When it’s not easy to write.

Like now. I prefer to write about positive things, and I don’t like to cloud the blog with an overcast atmosphere. I guess that results in everyone thinking I’m on top of the world all the time, but it’s not the case. Is it ever the case for everyone, all the time? Probably not.

I’ve lost a little momentum in getting our house in order. I think it’s the heat. We’ve taken bags to the nearby Goodwill kiosk, and we are preparing bicycles and bicycle gear for the Island Triathlon & Bike swap and shop on April 27. We’re selling 4-5 bikes, FYI. Tomorrow we’ll try to make one big sweep, vacuum, dust, and mop. Our dining room table will be clear. We’ll have a nice family meal.

My triathlon training saves me. I’m enjoying the 2,000-meter swims I’ve been logging in lately. I will ride tonight with my TryFitness teammates to the heights of Kahala, and I will gingerly walk or jog until my sports doctor decides what can be done about my plantar fasciitis. I’m pretty sure I can go all out for Honu on June 1. I’m pretty sure I’ve got a half-Ironman in  me. Every day I’m getting better and better at it.

Now that I’m a bonafide writer in the wild, I’m actively seeking work, projects, creative opportunities, and inspiration to start generating interest in me and paychecks. So, if you hear of anything, please keep me in mind. I think about describing soft breezes as they blow through the sheers at the French doors, the sweat that trickles between one’s shoulder blades when they rip old asphalt off a roof, the spring green potential of seed sprouts poking through the rich soil, the tickle of a tiny crab as it climbs up my thigh while I’m waiting for a wave on my surfboard. Writing that’s pretty much all over the map.

My friend Sue from New Jersey, whom I’ve known since we were both little kids, checks up on me from time to time. This morning she sent me a private message on Facebook, encouraging me to get my wish to the universe first thing in the morning and then forget about it. Fortunately for me I have friends and a husband who see me in a much better light than I see myself. And my children have so much faith in me. I go out to the yard and my cats watch for the lizards that jump when I clip a leaf of kale or inspect the eggplant.

Positives abound in my life. I might appear to be running off a cliff, but I have to believe I’ll stick the landing.

Hawaii Tinman Triathlon


This gallery contains 1 photo.

If you’re my Facebook friend, I created a photo album there with about 40 photos from the event, including finishers and winners. John was the photographer, and everyone knows he does a great job. I got to bed about 10 … Continue reading

Adding the BFF Element.

@postaday 268; #postaday2011.

I know everyone thinks Kid1&2 get along famously, posing for pictures, super smiles, whispering too late at night in their beds in the dark in their room. And for the most part they do, but, add a little tired crankiness and dirty looks and the snide remarks fly. And if I’m cranky, too, look the hellas out.

As I was driving home last night I got a call from Kid2’s BFF’s momma asking me if I could take her child for a little while last night. Since I had yet to turn toward our hale, I cut right out of the left-turn lane and headed up the hill to scoop her up. I explained what we would be doing as I neared their house: We were taking Kid1 to viola lessons and then on to Triangle Park for my #5kin100days 1.2 session (week 1, session 2). BFF’s momma liked that!

Out came the kid with her backpack, a water bottle, and a ham sandwich. We went over to our house and it was a fun surprise for Kid1&2 to have BFF over. Things were instantly pleasant, as I knew would be the case. I knew the girls would now have fun. If the sisters were grumpy, having BFF around would smooth things out.

Kid1, BFF, Kid2, just before our #5kin100days run at Triangle Park in Kahala last night.

The girls got the lowdown on the workout from me and we started off with stretches. When I launched into the slow walk, I told them to fall in behind me and keep to the right as Triangle Park is frequented by other exercisers and dog walkers. I plugged in to my inadequate C25K iPhone app and heard the giggles and joy behind me. They were keeping up, but they were seeing the sights, too. The moon was a beautiful sliver of a crescent descending into Diamond Head as the sun set. Bicyclists, walkers, and runners were in the midst of their workouts. And my three girls were easily distracted by toads. They’d chase after them and examine their coloring and wait for me to come around and then fall back in. While I did seven one-minute runs between seven two-minute walks, they probably did five. And all the way home they thanked me for taking them along.

Although this program is really for me, it’s so easy I wanted to bring them along and get them up to a 5k, too. And having a BFF along seems to trigger a little more enthusiasm than being dragged to run by mom. By the time we were done, it was dark, the stars were sparkling, and we all felt satisfied with our endeavor. It was my second. It hurt a little around my knees, and my right calf whined a bit. Today I’m fine.

