Today was my crucible…and I’m happy to report that I emerged victorious.

“Only a bike” for the day….a 210k extravaganza, out the IM course to Hawi then up into the Kohala mountains into Waimea and home along the upper highway (with a few detours to hit the goal distance). I rode the Tara train for about half of the QueenK stretch, then notched my effort back a bit when I fell off the back; it was going to be a long day, and I wasn’t sure how many matches I had to burn. That said, we couldn’t have asked for better weather–no rain this year!–and only light winds. A bit hot as the day wore on, but not complaining; there was just enough breeze to mainly keep from cooking. It was a such a pleasure not having to ride the stretch from Kawaihae to Hawi at a 45degree angle! ;)

The ride up into the Kohalas was tough as ever, but having learned from past camps, I made and stowed a mustard, pickle, roasted potato wrap (strange cravings toward the end of camp!) in my jersey to enjoy after the hellaciously steep first miles. Ultimately, the climb crested at 3564ft. with gorgeous views of the distant ocean and placid cows. Thankfully, the descent into Waimea was not nearly as terrifying as in the past, with dry roads and no strong cross gusts of winds today. I sent up gratitude to Madam Pele for the gift. After a brief pit stop in Waimea (thank you, Etienne!!), I steeled myself for the stretch of the upper highway that I struggled with earlier in the week. I was determined to ride as much of the shoulder this time as possible, remembering Alicia’s wise words, ‘Better to fall into the ditch than under the wheels of a truck!’, and her steady straight line that I failed to mirror when we rode together on day3. So I repeated to myself, ‘Ride like Alicia’, ‘Steady and strong’ for the scary sections, breaking it into little mentally ‘digestible’ chunks and ticking them off the list one by one. It helped that there weren’t strong cross gusts today and that there seemed to be less traffic overall. Before I knew it, I was back in Kona, dealing with the crazy pedestrians and vehicles (I yelled every time it looked like someone might be making a move to–or even thinking about it–cut me off all day; I was determined not to end the day in the hospital!).

Today, I really felt like I overcame some major psychological barriers, and am very grateful to have had the opportunity to face my demons of last camp. It’s pretty amazing to think back on all the years (7!!) of EpicWoman camps and all that I’ve asked of my aging body. By and large, it’s risen to the challenge, and healed up once all was said and done. I’m a lucky gal. Two more days of fun….then serious rest!!

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day 6

my day 6 was a 6000 swim which i so took my time..and made up my workout as i went..took my bands and soon enough ditched them as i could not get my butt up for the life of me..i worked on all the things that i feel i need…btw a lane to yourself is pure luxury and if you get out to use the ladies room no one takes the lane..not use to was a nice morning – then i changed and headed out to run back home with one stop in town for a fruit smoothie then on my way home for 4 mi…dropped the back pack..god that thing is annoying..ran another 4 . i then walked to town which took about 30 mins for a massage..the massage person was so kind and wonderful..i left so peaceful . it really was a great time no pressure just doing what i can and not really thinking why I’m not on that 130 mi ride the group was on…i enjoyed my journey today.. thank you universe..

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Epic Woman Camp 2016 Day 6

Today was the LONG ride – to Hawi, up the Kohala’s, down the upper highway past Holualoa to the Queen K, back down to the King Kam III and home.  213K if you did the exact ride, which no one did.  I am realizing maps and explicit directions mean nothing at this camp.  But most of the ride was completed by everyone and regardless, everyone got in their mileage, most important.  Well, ok Alicia missed the end of the bike ride after having CO2 issues and a flat, but I think her undercarriage was ok with the SAG wagon pick up.  And Michele is resting her knee (it’s doing great) so she had her own epic day with a 6K swim and solid run, ending it off with a good massage.

I am sitting out on the lanai waiting for our dinner and am still in shock at how lucky we have been with the weather.  Today’s ride was the easiest 213K ride I have done on this island.  The winds were calm – which never happens. It was hot but I love the heat.  It was the first time I wasn’t cold on the descents or at our stop in Waimea.

David rode the final 90K with me (well behind me so I didn’t draft :) ) and it was such a great day.  I cruised, steady Eddy the whole day, and felt great.  I finished the bike with time to run but decided to skip it and relax instead.  My plan is to do a 30K run on the last day (gulp) because I do have a 50 miler trail race coming up…

It’s hard to believe there are now only two days left…

Tonight we all sat around the table with our drinks and laughed and shared stories.  Good times.

