. I have to admit this is an improvement but a painful experience.

I started the Os program the week of Nov. 28 and will complete 19 of the 20 weeks total. Following this I will start the short course plan from March to May for 9 weeks. After the San Diego race I'll shift to the Half Ironman plan finishing that with the 70.3 at Lake Stevens in July. Then after two weeks of transition I will begin the full IM plan for 14 weeks leading up to IMFL in November. This will complete a total of 49 weeks of training, a very long season.

You might think I'm a bit obsessive but for good or bad the only way I can deal with lengthy training like this is to plan out each week start to finish. And yes I am compulsive, compelled to complete each step along the way because each one is an accomplishment of its own. I listened to a webcast today about training at the end of the OS segment. One thing that I took away was, younger athletes get fast faster, older athletes try to slow down slower. Guess I'm somewhere in the middle. Though it does remind me that there is a ceiling and a reality time-line that I have to constantly deal with. I understand the implications but right now I feel like I have made good strides forward in overall fitness and skills so I try not to complain too much.

I was comparing some numbers from last season and I don't want to put too much into it I think it is important to note any indication of improvement, or why track all the workouts over time. Anyway last season during the same period up to this week I accumulated 1025 miles of training in 220 hours. This season at the same point 1175 miles in about 130 hours. A little under 1100 and a little over, not a major difference in mileage but a definite improvement in time, 45% improvement. A side note: much of the increased mileage comes from cycling. cycling is my area of emphasis so I think this is to be expected.

I don't have my next SC plan, that will come soon. The EN website doesn't let you get ahead more than a week for specifics. When I do get to download it  I'll have a much better idea on how the next 9 weeks will go. I expect a significant increase in volume in all three events. Hopefully I'll be able to schedule the time and get it done. Until the next time, A Hui Hou, and I'll see you on the road.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

3 months later, a new beginning.

Three months later, finally a post. This will be a bit of a ramble, just trying to catch up. After my last post I spent all of November and December in SoCal giving assistance to my mother in Santa Monica. She has serious heart and lung issues and is getting on in years, 88 at her last birthday. There have been a couple of hospital stays recently and she is not able to live independently. Between me, my sister and a employed care-giver, she can stay home. While in California I was able to run and bike and had some very enjoyable training sessions in warm sunny weather. Maureen and I came home at the beginning of January. We took time to stop off in San Jose to see Emmy, BJ and Kaleo. Since then we've been home. Just had a week of snow at the end of January. Other than that, it has been fairly ordinary for Washington weather.

To review current goals I've signed up for three "A" races: San Diego ITU Sprint in May, Lake Stevens 70.3 in July, and IM Florida in November. I will also do a couple of local sprint distances and then we will see if I qualify for nationals. I finished with a rank of 658 for 2011 and I am confident to do much better this year. I am staying with my support team of Snohomish Bicycle Tri Team and H2Toe Chiropractic. I have added in Blue Fire Fitness as a resource.

My current program of training is from Endurance Nation ( I am currently at week 14 of a 20 week out of season program. In March I'll start in on my short course training plan in preparation for the San Diego event. Endurance Nation provides a huge amount of resources specifically for triathlon training including training programs, race day plans, and much much more. I feel that by following this program this season I should see some significant gains based on their guidance and feedback. They are also very strong in race day on site support and have a number of training weekends for race specific training.

This week is a test week, to assess if my performance levels have increased as a result of training efforts. My earlier tests  were not consistent so I can't definitively identify how much gain I have experienced but I can say that I am going faster than before. There will be another test in 5 weeks so I'll have a better idea then.

"Go fast now, go far later" is the theme of my out season training and it has been difficult. Workouts have been high intensity pushing my speed. Also, there is only minimal swimming, in fact EN requires no swimming during the out season portion. I expect to be doing all three events with the beginning of the short course plan.

