Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Blog Post from Honolulu

The day is here that I'm leaving this islands for a bit. Soon to return for the Great Aloha Run in 2/15/10!
It's been real Hawaii.
No doubt, my life turned around 1080 degress on these islands. For that, you [Hawaii and my friends] have a very special place in my heart.

So many good things happened here and the people I met, the food I ate [and then ate again and again and again] will never be forgotten. I loved every minute of my time here and you will ALL be sorely missed.

And with that, I'll wave a shaka, say Aloha and do the head-thing.
Next time we talk, I'll be on THE LEFT COAST!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


BIG ANNOUNCEMENT [in case you didn't see that in the title!]

I will be relocating from the beautiful, bikini-clad shores of Honolulu to the foggy and damp shores of San Francisco, CA on 12/31/09. As most of you readers know, I was severed from my job sometime in September and have been looking for jobs in Hawaii to no avail. Given these circumstances, I looked elsewhere and found a home working as a Senior Statistician at a company called Quality Planning. This group does risk analytics for car-insurance companies and I'll be on the research side.

Perks about it:
1) 22 days of PTO. Can you say Hello Hawaii in February!
2) Nice benefits plan
3) No aloha shirt and slacks.
4)...No slacks
5)...No slacks
6) Jeans and shirt = okay. tucked in = not required
7) Most importantly, it's interesting work! oh thank goodness!
8) Hours are fairly flexible. can take hours off the front and stay late, or come in early and leave early. Either way, it's nice that there are also work-from-home options too =)

And though I'm excited to push the re-start button, I will be leaving some awesome views and awesome friends behind in Hawaii. Thank god I'll be back often to race here. I owe so much to so many people that have helped me out. There are more names on that list than the US's terror watch list [and some of you belong on that list! =)]...errr...bad joke? nah. I left out the part about strapping-shit-to-undewear.

All in all, I am reluctant to admit that I'll be leaving the islands and quality friends here. To use a hackneyed line, "I found myself here". No, I really did though. I'm pretty sure I'm a cyclist who just so happens to run, rather than a runner that just so happens to cycle. But before this, I was a former-fat-ass-lard-slabbing-jelly-doughnut-yes-i'll-take-more-butter-on-my-biscuit kid. Now, I'm far from it and have no intentions of looking back. I'm going to take the next blog posts to recap some awesome memories about the islands I have and tips for those in Hawaii that want to know my favorite grinds.

"Leave the bike, ship the kale" =)
-Best said with a Scottish accent.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Somewhere in between, Xmas passed?

Whoa, and just like that another Xmas gone by. What made this one a bit more significant was that I was away from family for the first time in my short-lived life. And so the mexican hot-chocolate, vegan tamales, and unwrapping bundles of goodness would have to wait. Sigh...instead...I made the above pizzas! It was so good, even Jun liked it [look at his smile!]

Yep, those are vegan pizzas with TONS and I mean ASSLOADS of fixins' including: jalapeno peppers, caramelized onions, mushroom, pesto, sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, asparagus, eggplant, broccoli, raw vegan 'alfredo' sauce...and tons of other stuff. Basically it was so good, you'd want to slap yourself for eating anything different all these years.

Along with all that vegan goodness, we washed down all of that with Opus One wine, Vueve Cliquot champagne, a merlot, a pinot and a cab. That was the most alcohol I've consumed since grad school! And by most I mean like 5-6 glasses of wine and 1 glass of champange. I was totally roasted! But I think I'm entitled to this seeing as how it comes once [twice...three times...check that, four times] a year. Enjjjjjjjoy!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Xmas Chatter

All this talk of Xmas has got me tired and worn out! Ugh! Normally, I’m not this pooped but man, it’s been a long holiday season [and to think, it’s not even Xmas yet!]. Right now, the weather in Hawaii is roughly 80 degrees but the weather inside the office is close to 55..brrr….I’m shocked icicles aren’t sprouting from the ceiling yet. Pretty quiet day here in Hawaii and the office in general. I imagine things will come to a screeching halt in the coming days and so will my own training as I take some time too for holiday. Didn’t think I did that did ya?!

