Monday morning I said Aloha to my Canadian friends after a relaxing dip in the ocean and a muddy last jaunt through the cane fields of Paia. I came back to Oahu and decided that I would basically repeat the workouts from the week because I felt strong and ready to handle 7 more days of hard work. Also, Iâ€™m flying to Seattle on Tuesday, and to Colorado Springs on Saturday, and with all the travel plus the time it takes to acclimate to altitude, I figured this week was my last chance to really train hard for a while.
[Hawaii dirt is tenacious! Iâ€™ve worn these shoes every other day for the past 8 weeks and they are DIRTY!!]
The week was a success, but I will be glad Monday night when I finish my last hard training day. It was a lot harder to train without a big group to push me, but spending time with Courtenay and my friends while I wasnâ€™t training made the week fly by. I trained with other people for most of my key workouts this week, but it seemed like I just couldnâ€™t keep up with anyone. I swam with the UH varsity team each day â€“ much harder when Iâ€™m just as fatigued as they are â€“ rode my bike with Tim Marr and John Flanagan a few times (John destroyed me with a sub-19 minute climb up Tantalus), and ran at the track with Tim and John, though we just cheered each other on while we each did different workouts.
Hereâ€™s the scoop on training location. Mauiâ€™s venues are better. There are more cycling options, fewer cars, wider shoulders, cleaner streets, and less road rage. The cane fields of Paia are wonderful for running (until it rains and you get 2 inches of mud caked to your feet), and the pools are free and pretty nice, and the open water swimming is second to none. Oahu, however, wins on convenience. It has a better track (at University of Hawaii or in Hawaii Kai) and better swim programs (UH Masters Swimming, Oahu Club Masters swimming, or any of the training groups like Team Jet or Boca Hawaii). And unless youâ€™re traveling with a group, there are more people to train with on Oahu. What I like most about Oahu, however, is that everything is close. I havenâ€™t needed a car here for my eight week stay. I can walk to the UH pool and track, I can run almost entirely on grass or dirt to a big grassy park, thereâ€™s a grocery store a block away, and all of the good cycling rendezvous are within 10 minutes of here. That, combined with the fact that I have three cousins, an aunt and uncle, and lots of friends on Oahu, make it my choice for a base camp over Maui. I can deal with repetitive cycling routes and lees-than-ideal running routes (Itâ€™s still 90% on dirt) if it means I donâ€™t have to spend an hour (or even half an hour) in the car each day commuting to workouts.
Two more training days!