My weight and strength are up, carrying about 187 right now. I expect to drop to at least 180 or less by my first race in May. I've also changed my eating program following a Paleo style diet. That means lean meat proteins, fish, poultry, lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, some grains and dairy. I am particularly attempting to keep away from simple sugars and starches. Energy levels seem to be good and I have had plenty of it to complete my workouts. Also I am using Age-loc nutrients and anti-aging products which are excellent for the physical duress brought about with constant training. I am really looking forward to this season with the new nutritional focus.

Finally, in addition to all of this I've decided to become a certified personal trainer. I feel very fortunate to be able to have the time to pursue my avocation and thankful for those individuals who are helping me achieve my personal goals. Almost daily I have conversations with people I know or meet about the journey I'm on and their interest in doing something like it. I feel that my background in teaching and coaching is a plus and that the additional certification gives credibility to what I can do to aide others in their goals.

That completes the update and there will be more to come over the next few weeks leading up to the first race of the season. I welcome comments and contacts as more and more people find the rewards in multi-sport training and events.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Starting up the hill again!

Monroe YMCA 5k
Starting up again, now season three is the goal. I have planned a few weeks of regular workouts with low volume. Generally I'm planning in two's: two swims 30 min. ea., two bikes 60 mins. ea., two runs of 45 min. ea. In addition two or three strength workouts of about 45 min. ea. and daily stretching. There is the possibility to have an additional bike or run.

I have been looking at several races for next season starting as early as April or May. I would like to do at least one full IM distance and a couple of 70.3 races.  I am committed to getting back to Kona but I feel that will be more possible in 2013. I had originally looked at the Memorial Hermann in Texas but it closed the day I wanted to register.

These are some of the potential races I'm interested in for next season:
Focus Izalco Team 2

May 12 ITU San Diego Olympic Distance
June 9 Boise 70.3
June 24 Pacific Crest Ore. Olympic Distance
July 17 Deschutes Dash Olympic Distance
July 8 Rev3 70.3 Portland
July 17 Lake Stevens 70.3
August 26 IM Louisville
Maybe IM Florida Panama Beach

"A" races could be either 70.3 Boise IM, Rev3 Portland, or Lake Stevens; and IM Louisville or Florida.

During the last year I believe I increased both skills and fitness. In general here at home I felt pretty good in my age group, not fast but definitely not last. The reality is I am fit compared to the larger age group picture but as I saw very clearly at Kona, I have a long way to go. Having said that, I need to make some changes. My areas of focus in order of priority for training will be: bike, run, swim. To make that happen I hope to get a lot more from my cycling mentors Brian and Martin. I also need to re-channel from volume to intensity for the winter. I am mostly self-directed so I am hoping to find some new resources to upgrade the quality of my training. I have also gotten a new road bike for training. Really excited to put the miles on it. This is a full carbon race bike nicely equipped and set up to be more forgiving on the road than the Cervelo (the Tri bike goes back on the LeMond Revolution trainer for the Winter). This week I'll be visiting with Mary Gandee of BlueFire Fitness about CompuTrainer sessions and other assistance that she might be able to provide.

I'm looking forward to busy week. Plan to be in So Cal for Thanksgiving, maybe even a trip to the desert. For now then, a hui hou, see you on the road.

Friday, October 14, 2011


(This blog is posted automatically on Facebook. If you would like to read older postings, for a more complete post pleas go to

End of the season (2) and now I can reflect on that success. Two years ago October I ran my first timed race, the Dawg Dash 10k, since the early 80's. This was after crewing at Ultraman Canada, and using the three event format as a way to workout and lose some excess weight. Without knowing it the simple act of completing the three events twice a week planted a seed that would grow like Jack's beanstalk. Another trip to Ultraman Canada, some research and reading, crew Ultraman Hawaii, two winters' training helped me go from size 40 to 34. Then last summer the first sprint tri, then another, and an olympic distance; the hook is set. More research, more specific training. I end up running through shoes, riding nights on a trainer, and swimming with Masters'. It is almost obsessive. I went from a few hours working out a week to as many as 24 hours per week and I was loving it. That brings me to the current season. Amazing.

