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2008 Great Aloha Run

Here's how I trained for the 2008 Great Aloha Run. Since my big Run to the Sun race was 3 weeks later, I was just planning to use the race as a training run and not really go all out. Well, I ended up beating my previous personal best by 10 seconds, with a time of 47:26, and winning my age division! I came in 12th overall.

Also, below is my journal entry for this race.

Note: The decimal places are seconds, not hundredths of minutes. It was too hard to figure out how to do seconds in Excel (of course, what do you expect from Microsoft products?). So, for example, if you see 20.50, that means 20 minutes and 50 seconds, and not 20 minutes and 30 seconds.

Date Description Time Notes
3-Sep 5 32.55
4-Sep 8.15 52.56
5-Sep 5 32.52
6-Sep 8.15 56.31
6-Sep Handball
7-Sep 5 32.54
7-Sep Golf 53.00
8-Sep 20 142.57
10-Sep 6.21 43.40
11-Sep 9 59.36
12-Sep 6.2 42.38
13-Sep 9 60.46
14-Sep 6.2 50.32 Scrambling Hills trail
15-Sep 15 108.07 Pupukea
17-Sep 7 47.18 Watch stopped at 5.89m for awhile
18-Sep 10 67.05
19-Sep 7 44.14
20-Sep 10 66.47
21-Sep 7.15 46.46
22-Sep 21 147.53
24-Sep 8.15 54.15
24-Sep Handball
25-Sep 11 75.59
26-Sep 8.15 56.18
27-Sep 11.06 75.00
28-Sep 8.15 56.58
29-Sep 14.7 105.16 Pupukea
1-Oct 5 34.52 Pupukea
2-Oct 8.15 62.46 Pupukea
3-Oct 5 34.20 Pupukea
4-Oct 6.36 60.01 Pupukea
5-Oct 5.2 37.18 Pupukea
6-Oct 9.5 63.03
8-Oct 7.2 46.04
9-Oct 7.66 64.55 Laie Falls 23:35 (rest), 34:57 (rest)
10-Oct 7.16 48.01
11-Oct 6.2 39.53
11-Oct Golf 108.00 Pali Course
12-Oct 7.2 49.40
13-Oct 16 109.58 Pupukea
15-Oct 7.05 53.34
15-Oct Golf 48.00
16-Oct 10 64.46
17-Oct 7.15 45.51
18-Oct 10 66.44
19-Oct 7.15 48.36
20-Oct Laie Falls Summit 114.36 23.46, 35.32, 63 (rest)
22-Oct 7
24-Oct 8 54.26 Seattle
25-Oct 6.2 42.08 Seattle
26-Oct 10 65.36 Seattle
29-Oct 7.1
30-Oct 10 65.36
31-Oct 7.15 46.56
1-Nov 10.2 71.34
2-Nov 7.05 47.45
3-Nov 14.35 100.41
5-Nov 7.15 48.50
7-Nov 7 45.30
8-Nov 10 68.34
9-Nov 7.15 46.24
10-Nov 18.2 124.21 Pupukea
12-Nov 8.05 52.45
13-Nov 11.1 74.01
14-Nov 8.15 55.02
15-Nov 11 72.09
15-Nov Handball
16-Nov 8 54.38
19-Nov 9 58.41
21-Nov 9 61.43
22-Nov 12 134.13 Summit 24.25, 36.25, 64 (rest)
24-Nov 20 139.05
26-Nov 9 61.10
27-Nov 13.1 90.30
28-Nov 9 61.28
29-Nov 13.1 92.29
30-Nov 9 62.10
1-Dec 23.2 163.46
3-Dec 9 61.34
4-Dec 13.1 89.24
6-Dec 13.1 93.34
7-Dec 9 61.17
8-Dec 20 135.56
10-Dec 9 60.38
11-Dec 13.1 87.05
12-Dec 9.6 65.27
13-Dec 13.1 89.02
14-Dec 9 59.39
15-Dec 27 190.00
17-Dec 9 60.38
18-Dec 13.1 89.17
24-Dec 9 60.24
25-Dec 10 69.14
26-Dec 9 59.21
26-Dec Golf 63.00
27-Dec 22.5 155.34
31-Dec 9 61.39
1-Jan 13.1 91.10
2-Jan 9 59.49
3-Jan 13.1 89.53
4-Jan 9 66.57
5-Jan 30 215.40
7-Jan 9 60.59
8-Jan 11 73.39
9-Jan 9 57.48
10-Jan 11 131.45 Summit, 24.35, 36.50 (rest), 70
11-Jan 9 61.18
12-Jan 18 125.36
12-Jan 3 18.36
15-Jan 13.1 86.57
16-Jan 9 59.28
17-Jan 13.1 88.44
18-Jan 9 59.28
19-Jan 29 202.20
21-Jan 10 64.09
22-Jan 5 32.23
22-Jan 10 64.30
23-Jan 10 67.30
24-Jan 15 103.30
25-Jan 10 68.50
25-Jan Golf 49.00 Best ball (by myself)
26-Jan 32 223.32
28-Jan 9 60.04
29-Jan 13.1 89.45
30-Jan 9 60.41
31-Jan 10 67.45
2-Feb 40 285.00
4-Feb 9 61.00
5-Feb 13.1 90.45
6-Feb 9 59.59
7-Feb 13.1 91.37
9-Feb 20.3 139.01
11-Feb 15.76 108.36
13-Feb 9.5 60.00 Utah treadmill
14-Feb 5 30.07 Utah treadmill


