runningandthecity

So, after all was said and done, and part of the team left, and I was done with work, I got my sand on and also booked a few excursions.

I am not sure I ever mentioned this, cause I like to live in denial about things I don’t like, but I have a fun case of vertigo. It’s not bad, just annoying. I get nauseous in the back of cabs (and cars too), in a plane if I am not by the window, and if I am really high (in a building!!!). My sister and dad have it too. My sister can barely fly, and both my dad and her can’t even look at a boat. I hadn’t had any problems in the water, well, until this week.


As you can see, I’ve steered an America’s Cup Sail Boat, so… I’d say I am/was fine…

But we wanted to go find whales so we booked the Whale Sighting tour. I get there, have to walk in the walkway to the boat and I am gggggrrrrrrrrrrring. Those thin strips of land things make me itchy. But… Eddie Would Go.

As soon as I have to step into the boat… you know, that one step you take from firm land to water, eeeeek, again. But… Eddie Would Go.

We get in the cabin, then outside, everybody sits politely in the deck. Not me. I get bored easily and I decide to go up. I walked on this bouncy thing, while everyone screamed at me, that I was crazy and all that stuff.

I then laid down right at the front (whatever that’s called in boat terminology!!!), I was facing down, looking ahead, feeling allLeoDiCaprioIAmTheKingOfWorld and all… the boat moves up a lot in the front, like a lot. We were going up and down and I was riding it like I was almost surfing. It was so much fun. But it also felt like I was gliding, and like I was flying. Oh, yeah, Running. That’s what I like to feel like.


It felt fantastic. Still, no one dared to come up and join me. Their loss.
Oh, and we saw not one whale. But I didn’t care, I was gliding through the water, and having so much fun.

Until I got up. I decided I had to use the restroom and all of a sudden I couldn’t even move I was so nauseous. It was ridiculous. I sat in the back. I sat in the front. I laid down. That stuff is not fun at all.

And… because Eddie Would Go, I still went onto ANOTHER boat that same night. We did the “Sunset Sailing” with Hawaiian BBQ, drinkies, desserts, and OH, we saw the whales!!!! And I got sick as hell AGAIN (the insane amounts of food I had probably didn’t help, lots of those osom ribs, two portions of cheesecake…) but OH WELL.

No regrets. Listen to Eddie.

Eddie Would Go, and now that I practiced it a LOT in one day at sea… wait until I can show you what this turned into once I was set loose free on foot!

Have you heard about Eddie Aikau?

We were told his story at the Inspiration Dinner and it really stuck with me. Here’s the short version: 

Edward Ryon Makuahanai “Eddie” Aikau (May 4, 1946 – March 17, 1978) is one of the most respected names in surfing. He was the first lifeguard at Waimea Bay on the island of Oahu. He saved many lives and became well known as a big-wave surfer. “Eddie” was a true symbol of Aloha.

The local saying, “Eddie Would Go,” refers to his stoke to take on big waves that other surfers would shy away from and his courage to make a rescue in impossible situations.

He was alway doing something no one else has done before or since, purely on the basis of raw skill. Aikau’s prowess as a lifeguard became widely known, and a comforting presence on the beach. No one drowned on his watch, dozens were saved, at least the ones we know about, because Aikau rarely bothered to file reports on lifesaving. Aikau was a legend on the North Shore, pulling people out of waves that no one else would dare to. That’s where the saying came from — Eddie would go, when no else would or could. Only Eddie dared.

Click here and here if you want to read more about him. More to come on this… You can imagine where this is going, right?

(It is kind of funny what race day = work day)
 
I have never done a triathlon (and quite probably never will but never say never right?), but spectated once at the NYC TRI, and I haveworked at a TNT event as staff once before, but just as support staff. So, I was a bit unprepared to what race day would bring as I hadn’t done that before… I had no idea what a triathlon looked like from the inside (“transition”, what’s that about?) or what I was supposed to do and how. But, as the manager for the tri program, it was about time I figured things out…
 
But let me back up a little… the day before the event, we usually do what is called the Inspiration Dinner. I have showed you guys the one we had in San Francisco for the Nike Womens Marathon for 4000 people, with Kara Goucher and lots more. The Inspiration dinner servers as a pasta party but also you get to hear about the mission and how your money helps people. In most teams, there is one or more honored team mates, cancer patients in remission, or currently undergoing treatment who are also training for the race. One of them usually speaks at the dinner and tells everyone how they got there and how TNT has helped. Our team mate from NYC talked this time and it was very moving. I don’t have a connection to blood cancer but it’s crazy how cancer is everywhere and always so close. I always end up really moved and inspired (sometimes I even say crazy things like if he did all these triathlons with all he had going on, I HAVE TO do a triathlon too —newsflash: it never lasts… I am so lame!), and I joke that “I cry at this job everyday”, but it is true.
 
