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?"
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:
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).
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.
Week 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.
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.