Swimmingly

This weekend wrapped up the 25th annual North Shore Swim Series, a fantastic series of 4 increasingly longer ocean races hosted by the one and only Chris Gardner, race director extraordinaire. I have participated in this series for the last 4-ish years, and every summer it gets more awesome. More swimmers, fun sponsors, sweet prizes (for people that win), coffee, ice cream, rainbows, chocolate (!), dolphins, and a happy laid-back summertime vibe unmatched anywhere in Hawaii.

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Like many triathletes, swimming is my Challenge (capitalization intentional). What I may lack in talent, I attempt to make up for in (extreme) consistency. I have been swimming with the Oahu Club Masters program every MWF at 6am for almost 4 years. Unless I am out of the country or otherwise incapacitated, I’m in the pool 3 days a week before sunrise. At the very least, I would round out the podium with Miki and Anna Marie for best attendance record.

In the beginning, I followed along with the workouts as best I could, but my mind wandered and I struggled with the sets, the intervals, and all the swim lingo like DPS and LCM and SCY and high elbows and breathing patterns and body position, kick-outs and IM and pace 50’s, etc. Every workout I would do what I could, but eventually would check out and swim back and forth until everybody stopped. I didn’t know my intervals, or what a best average was, but I loved the Flanagan brothers and the rest of the OC morning crew. Everybody talked about a “feel for the water,” and that if I did it enough, eventually I would feel it too. So I kept swimming, mostly to see my friends and catch up with Jane in the dark parking lot 15 minutes before anyone showed up, but hopeful that eventually, something would click.

At some point along the way in the last 18 months or so, I started paying attention. I learned my 100 LCM intervals, I paid attention to coach’s instructions, asked for clarification when I didn’t understand, and stopped sneaking my fins on every time coach looked the other way. I watched my friends. Miki’s rhythm and timing, Lectie’s height in the water, and her deliberate and frequent sighting, Linda’s high elbows and entry, and how she pulls the bubble-less water beneath her (and Lou’s claw hand, just because it’s funny and seems to help). At some point I stopped using swimming as an exercise in recovery (and a social hour), mentally prepared to try harder in the pool, and most importantly, brought awareness to my swimming.

I’m still not a fast swimmer. I may never place in my age group at swim races, and I will almost certainly never be able to swim with my fast fish-for-friends. But the awareness I’ve brought to my swimming has made it worlds more enjoyable and rewarding, both in training and in racing. Listening to a Flanagan spell out the main set used to instill either an immediate sense of dread, or go in one ear and out the other. Now, I listen closely, think about how to approach the set, and execute as best I can. I watch the clock, think about timing and technique, and write down the entire thing and how it went after the workout.

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This intention and focus served me well this summer on the north shore. During the Summer Sprint (race 1), I realized it was the first time I felt in control of my ocean swimming, rather than the swim controlling me. It felt like a breakthrough. In the Waimea Swim (swim 2), I was able to draft a faster swimmer the entire way around the bay, and worked incredibly hard to do so. This gave me tons of confidence. Swim 3 I was able to swim stroke-for-stroke with (okay, immediately behind) my swimming idol Linda Kaiser, the entire way from Chuns to Waimea. This was inspiring, and something I absolutely believed was not possible. And Saturday, I saw the most beautiful sight on the way from Ehukai to Waimea: a large pack including my fast friends Franzy and Michelle A, approaching the rocky halfway point at the same time as me. I was able to jump in and swim right along with them, all the way up the sand at Waimea. This made for an incredibly happy ending.

Thanks to my many swimming friends who encourage me along the way. Special thanks to Miki for the creative bonus 1000’s I somehow got tricked into and now look forward to, to Michelle who first convinced me that watching a clock makes swimming fun, to Linda and Lectie for total swim inspiration, to Jim & Jane for making me start in the first place, to Franzy for pushing me that much harder, and to Rachel for helping me find my best swim. Til roughwater, happy swimming.

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From Kyoto to Kauai (and beyond)

Two weeks ago I visited the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature in Kyoto, Japan. I visit RIHN 2-3 times a year to work on international projects related to sustainability, coastal vulnerability, and other global environmental issues. This trip was to kickoff a new 5-year, 5-country project on the water-energy-food nexus. Energy and food are big time water-dependent, and we are needing tons more of both around the globe every day. Indonesia, Philippines, Canada, Japan, and the U.S. face surprisingly similar challenges, but approach solutions in significantly different and important ways. We have a lot to learn from each other. If all goes as planned, I will spend my fall 2014 sabbatical living and working towards solutions with my new friends in Japan. We’re a slightly motley crew.

