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Training in Maui

napili_beachI’m in the middle of two weeks in Maui with my family, enjoying every minute. I’m officially training for the Silicon Valley Marathon where I want to qualify for Boston but I’m still considering the Big Kahuna 70.3 this year and another Olympic distance or two, so I am still tri training in Maui. It was going to cost $300 to ship my bike here and $300 to rent a decent bike for 2 weeks, so I’m just swimming and running.

apili Bay is often voted one of the best swimming beaches in America. It’s the perfect place to train for open water swimming. It’s just over 1/4-mile from end to end with several reefs that keep it almost always calm. Visibility is great, so I can follow the lines in the sand created by the surf and can swim straight with very little navigation. Maybe I’m actually improving a bit. I swam once a few days ago in my sleeveless wet suit just to get the practice in, but it gets really warm in tropical water, not to mention I probably look like an idiot in a wet suit in Hawaii in August.

Running is always more punishing in Hawaii due to the heat and humidity. The pace is slower and I am always dripping in sweat, but the views are breathtaking. I have a favorite 3.5-ml. loop through Kapalua Resort I have been running for many years. Everything but the last half mile is hills. Today, I decided to run to Kaanapali and back, an 11-mile out and back run, but I take the upper highway on the first half and the lower road along the coast on the return. I forgot to bring salt tablets for the long runs in Maui and sure enough my right calf cramped up.

On Sunday, I will do the Aluminum Man, billed as a “not so serious series.” I called the race director before I left California and was told to leave my Ironman ego at home.

Oh, there is one other fantastic serendipity of training in Maui.  Yesterday, I went for a quick snorkel on Napili Bay. Within two minutes, I found myself face to face with a giant green sea turtle. I had seen turtles in the bay for years, but had never come so close. This turtle let me swim right up to it, put my hand on it’s huge shell, and swim by its side for about five minutes. It was at least 5.5-ft. long…had to be over 100 years old.


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