Bring on Day 7!

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Day 5 at Epic Camp

Wohoo Rest day is here:))::)
We needed it!
The definition of Rest day is normally relaxing and rejuvenating your body.
Tara’s definition is hiking down a 25% downhill and back up. What??? Yes!! By the time we were up the hill we were soaked in sweat!
But the beach was amazing and the waves were huge today. Loved it.Thanks Etienne for driving us and thanks David for the entertainment.
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Ah, EpicWoman camp recovery day. This year was almost a proper rest day…. ;)

Since I’d been lucky earlier in the week to swim with lots of dolphins both at Captain Cook and at the pier, I opted out of the pre-dawn excursion, and met Nick at 7:15am at the epic house (his business, Velofix, is awesome–he makes house calls for bike maintenance!). My electronic shifting was a bit wonky and I had noticed a creaking yesterday in what I thought was my saddle; with a huge day of riding tomorrow, I wanted to make sure there was nothing to worry about. (Turns out, Nick thought the creaking was actually my bottom bracket but probably not requiring a rebuild yet; and although he tweaked the shifting, he thought that there was probably a wiring issue within the frame, and not an easy fix. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that both my bike and body hold together a few more epic days, and will take her into my local bikeshop when I get home!)

The dolphin watchers arrived back at the house with tales of 12 ft waves crashing to the rocky shores at Captain Cook, so while there were dolphins in the bay, it wasn’t possible to swim with them today.

But a yummy breakfast at LavaJava and a quick stop at BikeWorks (I swear that place is a triathlete candy store!) more than made up for it, I think.

Then the adventure/aerobic activity for the day was a van ride up to Waipi’o (driving shotgun in the minivan with E driving often provides an adrenaline rush or two since he has been known to test the limits of its performance capabilities at times!). Michele rested her sore knee and waited for us at the top of a very scenic point while everyone else hiked down to the black sand beach below…the mere 1.25k down a 25% grade to the beach was almost more tortuous on the legs than the climb back up! It was sunny and warm this year, unlike last camp when we huddled in the wind on the sand. Etienne was even inspired to brave the huge waves and swim almost past the breakers. He looked like a seal playing in the water; it was a blast to watch (and I caught him on video…now if I can just download it from my iPhone..!!).

It always amazes me to drive back to the house along the same route we rode a few days ago–it feels so much longer in the car!

So tomorrow is the day I have been anticipating with dread and cautious optimism for the past year. Last year, it was on day6 that I ended camp here with a bike crash. I’ve gotten mostly back in shape, but still not able to really run much yet. I’m hoping that this week will be a turning point for my body and my mind, and help me regain a bit of confidence on the roads. Stay tuned…

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Day 5

todays blog you will hear all about the great adventures of hiking on our rest day..yes for all it is great..when it’s great it is all good..i speak for myself not in a negative way but it’s just the nature of the’re happy, you’re in kona, how bad is it as I’m siting and viewing the ocean.. ? well it’s not bad at all to be in a beautiful place..and with like minded people..what happens when things aren’t exactly as you had dreamed of and wished for- it does happen but do you really think of that? or prepare yourself for that? i know i didn’t..i was beyond excited and my expectations were high of here i am injured 2nd day of camp.. it kinda throws your for a really try to take the high road but it’s not that easy.. yes it’s part of the sport and we all deal with it from time to time but when you fly so far , worked so hard, your dream is just so close and you come here to do what your body will allow but it’s not exactly able to train with others and go through the training effort and challenges, how far can you push…so what does this have to do with day 5 rest day – because this was my rest day..thinking of how can i overcome this challenge, a very different challenge..THE MIND..i came here to have a comeback after a 2 year struggle of stuff..i dreamed of this day to come back and here i am 5 years later..dreaming of coming home stronger then ever..the sacrifices i made and here i am with a clouded mind..what will be ? I know there will be a positive result but in the meantime my mind is clouded trying to figure out why? maybe i should rest my mind and just be..stop fighting the reason and let things fall as they may and strength will find me..perhaps this is what epic camp 2016 is for me.. and if you look at it that way it’s perfect ..

