Today’s Milestone

Teammates stretch at Ala Moana Beach Park.

Mahalo, whoever you are, you wonderful soul who checked my site as visitor number 50,000 today. got lots of hits today. It might get to 100 before I sign off. I’m grateful, even if it might be mostly paranoid people who want to know about getting calls and texts all hours of the day because they suspect their phone number used to belong to a drug dealer. That does seem to be the most popular entry, but statistics indicate that today’s hits are by people curious about Achilles tendon and knee injuries, the Waikiki Rough Water Swim, bicycling in Hawaii, and Lavagal this and Lavagal that.

Tonight’s sunset during our workout.

So I better put up a new and fresh entry to keep the intrigued interested. There’s a New York Times essay this week called On Being Nothing by Thomas Hobbes, who looks like a handsome young gun, too young to have such a firm grasp on insignificance. Yes, his Opinionator piece spoke to me. I write to leave a mark, to spray a wall of words across your minds to assure I’m not that insignificant. People write to be read, and tonight one of my Try Fitness teammates told me she writes a secret unpublished blog. I write my secrets and notes to myself on my Wunderlist app and at But the blog is my frantic wave in the crowd, a hand trying to catch your attention, tossing keywords and photos to lure you to click my link.

Japanese newlyweds at Magic Island watching the sunset.

Tonight I did a 500-meter swim in 11 minutes, and I did some running sprints with my Try Fitness Hawaii teammates in preparation for the Sunday Na Wahine Festival. I don’t run fast. I now use the Galloway Method, so I do a run-walk pace. It keeps my tendons and knee cap intact. It also has a profound effect on me. It humbles me. It could depress me, but I can’t let it. I am the only person who has time to turn on my iPhone camera app to take a photograph of the Japanese newly weds watching the sunset from Magic Island. While some of my teammates were doing sub-2-minute 400s, I was doing it in three. As they finished their third round, I told my coach, KC Carlberg, that I didn’t need to get out of bed on Sunday. Why bother? I’m never gonna get on a podium again.

“You gotta write your blog entry, that’s why!” she told me. It’s funny. More of my teammates are reading, so I hope they are encouraged. I am at that place where I want to do better, I want to be faster, but I know that it’s only natural that those who are younger and less damaged will do better. But if I don’t do so great in these events, these attempts to prove I am still athletic, that I’m not going limp into old age, I can still try to win a place in your heart with words arranged just so right here. Love, me.

Author: lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Learners Coordinator and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.

4 thoughts on “Today’s Milestone”

  1. My goodness we need to talk! But since we haven’t, here’s my story. I ran my first half-marathon ever in 2007. 2:45 and barely made it (also thought I would freeze to death because it was November in Seattle). Ran my second, with a time goal of 2:30, in 2009 and beat the goal (2:27). Then I got hurt. Couldn’t run for practically a year. Started back with C2-5K. Was afraid to run because didn’t want to get hurt, but wanted to run because I do triathlons! Ran some really slow races.

    Then, because some fast runners I knew (aka Yvette and Allison) mentioned this whole run/walk concept. So I started training with it. And yowsa! I set a PR in the 2011 Women’s 10K and then followed with another PR in 2012. Ran a hilly half-marathon in Feb in 2:20. Ran the Honu tri in 2:30. Every single time I did the run/walk. And I haven’t gotten hurt! Sure sometimes the hip aches, but then I back off and it gets better. I have to be careful. But I can run. And run faster!

    At the tail end of the Maui race, in Feb, I passed So Many People. While walking sometimes! (uphill!) The run/walk training makes your walk stronger, so you’re not out there for a stroll, but you’re power walking. And about the time other people run out of steam and are just hanging you, you are STILL strong and moving with purpose. Was it incredibly difficult to let all those people run by me at mile 1.5? You betcha! It was torture. But I raced my plan and it worked. Same thing happened in Honu.

    Run/walk lets me get out there. It lets me compete. It lets me compete for the long haul. It lets me be part of the tribe. And, ultimately, it lets me have the conditioning and stamina to go run with my kid’s cross country team and my other kid’s soccer team — which in some ways is the part of the whole point here. To live life fully and be able to participate in all of it.

    Wow, I may have inspired myself. Off to work!

  2. Carrie: You were really zooming with Amy last night! But thanks for this. I’m so glad you shared! I’m inspired, too!

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