Hilton Staycation

Last week I had a few days of vacation from work then 2 days spent at my companies annual business meeting at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. The last night we stayed at the hotel and it was so good we decided to stay there for a second day. Between the meeting and hotel stay I didn’t get to train on Thu, Fri or Sat, which probably resulted in some much needed R&R. One of my sponsors it the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island but I hadn’t stayed at their Waikiki location until now.

Japan

I’m back to blogging after a two week hiatus spent in Japan (first time), meeting the in-laws, being a tourist, and eating enough sushi to satisfy the hunger of a sumo wrestler. I’m probably very close to having mercury poisoning and in need of some detox! No bike (although saw plenty roads I want to ride some day), and no work, made for an awesome trip. United managed to forget to put out bags on the flight from LAX to Narita, and our return flight from Narita to Denver was also delayed, so that was a bit frustrating. Flying in the Boeing 787 dreamliner with free wine and watching Hangover 2 and 3, and Batman – The Dark Knight Rises made it more bearable. Supershuttle in Denver boiled my blood as usual. Almost an hour of waiting around for a shuttle van that I’d made a reservation for in advance. This was the second time I’d given them a chance and is definitely the last time I’ll endure their BS.

Going from two weeks at close to sea level in Hiroshima back to ~5400ft in Denver results in a HR of 175bpm for an easy endurance ride! Day 2 wasn’t so bad with my HR cruising at 158bpm. I got in a couple good final rides in before Daylight Savings Time came to a sad end on Sunday. Time to figure out how to fit in my training around dark / cold winter evenings in Colorado! At least I’ve got a new coach (Bert Glennon) on board to dish out some whippings over the winter in prep for the 2014 season. Lofty race goals require more detailed planning and sometimes it’s better to leave the details and analysis to someone that can focus their time on vs. my trying to not overtrain myself.

A weekend in the mountains

Last week I attended AIA Colorado’s practice and design conference in Keystone, CO (Elev. ~9200ft), then stayed in the mountains for a bit of a weekend getaway! The drive from Denver to Keystone was fun as it was snowing on I-70 from Loveland Pass all the way to Keystone. Minus a recent small snow flurry this was the first real snow I’d experienced since 2003.

Sat night was spent in Breckenridge (Elev. ~9600ft) and I stayed on 4 O-Clock Road which I guess is also the name of a ski-run which ends up back at the condo’s I stayed at. Before checking into the condo I drove south over Hoosier Pass to the town of Fairplay which is what the cartoon South Park is based on. Very unique little town to say the least.

One takeaway from this trip was that I need to do a training camp (cycling) in Breckenridge… So many awesome roads to explore and scenery to soak up.

Negative

35 days ago I took a very long time to pee in a cup for USADA after winning the Elite Men’s Team Pursuit at Elite Nationals in LA. Throughout those 35 days, despite not taking any illegal substances, there’s always that nano-percentage of thought running wild thinking “Man, what if something turns up in my sample”. That would pretty much be the end of my competitive cycling, which is something that I live for and get excited about every day.  Yesterday I got the email from USADA with subject “USADA: Result Notificati​on”… I need to go to USADA’s website to check out the notification letter, which require re-setting my password. Finally I gained access and got the letter. Squeaky clean. Negative. If you’re getting tested by USADA that’s a good sign as it likely means you’re doing something right… You’re competing in a race big enough to matter, and finished far enough up the results to get selected to provide some pee, or you were simply randomly selected. So, to win a race, provide the sample, and pass, is awesome.

38th State

Last week I threw out a pile of boxes that we used to move into our current apartment about 1.5yrs ago. Merely days later my employer asks me “How do you feel about working in Denver, Colorado for 2 years? Maybe I jinxed myself by throwing out those boxes!

Getting word that I need to move to Colorado and start work there in mid June results in quite an increase in cortisol levels and creates a tornado of thoughts to whirl around my cranium:

– Oh, there will be lots of cycling opportunities!
– TWO velodromes (well, 1 right now, but 2 once Boulder Valley Velodrome is completed).
– How bad does the snow get?
– Where is my work location relative to various shootings that have happened.
– Am I really ready to leave Hawaii?
– Can I survive in the mountains, away from the ocean, and with no source of fresh ahi poke?

I’ve already been using Strava to figure out where I can train, climbs I want to do, races that I want to race, where the new Trader Joes (opening in Q4 2013) is located, etc. I know it will all work out, but in the meantime I’ll be busy driving myself a little crazy.

Racing in Hawaii has been a fun journey from 175lbs and slow to 138lbs and fast at my lightest racing weight. Being a bigger fish in a small racing community where everyone knows everyone is fun but it’s going to be nice to have a fresh batch of competitors to kick my ass. Having a ton of cool racing such as Mt Evans and Pikes Peak hillclimbs (in the same weekend) should be enough to get the racing juices flowing and my motivation back to where it used to be.

Another bonus to living in CO is that I’ll be there in time to see the USA Pro Cycling Challenge!

I lived in Colorado for 9months as that was my first stop when I arrived in the US. The move from CO to HI was never really planned and happened within 2 weeks. Once I had left Colorado I had some regrets about things I should have done or seen. It will be nice to be back there and fill in the blanks! I’ll definitely be making a Colorado bucketlist so that I accomplish all the things that are not possible in Hawaii.

Hawaii vs Mainland

Sure living in Hawaii is pretty damn good, and a lot of people are probably envious that some of us are fortunate enough to be able to call Hawaii home. However, having just come back from a trip to the “Mainland”, aka “Lower 48 States”, aka “Continental US”, it served as a reminder of a few differences between Hawaii and California.

– The speed limits here are SLOW. It was so nice to be able to drive north of 60mph without fear of being pulled over.
– The condition of roads here is not good. I didn’t hit a single pothole on a freeway while in California. Hawaii has a small temp swing and moderate weather yet we don’t seem to be able to have quality roads.
– Hawaii NEEDS Trader Joes.
– Hawaii NEEDS a velodrome! A couple of people I met at the track in Carson all said “If there was a track in Hawaii I would be there!” etc. Build it and they will come!