Seemingly self-guided I participated in the following events since last October: Dawg Dash 10k, Monroe Y 5k, Mercer Island Half Marathon, Issaquah Sprint Tri, Boise 70.3 Half Ironman, Whiskey Dick Olympic Tri, Lake Stevens Olympic Tri, and most recently the Kona Ironman World Championships (as a result of a fortunate lottery pick). Eight organized events.

In order to accomplish this I had all kinds of help, mentors and encouragement: Ginger had me spinning. Sarah and Devan encouraged me from the start of the tri club. Jen and Hamber, the Masters' team helped to build my swim technique. Yoga classes. Pilates with Heather. Medical and PT with Head 2 Toe. Martin and Brian with Snohomish Bicycle, the Tri Team. Family, friends old and new, supporters who have joined this journey to encourage mine and align with theirs. There is an amazing community that surrounds me and propels me forward with joyful energy and gratitude. And I am so grateful because I think alone I would not have come this far. From the Ironman theme in Kona this year: Ko Aloha La Ea--keep your love. Seems to be perfect for me.

A plan, I have some general ideas. I've already built a calendar. I'm about 30 weeks out from my first race of the new season. That gives me a few weeks to transition, recover and plan specific workouts. It is very important to have a race on the books. It keeps you focused. As far as triathlons next year I've identified several leading up to Las Vegas and/or Kona: Memorial Herman TX 5/19; Boise 70.3 6/9, Lake Stevens 70.3 7/15, Louisville 8/26, and Florida 11/03. If I'm successful one of those will qualify me for Las Vegas and/or Kona.

All of this is very general right now and I do have some goals for improvement. This winter through strength training, pilates, flexibility, swim technique, bike workouts, and runs I can be a better faster athlete. My goal will be to complete a sub 14 hour Ironman and to eventually qualify for Kona once again. I know I can do the work and that I can't control the outcome. I'm okay with that. I know the journey is long and typically with Ironman, lonely but I am not alone. I have all of my Ohana (family) and Hui (crew) who will cheer, exhort, smooth out the rough spots, and walk with me. How cool is that?

As this is the end of the season, it is also the start of the next. Lew Hollander, 81 years young, who has completed 22 consecutive Kona Ironman events said that we have to do something anaerobic every day. I can do that. So one more time: join me, start your own new chapter. A Hui Hou (see you soon). I'll see you on the road.

The Race-part two: understanding

It has been nearly a week and the disappointment lingers. Thankfully I have been here before, and I've been on the finishers' side too; it will pass, of that I am sure. The question then is, what now? For me this part is easy. Just look at the results, assess the pluses and minuses, make a plan, commit and move ahead.

What follows is what I have to remember as part of my future race plan.

Swim: 2:01. Comfortable. I started center back, next to the floating Explorer. I can do better. Pick up the pace sooner after the initial start; maintain a better line after the turn. Push.

T1. Skip the socks. Tri suit or tri top under swim skin; put on bike shorts in the tent. Shoes on the bike.

Bike: 8:41. Wind vs. power. First 28 miles just under 14 mph. Next 31 miles under 12 mph. Last 53 at 13:09. Heat did not seem as bad, wind was more than I expected. Need to keep warm-up pace up to the Kuakini turn around then push the decent; from Queen K to airport pick up pace, fuel. Hold pace from airport to Waikaloa Village Road. Maintain liquids alternate water and electrolytes at aid stations, two gels plus bananas every hour. Settle in to Kawaihae to Hawi climb. At the Hawi turn around, get off the bike, use the portable toilet, eat. Fresh legs, push descent to Kawaihae. Make the the climb from Kawaihae to Queen K south, and get ready for the head winds. Last 25, whatever I've got in the tank.

