Aloha! (it also means goodbye)

I’m on a plane home right now. Uncle Bob asked a good question on the way to the airport this afternoon: "Why do you need to go home?"

2007_Winter_Break 334 The obvious answers seemed to disappear under the weight of implications. School started Monday. I will be arriving home Tuesday night, and begging for forgiveness from my professors. I have stretched my break from the day of my final through the second day of the next quarter, and when I do get back into the classroom it will be like falling onto a treadmill at full speed.

Bob’s implication was that if my priority is racing, then I should be wherever I need to be for that goal to happen. I think Seattle will accommodate my goals, and I don’t think my class schedule will interfere with my training. Still, as it was asked, the question left me gazing out the window at a beautiful Hawaiian day without a good response. I have had such a great time in Hawaii the past month that I really question why I ever moved away.

The moment faded, and I realized all the great things that have resulted from the path I chose (Seattle that is), and I know that I’m on the right track. School is important to me, and it serves the dual purpose of keeping me grounded. Otherwise I would likely find a new home every month. I just love being in new places. Regardless, four weeks have never seemed shorter than those I just spent training in Hawaii. Here are some highlights:

2007_Winter_Break 003 Week 1: I arrived December 11th, and found myself sleeping on a futon on the floor of a waterfront mansion in Kailua. This house is probably worth $10 million, but featured completely empty hallways, bedrooms, cabinets and refrigerators (3 of them). I went on a highly restricted diet, and made it about a week before sleeping on a futon and reading boos on self-awareness and spirituality had me feeling pretty lonely and ready to get started on training. Unfortunately, it also coincided with a staff infection showing up in my foot (beware of thorns on beaches) and a sinus infection from swimming in the the bottom of the bay (I know babies with cleaner bottoms).

2007_Winter_Break 091 Week 2: Still staying in Kailiua with Coach Mike McMahon, I got over my illness and started running, swimming (in clean water) and hanging out with some old friends. I went for an awesome night hike and spent a day on the North Shore with two of my closest friends on the island, Trish and Matt.

2007_Winter_Break 055Week 3: Mike left, and I moved to Hawaii Kai, which is much closer to Honolulu, and the  home of my friends Chet the Jet and Adam Havrilak, who I spent Christmas breakfast with, sitting on our bikes. From there I visited my family in Haleiwa, went dirt bike  riding with my Uncle, and continued to add bulk miles to my early season run training. By the end of the week I was knocking out long runs and beginning to add in fartleks, hills and some speed. I finished off 2007 feeling great.

2007_Winter_Break 284 Week 4: Happy New Year!! Fireworks,kayaking, sushi, ocean swimming, cycling up ridges, and trips to the beach highlighted the first half of the week. Then I hopped on an inter-island plane and joined up with the Columbia Men’s Swim Team at Hawaii Preparatory Academy on the Big Island. It was three tough days of training, but it’s only a preview of the work to come. Running is finally beginning to feel natural, and a couple 5000+ yard workouts in the pool gave me some confidence that I am not missing much in the way of my swim.

Last night and this morning I said goodbye to my friends, dished out some well deserved thank you’s, and headed for the airport. It was a great trip.

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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1 Comment

  1. It was great seeing you in Hawaii Ben, and I’m glad to hear the rest of your trip went well! All the short slow runs with we did apparently did me some good as well–I finished 4th female overall in my ultramarathon last weekend. I’ve been struggling with leaving Hawaii too, but fortunately the islands aren’t sinking too fast–we can always go back when we’re done with school!

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