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This visit I stayed in a lovely town called Otsu, on the south shore of Lake Biwa.

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I didn’t have my bike and nobody seemed to be swimming, so I ran a bunch. 95+ degrees and 95%+ humidity (at 5am), and I haven’t felt hot in Hawaii since.

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Between meetings and events there was a little time for exploring the magic of old Kyoto.

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With plenty of opportunities for remembering grandma.

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The sky and colors were stunningly sharp.

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The stones at Fushimi Inari. If you lift them and they are lighter than you expected, your wish comes true.

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Last weekend the Oahu Club girls and I hopped over to Kauai to participate in the Hanalei Bay Swim Challenge, organized by the Namolokama canoe club.

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Namolokama girls.

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Raceday rainbows (racebows).

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Hanalei pier. First signs of flossie in the sky?

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Miki won the female race, and Kelly rounded off the podium with a 10th OA finish, 2nd in her division. Sheri and I had fast fun swims and enjoyed the truly glorious crystal hanalei waters. I ran the rolling hills of Princeville towards Kapaa, and found Kalihiwai Bay on the way, with sweeping views of Kilauea lighthouse at sunrise (and lots of chickens). We topped off the weekend of laughter with SUP-ing in hanalei river, a visit to queen’s bath and a swim at kenomene with a honu in the largest school of manini I’ve ever seen. We will be back! Chances are good Miki is already working on the 2014 itinerary :)

Runspired for Kona

My last post was about the Boston 2012 meltathon. A few things have happened since then. One of the most significant being Boston 2013. Blessings to that entire running community.

Quick catch up on the year +

  • Early in the year my sidekick Doom and I dreamt up then executed a booming new business to feed our friends and family better food. Kaleberry was a greater success than either of us could have imagined. We both adore the brand and the happiness it brought to our loyal and loving customers. Kaleberry will eventually return in some fashion, in a format we are still cultivating.
  • Last spring I got tenure. I am lucky enough to work on projects to protect our coastlines and forests and get rewarded for it. It’s an amazingly good gig. Working with Cheryl on her dissertation that will inform local dialogue on agricultural self-sufficiency is equally fulfilling, as is watching her become a runner. I promise not to force all future students into endurance sports (just Cheryl).
  • Last June I completed my first ironman, in Idaho with 11 amazing friends. Team Ahonui and all of our highs and lows made the experience worthwhile and unforgettable, in the best way possible.
  • I still miss my grandma. We lost her in September, and it’s still hard to eat shave ice with a full heart.
  • In December I ran a marathon in a freezing torrential downpour (pineapple express! not the stoner action film) with Doom and my dear friend Bill. It sucked so bad but god we enjoyed each other and the after party.
  • Once-a-week yoga continues, only now with Miki, to laugh with me about the 2-pound chihuahua that runs the place. I still can’t straighten my legs in Dandayamana-Janushirasana.
  • In January Rae left Hawaii to chase her dreams. She was a present source of inspiration and positivity in my life, and now she’s on the east coast becoming a professional triathlete and ruling the universe.
  • Tuesday/Thursday 5am social runs with Brenda and Deborah have continued for over a year. I’ve never laughed so much before sunrise.
  • Early this spring Jane broke her wrist. Her rehab is taking longer than expected, and we miss her in lane 4, but she’s jumping into the fall Try Fitness training and will shine at Na Wahine.
  • St. Patrick’s weekend we lost Duda. Every day since we try and live more like him.
  • Along the way there have been countless runs, swims, relay races (including some in wonder woman socks, just in case you missed it) that have motivated and challenged me to be a better athlete. Last month I completed Honu 70.3 on a hard hot day, and a week later was given the gift of a Kona lottery slot. A few days later, Rachel agreed to coach me to the start line. Having Rachel and her blooming runspo behind me gives me a calm confidence that’s new and so invigorating. Perhaps most impressive is her intention: inspiration through guidance and accountability. This gal’s business is going to explode, and I’m grateful to be on the early runspo roster.Image
  • Labor Day weekend the boca crew is headed to tutu’s house to train in Kona. The planning has already begun and I’m smiling just thinking about it.
  • I’ve never been one to take things for granted. I know Kona is special. I wanted to come back here to share stories along the way. Thank you for your friendship and support.

xo, Kimi

Boston Meltathon 2012

The 2012 Boston Marathon is on the books! I think these 27 mile splits speak of my adventure better than I can. I’ll jump in and narrate the miles as I remember them.