T2. Leave shoe on the bike. Change socks, sunscreen, hat, change to run shorts ok. Relax in town down and back on Alii Dr.10 miles. Race pace to Energy Lab. Easy down to end of EL then steady up and out. 5 miles to go, push, it's not even 10k. Walk all the aid stations. Get excited at the turn down Palani and just build, less than 1.5 to go: Kuakini, Hualalai, then right turn onto Alii Dr. Enjoy the finish.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Race-part one (not because of who I am but who YOU are)

The race; this could be long trying to describe in detail what went on that day. I'll try to break it into palatable parts so it isn't too overwhelming. Also I am writing this Wednesday, a few days past so I hope that my memory is sufficient for the task.

Alright lets get right to it. I have to start with the disclaimer: DNF. That's right, hard to say it but I was only able to finish the first two parts of the race and wasn't allowed to continue. The swim was 2:01:57 and the bike sadly was too long 8:41:49. My total time in the race including T1 was 10:54:43. I was 24:23 over on the bike cutoff. There was still about 6 hours left in the race so I am pretty confident that I would have completed the marathon in that time, but I was late on the bike. Having put that out there, I need to go back to the beginning which was Friday midday.

Friday noon to 2:30 was bike and gear check-in for my number range. The early part of the day was calm with no particular stress and I decided to take my time with the check-in. Left the condo and walked with family and friends the 1.5 or so miles to the transition area. I think we got there around 1:30 and it was crazy busy. Pros had one line and age groupers were right next to them. All the athletes went down the same chute, the bike entry/exit. Both sides were lined 2 and 3 people deep all with cameras going off trying to catch a photo of a notable racer. Of course I am right in the middle of it so it is like you are the focus of attention too. I passed the pro photo shoot backdrop and moved on to the entry arch. It is really impressive, the atmosphere, all the hundreds of volunteers, the massive set up on the pier, and the throng of athletes. I get to the official who assigns me a volunteer to walk me through the process. I have my bike and helmet but did not bring my bike and run bags so the official records my name and number telling me I can come back with those before check in closes later in the afternoon. Right now I start to worry because that means I can't get it all done now and have a 3 mile round trip to make, and come back with my bags. Anyway I rack my bike, deflate the tires, and hang my helmet on the bars. I'm just a row from the pros so it is easy to find my ride in among the other 2000. The bike racks are wood with slots for the rear wheel, each numbered, with plenty of room on either side. Later the next day what seemed like lots of room got tight with all the athletes getting ready side by side. Next the volunteer takes me on a tour of the transition area. We walk to the swim exit, then through the water hoses, to the bike gear rack where all the numbered bags hang in several rows. Then to the changing tent, inside there are many chairs, portable toilets, and fluid stations, and various supplies for the race. We exit the changing tent, walk by the run bags, the volunteer explains that the run transition is the opposite direction of the bike. Part of the transition for both includes running the length of the pier, I am told that is to equalize the transition, I don't understand how. At this point the volunteer takes me to the bike exit chute, says thanks for racing, and sends me off to get the rest of my gear.

Tense? You can imagine at this point I should be upset but I had 2 hours to get the gear and get back so it seemed like just another walk. I located Maureen and Charlotte in a dress shop, and told them I needed the key so I could get in the condo. Bobby has it, so we go down to the beach to get it but he has swum out past the Kamehameha heiau so we wait. He comes in and we discover he doesn't have the key either, we all left without one. Panic starts to spread among the party, I'm trying to keep my head, so I go back telling everyone that when they get the code to call. I'm jogging down Alii Dr. and Maureen is calling the rental agency. They get the entry code and try to call me but I don't answer because I'm still running. Maureen and Charlotte get a taxi, head to the condo, and get there right after I do. We go into the room. I have all the bags laid out already so I just double check before throwing everything in. Back into the taxi, back to the pier, through the line. I have to wait now for an escort, and I wait for a break in the line of racers who have their bike and bags, this is about 15 minutes, and finally get an escort in. I was pretty calm, it was tense for the rest of my group, during all this but finally was relieved to get the check in over considering the confusion. Okay "I'm ready now", I think as we head to get something to eat at Splasher's. Fish tacos and a light beer before heading back to rest up for the morning.

