Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Marathon Van Ride on the Barf Route

Having just returned from a wonderful visit to Oaxaca, Mexico, I am savoring memories from that trip.  Day 1 land in Oaxaca City at midnight.  Day 2 off to Huatulco, area known for their beautiful bays on the Pacific coast.  Well, actually to the town of Pochutla which is one the Highway 175 to Huatulco.  The friends we were staying with advised us that trip is slow and long, 6 hours on a winding road with many curves.  We would be traveling in minivan with 12 passengers.  My husband Mark gets carsick on winding roads but decided he would be okay if he sat in the front seat by the window.  At the terminal, my friend Alma kept asking if we needed Dramamine.  "Oh no" we both replied.  "Linda never gets carsick and Mark will be okay in the front".  HAH!  Stupid last words.
We stopped 2 hours after departure at a rest station for bathroom breaks and to buy beverages and snacks.  No one was eating on the van but I was starving.  It was about 8 pm now and my last meal was lunch at 2pm.  I bought the biggest bag of potato chips I could find and chowed down.  Damn, this is a longg drive.  I kept checking my watch and we haven't even been on the road for 3 hours.  This is taking a lonnggg time.  And then it began...Thank goodness for the LARGE potato chip bag because I filled it up for the next 3 hours of the trip.  
My heart sank everytime I saw another winding road sign. This road trip is a marathon that will never end.
Meanwhile, I was surprised Mark did not appear to be getting sick.  Until it got unleashed.  While I was quiet and dainty about my sickness, he was LOUD.  I'm sure everyone in the van plus the driver was horrified.  The funny part (in my opinion) was when he stuck his head for another LOUD round while going through a sleepy quiet village, the dogs all started howling and barking.  
For the return trip back to Oaxaca City, we got smart.  Compramos medicina para no vomitar.  Just like in English.  

Monday, February 22, 2016

Practice Till You Puke

Sage advice given by my dear husband.  Of course, you need a little context.  I really learned how to ride a 10-speed bike when I was in my 30's.  Daunting to learn something many of you have been doing as naturally as walking.  I finally mastered the art of balancing on 2 skinny tires while pedaling, shifting and steering.  But then there was the issue of drinking while riding with a group on longer rides.  Taking one hand off the handle bars and reaching down the bike frame for my water bottle was super challenging for me.  As I whined about this to my husband, he said that I needed to keep practicing that action until I puked.  He did not mean literally that I should puke but that through repetition I would master that skill.  I still remind myself to "practice till I puke" because to become proficient at a new skill, it sometimes takes time and practice. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Smiles and Flirts

 Classic pre-run layout!  Thank you Colleen for selecting the Flirt Skirt to complete your running ensemble. 


Colleen always looks adorable and has the hugest smile at running events.  She is always training and registered for different running events.  Yet manages to find time for her profession as a teacher.
 I love her energy and passion. 
and who could not enjoy themselves in sunny Sedona. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Surf Dreams

Image result for a barbarian life
I first discovered this book by William Finnegan because of an excerpt that was published in New Yorker magazine.  He is a writer for the magazine and an avid surfer.  The story in the magazine focused on his life in the tough public school system and surfing in Honolulu.  I am a product of the Hawaii public school system as well and really got what he was saying.  Years later as an adult he returned to Hawaii and lived to surf at Honolua Bay and lived in Lahaina.  My old stomping grounds so of course I needed to read about that. 

The book is about surfing yes.  But what struck me was the extreme intelligence and the intellectual way he wrote about surfing.  Even if you have no background in surfing, you can't help but be fascinated by the details of his storytelling. 

I'm a surfer wannabe and someday I'm going to find my inner surfer. 


Friday, February 5, 2016

Sometimes We Fall

Skiing off-piste or away from groomed runs is my winter time passion.  I've been skiing for 33 years and have acquired a level of confidence with skiing the entire mountain at a ski resort.  But sometimes that confidence gets challenged.

I was enjoying a beautiful morning on the slopes of Crystal Mountain, WA with my regular ski buddy.  We were on one of my favorite runs which has spots that are steep, narrow and through the trees.  But there was plenty of snow, the sun was out and I was skiing carefully and slowly.  Well, I hit an ice block which knocked one ski off.  I am standing at the start of what looks like the steepest run ever desperately clinging the loose ski in my hand.  By now all former confidence has departed and I am trying to keep calm and carry on.

It took a long time and a lot of self-talking before I finally got my ski back on.  The first few turns were very shaky and I reverted back to my bad habits of sitting back and generally using the "fear" stance.  I did finally get my skiing legs back and made it to the bottom comfortably.

While shaking in my ski boots, I saw an analogy to life itself.  Sometimes we get shaken up but we must remember that we have the skills and knowledge, and believe in ourselves to get back on track.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Deep end of the pool, Shallow end of the ocean

The title describes my comfort level with swimming for the past 20 years.  
I grew up surrounded by water in Hawaii and absolutely loved wading in the shallow end of the ocean.  But it was a bummer not being able to join my friends in swimming and snorkeling.  As an adult I took countless swim lessons at the YMCA or community centers. But I still could not get over my terror of deep water.  Totally unfounded terror too.  There was no big traumatic event that caused this fear.   

Then 20 years ago, my mermaid friend Judith worked with me at the pool and everything clicked.  I was able to coordinate side breathing, with crawl stroke and kicking!!!  I would swim laps and cling onto the edge of the pool in the deep end.  

Over the years, I kept up with my swimming and received more swim coaching. It seems as though one day I went out into the ocean and just felt comfortable in the deep.  It was such a liberating experience to be able to snorkle in deep waters, to get smashed by waves while learning to surf, kayak faraway from the shoreline.  I felt as though a whole new world opened up.  

I really thought I would never be able to swim.  That I was a "sinker".  Then when I learned to swim, I thought it could only be in the safe confines of a pool.  Then I graduated to swimming close to the ocean shoreline.    I am not some superperson with the will to overcome or anything that noble. I am just someone who kept on practicing and one day, it all came together.  

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Marathon Memories from a Year Ago

Honolulu Marathon 2015 took place today and I was fondly remembering my experience at this marathon last year.  I've decided this is my favorite marathon to date.  Fun beautiful course with no time limit.  The course will stay open until the last person crosses the finish line.  How is that for being inclusive.

A few things I love about this marathon:

  • Starting with huge fireworks display gets the adrenaline going.  
  • Early 5am start in the dark with downtown Honolulu lit up with Christmas displays
  • So much energy.  Gotta love the Japanese cheering groups with their enthusiasm and energy.
  • Costumes, costumes everywhere.  
  • Running in WARM rain.  No overheating.  
  • Seeing the elite runners on the route to the finish.  Amazing.
  • Breathtaking scenery.
  • Malasadas at the finish.

Yes, I did see a few rainbows.
Funny running form but gotta love the Flirt Skirt and the scenery.

Hurray, now time to recover.

My biggest smile of the day.