Kohala Climb

One of my favourite rides in Kona is the climb from Kawaihae, up to Waimea and then over the top of Kohala then down to Hawi, and looping back to Kawaihae.  We try to ride it every time we're on the (other) big island.  Since we're here on vacation, we got to do that ride the other day!


Sunrise as we drove out to Kawaihae

Starting point - the harbour

Snack break about halfway up the climb!

We ascend the dry side - not a lot of vegetation!


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Almost at the summit - the little white dots behind
Jason are near the harbour where we started.

We descend on the wet side, so there are trees!

We took a detour to see the birthplace of
King Kamehameha I
Tailwind back to Kawaihae!



Betty Designs Photo Shoot

As part of our #BettyEpicCamp, we had a professional photo shoot with all of us in our team gear.  It was a fantastic experience!  And a huge thanks to Matt for trying to deal with all of us!



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#BettyEpicCamp

First - where did the time go?  It's March already!  Sorry for the radio silence; I'm back!

Last weekend we had our first annual BettyEpicCamp in Southern California.  Almost 40 Betty Designs team members showed up in Carlsbad to swim, bike, run, and socialize together.  It was an incredible weekend, and even though I didn't get much sleep, it was one of the most rewarding things I've done in a long time.

Here are some highlights:

We rented lanes at Alga Norte Aquatic Center
to get a swim workout in...
... but spent time playing too!

Thanks to Nytro Multisports for hooking us
up with bikes for the weekend!

Leading the group through Oceanside

The fast group before I got dropped :)
Running through Encinitas with
a quick photo stop at Swami's

Socializing was just as important as training!





HUGE thanks to our team sponsors, we were
SO SET for the weekend with everything from
Roka, Coola Suncare, Gatorade Endurance, Mavic and Suunto!

We capped off the weekend with a
team photo shoot - incredible!

I already can't wait for next year's camp!



Outdoor Pools of 2016

My only year in review post that I seem to do consistently is a look back at all the outdoor pools I've swam in.  2016 included some old favourites and some new ones (Healdsburg, Solana Beach, and Deerfield Beach).  Here is the list of outdoor pools I was lucky enough to swim in this past year.

One of my all-time favourites: Alga Norte in Carlsbad CA.  Gorgeous facility!



Another favourite: Henderson Multigenerational Centre, Henderson NV.




Pier Pool, Portland OR.  Not particularly fancy, but cute little pool tucked away in a quiet neighbourhood.  Must be a gem for the local homes.




Healdsburg (CA) Swim Center.  Attached to a high school.... that is my dream!





Finley Aquatic Center, Santa Rosa CA.




Kin Pool, Nanaimo BC.  The closest "swimmable" outdoor pool to me, about 40 minutes from my house.  There is a closer one (in Crofton, about 15 minutes away) but it's only 20 yards so not great for lap swimming.  Kin Pool doesn't have the best hours, but it's worth it on a hot summer day.




Pardee Aquatic Center, Solana Beach CA.  All the years I've been coming here, and this was the first time I've swam here!




Kitsilano Beach Pool, Vancouver BC.  Kits Pool is probably one of the world's top pools (no lie!), it's 137.5m (150 yards), right next to the ocean with the Vancouver skyline in the background.



Second Beach Pool, Vancouver BC.  Another gem, in Stanley Park and again right next to the ocean.




Kona Aquatic Center, Kona HI.  Of course I love this one because it means I'm in Hawaii!  Plus, Hawaii state pools are free!



Deerfield Beach Pool, Fort Lauderdale FL.  A super-friendly swim coach let us use one of their lanes, as we were just getting in when their practice was starting.  Thank you!










Miamiman Aquabike

Ages ago, I decided that a good end to this year's race season would be the half-ironman distance aquabike at the Miamiman Tri.  Fast forward many months, I wasn't that into it, but I was registered and had plane tickets, so Jason and I were off to Miami for a weekend!

When we arrived, we got a phone call from where we are staying; because of some renovations they had upgraded us to a luxury hotel right on the beach for free!  While we weren't really there for long enough to take advantage of that, it was still a great place to stay (even though it was pretty far from the race site).  We wandered around Deerfield Beach that evening, and woke up to a spectacular sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean the next day.

Good morning, Atlantic!

Outdoor pool = my happy place

Racked & ready for the last time in 2016!

Saturday was a whirlwind of getting a swim and a ride in, finding some food, driving to the race site, and getting everything checked in pre-race.  With the time change from east coast to west coast, we were exhausted!

Sunday morning was another gorgeous morning, and we watched the sunrise from the swim start area.  The race itself was huge, with over 2000 athletes since it was the US Championships for long-distance triathlon and aquabike, as well as hosting a standard distance race.  And lucky me (not), I was in the last swim wave... which meant swimming through a lot of people in waves ahead of me, never my favourite.

Sunrise from the swim start

One more race!
It wasn't my best swim - 1.9 km in 33 flat for the two loops.  The water was pretty warm but they claimed it was wetsuit legal... sure.  I had picked the race for the bike course, as I wanted the flat ride as that's where my strengths as a cyclist are.  It was an out-and-back with a 2-loop section.  There was some drafting, but like in any race you CAN make the decision to ride clean.  I did, and still PR'd with a bike time of 2:35 (although my garmin said it was only 87 km instead of 90, so ride time would probably be more like 2:41-2:42 - still a 5 minute PR anyway!).


Heading out for lap #2

Swim exit pics are always The. Worst.
Leaving T1

Heading out on the bike

 
Jason enjoying spectating instead of
racing for once!



Being the national championships, there was some fierce competition and I ended up in 8th place.  I was ok with that, since we wanted to do a bit of exploring rather than hang around for the awards ceremony.  We packed up my bike in the parking lot, did some sightseeing, then back on the plane headed for home.  
Heading back to transition after the ride.

Now for a few weeks of off-season!