My girls are old enough now to participate in some of the activities I used to do alone. I used to do them to be alone. And there still are those alone activities. But it’s nice we Benderettes can do something like this together. We feel good about ourselves when we are pau, and we feel good about each other. I like it.

Before #5kin100days.

@postaday 265; #postaday2011.

Today I did day one of Brad Gansberg‘s baby-steps running program, 5-k in 100 days. There are a lot of Get-off-your-dimply-butt 5k programs but Brad is on Twitter, I’m on Twitter, and I love the social media aspect of being out there and accountable. It also fits well with the mission of my employer, Hawaii Medical Service Association, which wants its employees to be as fit and healthy as possible.

We have a fitness center at work, and it is a popular hub for those who want to work out while at work. Carrie-Ann Kokubun, my partner in commuter time, works out there a lot. Most of you know I’m a swimmer and a bicyclist, and now a very slow runner, and I usually do my workouts in the wild. When I go to work, I rarely venture out of my cube because of things like taking care of family appointments, ransoming the children from after-school care, and getting them to music lessons, etc.

Before. Some day this blog will feature an "AFTER."

I digress. Brad’s program is so easy, even an obese couch potato could do it! Today, John took me to get a new pair of men’s Mizuno Wave Inspire 7 because I have big wide feet. I think they look great! We went to Triangle Park in Kahala to run at 1:45 this afternoon, in the hot, bright and sunny day. As you can see, I took it really slow:

  • I stretched for 5 minutes.
  • I walked 5 minutes.
  • I walked fast 10 minutes.
  • I ran 1 minute at a pace probably slower than my fast walk.
  • I walked for two minutes.
  • I did the 1 minute run and 2 minute walk four times more.
  • I then did a cool-down walk for five minutes.
That’s a total of 40 minutes. And the last run didn’t kill me. Let’s just say I probably run like a little old lady, and I run flatfooted to protect my Achilles. But I do feel like I will be running 5k in 100 days because I am being ever so careful.

My Michelin-Man Middle.

@postaday 251; #postaday2011.

Monday mornings are all about the review of our personal scores on the weekend-warrior fitness front.

What’s come over me? In the last few weeks I’ve completed a mile-long ocean swim, a duathlon, and I’m now looking at my third full century bicycle ride before the end of September. My husband is already looking ahead for me, generous guy that he is — strategizing ways I can work “running” into my routine. I’m not so sure that if I do run it will ever qualify as actual running. I’m hiding behind a scar, and I don’t want to injure myself again.

Yesterday I competed in the swim-spin segment of the Na Wahine Festival. Honestly, what a fun event. All women, Waikiki, Diamond Head, Kahala, party at Kapiolani Park Bandstand, big waves, lots of aloha, lots of love, and lots of spouses, partners, little kids and grands milling about enjoying the atmosphere. What does it mean? Personally, there are women who want to push themselves as far as they can. But within a community, we want to recognize each other as athletes, warriors, mothers, career women, and young ladies who radiate the glow only the pursuit of health and fitness delivers.

John woke up with me at 4 a.m. to get me to the park early enough to find great parking and for me to straighten out my bib number problem. By the time I got my third number assignment, I was good to go. I set up my transition area with my bike and all my gear, and we headed over to the beach for the pep talk and Star Bangled Banner. It was 9/11/11 and we felt blessed to have that day for our festival. It made being alive that much more significant. I thought of those people who die too young, whether brought down by disease or an attack. Why wouldn’t I do my best with this body of mine to honor the gift of life?

The Michelin-Man Middle HAS GOT TO GO! Photo by Rodney Ogata, aka @Rodney_o.

The day is over and I’ve reviewed John’s photos. I have a long way to go. I sure wish I looked better. I’m tired of being a before, so I know what I want to do. I’m thinking Photoshop could get rid of my Michelin Man middle, but weight loss isn’t that easy.

I think that must be the way it is with people who achieve their goals. They keep looking for more. It’s an addiction to adrenalin and achievements, it’s an ambition to be an example to my daughters and my friends. It’s nice that I’ve got a husband who is on the same page. I know I’m lucky.

Riding for fun and contemplation instead of pain.

John shoots the Benderettes at the Washington Monument. He takes his art seriously.

@postaday 181; #postaday2011.

I have yet to get a good night’s sleep. We’ve been back since Tuesday evening, and I’m still waking up at 2:30 or 3 a.m. and tossing and turning. Such was the case this morning, again, despite yesterday’s ride that hurt like birth. Well, not quite, but, it hurt.

The shot. And yes, that's me shooting back.