I’ve decided to try a new recipe inspired by the Garmin-Transitions team nutritionist Allen Lim. Obviously, I have “vegan-ized” it for my meat-less taste preferences but feel free to add your own twist on these rice-cakes.
NOTE: If you’re familiar with Hawaii then it’s like a musubi. For those familiar with Japanese culture and food, this is essentially an o-nigiri. Having said that, let’s get started on the ingredients I need to buy:
1) Brown rice [probably 1 cup should do for now]
2) 2 tsp of sesame oil
3) Furikake seasoning [seaweed with sesame seeds]
4) 2 tbsp wheat-free tamari OR Bragg’s liquid aminos [I like Bragg’s personally]
5) 1 tbsp agave syrup to give it a ‘teriyaki flavor’.
6) 1 packet of shiitake mushrooms.
7) [Optional] Raw-vegan ‘Parma’ powder [Like parmesan cheese but taste is waaaay better and obviously better for your health] to taste.

Combine all of this nonsense into a rice-cooker and blast away. I have made rice like this with meat back in my dark-aged-meat-eating days but this will be much better. Anways, after it cooks, stick in a brownie pan and make ‘bars’. Drizzle with some more agave nectar and tamari and put in oven a few minutes to get a nice crust. Then, pop tray in fridge and consume as needed. Because there are no meat-products and this is all vegan, it should keep for a little more than a week. I cannot and WILL NOT attest to this simply because most of the food I have never makes it one week anyways! =)

In other news…I ran 7 miles in 44 minutes this morning. My legs hurt now. Check that. They’re really sore. Can you say recovery ride?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Oh Mariah....what are you doing to me!

I walked into the office this morning to an interesting note written on my whiteboard [see photos]. If you've got eyes like mine, even bold, size 22 font wont do it for ya so I'll save you the trouble. It says "Dear Alex, All I want for christmas is you! Love, Mariah".

In truth a co-worker plays this damn song like every day - or rather, USED to. Seriously, it was on repeat1 I swear! I mean, I love Mariah and all [see older posts] but this song just was too much. Instead of getting in the Xmas spirit I would get mad! I was like 'ahhhh f*ck, AGAIN!'. And the CD that you're seeing, that's a burned CD, 12 songs deep of the same damn song: All I want for Xmas is you.

Good lord. Pass the vodka please =)
Breakfast - fruit salad
Lunch - Miso marinated tofu with eggplant, brown rice, lime spiced coleslaw
Dinner - Oatmeal, almond butter, bananas, apples, blueberries and clif bar.
NOTE TO SELF: Say NO to cruciferous vegetables for breakfast and lunch. Not fun in my tummy. Super bloating...ugh.

7.5 miles today with extreme bloating. I's either cabbage or kale that do it to me! romaine? no problem. kale or cabbage? Let's not go there shall we...

Friday, December 18, 2009

What about Xmas?!

Given all the lights around town, I’m under the impression that some holiday is coming up? Oh that’s right, it’s Xmas. And what’s that mean? Shopping. How much of that have I done? *Some. More to go? A LOT. You see, most folks associate Xmas shopping with walking around malls, interlocking arms, laughing the day away while sipping on a peppermint mocha-fappuccino. Yeah…see, here’s the thing: walking around malls AFTER ripping your legs apart isn’t as appealing anymore. Add to this the ‘satisfaction’ of an afternoon run and online shopping becomes the clear winner.

Funny, I used to like doing the shopping thing but now it seems getting me out of compression tights, a solid dinner and a tall beer is virtually impossible. Speaking of tearing legs, Mike and I climbed Tantalus road yesterday and the highlight was the guavas consumed at the top of the road. Let it be known on this blog that in addition to mejdool dates, I AM A KNOWN MURDERER OF GUAVAS – in particular, strawberry-guavas. Wanna know what I’m doing tomorrow? Laps around tantalus with plenty of ‘guava-stops’ factored in. I’ll be sure to take photos of that one. On the descent we had the opportunity to see what downtown Honolulu and Waikiki looked like just as the sun was setting – breathtaking is the only word I can use.

