Try Fitness Hawaii’s Annual Na Wahine Festival


KC Carlberg of Try Fitness Hawaii, and founder of Na Wahine Festival, stands by the tree for a heart-felt welcome speech. She always gets verklempt.

Girls just wanna have fun when they’re kicking their own butts. Yesterday, from the two sisters under 10 years old to the senior women in their 70s, nearly 300 women participated in the annual Na Wahine Festival, a combination of four events involving running, swimming, and bicycling. Let’s not forget that it’s really and truly one big party (after the sufferfest!). Although it’s a strictly-for-women event, the support of partners, spouses, and family members is immeasurable and necessary. How could we do it without them and those sponsors with whom our philosophies align?

Getting ready for the ocean start.

During the awards ceremony Race Director KC Carlberg gave out a ton of prizes, recognized winners, and put on a dance contest. Yesterday I participated. I danced. And no I did not win. But neither did the gal who freak-danced KC. Be advised: freak dancing does not guarantee you’ll win anything, but the crowd goes wild. There is something strangely appalling and funny about those of us who will wiggle wiggle wiggle for a Buca di Beppo gift certificate.

Emerging from the ocean. I’m third here.

KC has grown this event for 14 years. If you read this and say to yourself, “I wanna do something like that!” then LIKE the TryFitnessHawaii page on Facebook, visit Try Fitness’s Website, review the possibilities and sign up to train in a non-threatening environment that helps women realize their potential. Chubby, soft, bouncy, or fat? Then what the heck are you waiting for? Remember playing in the park, jumping on your bike, climbing the monkey bars or hitting a softball in the park with your friends? It’s like that. It’s fun again.

Launching on the bike.

Teammate Carrie with her bike.

We’ve got The Right Stuff.

I’ve been training with Try Fitness Hawaii since the spring, first for the Hawaii Tinman and then for the Na Wahine. Yesterday the commitment I made to myself paid off. I didn’t place in my age group, but I am a healthier, faster, and stronger version of me. I posted results via my Garmin 910xt (apparently I’m not clear on how to work it correctly yet), and here are results of the entire event.

Finishing. My favorite part of the event is riding!

I wanted to finish the triathlon of a 500-meter swim, a 12-mile bike ride, and a 5k (3-mile) run in 01:30:xx and I DID! I finished in 01:30:36. Glad I left those dollar flip flops by the trash can instead of trying to get them on to run across the park to get on my bike. Probably saved me that 24 seconds that would have popped me to 01:31:xx. Fist. Pump.

Faye and Carrie finish together. I took off on my run with Faye. And then she was gone.

This is a short triathlon, a sprint triathlon, something that takes less time than our 2-hour Try Fitness workouts. However, your nerves are firing with anxiousness, and when the cannon goes off you push yourself harder than you ever did. And, if you’re like me, you are second guessing yourself just about the whole way:

  • Gawd, I hate this.
  • What was I thinking?
  • I wish these women would stop swimming-clawing-crashing into me.

But I did finish, eventually: 01:30:36. Yay! I was PUMPED!

As much as I love to swim, racing in the open ocean within a school of other women flailing and kicking every which way drives me crazy. It is not like the North Shore Swim Series or even like the Waikiki Rough Water Swim. Triathlon ocean swimming is vicious, and we all want to get it over with. Thanks to my being in the North Shore Swim series, I’ve gotten better about exiting the ocean.

Coach Sonya winks. These are some of my Try Fitness Hawaii teammates, ready to try a triathlon for the first time.

I emerged from the water fifth of 12 in my age group, breathless, heaving as I ran up the beach, across the lawn, across the street, to the bike coral in Kapiolani Park. I rinsed my feet, stuck my goggles, swim cap and earplugs into my backpack, rinsed my feet again and slipped into my bicycle shoes. I put on my singlet, my number belt, my sunglasses, my helmet, and started running with my bike to the bike exit. Whoops. Stopped to Velcro my Sidis. I should have done that while on the bike. Off I went.

Check out the form of our overall winner. That sweet young lady is 23. Remember when we could ride bikes in bathing suits? LOL

Usually when I’m on my bike, I can compose myself, I can catch my breath, I can give myself a mental break. But, again, as this is a sprint triathlon, you really cannot. You have to stay 100 percent on your game the whole time. Bicycling is my favorite thing to do. I go pretty fast on my bike, which I call the Firecracker and John calls the Red Menace. On my last practice ride I dropped my chain a few times so John replaced it on Friday. The Firecracker did a good job Sunday morning, and I had no technical difficulties. Gosh I love riding my bike, love being fearless down the hills, love chasing the rabbits in front of me. I don’t have the fancy machinery some of the other women have, but my legs know how to power that bike through. In my age group against 12 others, I finished third on the bike.

My number. Came in 87th overall out of nearly 300. Yay!

A quick transition to become a runner, and this is where I have the most difficulty. All the Try Fitness teammates I pass on the bike pass me on the run. They all are pretty sweet and cheer me on as I plod along. But this run for me was about right as far as timing goes at 35:28. Of the 12, I finished eighth in my age group. I incorporated the Galloway Method and ran/walked 3:1 minutes. This will be my method as I continue with the Marathon Readiness Series and for the Honolulu Marathon in December.

Both of my daughters volunteered. This was their first time. It was so nice to see them. They were PROUD OF ME!

I’m encouraged because here it is the day after and nothing hurts. I think that’s because I worked out three times a week with the Try Fitness group, did masters swimming once a week, and worked out independently two other days. I also credit my physical therapy that I’m currently attending.

And of course I credit my coaches led by KC Carlberg, and my husband who doesn’t mind if his wife wants to dream about being an athlete, a triathlete, and all that stuff.

Although I have three Marathon Readiness Series and the Honolulu Marathon remaining for 2012, I’m already thinking of what I want to do in 2013. A whole lot of pain to love? Maybe so.

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