Start time: 10:20am, temperature: ~79 degrees, bright, and sunny! Not even a whisper of a cloud in that dry hot New England sky, oh my.
Mile 1: 7:57
Mile 2: 7:58
Mile 3: 8:18
I feel amazing! I don’t even feel the heat!
Mile 4: 8:05
Mile 5: 8:18
Omg can’t believe I’m running the Boston Marathon! These crowds are incredible and I could run in this heat forever! Look how precious this little town is!
Mile 6: 8:16
Mile 7: 8:06
Why are there no leaves on the trees? Oh, right, it’s supposed to be winter. Guess that means no shade. Kinda getting hot.
Mile 8: 8:34
Mile 9: 8:41
I still feel really good, but mile 10 is coming maybe I should run my planned 9 minute pace now? Loving the crowds! Wonder if they’ll have ice soon?
Mile 10: 8:54
Mile 11: 8:52
Okay it’s hot, but at least it’s a dry heat. Yay ice!!!
Mile 12: 8:58
Mile 13: 8:53
Ha! Kiss me I’m gluten free. Kiss me I’m a math major. Wellesley scream tunnel indeed. Okay halfway and ahead of schedule. I love this race! Temp: 85+ and rising. 3 GU’s and 6 salt tabs down.
Mile 14: 9:04
Mile 15: 9:05
Well it’s hot in Hawaii too, but we start our marathons at 5am. Duh. Yay ice!!!
Mile 16: 9:06
Yes! Successfully past mile 16, my breaking point last December. Dry heat is weird, as soon as I dump water on myself it dries. Am I even sweating? And can we lose the flashing *HIGH HEAT WARNING* *SLOW YOUR PACE* *SPEED KILLS* highway signs?
Mile 17: 9:11
Dry heat, aka, sticking-your-freaking-head-in-an-oven-heat. Not better than humidity, just a different type of bad. HOW do people do IM Kona?!
Mile 18: 9:21
S.O.S please send ICE. How do people do IM period? Need to remember to thank whoever told me the ice-down-your-pants trick. I think I even got one goosebump, brr.
Mile 19: 9:23
Garmin is beeping WAY ahead of each mile marker, as I bounce back and forth across the street between firemen with hoses, Bostonians with buckets of ice, and children with popsicles (I might be scaring them).
Mile 20: 9:53
Yikes! People are dropping like flies. Oh god I think that’s heartbreak.
Mile 21: 10:11
Yep.
Mile 22: 9:08
Is this as fast as I can run downhill?
Mile 23: 9:57
Yep.
Mile 24: 10:01
Running on flats is hard when your quads are putty. I remember someone saying to watch the Boston downhills early. Ooopsie. Think I can still break 4 hours if I “hurry.” This is going to hurt.
Mile 25: 9:45
I really want to run faster but my feet are stuck to the ground. Must be all the melted popsicles. Shove GU #6 and salt tab #10 down your throat and prepare to do work.
Mile 26: 9:44
Home stretch. The crowds are going WILD!!! It’s so noisy, so exciting, so overwhelming, and sooo painful. Just. Keep. Moving!
The last 0.2: 8:45.
Cross the finish line in an official 3:59:19, throw a shaka or two, and break into tears. Done! I’m way tougher than I thought :)

Amy didn't get this photo on her phone since the finisher taking it hit the ground and started puking immediately after he snapped our picture. We didn't take it personally. The med tents were a madhouse!

Unofficially (but actually) 26.7 miles on the garmin in 3:59:22, 8:59 average pace. Totally worth the extra half mile of bouncing back and forth across the street for anything frozen I could hold in my hands & put into my mouth.

Had three goals coming into this race: 1) enjoy & be honored you are running the most famous marathon in the world; 2) at all costs, do NOT get injured like my last marathon; and 3) break 4 hours if you are successfully meeting 1 and 2 above. Missions accomplished! Thank you Boston for putting on a world class event, thank you Delo, Marissa, and Zen for helping me through & beyond my December injury, thanks to Hoka OneOne for the amazing shoes that protected my battered body and carried me through the river of Gatorade & plastic cups, and most of all thanks to my amazing network of friends, training partners, & family who support & love me daily. Special shout out to my Boston training bud Joy Galloway who made this adventure especially unforgettable, raised over $1,500 for CCFA to find solutions and eventually a cure for Crohn’s Disease, & who by the way KILLED that course in 3:38!

