... my journey from ballerina to triathlete

Monday, August 19, 2013

... And Sometimes, There's a Shark!

My workout today was set to be an 88-minute bike ride and a 44-minute swim.

Without hesitation, I loaded up The Cervelo (that's right, it gets capitals), gathered my swim stuff, and hit the road as soon as Sean left for work. My plan was to drive to Hapuna Beach, ride toward Kona as far as I could get in forty-four minutes, ride back, then jump in the ocean and do my swim.

The "cycling" went as planned, and I made it just under 18 miles. Slowly but surely, I am getting my times back down to where they were! My first ride back after the injury I clocked a pathetic 5:34 mile pace. Kenyan guys could run twenty-six miles at a faster pace than I could bike. Sad. Today I'm down to 4:14. Still not great, but definitely on the right path. Once I got warmed up my legs felt strong and even the up-hill portions didn't phase me like they have been doing. In fact, I stayed on the big sprocket for the entire ride! Not bad.

I do have to say that there is nothing like the wind on the Queen K Highway. Much like the two-sided hills of North Kohala (a horrible phenomenon in which you ride uphill for miles, then turn around and instead of finding a downhill, the other direction is inexplicably uphill as well), the Queen K winds seem to come from every direction so that no matter which way you ride, you are fighting buffeting gusts and trying not to let it tip your bike over. It's an adventure.

I also tried using the Charity Miles app for the first time. In theory, this app tracks your miles via GPS and donates 25 cents per mile of running and 10 cents per mile of biking to a charity of your choice. No idea how to verify that they are, in fact, donating the money, but it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside just the same.

After this decent length ride, the longest since I started training again, I was pretty excited to get to the water. Back at Hapuna Beach, I put the bike back in my car, carefully covered anything resembling a logo with towels so as not to attract attention, and proceeded down to the water. It was immediately noticeable that there were not very many people on the usually crowded beach, and no one at all in the water. I was a little confused by this but attributed it to the fact that it was somewhat late in the afternoon.

I googled "Tiger Shark Hawaii" and this is what came up...
As soon as I stepped into the water, however, the chorus of "no, no, NO!"s and the crowd of people running toward me alerted me to the fact that perhaps there was some other reason for the beach's unusual lack of occupancy.

Turns out, there was a SHARK.

Apparently a 10-15 foot tiger shark was sighted this morning and this caused beach closures for the rest of the day. For some other reason that I do not yet know, the signs and tape were all down by the time I got there and no one, including the gate guard, had bothered to inform me that there might be a giant set of teeth waiting for me when I did my swim workout. Obviously, the swim got postponed.

There is always something interesting going on when training in Hawaii, at least it never gets boring! For the (very short) official news story about this shark sighting, check out the local coverage. At very least. check out the comments at the bottom of the story. Should make you chuckle.

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