Saturday race morning. I was up at 3:00. Breakfast was oatmeal, yogurt, and coffee. I had a Lara bar later.  Left the condo in the dark about 4:15 to walk the 1.5 miles to the start. It is always cool to me as you walk to any event how the athletes, friends and family converge on a few of the direct routes to the start/finish. It has its own special atmosphere. Hard to explain, but as we got closer the intensity seemed to build and fill the air. As we walk along Alii Dr. all of the restaurants and coffee shops have been open since 3:00 a.m. and are filling with spectators. This event generates a lot of people, something like 2000 athletes, who knows how many administrators/officials with the event, 5000 volunteers, and you can guess how many spectators all of whom are working the event or moving toward it. All over the island along the race route groups are setting up aid stations and spectators are finding their spot to watch the fun. By the time we reach the sea wall, people have already started to fill in what space there is to watch the start. I'm just walking along and thinking how amazing it is that I get to be part of this. With me are family and friends and we walk to the back of the King Kamehameha Hotel where the lines for body marking start. Here everyone is divided, athletes only, family you wait over there, into pros and AGs. I have to say that everytime you enter a restricted area for this event every volunteer greets you with an Aloha and a smile. I feel very important and special. In the marking line I'm greeted by two volunteers from New Zealand who carefully apply my number with large number stamps. The woman fills in the voids with a pen, tells me not to put anything on the ink for at least 15 minutes. They bid me good bye and wish me a great day, then I look for the exit. You're not done yet, have to go through medical and get weighed, 183 for me this morning. Now Maureen, Charlotte, Bob, and I go over to one of the tents to relax.  We are near the small lagoon in front of the hotel. I leave them for a while to go get the bike ready. It's pretty straight forward, pump up the tires, fill the bento box with nutrition, fill the aero water bottle and slide a electrolyte bottle into the cage. Check the helmet. All done. No, rear tube explodes. Bike tech runs up and says don't worry. Wants to know what size tube I have and in minutes all is repaired and I'm ready to go. You are probably thinking like me, how many obstacles can one have during a race. I was thinking, there can't be much more of this, I should be doing fine. I can hear the announcer getting ready for the pros who start at 6:30. Must be 6 or so. I'm all zipped in my Profile Design Mako TXT swim-skin kindly provided by Profile Design. They have 25 sponsored athletes in the race wearing their suit, and me, how cool is that. Charlotte helps me get covered in sunscreen and then I wait. The cannon goes off for the pro start. Then the rest of the AGs start filing through the small one person gate towards the swim ramp. It takes a few minutes but finally I'm knee-deep standing on the beach. Must be 6:30 now. We are exhorted to get into the water and start to fill in at the start line. Many are out there ahead of me. A quick dip in, put on the light blue cap with 246 on it, goggles, then swim out. The start line looks like it is 200 yards wide. I'm sure my perspective is off but it looks really large and I can't even tell how deep the line is. I swim out just to the right of the floating Ford Explorer, I think I'm in about 15 to 20 feet of water depth. I tread water for at least 20 minutes. There are people all around including racers, paddle boarders, boats, divers and more. Helicopter flying overhead, loud music, Hawaiian style from the pier, and Mike Reilly the voice of Ironman. My heart is pumping. Five minutes, then less and I'm looking at my watch, the cannon goes off, I press start and here we go.

