Friday, September 28


After spending a fitful night sleeping in the Sea-Tac airport, Ally and I returned home today from two wonderful weeks in Maui! Our honeymoon was everything I wished for, romantic and leisurely, but also included a few surprises the least of which left me atop a 10,023 ft volcano gasping for air while trying to remember where the fun lay.

Our days usually revolved around one of three beaches where we’d passed the time away snorkeling, swimming or (my favourite) napping, ensuring that we soaked up as much of the atmosphere and sunshine that the island had to offer.

Two days after arriving I toed the line, participating in the 5th annual Maui Half Marathon and ran proceeded to run a 8-year personal worst. I started conservatively running the first two miles in 5:53 and 6:00 respectively and strangely enough found myself leading the race. This continued for two more miles until a tight pack of seven runners pulled alongside and after exchanging pleasantries left me to wallow in misery with many a 6:4X mile to follow (ouch)!

Always a glutton for adventure and subsequent punishment, and perhaps wanting to push the memories from my recent race further into the recesses of my mind, the following Sunday I rented a road bike, fastened on my peddles and proceeded to try and cycle to the top of what has been described as the worlds longest/steeped continuous paved accent from sea-level… the road to Haleakala.

I hadn’t been on a bike since last year when I did the same ride (approx. 4h20), regardless, this year I was determined to try and break 4h. This was a lofty/stubborn goal particularly since last year I found the final 500 vertical ft. very difficult, being dizzy for most of it. The entire ride is epic, but my favorite section is by far the top half where the view changes into switchbacks carved into open green pastures. The sky is usually clear enough to see the road stair-stepping up until it disappears out of view.

Upon entering the Haleakala National Park at 7000 feet, the climb is a tad less steep; the landscape changes to volcanic rock, with low-lying bushes. Rather than re-experience last years dizzy spells, this year as I watched the final seconds slowly pass, my left quadriceps felt as if they were in a vice that was gradually being tightened with each peddle stroke. Given years of racing, I have never experienced anything like the pain I did during he last 2’ of this ride and bugger if I couldn’t find a way to eak out a bloody 50”.

On a final note, a spring marathon may not be in the cards for me this year (the next two months will be crucial). Not only will Ally and I be moving into our own house, complete with renovation designs, but also as luck would have it Ally is due to have a baby in early April… Boston 2009?

Please pardon the specifics, they’re for my benefit.

Friday: day off
Saturday: 39:49 easy w/ 5x strides (1’); swim 5’
Sunday: Maui Half Marathon 1:22:24, 8th OA, 1st in AG (8-year personal worst)
Monday: day off; swim 15’
Tuesday: 40:22 easy w/ 5x strides (1’); swim 20’
Wednesday: 50:02 easy; swim 25’
Thursday: 1:09:01 w/ hills 6x 1’ (1’) + 8x 30” (30”)
Friday: 34:40 easy w/ 5x strides
Saturday: 1:24:11 leisurely along the North Shore
Sunday: bike 4:00:50 up the 10,023 ft. Haleakala
Monday: 53:31 w/ 5x 5’ tempo (1’)
Tuesday: 39:49 easy; swim 5’
Wednesday: 34:27 easy w/ 5x strides (1’); swim 10’
Thursday: day off
Friday: 55:22 w/ hills 6x 30” (30”) + 6x 1’ (1’)


Lawrence said...

Congratulations on the expected little one! They are sooooo worth it.

Sounds like you had a great trip.

Thomas said...

Momentous news! Congratulations to both you an Ally!

You could still run a marathon in March. That's basically what I'm doing - Niamh is due in 5 weeks and my marathon is next Sunday. Then again, it's our 4th baby, and we're pretty sure she won't come early.

Chris said...


You been busy!

Congratulations on that.


Mike said...

Look at you, saving the best for last like that! Congrats to the both of you. Kids make you faster, and I speak from experience.

rumon said...

Great report, Liam - (selfishly) glad to have you home. Looking forward to a few runs in your newly-found personal worst shape! ;-)

Love2Run said...

Great post and definitely the best was last! Congratulations to you both ;-) Boston 2009 has a nice ring to it doesn't it?

Eric said...

Yes, congrats to you both! I can confirm that kids make you more consistent, and therefore faster. Like Mike said. Cheers!

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