Here's a fun story about my race on Presidents Day.

The Great Aloha Run is a 8.15 mile race through downtown Honolulu that ends at Aloha Stadium. It's a big race--about 25,000 people run or walk it each year. Last year, I came in 24th (3rd in my age group). This year, since I have my big race in March, my plan was to not really race, but just treat it as a training run.

Most people go to the Stadium and park and then take shuttle buses to the starting line. I typically get there by 5 am and spend an hour just sitting in the car, leisurely walking around, and just prepping myself for the race--getting mentally ready. Also, there's a bathroom not too many people know about that I use--much better than the Port-a-Potties sprinkled throughout the parking lot!

So at about 5:40 I started to stretch and get ready to take the shuttle bus. The last buses leave around 6 am for the 7 am start of the race. I took off my sweatshirt, put on my socks and shoes, and got out of the van to stretch a bit. Without thinking, I closed the door of the van.


Now, we got a new van at the end of December, and I didn't realize that if the driver's door is locked, if you close all the other doors, even if they're unlocked, the car will automatically lock everything. With a sinking feeling, when I heard that click I realized I was locked out of my car.

Then I realized that locked in my car was my shirt, my running number, my watch, and my pre-race Gatorade.

Of course, the first thing I did was run around and try every door and window, at least 3 times, just to see if somehow I could get in. I had a fleeting thought of smashing a window open--but then of trying to explain to Nan why I had caused hundreds of dollars in damage to the car (and probably myself). So I took stock of the situation of what I was missing:

-Watch. No big deal. Though I wouldn't be able to pace myself, I could live with that.

-Gatorade. Not too big of a deal, since I had eaten a bit of breakfast around 3. But I knew I'd be a bit dehydrated. Oh well.

-Shirt. Just embarrassing. Guys who run races without shirts are kinda cheesy (they often have mullets), but I wasn't breaking any laws. I did feel a bit naked.

-Race #. Biggest deal of all. They won't let you on the course without a number. I had my timing chip on my shoe (it's a chip that starts your own personal clock when you go over a mat at the starting line and then stops when you go over the mat at the finish line), but I knew without a number I'd be in big trouble.

After taking stock, I also realized that I was quickly running out of time--the last bus would be leaving soon. Luckily, I had my shoes and socks on! I ran over to the parking guys and asked if they could help me. Of course not--no one had a way to get into a locked car (liability reasons, of course). They suggested I talk with Security. Security couldn't help me (liability reasons). They suggested I talk to the police. The police couldn't help me (they were on motorcycles, and didn't have any equipment--oh, and liability reasons), and they suggested I call a tow truck.