Swim. You would think with a couple of thousand people swimming around you it might be a little rough. Strangely for me, though I was surrounded, it was a great start. Just find your pace and get your line. Every once in a while someone would cross my line or I would catch someone, but the groups just fanned out and from my position the out portion was great. Once the turbulence calmed you could watch the sea floor and the sea life around you. We were quickly into deeper water and the colors changed from greens to blues. I learned later that the water was a little rough that morning but I just pushed on sighting in on landmarks I had identified in earlier swims that week. You have to know that an ocean swim for 2.4 miles sight wise is a long way. I had done it before so I was patient. I made the turn around the double hull canoe at about one hour and headed back. The swells were more active and came across your face from left to right. I think several people had problems. I heard later that 37 people didn't complete the swim. Don't know how true that is but I'm not surprised. Coming back I thought I would have to work hard trying to sight over the swells but there was a volunteer, a woman I think, on a blue surfboard, who seemed to be just ahead of me off to the right in line with the buoys. After a few minutes this seemed consistent so I just used her to sight, almost like swimming in a pool. Pretty soon I had reached the turn in front of the pier. These last few hundred yards were lined on both sides by surfboards and riders cheering. I watched my surfboard angel turn off and then just followed the surfboards in. You could see all the people on the pier as you turned to breathe, the cheers of the surfboard riders, the giant Perform bottle, and the ever present announcer drawing you in. I know my pace picked up for at least the last 200. I swam until I hit the sand, reaching down to steady myself as I stood. There was a little stumble then a few feet and a hand reached out to pull me in to the ramp. "You made it," someone says. "Welcome, great job." I say thanks and head up the ramp. I'm told the Mike announced my name and where I was from coming out of the water but I am not sure I heard it. Into the water hoses, pick up my bike bag, and into the changing tent. I sit down and peel off the swim skin. Try and shake the water off and the cobwebs out. Pull on my bike shorts, and hit the toilet. Seemed like I was peeing forever. Then jersey, socks (kind of hard to put on) shoes, more sunscreen, and out. Run down and through the transition, volunteers everywhere cheering you on, I get to the bike. Sunglasses, number belt, helmet, bike- go Harry. I run to the mount up area right behind Gayla and out we go.