Outside that, a pretty quiet Friday here in Hawaii. Getting ready for the weekend ‘festivities’ chief among which is to clean my condo and do some laundry. But before we can get there, an afternoon run down Waikiki Beach calls out to me. Guess I just never learn do I? =)


AM: off-day on the bike [gasp!]
PM: 7.5 mile run
Diet –
Breakfast: Fruit salad
Lunch: Tofu-brown rice balls with hot-sauce and mock tofu ‘chikin’ strips
Dinner: Going to be Oatmeal, peanut butter, bananas, blueberries and apples.
Snacks: Clif Vegan protein bar, water, banana, protein shake

Whole lotta food today ya dag?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pak dat Shiiieeet!

Roughly translated: “Kid, give up that running shit and concentrate on cycling!”. My buddy Mike utters this phrase to me and I guess it’s got some truth. It’s hard to have cycling AND running ambitions. And by hard, I don’t mean like solving differential equations…no, hard as in breaking down the body like crazy. Running and cycling is bad enough but combine this with running HARD and cycling HARD and you’ve got a recipe for trashed legs. And did I mention…do this everyday with 1 ‘off day’ [no running, but still cycling]. That shit adds up son.

Right now, I enjoy doing both but I see the turn coming. Either be a damn good cyclist and a middle-of-the-pack runner [not like I’m not already] or a recreational rider [yawn] but an elite runner. Tough trade off. That’s like asking me to pick between Mexican food and Thai food. No can. I’ve also fielded requests for dual’s, CX, and MTB. I listen, nod my head and say “word son, sounds like fun.”

Running gives me great, great, GREAT joy. There’s something about waking up, throwing on some shorts, lacing up your shoes, and keeping the appointment you have with yourself. By the same token though, there’s also something to be said about throwing down serious watts on the bike or climbing really steep hills [only thing I’m reasonable at]. The one thing about cycling I really enjoy and love is that it’s so hard and painful [I’ll refrain from my usual ‘that’s what she said’ comment]. Ask any cyclist worth his/her salt and the answer to the question: “What’s at the core of cycling” is unanimous – SUFFERING. Suffering is absolutely at the core of cycling. Don’t get me wrong, I suffer when I run but unlike cycling, there’s no such thing as ‘recovery’ [can’t just stop running in a race]. This is good because I can a) regain consciousness, b) regain blood-flow to my arteries, and c) feel my legs again only to suffer some more later.

But I’m not ready to make a call on running or cycling. All the runners I see say ‘damn kid, you’re built to run, go be a runner’, while all the cyclists I know say ‘Pak dat sheeeiiit’! Decisions, decisions.
Breakfast – fruit salad with a hefty dousing of agave syrup
Lunch – Vegan burger on whole wheat bread and lime-spiced napa cabbage ‘slaw.
Dinner – Either pasta or oatmeal..haven’t made up my mind yet!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Aftermath of yesterday

1,246 kj’s later, my legs were completely trashed last night. We got out to a wicked-fast start and I can remember a good couple miles where my heart rate stayed north of 180 bpm! We slowed down a bit towards the climb of Hanauma Bay and on the way back but guaranteed, we were hauling some serious A-S-S for a while. Safe to say that when I got home, I pounded a SunWarrior raw vegan shake, a Clif builder’s bar and threw on the compression tights.

Good workout and just what I needed to help jumpstart those 4 days of inactivity last weekend. Honestly, I don’t remember going that long without running or cycling…scary shit. Safe to say the early morning recovery ride was needed and deeply appreciated. And now that the lactic acid has been all but drained it’s time to do it over again with a solid 7 mile effort because hey, what’s dinner without the feeling of exhaustion and borderline-starvation?

I don’t remember when but sometime in March when I got ‘really serious’ about my running [really serious = buying short shorts], food looked different. Food was no longer something to go out for, to reward oneself with, or to experiment a new cuisine. Food was – and currently is – fuel. It’s simply about fueling my body for the punishment / suffering that goes into running and cycling [not to mention at work!]. I don’t remember eating for the pure ‘enjoyment’ of eating…well, that’s not true. I remember that one year ago I memorized the subway daily footlong menu and would pound one of those for my lunch everyday [yep, but that on repeat one on your ipods]. Nowadays? That delicious fruit salad with some lemon and a LaraBar. Times change.

And on that note, it’s time for me to hit the pavement and go hustle out a run while my legs are still ignorant about what is to come. Here’s the daily log:
AM – Recovery cycle
PM – 7 mile run to the end of Waikiki beach and back. Bikini-clad women holding surfboards? Check. Dark Oakley sunglasses? Damn right =)

Breakfast – fruit salad
Lunch – fruit salad [soo good, I had to have it again]
Dinner – Pasta with tofu.