 
—Every chapter gets their own tables and we get to decorate them with whatever we want…
 
The dinner starts very loud. We set up what we call the “red carpet”, it’s a long pathway where the teams have to walk thru when they get in and all the staff and coaches line it up dressed up in purple and making lots of noise. It’s insane. Cowbells, bam bams, whistles, drums, whatever. It’s a celebration to their training and commitment and makes them feel like superstarts. It’s pretty amazing and people get super pumped!
 
 
—I wish I could show you how loud and insane this is… Impossible!!!
 
 
 
 
We then eat, hear speeches, including Dave Scott, our National Triathlon head coach (and Chrissie Wellington’s coach), eat pasta and cookies (more cookies than pasta for me), have a little separate group meetup with last minute instructions, do a little arts and crafts decorating singlets/wetsuits, wish everybody a great race day, hug, and they’re off to sleep. The coordinator and I though, had one more thing to do… we created notes for every single one of them, telling how amazing they are and now we had to go through the whole hotel to slip them under their doors. This is a big hotel. 25 acres. 1538 rooms. Ay. But it’s all worth it! They all appreciated it and told us so the next day.
 
I pass out and ten minutes later it’s race morning!!!!!
 
AAAAHHHHHHHGGGGGGGG
 
Just as a side note, there were around 1200 people in this tri (very unofficial number!!!) and 548 were Team in Training (official number). Can you imagine such a thing? Almost half the racers!!!
 
 
 
Anyway, we had 57 from NYC and they all seemed pumped and ready to go in. It’s kind of funny to me that their corrals are in the water. In the water!!! Of course it’s normal to them, but it’s silly to me (though I’ve been to some races where it was pouring rain so…).
 
 
 
Also funny, seeing them all go crazy to get into their wetsuits, they jump around, the pull and shove each other… And don’t get me started on those swim caps.
 
 
We help with stuff, then they are off and we just wait for a few minutes.
 
 
As soon as they start coming out of the water we cheer but also have to check each of our NYC participants off a list. We have to make sure everyone is accounted for. Just in case. But they all come out undressing mid run and they are all smiling!
 
 
 
After everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) is out of the water, we regroup with our cheering squad (with other staff from texas and california) and we move to our second location to cheer them on Mile 2 and 4.
It is hot. If this was a run I’d be upset. But tris require warmer weather, or they’d freeze in the water and the bike, or so I heard.
 
 
 
After we had all of our team go through Mile 4, we had to go help at the Finish.
 
 
 
We cheered, moved people along, helped with the check out, and all that fun stuff. By then it was around noon and I had been up since 5, so I was starving, tired, and hot. All I wanted was to jump in the water…
 
 
I had to rush though, bike loading (to bring their bikes back to NYC) finished at 3 and I had a lot of co2 cartridges to return (it’s a bullet that contains some gas to pump tired in a second) and they were in my room. So, rush to the hotel, then rush to bike loading. By 3:30 pm, I was free. For a bit. Had to make myself presentable for the Victory Party (yes, so many parties, tough job!!). 
This one is more laid back, there’s no speeches, people just eat, dance, chat, congratulate each other and toast themselves into an early night. We were all exhausted, but we were all still fun.
 
 
A party BY the pool, not a pool party, we were reminded…
 
 
 
Just because we’re not ridiculous enough!
 
 
 
Our Brooklyn Head Coach, that makes me look super short!
I had a couple of free hours this weekend (though not much) and, instead of some very needed R&R or some waterside fun, I decided it was time to get lost! Every time!
So I grabbed my camera, my room key and my hat, sunproofed up and took off, not really knowing which way to go…
The first day on Waikiloa we had done a little run on the race course with the team and coaches for recon, so I obviously went the other way on my first solo run. Soon, I was out in the back of the resort, through a golf course, through their gorgeous “highway”, and by some of the most amazing views I’ve seen. And I’ve seen plently…
This was ridiculous.
Run 1:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The good thing is that you can take your shoes and enjoy the water anytime. Or, you can take your shoes and cool off and drinse the sweat. Any way you want to look at it, our sport is really conducive to jumping on the water at any time.
I was following a guy for a bit who started a bit more lost than I was, but I figured it’d be easier for me that he was up ahead. Soon I was waiving, and nodding, and alohaing runners everywhere. Or probably thriathlets. But… I never get to do this in NYC…! There’s just so many runners in NYC it’s impossible/impractical/exhausting to wave at people you don’t know… It was great! Three miles in I realize I am running without music, well that’s a first… I didn’t even notice!!
 
Run 2:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Run 3:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I saw weird squirrels that were super long (I know now they are something called mongoose, cute little yellow birds, dolphins, and the greenest/bluest ocean I’d seen… really, what else could you want from a couple of spare hours at work?
And this is how you wake up!!

And this is how you wake up!!