We got back last night and today was fairly lazy other than getting the X-mas tree and pulling some boxes out of the garage. Back to work tomorrow. . . . What a trip. I did a lot of reflecting. I turned 40, I ended "the season," which was pretty anti-climactic not only because I was sick and didn't get to really train the last three weeks before the race, but frankly I have to say I wasn't really "ready" to do a race like that. Taking my almost 5-year-old and watching him enjoy so much great scenery and festivity and such was a total kick. Reflecting on "him" was terribly interesting. My wife and I have been really thinking about another pregnancy for a while now and we were able to sit back and enjoy his little creative soul, reflecting on life with perhaps just this one child. It's all good and I probably just said more than I need to say about that. But the reflection is exactly what has to happen on a trip like this, unless one is creating the memories the reflection of which will occur later. . .
Fire Rock Pale Ale. As you can see, the view was nice, so for the weekend on Oahu, we used this perch to put things into perspective.
The race was on the east side of the island. The idea was to rent a car just for the day, drive to the race, cruise up around the north shore and head back to Waikiki mid-afternoon. Although the race started at 9:00am, I wanted the car the night before just so I wasn't haggling and stressing out in the am. When I called the day before, the hotel's concierge said, "no cars." The race and general tourism might have had something to do with it, but up on the north shore there was a little event taking place that probably had some impact as well.
The guys weren't actually competing at Pipeline that day, but it was cool to check-out the beach, the surf and the whole set-up. We stopped at Sunset where part of the Triple Crown was contested the day before. It was over-head the day we saw it but I guessed we missed the "big" day when the doods were throwing down. The map has a good visual of where the race was. We ran on Kualoa Ranch where the map shows Kualoa Beach and Chinaman's Hat. That's pretty much where I letter all hang out.
Fortunately, I was able to get a car the morning of. The night before, we ate a killer restaurant in the Pacific Beach Hotel just down the street from where we were staying. There is a three story aquariam, so Jack had a ball (and we had a ball getting him to pay attention to the food on his plate!). While we were there a diver was in there feeding the fish, which was pretty cool. We got a kick out of this giant manta ray coming around and going eye-to-eye with Jack. He was beside himself. And the food was ridiculous. Seafood tapas. The ceviche was perfect, the sashimi nice, scallop, crab cake, you name it. I had a salad too. I definitely don't get too worked-up about eating before a race. And again not feeling 100% kinda let the wind out of the ole sail. In bed by 9:00 and slept great but wanted to sleep in and lounge all day. Not good.
So I got the car and we were on the road by 8:00 with plenty of nibbles and bevvys for the road.
On the stretch of highway that crosses over to the east side.
I didn't pay much attention to the race description. I'm such a visual learner that I sorta discount/ignore the non-visual more or less (perhaps I was a little frustrated too, leading to a kind of childish disregard). No elevation map. But besides, you figure that one's writing about the course is going to do little justice to the "nature" of the beast. Carried one bottle and three gus. Gun went off and "there they go." The first mile and a half is a nice climb. This kinda knocked me down pretty good. I have to admit, although I wasn't feeling great, had phlegm to share with all willing runnners, I had a fleeting hope that all the training I'd done this year would magically carry me to a fine and dandy result. After this climb, the hope had one wing. As the race progressed, so did I. I just kept after it. I didn't feel great but I certainly wasn't going to start walking or tip toeing. One wing don't fly. The up and down was fairly constant. It never let up. As we moved to an adjacent valley the climbing really kicked in. In short, we summited at the back of the huge valley where the race was sorta housed (I posted pics a while ago of "the valley," where they shot, I guess, some of "Lost" and "Jurassic Park"). As we summitted I had reached some pretty good runners. I talked with a guy from Vancouver for a while. Told him to come to Cali, that I wanted to go to Canada (was I actually thinking about a house swap for month, say, in July?? No but I shoulda - a lot of Canadians in Hawaii by the way). Any way, as we dropped back into the valley, it was a mud slide. There was a rope along the path - we just kept our feet, used the rope to avoid slip and slide and just got to the harder surface below to letter ride. And I did. I felt okay but just didn't have that fire. Totally lame. So, I/we figure pretty much a run back through the valley to the finish and all done? Well, I didn't read the description. We run back through the finish (wife's taking a picture, son is reaching up to grab me) but have to keep going to do the first 5k loop again. I knew by the Garmin that we were only at mile 10, but stranger things have happened (they had 2 porta potties for 700? runners). That mile and a half climb that started the race met us on this last loop. It was pouring rain (not a big deal) but I was totally over it. I ran better than I thought I would, but still sucked. I walked some of the last climb. Healthy and fired-up and trained according to my program, I would have broken 2 hours. I know it. Instead, 2:05 and change. Oh well. It was still fun and Jack had a great time. He ran a little race himself.
That night, the xterra after party was at our hotel (total coincidence). We shared a table with Ben Bruce and his girl (he finished 2nd - he's a pro) and got to talk shop a little. He was waiting for his buddy, Max King who won the thing running just sub 6:00 pace. WTF???? Got to meet him. In my next post, I'll reflect on the year (what a killer year) and loook ahead to 2009. I think the reflection and thank yous will very much explain the year to come. I have a lot to talk about. Here are some more pics.
Are we having fun yet?
Someone got leied. . .check out the kid's form!
We had dinner at Duke's. This is our Duke.
When we were done with this place. . .
we made our way to this place. . .