Happiest finish line ever!

7 weeks til Honu & 10 weeks til Ironman. And I have Boston to thank for bringing back my confidence. Let’s do this!

A chiropractor and an acupuncturist walk into a bar…

Okay sorry there is no punchline, but honestly, I can’t believe how dramatic they make us out to be in the latest “Sh!t Triathletes Say” video. I mean, doesn’t everybody with a little niggle in their foot immediately engage the services and advice of a podiatrist, a physical therapist, an acupuncturist, a chiropractor, a personal trainer, and any coach and/or friend willing to spend hours talking about my feet?!

I swear I didn’t intend on recruiting such a large army to nurse my delicate metatarsals back to health, it was just the natural progression of things (with a sprinkling of neurosis mixed in for good measure). Saw my podiatrist immediately after the race who confirmed Sarah’s initial peroneal tendonitis diagnosis. Tendon that runs down shin and diagonally across right foot had seen better days. Bad form mixed with too many miles and stopped me in my tracks at mile 16, so I swam-biked-hobbled my way through the holidays. I welcomed 2012 with mochi in hand, a smile on my face, but a whole lotta worry in my heart. However I am NOT the type to sit around and fret….time to bring in the troops!

I’ll spare you the nitty gritty details (you can ask Lectie and Jane for those, love you and thankyouthankyouthankyou forever and always) but here are the other folks I owe my spectacular recovery to:

Superstar JACO therapist Marissa Maaske. She put up with 4 weeks of my questions, pleas, and whining as she adjusted, ultrasounded, twisted, taped and iso-held me back into a place with happier, more supple feet.

Dr. Zen, thanks for the advice, and adjustments, and the 4:30am track session to watch me run. Seriously. Above and beyond.

Delo Dayondon and his newly-launched TUMBAS Training Systems. Delo has me box-jumping, squatting, and burpee-ing my way into a stronger, more sustainable running form.

Newton running shoes. Thank you for helping me get off my heals faster and increase my turnover so as to stop punishing my poor tendons. They don’t deserve it.

Thanks to Michelle for the detailed here’s-what-to-do messages beginning just hours after the race, for commiserating with me, and for sharing your magic man (he is an absolute gem). Thanks to Joy for jogging with me and listening to my worries. And thanks ALWAYS to my IMCdA crew for your support, and for putting up with me. Training with you guys is so much fun it’s ridiculous.

Hoping to not repeat those weeks of swim-bike-limp any time soon, but did gain tremendous perspective on training, recovery, and the absolutely blissful state of healthy running. Please be kind to your body. Here’s to happy feet!

Marathon Readiness and Other Ironies

If you read my last post, you know I had a string of super good Marathon Readiness Races throughout the fall and was ready to KILL the Honolulu Marathon yesterday! The marathon indeed was killed, but not by me. Just a few of the champions from yesterday’s battle:

These four smashed it. Average time ~3:30. Studs!

Lectie PR-ed this course by over 10 minutes and BQ-ed! More stars.

Nope, I have a completely different kind of story! And now is not the time to skip a race report. I do not want to forget yesterday, and for heaven’s sake I certainly don’t want to repeat it. Cliff notes version: goal was 3:35, negative split, and a strong finish. Result was 4:27, amazingly (!) positive split, and a 10-mile walk to the finish line. Ooops.

The ironies:

1. Ask any of my friends, I hate tapering. I love training, and racing is simply the icing on the cake for me. However, I felt really strong and ready for the marathon this year so figured I would give this week-long serious taper thing a go. I was more tapered for yesterday than any other previous race in the last 2 years. Without even a smidgen of a doubt.

2. I had a detailed racing plan, with what I believed to be completely realistic paces, spread out to achieve a negative split. I’ve never thought through a race so much and have never pre-committed to a plan like I did yesterday.

3. I had been diligently working on my race nutrition after experiencing a bout of calf cramps in a few races prior. Brought more carbs into my diet (as I successfully did for the recent half-marathon) and made sure to have enough salt in my system. I was ridiculously careful about this, starting last Thursday.