NOTE: I would have had fruit salad for lunch too but ran out of bananas. =(

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Early-morning-before-dawn-run? Yezzir!

“Woke up this mornin’ and feeling like P.Diddy”…or so the line goes anyways. For those of you young folks that listen to ‘pop music’, that was a lyric taken from Ke$ha’s song Tik-tok. Truth is, I did wake up this morning although without the P.Diddy-esque feeling.

Hoping to obtain this euphoric feeling of ‘I-rule-the-world-and-pop-bottles-of-champagne-and-date-hundreds-of-models-and-reside-in-Miami’, I set out for a solid run of 5 miles at an easy 6-minute-ish pace. Thing I dislike about running the morning is that it’s still dark in Hawaii. As such, I can hardly see the picturesque views of Waikiki beach let alone 3 meters in front of me.

Nevertheless, I knocked out 5 miles, drank my raw vegan protein shake, consumed my fruit salad mix and went to work happy and tired. Around 10am, my legs started to tighten and even now, I can feel soreness building up. No bueno. Why is that no bueno? Well, I am pounding some pavement on the bike in the afternoon and will need to do my best ‘No-really-I-am-not-tired-or-sore’ impersonation =)

Will let you all know how that goes tomorrow morning assuming I can a) get out of bed and b) find my computer.
Here’s the daily Log:
AM – 5 mile brisk run
PM – Cycle session

Breakfast – Fruit salad with Clif protein bar
Lunch – fruit salad with soy mixed berry yogurt [giving this a try…]
Dinner – Pasta with tofu and arrabiatta sauce.
Snacks – water, banana.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Aloha all!

Somewhere between today [Monday, December 14, 2009] and last Thursday [12/10/09], I turned 25 years old. Holy crap. I was so jazzed because at 25, I would FINALLY be able to rent a car [!!] BUT in some states one must be 26. Sigh….and so, my bday was rather anticlimactic. Car rental policy = fail. Eating lots of good food and drinking champagne = success.

At 25 years old, I’m supposed to say that the world looks different, that I’m more mature [highly doubtful] and that my taste buds for fine wines have refined [more doubtful..or as some at my job would say “mostest doubteliest”…not joking here either]. In truth, the only thing that has changed is that my cycling tan-lines have become less prominent. And for those that know me, you know how much I pride myself on my ‘other’ t-shirt that adorns my body.

Did a quick weather check in SF, 38 degrees. Damn that’s colder than the blood running through my veins! The picture above is one among the many bottles popped for my bday. Veuve Cliqueot [positive this isn’t spelled correctly, but then again, not even the French can spell their own words correctly]. I missed some Bdays on 12/11 and so for those of you I missed, I toasted to your good fortune this morning as I put down a green smoothie composed of bananas, pineapples, blueberries, and kale. Not too shabby either.
Here’s to deuce-five. Let’s make it a good year

Monday, December 7, 2009

Back to running [hopefully]

The pictures I'm showing were taken at my pre-birthday birthday party [see later post on this] held at Phuket Thai. Nothing much, just a very small gathering of people. On the menu we had green papaya salad [a personal favorite], fried chicken [for the non-vegans], tofu pad-thai [too much sauce for me], and tofu coconut curry [personal favorite]. Naturally the vegan options were a favorite! =)

This week was good, climbed Tantalus in the big ring a couple of times. This pretty much shot my legs to holy hell and back and made running all but impossible. I'm telling you, this cycling shit is difficult! Today though, I got back on the good and righteous path to enlightenment. In the AM, I had my decaf soy latte and went out for a recovery ride of 30 minutes. Work and then a solid 8 mile recovery run tonite. Felt good but that's probably because the pace was incredibly pedestrian - hence, recovery run.

Here's the daily food log:
Breakfast - Green smoothie.
Lunch - Fruit Salad [see later post]...this is delicious when you refrigerate prior to eating.
Dinner - Brown rice pasta, tofu, arrabiata sauce.
Snacks - Water, Clif protein bar, Raw vegan protein shake[s].