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Epic Woman Camp 2016 Day 5

Day 5:  “Rest Day”

Rest day (like last year) consisted of an optional swim with the dolphins and a hike down and up Waipi’0 Valley - a 1.25km hike (not including the walk to and from the black sand beach at the bottom) with over 25% grades.

Rest day does come at just the right moment.  At the moment we all need to be OFF the bikes and have no pressure to complete any set workouts.  Many laughs were had and once again, the bonds grew stronger :)

Early this morning, only four of us decided to wake up early and set off in the dark on a mission to swim with the dolphins at Captain Cook Bay.  However, upon our arrival, we quickly realized that getting in and out of the ocean would prove to be a very dangerous task that none of us thought was smart and none of us was willing to attempt.  We could see some dolphins jumping in the bay but we decided to drive to “Two Step Beach” instead, to see if the dolphins were also there and to see if we could enter the ocean more easily with the high surf.   Nope.  The view was spectacular and we had fun watching a local guy confidently swim in from his morning workout as well as watching two non locals head out into the ocean not so gracefully.

Whenever I am here, I never seem to have the time to go to my favourite coffee shop called the Coffee Shack so we stopped there on our way back.  The view over the valley to the ocean is beautiful.  So was the cinnamon bun and latte.

Next stop was Lava Java, then Bike Works and on to our hike.  The hike down took 11:30 and I hauled butt on the way up (walking steady - running up would be a form of torture) and made it in 15:50, dropping David once again :)   Sweat was pouring off us as we all summited the top.  While on the black sand beach we ate our packed lunches and watched Etienne play in the CRASHING waves.  He sure did look so small in that huge and powerful ocean.

A big dinner of pesto pasta with chicken and salad and fresh bread was inhaled – I need it for a huge ride tomorrow.  213K is the plan, up the Kohala’s so much carbo loading is essential.

Bring on Day 6!

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Day 4 at Epic Camp

Today we are supposed to have an easier day. This is according to Tara.
The choice was ocean swim or pool swim.
I went to the pool today  as my stomach is still a bit off! I picked the the swim set 12×100 IM/150 swim.
I know I cannot believe it myself.
I was surprised I picked that set myself. Lol
Took me forever but I got it done and no lifeguard jumped in to rescue me:)! So all good!!

Then back to the house for a quick breakfast and off for our 10 km run. 5 km warm up and 5 km Time Trial!! Hahaha
We had to predict our time and than had to run with no watch on and see how close we would get to the time.
I was way off but I was OK with it as I ran faster :) no complaints here.
We all had fantastic runs. Well we are all awesome!!

Back to the house and quick change again into bike gear.
We rode to the pretty beach (can never remember the name of the beach) . But it is beautiful.
On the way back home we stopped at Kope Lani for a coffee. (Shocker) I think Tara had to much sun.Lol

It was a fantastic day again. How can we not? We are in Hawaii!!

Good night.

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A new day at Epic Camp -Day 4

This morning I am refreshed – as expected. Hawaii is beautiful – everyday offers spectacular scenery and weather.

Today a few of us enjoyed a choppy swim in the ocean while the others went to the pool.

Then we ran before biking to “Pretty Beach”. Only 67km in the saddle today and time for laughs and pictures – it was very nice!

Tomorrow is our rest day and our under-carriages are looking forward to it!! :)

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day 4

the last couple of days have been a rough go with an inner knee issue that leaves me dry for cycling..:( so today i really wanted my day to be very positive..the day started out with locking my self out of my room..omg now i had to tell them i was locked out and everyone was all set to leave for the swim..luckily we found the a extra key..quickly changed and then headed to the sea ..the plan was 6k but the water was crazy choppy so 4k it was but i still swam all the way out even though i felt a storm in the waters coming..then we headed back for a 10 k run with a 5k estimated time trial. no watches..amazingly i felt pretty good..didnt effect my knee..really pleased with the run and now I’m thinking I’m good to go..back on track to find out i still can’t home- during this time i didn’t not get emotional..i accepted that this has happened and even though my big hopes for this camp are not exactly how i wanted it to be but this stuff happens..and bringing anymore drama to the camp is not productive..its upsetting but now I’m thinking something will come out of this in a very strong really happy the others are not only getting it done but done strongly..everyone has been awesome , food is great..massages are awesome as well..for the next day i will ice ice and is good…

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