4. I slept a TON every night the entire week prior, including 6+ hours the night before.

5. I was positive, confident, and READY! (except, not)

Blow by blow: The first half was spot on. My amazing friend and training partner Bill Turner offered to run the marathon with me this year (since he KILLED IT at the Xterra half the weekend before and wasn’t going for another SUB-3 marathon PR!!!), and we had discussed the pacing plan and stuck to it almost to the second through the half. I was super focused and feeling calm and confident when we hit the half around 1:49. Right on schedule. Soon after started feeling my calves getting a little “numb.” Oh boy, not now, too early, stop already, pretty please? When this starts happening, I know from experience, I have to slow down or my calves will bring me to a screeching and seriously painful grinding halt. So slowed the pace a bit, hoping they would go away. By this time Joy had jumped in and joined us and was cheery and supportive as ever. Around mile 16 on Hawaii Kai Dr, saw a big sign in Anna Marie’s yard exclaiming “GO KIM AND THE REST OF THE OAHU CLUB SWIMMERS” and just about lost it. About mile 16 my calves got the best of me and I was forced to stop and stretch. What to do? Ten miles to go and I had lost control of my foot placement on the ground. If not for Bill and Joy at that point things could have gotten very ugly. They kept things light and positive, encouraged me to jog along as best I could, so that’s what we did. Bill suggested I try and make it around Hawaii Kai loop and reassess from there. And so we jogged along. Made it to mile 18-ish when my achilles starting making noise. Super tender and every step was hot and painful. Two thoughts kept circulating in my mind: (1) if you blow your achilles you are doomed for IMCdA (2) omg IMCdA? Like with a marathon at the end? I’m so screwed.

Bill’s advice was to walk it in to the finish line and try and enjoy the day. Great cool overcast weather, festive crowds, lots of friends out and we still got a great 16 mile tempo run in. All so very true, but as many of you know, so very hard to swallow. But when forced to make the call, I was not willing to blow anything for another race down Kalanianaole, so walk I did. I would be absolutely full of it if I told you this was an easy decision, or if I have even let it go since then. I did my best to stay positive. We stopped and stretched a lot, talked to friends, shouted encouragement at runners, and tried to reassure our friends who passed with a look of horror that we were walking :) Oh, and Bill reached down to pet a cute little bunny rabbit sitting alone on the side of Kalanianaole, quietly spectating the marathon. I kid you not.

So what the heck happened out there? Who knows. Do we ever really figure it out? Probably not, but not like I haven’t been lost in these thoughts for the last 24+ hours! I have lots of mini-theories but a likely one is that I was running ever-so slightly outside my fitness level those first 15-ish miles (oh and I should mention it was breezy a.k.a. gusting 20+ mph), started to lose my form which led to weird compensation and foot placement issues (I remember thinking to myself coming up Kalanianaole “I wish this road would flatten out, I feel like I’m running at a 45 degree angle”) that would eventually stress out my already pathetically weak calf muscles and therefore involve and irritate my achilles. Or maybe not enough race-pace specific workouts. Maybe too many long runs (or not enough). Or too much taper (or not enough). Maybe too many carbs/salt (or not enough). Maybe someone poisoned my gatorade. Or maybe it just plain wasn’t my day.

Here’s what I do know. I don’t regret my decision to walk the race in to the finish line. I am relatively uninjured (had my foot checked out today and aside from a little plantar fasciitis I’m just fine…though walking on my tiptoes). I don’t know what may have happened had I pushed on through the achilles pain. I am grateful to Bill for being there to keep me going and help me remain positive (every freaking step). I am incredibly proud of each and every one of my friends who completed that race. Trust me, you get a whole new perspective on people who achieve their goal/ PR in a race you struggle through. I am grateful for this perspective, and for my friends and community who lovingly support me even when I suck. As with every race, there were lessons. One Tanya told me a couple days before the race…no matter if you run a 3:35 or a 3:45 marathon on Sunday, you are still the same person the next day. She didn’t mention a 4:27 but I’m hoping it still applies. The biggest personal lesson? Never, ever, take a good race for granted. I think in my own totally clueless and naive way I got too used to PR-ing every race, and assumed I had this one in the bag. While I felt my training and preparation was more than adequate and plan extremely realistic, we are still talking about a marathon. I’ve got a ton of work to do, particularly with respect to strength imbalances especially calves/ glutes/ hips/ core/oh yeah upper body too (at least I have strong quads??), and while I think I could fake it through the 30k distance, there is no fooling the marathon. To say nothing of IM.