Word son.

p.s. Rie was kind enough to get me a raw vegan chocolate cake! Wow! Was it good? Um, hell yes. Check that. Fu*k YES! You're all wondering how many slices did I have? 3 including Alex's crust and Lydia's cake [she said the raw vegan cake was TOOOOOO sweet!]

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rain Rain Go Away...

Was sooooo excited to skip outta work and go riding with my soon-to-be-employed friend Mike. I ran out, changed into a partially torn Liquigas-Doimo kit and cycled to our usual meeting point. During the way there, I noticed the dark clouds looming overhead and the ridiculous amount of traffic on the road. You see, the problem with living in Hawaii is that it's an island; thus, at 5pm, everyone and their sister takes to the road and there simply isn't enough space. For those that have never been to the islands, there are only THREE highways. Wanna guess their names? H-1, H-2 and H-3. Nice.

Anyways, we set out to ride for a bit and got dumped on with rain hard at the end. At which point, we turned around and hobbled back home. Certainly not enough of a workout to justify all the calories I consumed but hey, when is it ever?!

Waikiki is also pretty hairy to cycle because of the crowds that sometimes have exceptionally beautiful women. At which point, steering into a pole as Tiger Woods did becomes plausible. Okay, bad joke, bad joke. But seriously, the Japanese Travel Bureau AKA JTB has a trolly that takes hordes of Japanese tourists [see above photo] around the 'scenic and friendly' parts of Oahu and oftentimes, those tourist busses have some giddy high school girls that scream at the sight of a cyclist, let alone runner with no shirt on. Normally I'd take donations but it's tough to catch all that change while running / cycling =) Again, I kid, I kid.

Tomorrow is my pre-birthday birthday party. You read that correctly. Just like at 10am I eat my pre-snack snack...this is kinda the same thing. Of course, there will be vegan food, probably some beer and wine...hopefully not mixed together - did that waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much in college. Hope your day wasn't filled with rain, traffic, giddy tourists [not so bad], and people who can't drive.

Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Visit to the Doctors

Today I went in for my final visit to the doctor's office to check up on my hand from run in with the car a few months ago. Though I have no finger nail, the doc says I'm 100% healed but the bone in the top half of my thumb still shows some fracture signs. It healed quickly for which I'm grateful for!

And thank heaven Campy ergo-shifters work if you have working thumbs! Prior to that I was "index-finger shifting" which was hairy at best. But now, I can use my thumbs and shifting is obviously much better.

Apparently, your finger nail grows back in 3 month 'phases'. First 3 months the nail looks gross [like it is now]. Next 3 months it gets a lil better and then the final 3 months, the nail is 'as good as it's gunna get'. Guess I got 8 more months to go so we'll see. Would take a photo but it's kinda gross in fact. I'll just leave you on a good note: got out and ran my ass off for 7 good miles to Kapiolani Park and back. Good effort but man, it's getting darker and colder earlier. Translation = I took a 10 minute shower when I got back and sat in the hot tub. Was even thinking about a glass of wine but then I thought better of it and pounded a beer. =)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Okay, this post kinda has nothing to do with running or cycling but something I felt compelled to write about. Went into Long's Drugs today [no longer on the mainland, we have this in Hawaii] and I was buying St. Ives apricot scrub and this woman next to me had a basket full of different soaps, creams, creams of soaps, soaps of creams and all this other crap that I knew nothing about. I looked at her and smiled and said 'that looks complicated...thank goodness mens products aren't that bad!'. She then proceeded to tell me the subtle differences between various anti-wrinkle creams and how one promotes collagen while the other depletes it...basically, sounded like ancient greek to me. Best I could do was nod my head in bewilderment.

And so there's my statement today, man it's rough being a woman. Gotta decide and do a ton of stuff that most men have no f-ing clue about [nor care about]. Respect son.
How you can tell the difference between various nail polishes and colors is beyond me. Myself, I keep it stupid and simple...just get Dr. Bonner's all in one soap. But ahhhh...talking some sense into women is sometimes more complicated that a denuclearization conference between the US and North Korea...simply won't happen.

On that note...had a good morning run. Nothing too crazy and epic due to the afternoon bike ride. Solid 7.5 miles...I'll put in 8 tomorrow and will drag my panzy ass to bed on that note.

Good fight, good night <--Remember Celebrity Deathmatch on MTV2?!?!