I plan to compete in half and full Ironman races in 2012 as a professional. It will be a true challenge to balance my professional triathlon career and working as a veterinary ophthalmologist which I also love. I will be honored to compete alongside the best female triathletes in the world! Any profits I make as a professional triathlete will be donated to an account at the University of Missouri called “Jodie’s Eye Fund” which supports vision science research in humans and animals and provides qualified veterinary patients with vision saving medical procedures and care.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Mele Kalikimaka and Bike Mania in Maui!

XMAS!!  I love spending time with my family and instead of presents my parents take the whole family somewhere for a vacation (BEST PARENTS EVER!).  Everyone has his or her own fantasy holiday.  Most are happy with relaxing on the beach.....My fantasy consists of at least 4 hours of exercise per day (swim, bike, run!!), good eats and lots of fun with my family!!  Enter Maui, stage left!

After a lovely hiatus from training I was ready to get down to business in paradise!  Steve was keen to hit the bike hard and our friends Tiago, Paula, Shanelle and Ted were also in Maui with bikes so it was the perfect low-key training camp.  Shanelle aptly named the week “Hawaii Bike Mania”.  We rode almost every day and had some amazing experiences!

The East Maui loop consisted of 95 miles and 9000+ feet of climbing.  The ride represented a journey of “Lord of the Rings” proportion according to Ted! We started at 5:30 am in Pukalani, with a cat 3 climb right off the bat followed by a long winding descent (IN THE DARK, waaaaaa).  The sunrise was beautiful as we rode around the shores of Haleakala, and then the 50mph wind started, blowing us to track-stand stops on numerous occasions!

Almost 10 miles of rough roads (reminiscent of soul-shaking cobbles) peppered with cattle guards and categorized climbs followed.  At one point, almost 100 cattle littered the road and we wove a careful path around the terrified creatures and their doodoo all over the road!

Rough roads turned to dirt and many flat tires resulted but we finally reached Hana!  Foodie highlights included free apple-bannanas from the hippie farmers J

We rode the road back from Hana to Paia – serpent like descents, huge hills, waterfalls, jungle…..heaven!!  The ride time was 6:45 (longest ride ever for me)!!  I was cooked, and never happier to eat one of the famous fish tacos from the Paia Fish Market!  Steve, my crazy husband continued on and finished the ENTIRE 170 mile Maui loop, BEAST!

No cyclist should leave Maui without riding the 10,000 foot Haleakala climb.  Like the silly tourists we were our first attempt was random and the day following the East Maui Loop (can you say blasted quads).

We stupidly did not check the weather and at 6000 feet were lashed with 30mph wind, freezing rain and poor visibility so we called it a day.  Sad face.

Much scrutiny of associated Haleakala STRAVA segments revealed a Canadian “KOM imposter” of sorts, by the name of Dean Murdoch.  The Canadian movie FUBAR famously depicts the crazy antics of this hockey haired legend, who loves to “giver”.  See the movie, you will not be disappointed!  We are pretty sure Ryder Hesjedal is a fan, so awesome!!

We chose a better day for the second Haleakala attempt and were successful.  Thanks to my parents for providing SAG support and photographic hero shots all the way up the mountain!

Our friends Paula and Tiago also made it to the summit where it was COLD, as evidenced by Steve wearing his arm warmers on his legs (praying mantis in human form at work here).

The West Maui loop was the final chapter!  Steve and I ran into 4x world champ and fellow Canuck Melanie McQuaid on a training ride the day before and she decided to join us.  It’s not every day you get to ride with triathlon royalty or get dropped going up a hill by a world champ, stoked about the street cred!  Melanie is an incredible cyclist, a great person, a credit to her sponsors and a superb bike-handler, it was great getting to know her!

There was rain and hence some good silt in the corners of the roads and Steve got a nice souvenir!   Of course he was wearing his most expensive shorts….sigh.

Filthy dirty bikes, YES!  We were sad to leave Maui that evening.

We had a lovely holiday and quality family time with Mum, Dad, Trevor (my brother) and Elise (Trevor’s wife).

It was sad to go back to work but it was high time for rest and recovery! 

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