Of course, all this time I was running into many people I know, mostly from my church--"Hey there Bishop! Where's your shirt?" and feeling quite exposed.

By this time, I had decided to cut my losses and deal with getting into the car after the race. Now I could focus on the race # problem. Finally, I ran over to the race officials by the buses to ask what I could do for a number. They suggested I just get on the bus and head over to the starting line, where they were doing some race-day registration, and see if I could be helped there. With a prayer in my heart, I got on one of the last buses and sat down next to a nice little old Japanese lady. She took one look at me, shirtless and a bit wild-eyed, and scooted over as far as she could toward the window (furtively glancing out of the corner of her eye now and then to see if I had a mullet).

The ride to the starting line helped calm me down a bit, but my pre-race groove was shattered by then. I got off the bus and ran down toward the starting line, fighting my way through 25,000 of my closest friends. I queued up at the Registration table and waited impatiently until I got to the front and told the lady all my problems. She said, "Oh, you need to talk to her," pointing at another lady with a bunch of people around her. By this time, it was 6:45, and I was getting nervous about missing the start of the race.

Missing the start isn't that big of a deal time-wise, because your shoe chip doesn't start your own clock until you pass the starting line. But I was worried about getting behind the huge mass of humanity and not being able to break out of the pack for a good mile or two. So I fidgeted and waited until the lady made eye contact with me and I was able to tell her my story. She eyed me carefully, wondering about my trustworthiness. I told her my real race number, pointed at my chip on my shoe, and assured her I was legit. So she had me fill out a registration form and gave me a temporary number.

Right then I heard the announcer: "5 minutes to start."

So, I spent the next few minutes fighting my way through a mass of people toward the starting line, trying to strategically pin my number on my shorts in such a way as to avoid chafing, and avoiding eye contact with people wondering what kind of idiot would run without a shirt and who was already sweating. The big cannon went off to start the race, and I was still 200 yards from the starting line, but feeling pretty good that I had made it that far.

I tried to time about how long it took me to work my way up to the front, so I could get a good estimate of my time at the finish with the official race clock (you don't usually know your chip time until it's posted on the Web site a day or two later). I guessed it took about a minute for me to follow the flow and cross the starting line, at which point I took off.

I spent the first mile just trying to bob and weave my way through traffic--lots of traffic. With no watch, I wasn't too sure of my pace, but I knew I was going kind of quick. I felt good, and of course all thoughts of "Not racing" and "just doing a training run" went out the window. I also knew that the quicker I got to the Finish Line, the quicker I'd get a race T-shirt and be able to cover up.

The race seemed to go pretty quick, and I felt really good. No one passed me the whole race, which I thought was a bit unusual. I kept passing people until the numbers got pretty thin. At about 7 miles I could tell that I was missing my Gatorade, but I pushed on through to the end. When I crossed the finish line, the clock read 49:30. I was a bit pleased, especially after subtracting my estimated minute to get to the starting line, but was a bit bummed because I was pretty close to my personal best.

So I spent a bit of time talking with some friends at the finish line, then got my shirt on (good thing--otherwise I'd probably be quite sunburned) and then had the parking guys call a tow truck. It came about 5 minutes later, spent 30 seconds opening my car for me, and then charged me $60 (I'm in the wrong line of work!) and I headed home.

All day I was a bit bummed at the craziness of it all, and mentioned to Nan that I could've done better. I consoled myself by saying that I wasn't really going to race anyway, but it didn't do much good. We spent the day honoring our presidents by going to the beach and buying a new washer. Later that night, I thought I'd check the race Web site just to see if the official race results were up, so I could at least get my chip time.

"Woohoo!" I said.

I had come in 12th overall, won my age division, and beat my personal best by 10 seconds!

So my next race, I think I'll go shirtless. But not with a mullet.

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This page was last manipulated Tuesday, February 17, 2009 16:14