My stats:

Time: 01:32:55
Distance: 22.65 mi
Elevation Gain: 344 ft
Calories: 523 C
Avg Temperature: 81.7 °F
Time: 01:32:55
Moving Time: 01:21:37
Elapsed Time: 01:32:55
Avg Speed: 14.6 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 16.6 mph
Max Speed: 33.0 mph

The Benderettes chilling at the Washington Memorial's shady side.

Got on the road at 7:18 this morning and did just my short valleys ride, 22.65 miles. I started loosening up once I got back by the Hawaii Kai post office, and the tail wind pushed me to town nicely. I’m on a quest to bring to surface my inner athlete. She’s in there somewhere. Because I was still kind of achy from yesterday’s hill climbs, I skipped them today. I was in that frame of mind where I wanted to have fun with my ride instead of suffer. And when I don’t have John along, it’s easy for me to talk myself out of suffering.

In Aina Haina, I saw an old Chinese man walking on the sidewalk, holding a sleeping baby girl with pink bloomers on. It was like peeking in on a private moment. A baby girl that probably fussed about so much in the house that he took her out and held her until she fell asleep in his arms. A few blocks deeper into the valley, I saw an old Japanese woman walking around in her yard of old plumeria trees, her hands clasped behind her, her shoulders stooped with age. What was she thinking?

Any time I’m out riding, I spend most of my time looking at the tiny rear-view mirror that’s attached to my sunglasses for the traffic that’s bearing down upon me. As much as I’d like to contemplate the scenery, the landscaping, the window treatments, or what’s parked in the driveways, I really cannot take my attention off the surface before me, the vehicles behind me, and the traffic patterns with which I participate, until I hit the lesser roads. Contemplating the statuary on Kahala Avenue always puts a smile on my face. Perhaps it will be a beautiful park of monuments when Gensiro Kawamoto is through making his mark on the tony neighborhood. Maybe it will even have a reflecting pool. Maybe it will be open to the public, like the Mall in Washington, D.C.

I hope to get another ride in tomorrow, since it’s a three-day weekend. I hope when I go back to work Tuesday, I’m myself again. I’ll be happy when the drag of jet lag bags.

Photo fun while riding in the wild: A touch of klass for Kahala

Could this be the first of several statuaries installed at a Kahala Avenue property? There's room for many more!

@postaday 135; #postaday2011

Gee whiz, the traffic was NUTS today! Hawaii is an early risers location. Many of us get up early to work out, but also a lot of people are out on the roads. I was thinking this morning while I was headed west on Kalanianaole Highway that rising early was no guarantee that traffic would be light and calm.

When I got to Makapu’u this morning, I decided to try taking a surround photo with Microsoft’s Photosynth on my iPhone. While I was shooting, this guy comes up and he ends up being in my picture. Poor dude was huffing and puffing like I do! Then he says hi to me! It’s David, who is married to my HMSA colleague and Facebook friend Kari Lum! So he took my picture, too, and I hope wearing slimming black paid off!

Photosynth photo of Makapu'u.

We parted there and I ended up trying to get down the hill with two women who came from the Waimanalo side. I waited in the middle of them and then left them behind when we got to the bottom. I WIN! LOL. I can hear John now as he rolls his eyes and says: “You’re so competitive.” I just bat my eyes demurely. Moi?

Today was one of those days when I’d pass people on Kalanianaole Highway, go into a valley and then come back out onto the highway and pass them again. It gets tricky with the busy traffic, too. And then when I got to Diamond Head, the place was crazy nuts with people pouring out of two full-size tour buses, two smaller tour vans, and a trolley to capture their Kodak moments. There was also a truck backed into one of the lookouts with a satellite dish, no doubt linked to the various events associated with today’s Honolulu Triathlon International Festival of Sports.

Today's Kodak moment for me was in Kahala. They look like they're putting up a tree ala Iwojima!

I had my own tickle-my-funny-bone Kodak moment today, too. In fact, I even turned around and went back to take a picture with my iPhone. My iPhone camera was acting up so I stood there and restarted my iPhone4 and snacked on some pretzels while calmly waiting. A brand new statue was installed yesterday at a property where I see Gensiro Kawamoto nearly every weekend, bobbing around under his giant blue Halekulani Hotel umbrella. A touch of class for Kahala. I’m sure the well-heeled neighbors gasped in unison upon discovering the installation. There’s room for more. I’m willing to bet there will be additional naked cherubs and scantily clad angels, with their darling little nether regions exposed. I just wonder if this is a kooky guy’s way of saying “Nuts to you!”