Honolulu Hello

The Honolulu Sprint Triathlon was my third Tri in 8 months. The first one in August of 2011 felt the best to me, even though I really had no idea what I was doing. From there, somewhere my expectations had changed. My expectations were based upon some wayward fallacy that somehow I totally knew what the fuck I was doing, even though reality would clearly point otherwise!

Ever since I was a little kid, I had taken some sort of warped sense of pride in always being able to fumble my way through shit and come out ‘okay’ on the other side. This Hawaii Tri was no different. I hadn’t trained too hard for a couple of reasons – one, my left Achilles had been rather raunchy for a few months and I didn’t want to further aggravate it and two, it was the start of the season so my cycling had not actually started yet. Yup, so no run training and no cycle training, but it was my goal to nail the swim – for I had been practicing it! And for the past two Tris, the swim had been my nemesis.

We arrived in Honolulu late Thursday night and since there was a 3 hour time difference, I ended up awake at 4:30 a.m. the next morning, putting my bike together. A feat which I should have (if we can use that word!) been more familiar with by now. I struggled my way through the rebuild, on my own, and was seemingly pleased with my completed bicycle. I spun the tires and rotated the pedals and it all seemed to work ok!

Early Friday morning (7) my Tri bud and myself made our way to Ala Moana bay for an early morning swim. The water was impeccable – warm and clear and the sunrise casting its shadows over the palm trees provided storybook imagery.

We swam about 600 meters. It felt great. I finally felt – really felt – like I could do this swim! It had always been the biggest obstacle for me but maybe, just maybe, this race would be different!

Friday night we got together with the gang – about 10 of us – and ended up whooping it up. Friday night rolled into Saturday morning and with it, came a fast and furious hangover! Awesome. I had a day of hydrating to try and recover! Hey, it’s a race….it’s not an excuse to stop living, I reminded myself. 

I ran into our new Tri friends from Victoria. They were on their way for a test cycle. ‘Hey can I join ya?’ I asked, ‘Give me 5 minutes’. I ran up to my room, changed and grabbed my beloved Specialized and came back to meet them in the parking lot. I mounted my bike and cranked one turn on the pedals when I came to an abrupt stop. The rear wheel had locked. I jumped off to see that my rear dérailleur had somehow broken free and was now locked with the chain on one of the spokes. I looked at this cluster fuck in disbelief! How could this happen? I didn’t even touch any part of the rear assembly. We finally got the derailleur out of the spokes and I set off to the bike shops in search of a fix! Which I found at The Bike Shop in Honolulu. A Specialized dealer! For 30 bucks, it was fixed. Seems that the derailleur clip had simply snapped – most likely due to getting squished in transport. 

I took it for a quick test ride and it seemed good to go. We headed out for a huge pasta meal and an early night – in bed asleep by 8:30. We would be at the course at 5 a.m. the next morning. 

That’s where things would get interesting….. (to be continued!)


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