A Retrospective on Readiness

Yesterday was the 5th and final race in the Honolulu Marathon Readiness Series. Generally I’m a slacker at race reporting. But I realized I have the opportunity to kill 5 birds with one stone, so here goes. Plus, since this is the second time I have run the entire series, I can compare to last year and end up with data from 10 races, all in one little post. So almost like 10 birds? Brilliant.*

Race 1: Tamanaha 15k. I had strep throat, it was a struggle, and there were no pictures. Don’t even ask about the next day’s North Shore Challenge (ok I’ll give you a picture of that). This first race back in August is always hard. Had not done any serious running since Honu. But managed a wee PR, even with a blazing throat. Lesson: Mind over matter. Time: 1:12 (7:45 pace). PR: 1 minute. 
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Quite possibly better running form exiting a whip-lashing wild 2.4 mile ocean swim with strep than in any of these road races? Gotta work on that.

Race 2: Runner’s HI 20k. This race started fast and fun, and ended slow and painfully. Made a mental note to never start running a race with Lectie again (she killed it, 2nd OA ELITE, a trend that would continue). But duh, I had no business running a 7:15 pace that first loop. Positive split to the max, and serious suffering to the finish line. Lesson: You really do die if you go out too fast. Time: 1:35 (7:40 pace). PR: 2 minutes. 
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Are you seeing stars? Those are my elite friends.
20k
With Priscilla and Gretchen, who I played musical podium places with most of the series. Thanks for the push, gals.
Race 3: Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher 25k. I loved most of this race. Starts wicked early in the dark (love that) and we had just practiced most of the course the weekend before, so I felt confident. Despite missing the start horn, I had a super smooth first 14 miles. At mile 15 of this 15-point-something mile race, a series of cramps in both calves brought me to  screeching halt, twice. Like, lean against a lamppost, stretch and try not to cry, cramping. Times two. One with the happiest little green store in sight (Kalapawai, a whopping 200 meters from the finish line), and another right there in front of the store, with the finish line in sight. Lost a couple minutes. That was my very first experince with cramping in a race, but it would not be my last! Read on! Lesson: I think I need more carbs. Time: 2:05 (8:04 pace). This year was 5 minutes slower but 1 mile longer than last, but I can’t run a 5 minute mile so it must be a PR, right? Totally counting it. Anyway last year’s average pace was 8:08, so there.
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25k practice run. Lectie’s flying, Doom’s throwing shakas, Sunny’s cracking jokes, and Kim is marching. Same story, different day.
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Sweet! Finally snuck into a mid-race picture with Doom (he was 15 minutes late for the start).

Race 4: PF Chang 30k. Was especially excited about this race, as two weeks prior I had my parathyroid surgery, which meant 1) I finally was back to acceptable blood calcium levels and felt HEAPS better, mentally and physically, and 2) surgery requires recovery time (i.e., I couldn’t move my neck), so I had way more rest than normal. And, this was a great course, and a longer distance, so I wasn’t all panicky about starting off at a blazing pace (like I would be in the next race, keep reading!) Despite slight cramping again towards the end, which slowed me down a bit, I felt the very best I had in a running race all year. Biggest difference was the ability to kick it up a notch when I was really tired. Had forgotten what it felt like to engage that extra gear. It feels freaking good! Lesson: Everything’s better in 3’s. Time: 2:28, PR: 10 min.
30k

Stoked about one less parathyroid, and 10 less minutes.

Race 5: Val Nolasco Half Marathon. This was my best race last year. It came as a surprise, I can remember running back down Kalanianaole after the turnaround and feeling fresh and full of energy. One of my only races with a huge negative split. Therefore, I was particularly nervous about yesterday, because I wasn’t sure I could beat last year’s time (1:41). Decided to try and even split the race, starting around a 7:35-7:40 pace and holding it there. It almost worked. Went out a little faster, came home a little slower. Felt a cramp sneaking in towards the end, so started a little chant (to my calf, and Nalani) begging for it to go away. It worked! Lesson(s): Even splitting might work, the sandwich and musubi probably worked, and singing definitely works. Time: 1:40, PR: 1 min. 
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Kaimana smiles post-race.
Alohakeefe

Aloha Keefe!

Overall, feeling good about the marathon in 3 weeks. Would love to PR, which means something less than 3:41. Honestly would be very pleased with 3:40, and naturally would love to get closer to 3:35. I do not feel like I have trained for anything lower. With a little more focus I may have been able to approach 3:30, but not this year. I was deliberately trying not to put too much pressure on myself for Honolulu, as there is still much training and pressure to be had soon enough. Running Boston during the peak of Honu and IMCdA training will be an adventure in itself! For now, grateful to be feeling strong, healthy, and motivated to run a PR marathon, of any margin. 20 more days :)
* No offense to Franzy. He’s an ornithologist.