This morning started way too early for me. 2007 seemed to have more to offer than time to give it, and while many people are starting off the new year with hangovers and blurry memory, I’m lucky enough to be merely low on sleep from days of saying, "why not" to every opportunity that comes my way.
It started Saturday night after Italian food. We (Adam and Bob) watched a movie (Pollack, which is excellent), and went to bed. It was a recovery night that still managed to keep me up until midnight. I awoke Sunday morning early to join a group that rides from Boca Hawaii. I wanted to have the group leader, Eduardo, teach me some Portuguese for my trip to Brazil in four weeks from now. I now know how to ask for little kisses, beer, and to compliment women. I’m not sure how that gets me to my hotel, or finds me food, but it’s a start.
We rode to Pearl Ridge above the similarly named harbor where we found four ridges to climb. Luckily everyone was in early season, and nobody really tried to kill the hills. All said and done, we had total elevation gain of 1200m not including the second ridge because I forgot to restart my Forerunner after a short break at the top of the first ridge. Check out the activity on Motionbased. After the post-ride nap, I headed off for a swim/run on the beach which was supposed to be my last workout of the week before a nice full day of recovery. (Jan 1st is the official start of my season, and end of off-season, so I wanted to be recovered for that). My run/swim took about 45 minutes total, and afterwards I met up with Matt to go see Alien vs Predator Requiem, but also decided to grab a bag of dried papaya and pineapple to sneak in with me. The sugar was a terrible idea. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had anything really sweet, and it hit me like methamphetamines. I got home around 10:30 and was so buzzed on sugar I decided I needed to run off some of the energy before it had time for a heavy insulin response. I ended up running nearly five miles at a good clip and still had trouble getting to sleep.
Monday (New Years Eve) came quick. I woke up to the smell of vanilla hazelnut coffee, and eggs. I opted for some granola and was looking forward to a day of napping and reading up on schoolwork. That is until Kurt Chambers called from the tarmac to see if I wanted to meet up for a swim from the Diamond Head Light House to Kaimana Beach in Waikiki. It was a little over a two mile ocean swim on an overcast and high wind day (which was supposed to be an off day), but I wasn’t going to pass up an adventure. I convinced Adam and Matt to join us, and we hit the water around 2pm. When open water swimming it is important to wear bright colored swim caps (Kurt and Adam followed that rule) and to stay in a close enough group to help somebody if they cramp or panic (Kurt ignored this one, and even though Adam was swimming with all his heart, seven months in China has not helped him to be able to keep up with two former NCAA swimmers and an avid free diver. Matt and I stopped regularly to regroup, but Kurt was on a mission to find fish pods for hunting when the season opened today, and not even tiger sharks could have slowed him down.
That was a long way to say I skipped my nap. I was exhausted, so when Adam offered the idea to pick up a pizza from Kona Brewing Company instead of cooking, I graciously accepted.
Writing this, it makes me wonder how my day went by so fast. It felt like I did much more, but I’ll fast forward through dinner, to the obscene display of pyrotechnics that I had forgotten since leaving the island. We blew up about $50 in fireworks, but were completely outdone by pretty much everyone else on the island. From the time it got dark around 6:30 until the New Year it was as if the entire island of Oahu was in an adrenaline fed frenzy to set off as many explosives as possible. I have to imagine the attack on Pearl Harbor would have looked tame compared to New Years here. At midnight I found myself standing among some of our nationals finest (I would have thought the armed forces would be a little bored of seeing things explode) on a beach in Waikiki watching $10 million of explosives launched off a barge. From Waikiki you can see the entire south end of Oahu from Diamond Head to Ewa, and there was not a dark part on the coast. It was like watching the flash bulbs go off at at the World Series.
I made it an "early" night after the fireworks. Having lost Adam in the crowds I went back to his condo and crashed. Two hours later I awake to a now very familiar greeting, "Happy New Year!" — Adam had received my "early to bed memo", but read it, "early to rise". He was wired and ready for an adventure. "Let’s drive to Sandy’s and see the sun rise!" — ugh.
[Left: Adam and I took these Japanese girls’ picture for them, then they took our for us, then another guy took one of all four of us. We said, "Do you speak English" they said "no", I said, this is a "Sun — Rise" and they responded with an enthusiastic, "SUN LIES!!" Yet it looked so honest.]