Follow by Email

Spain on the Mind

There is quite a few things that have ran through my mind since I have decided to do Molokai; sharks, swells, deep water, all the worries of marathon swimmers and of course, the Oceans 7; not a worry as much as a dream, a challenge, a chance to test your limits and defy the physical rules of the human body. I don't think I could ever classify any of these swims as 'easier' than the other, each is packed with its own set of trials and tribulations, but truthfully, if I can take down 26 miles I feel like I would be able to take down 8....




the Strait of Gibraltar, an 8 mile stretch between Spain and Morocco. One of the Ocean's 7. Obviously it made the list not because of its cute little jaunt of a swim but instead for its crazy currents and insane winds. I can't help but wonder what it would take to finish all 7, to be able to swim all around the world and be able to be one of the firsts to complete all 7. It may take years but I feel like I have to do it now, not out of force, but out of sheer want to be able to classify myself as a marathon swimmer with all my other super heros; Darren Miller, Beth French, Penny Palfrey, Kimberly Chambers, and Mackenzie Miller. I want to be apart of the elite club, I want to show everyone that they can defy the limits, people say you cant do it, show them that you can and not only survive it but thrive.

Im rambling again, but who knows, maybe after Molokai I wont have to shut this blog down, instead maybe you'll see me in Spain or Japan, wherever swimming takes me, I'm willing to go with the flow.

But first, Hapuna, tomorrow morning, 8 a.m, 1.2 mile race, good luck to everyone out there, special shout out to my support crew, again, and I say it all the time, I cannot thank anyone enough.



Keep dreaming big,

Leahi

Back in Business

Shoulders are nearly better! kinda.... I have been icing them, and heating them, and electonically stimulating them, taking homeopathic medicine, getter pressure point work done...If this doesn't work I dont know what will! Finally got to swim freestyle last practice and it was WAY better than 6000 backstroke or kick, keeping my fingers crossed that in the next few days they will heal all the way up so I can race at Hapuna.

Next long swim is going to be saturday after the race, 4 hours in the water maybe 5 dependent on how I'm feeling. Excited to get back into the ocean, I swam this morning but it was choppy as heck and no dolphins and only 1.2....

Soon enough i'll be back in my element.

By the WONDERFUL Sarah Lee... Check out her blog -->  http://www.vivantvie.com/

"Walk in, Swim across, Walk out" - Darren Miller

June 23, 2013

Well well well, looks who's been slacking on the blog life. Its been crazy busy this weekend with the swim meet and my shoulders and all that jazz. Lets start back at last week friday shall we? Pier swim was a bust, didn't really need to get in just to jack with my shoulders so I swam pretty easy with one of my Tri-club team mates, and not very far. Plus it was freezing!..... for hawaii that is....


Just me casually swimming with one of my buddies....
The frigid ocean waters of hawaii... can't you tell?
Too cute.....



 This weekend however was the Big Island Champs, final meet before I head off to Maui for states. Upon arriving to the pool my coach told me before jumping into warm up that "I dont want you to swim this meet half ass, if you're going to swim I want it to be fast.." and that isn't going to happen with my nervousness about my shoulders giving out. Fortunately they are feeling better, unfortunately not better enough to swim my best this weekend. I spent most of my time as a cheer leader and because backstroke doesn't irritate my shoulders I was able to swim all the back stroke events, I helped coach and cheer stuff that I usually don't get to do at meets but who could say no to these faces??

Our team is a little dysfunctional but hey thats what makes us great. 

A little plot twist came this morning when my coach announced I was to swim the 800 free, backstroke...

Truthfully, I was excited... It switched up my daily distance routine and I couldn't help but giggle when Madison had to hold the counter above me when I flipped so I could see the numbers. Im sure it got a few weird looks but I gotta get my yardage in right?


Its still up in the air as to when I am to swim a long one again, but I do know it's gonna be a night swim. I can't help but wonder what creatures lurk below, I suppose it's something I am to get used to as there will be plenty out in the channel that night I begin my marathon journey. 

