Epic Swim: 100x100m

I don't use the word epic; it's overused and oversold.  I am using it in this case though, as our swim was a great achievement.  Things often start in the most innocent of ways, in this case a conversation on over-the-top workouts.  The fabled 100x100 - I emphatically declared to Jason and our friend Tim G. that I would never do it.  Somehow (ok, after a glass or two of wine) I had softened my stance on that, saying I would consider it if it was an outdoor pool, and in yards.  Then later, when Jason and I planned a trip to Maui for spring break, I somehow (another glass of wine?) agreed to do the swim during our vacation.  We set the date, and once it was set, there was no going back on my commitment.  

The day dawned, coach Noa had written the workout, and we assembled everything we needed.  The pool in Lahaina (near where we were staying) was set up to swim yards, and despite my earlier emphatic declaration that I would only do it in yards, I knew Jason and I would be disappointed if we wussed out with the shorter distance.  We are Canadian, and Canadians swim meters!  So we drove to the other side of the island, to the Kihei Aquatic Center, as it was set up in meters.

Kihei Aquatic Center

Getting ready

Blissfully, the day was overcast but we lathered up with enough sunscreen to supply a small nation anyway.  We knew we were in for a long one.  We unloaded our gear onto the pool deck; normally I am very anti-waterbottle at the pool while swimming, but this swim was different.  I had a bottle of Vega Pre-Workout Energizer (finished about half), a bottle of Gu Brew (finished about a quarter), one Gu gel, and two Gu Chomps (the 100 kick between each of the main set repeats was a great time to eat without stopping).

Our stuff needed for the 100x100m workout
Noa had come up with a great workout with lots of variation.  I can get bored quickly, so variety was the key for this one.  We pushed off and were underway!  The warmup went by pretty fast, and the 100's were just being ticked off, one after another.  I was doing around 10 seconds rest between each, sometimes a little less, and sometimes a little more if it involved being at the wall the same time as Jason and a little socialization.  I noted the two-hour mark on the clock, as that marked my longest swim workout I'd ever done to date.  

The workout!
We just kept swimming swimming swimming... and soon enough Jason was done - at pretty much exactly 3 hours.  I still had 17 to do and the sun was out in full force, so I thought I'd better get to it.  Things were getting tough; the first 7 kilometers didn't seem so bad, but it definitely got real after that.  I really noticed that I slowed down on my 10x100 steady in my last main set repeat (I was at 7700-8700 meters at that point).  The next 6x100 were tempo and I didn't want to keep slowing down, so I made it my goal to get those in at my regular "tempo" pace, and I'm happy to report that I succeeded!  Repeats 88-93 were all sub-1:45 per 100m.  That's my Ironman swim pace, so pretty pleased that I can do that after more than 2x an Ironman swim.  I'm not sure the next 3x100 fast were actually "fast" though!

Jason 3/4 of the way through

Three hour mark

Almost finished!

I finished #100 at 3:37 on the clock.  That is a looooong time to be in the water!  Next on the list was to get food, as we were both pretty hungry.  Ten kilometers is an epic swim for sure, and I'm one and done.  I am emphatically declaring that I am not doing that again.

21Things About The Valley To The Sea Half Marathon

  • It's on Maui. Sweet.
  • It starts in the Iao Valley, a lush, tropical, verdant paradise.
  • It finishes in Kihei. I love point to point runs!
  • Approximately 8 km are downhill. That is a good way to smash your quads.
  • Everyone started really fast because the first 2 miles are straight down. I, for once, started conservatively and picked off a few later who I'm assuming were paying for their fast start. That was fun.
  • The leaders (including Jason) were off so quickly I literally never saw them.
  • I, for once, passed people on the uphills. Noa has had me working on running hills, and funny how when you work on something, you actually improve.
  • There were aid stations every two miles. They were my "carrot", as I only allowed myself to walk when I was drinking from the tiny Dixie cup they gave me (except for the sand part - more on that later).
  • We were lucky it was overcast, as the only shade was the first two miles and a later stretch of about another mile. At least we didn't need it.
  • It was King Kamehameha humid. I was sweating so much that my ear buds slid out of my ears a few times. TMI?
  • There was cool scenic stuff along the way, including some tropical gardens near the beginning.
  • It was a race with mainly "real" runners (unlike me, I'm a total fake).
  • It was a race with mostly women, which is really cool.
  • The first race of the day was the race to the porta-potties from the buses that shuttled everyone to the start line.
  • There was about 4 km of a flat section into a headwind, and it was deceptively hard!
  • Miles 12-13 were along a beach, in the sand. I ended up doing a lot of walking in that section. Turns out that's quite a long way to run in the sand, especially at the end of a race.
  • I took a few soakers to the legs running along the beach from crashing waves (it was that or run in the soft sand further up; I chose surf).
  • Thanks K-Swiss for the drain holes on the bottom of my Kwicky Blade-Lights - they worked like a charm!
  • It felt soooo good to run on the pavement again for the last couple hundred meters.
  • It has my favorite finisher medal of all time.
  • Jason was 2nd overall, and first "old guy". He is a righteous dude.


Indoor Riding Makes Me Look Crazy

I'm not crazy, but you wouldn't know it if you logged into my Garmin account.  I use my Edge 500 when I'm on the trainer as a timer and for the cadence function.  When I upload my data, I get the map of my route... and clearly I am a crazy person riding around my yard:

I guess the GPS isn't as accurate when you're not actually moving, and probably somewhat obscured by being in the basement.  I have A LOT of files that look like that, so if the people at Garmin are mining my data, they are going to wonder about the insane person that keeps logging miles riding in weird patterns in a tiny area.

Humu Update

We took her for an ultrasound today.  Deep down inside me I knew there would be bad news.  She's such a stoic, tough dog (ok, except for her irrational fears of barbeques and hoses...), so I really did know that if she's at the point that she's actually showing distress, it's bad.  Once again, that inner voice was right.

She has a pretty significant tumour on the right atrium of her heart.  It's causing a backflow of blood into her pericardium and abdominal cavity.  Apparently heart tumours are fairly common in medium- and large-breed older dogs, and they come on quickly.  That explains why we were happily running in the woods just a few weeks ago.  It's not treatable, especially for a dog her age.  

We had the vet drain some of the fluid from around her heart, and immediately she was more comfortable and her heart rate dropped to 100 bpm from about 175.  The vet said that by draining the fluid she would probably get another week or two before she's back in distress, but we're not going to let it get back to that point and will put her down first.  We want her last days with us to be happy and enjoyable.

She hasn't eaten in days, but she's had a couple of treats since she's been home this afternoon.  Funny, we didn't think it would end this way... we always pictured her growing old peacefully, and running in the woods right up until her last day.  We'll make sure she gets one last walk on her favourite trails, even if we have to carry all 65 pounds of her.  But all this heartache - every minute of it - is worth it for the over 11 years we've had with our best friend.  Like Jason said, getting her was the best decision we've ever made.

Humu the Hound is Sick

Humu is sick... It's heartbreaking to see a normally spazzed-out dog just lying around the house. Heartbreaking. The vet suspects a liver issue, and we go back for more tests tomorrow. Not what you want to hear ever, but especially when your dog is 11.5 years old and has an average 12-year lifespan.

Hopefully this is just a bump in the road and she'll be back to her old self in no time.


Normal Humu.