Bike.  Crowds on both sides out the chute make a left onto Palani, "Go Harry!" I hear from family and friends on the street. Your race number has your name on it so I hear people calling out my number and name all day. I'm right in it, and it is everything like the videos I have watched for years. Make a short climb, left turn onto Kuakini. From there the route goes a few blocks, squares up to the Queen K, right turn back to Palani, slow descent to Kuakini, left turn and follow Kuakini on a ascent. A few miles out and back, I pass family two times, back to Palani. Right turn up hill on Palani to the Queen Kaahumanu Highway. So far about 8-10 miles. Left turn there and then the crowds and town are left behind as you head north. This part of the ride is totally doable, seems like you are moving comfortably and after you pass the airport road it begins to build. Up and down through the lava fields to Waikaloa Village road. It is hot, and very quiet. For the most part this is a dedicated 112 mile course with little or no traffic. You hear other cyclists, the wind, and the occasional vehicle. The farther out you go there tends to be more traffic. The road is smooth and all the intersections are police controlled. The first aid station is at mile 15 and then about every 7 miles after. You get lots of encouragement at the stations, they are long, and repeat the different fluids and foods three times. You also come to occasional groups of spectators who have set up along side the road to cheer for anyone in the race. "Come on Harry, great job, you can do it..." After 40 or so miles you are through Kawaihae and climbing to Hawi. Seems like the incline ranged 4 to 6 percent on the steeps, but always some incline. The last 12 miles really tested my resolve. I wondered if this was really such a good idea. Eventually I made the turn around at Hawi. I got off the bike long enough to use the toilet, then off and downhill. During the ride I ate about two gels per hour, one salt pill per, got fresh electrolyte and water alternating stations. I felt confident with my fueling and fluids. Though it was really hot I was not in any discomfort due to that. It did become obvious that after Hawi power was going to be an issue. By mile 70 I had very little feeling in my left arm and both tris were semi-cramped from gripping the headset, neck and shoulders very sore. Coming down from Hawi you have a lot of crosswinds that will move your bike several feet to the side. Fortunately I had done a test ride on Wednesday so I was good in the aero position even with the winds. At this point I thought I needed to be going faster to make the cutoff so I pressed if I could. My bike meter reveals however that I often used descents to rest. I made the turn, and head uphill from Kawaihae. From Hapuna on it is constant headwinds. I look at my time and speed. I'm not making the 15 mph average I had hoped for. Now it is starting to look close. I go as hard as I can but my splits show a gradual slow down. Somewhere with about 25 miles to go a motorcycle escort pulls up along side and asks how I'm doing. We talk about my pace and the distance left. He encourages me and then goes ahead. I talk to him again in a bit. I'm a little unsure of distance here but the bottom line is for the last miles I had to average 16 or 17 mph to make the cutoff. I was somewhere around 12 plus or minus. He said I probably wasn't going to make it and wanted to know if I needed a ride. I told him I wanted to ride it in so he said if I could get to the airport soon it would be alright. I thought that meant if I could push a little to the airport I might make it but what he meant was that I wouldn't be sag-ed off the road. So I went as best I could knowing I wasn't making the cut off and was able to complete the entire bike, sadly 24:43 past the cutoff.  I rode past the Energy Lab and watched runners on their way out and back, and I was sadden knowing I was not going to be one of those today. This was a very emotional point for me then and I feel it now as real as it was then. As I came back into town through the controlled intersections, only the run was manned. As for most of the ride, I was quite alone. I finally made the last turn onto Palani and coasted two blocks down a descent that hours earlier had been lined with crowds and volunteers telling riders to slow for the descent. Now there was a handful who greeted me along this stretch and a few words of encouragement. Words and phrases that recognized the effort and realized that for me, the day was done. All of the crowds were now at the run finish as well as the bike volunteers. Slowly I rolled in to where I thought the dismount area was, but the usual sign was gone and there was no one to direct me. I got off at the bike finish arch and walked the next few meters. Finally a volunteer came up and took my bike and helmet to the racks. Normally here there would be a run through transition to the run bag and changing room but that was not to be. I stood for a moment wondering what to do now and the person who took the bike said I should just go ahead and follow finishers over to the post race area. Then I had a bottle of water in my hands, I don't know where it came from. A race official, you can tell who the official people are because their shirts have collars and they have name tags, came up to me and with him came one of the T.V. crews, cameraman and sound. I think his job was to be the consoling greeter and the one to officially tell me that my race was over. We basically had that conversation: how are you feeling, are you ok, do you need anything, how's your emotions, do you want medical, etc. Finally he said it, he was sorry but had to inform me that the race was over and I could not continue. I had been in the race just shy of 11 hours, it was now about 6:00 p.m.. I knew if I could continue I had plenty of time to finish the run but the rules prevent that. We talked a little about how I felt about the race in general and how I felt not being able to go on. I think I responded that I could go on but understood why I couldn't. I liked the event, it was hard and I wasn't up to the pace to make the cutoff. That was it. He thanked me for my effort and that is pretty much my last official contact.

After that I was able to meet up with all the family and friends who had traveled to be part of this event with me: Maureen, Charlotte, Bob, Kanoa, Anna, Kaleo, Mike, Maria, Em, B.J., Teri, Danny, Martin, Wendy and Abby. We talked for a while, took some pictures on the sand near the lagoon, and tried to make the best of the moment. Then we divided up and I once again joined the throng of mostly finishers as we pressed through the crowd back to the transition to retrieve our bikes and bags. Of course all during this time you could hear all the music, cheers and crowd noises at the finish. I'm just going through the motions as I gather up my gear wondering what it would have been like to run up the steep ramp and pass under the official finish line. At this point exhaustion and disappointment were the drivers and I headed home with my crew back to the condo. We walked together up Palani, down Kuakini, then down Hualalai, and Alii Dr. walking past all the runners who still had as much as 16 miles to go. There was lots of conversation, and I'm sure I participated but being a bit despondent, I really didn't pay attention. We got back to the condo and I cleaned up. I should have gone to bed but Kaleo was going home in the morning so I wanted to have a family dinner before he left. Maureen and I don't often get that because the kids live in different places. Tired but refreshed, we had a great time at Sam Choy's. I didn't go back to the finish line so I guess I didn't experience everything, I know it was awesome. But I didn't miss it. I was right where I was supposed to be.

More to come, A Hui Hou. Ko Aloha La Ea.