My escort kayaker Steve sent this to me, its my future staring right back at me, taken from a cliff right above Sandys and in the distance is Molokai. Sandys: my landing spot. Wether I swim, roll, or get washed up onto the beach I have a feeling that sand will have never felt so wonderful. I told one of my team mates today, Keoni, that I'm probably going to cry twice during the swim, once when I get so frustrated with everything, and another time when I finally land on the beach and the response he had was "only twice?!", maybe he's right, Its going to be an emotional day, but recently one of my biggest supporters, Mackenzie Miller (who had also crossed back in 09' and was the one who put this dream into my head) sent me an email forwarded from her dad, he read one of my interviews and could tell I had a lot on my mind his final words "walk in, swim across, walk out", mind you her dad is an open water star. To have their support is unbelievable but those last few words are becoming my mantra. 


Everything compiled into that one day, I need to make it as simple as possible, as stress free, and as enjoyable as is allowable. That day everything, the currents, the weather, the suit, cap, goggles, sunscreen, food, gatorade, jelly fish, sharks or no sharks, all of that and more are just variables and I cannot control them but I can however control my reaction to them. I need to remember that I am in control of my swim and no one or nothing can harm me if my mental strength is as tough as nails...


"Walk in, swim across, walk out...."


Breathe Leahi....


Good night all


Looks Who's a Big Kid Now...

June 19th 2013

Remember going to the bank when you were little, watching as the parental units filled out the transaction slips, feeling super mature and adult-ish when they asked you to help? Well that was me today, pops taught me how to balance check books, write checks, use the fancy word processing program so my envelopes dont look like a 3rd grader wrote the adresses, and all that good stuff. He wants me to be able to handle the financial side of this crossing, receiving checks, writing checks, being sure that I actually do have enough funds to make this happen, good life lessons, helps me feel like a big kid.......

Sending out my first check tomorrow to my Captain Matt who is going to be helping me across the channel, his final words on the email

"send me 1,000 and we are locked in..."

Locked in.... Its real now, the boat is set, the kayakers are set, we are ready to go, stamp is on the envelope and check is going out tomorrow. Ka'iwi here I come.  


On a more sunny side, literally,  hit the beach today, again... I am only 17, and even though I spend hours in the ocean as it is apparently I cant get enough.



Hit the cliffs today, im a bit of an adrenaline junkie ;)
Just kidding..... I wish


Unfortunately, I have been really stressed about my shoulders, I dont know whats up with them, I have reverted to kicking a 5000 to 6000 practice, coach says to keep my heart in shape, and he seems a little worried too which stresses me out a little more... Kinda losing my appetite, not sure if its from stressing or because im not burning as many calories as usual but that worries me as well....

Been icing them like crazy and doing a little rehab thanks to Coach Steve-o, hopefully I can shake this soon, and before this weekends swim meet, it doesn't heal over-night, I know, but a girl can dream...

Ocean swim tomorrow, only 1.2, probably gonna technique it all backstroke, that doesn't really hurt my shoulders...

I'll keep y'all's posted

Praying for the guy who got attacked by a shark this past Tuesday, heard it wasn't life threatening, but still life changing. 

Oh! and a good luck to Breezo at her Ironman coming up this weekend, sending my draft all the way to the chilly waters over there, swim strong breezo and bikerun even stronger. Can't wait to see you cross the finish line in Kona...

Happy swimming,

Leahi



"Kona Waters"

Happy Father's Day all! Gonna start this post out super sappy and tell my dad how much I love him and that without him there is no possible way I would be the way I am today. Love ya pops. 

On a good note my 4 hours was a success! With a little race detour. I started my swim and got an hour in when a race was about to start at the pier so I got to do that which is always fun. Who doesn't love a little team rivalry on Sunday mornings? The water was PRISTINE today loved it, unfortunately, no dolphins, hopefully next time. 


Someone snapped a shot of me at the turn, pretty cool huh? 


Aaaaaand finishing shot, not the greatest but hey it was fun. 

Doing this kind of stuff makes me miss Kona even though I have a little over a year left here on this island. The sense of community is so amazing and the people who make this kind of stuff happen are wonderfully giving. I love it. 

Post race, went for the next 3 hours into the big blue, super choppy. Ever heard of the "Kona winds" that every triathlete talks about wether or not they have done Ironman? The mystical winds that suddenly shift for reach and every person to a head wind both directions? Well today I discovered the Kona waters. Current against you both ways. It's wonderful really. 

I mean it wasn't THAT bad and after all the channel is 10 times that difficulty so I better get used to it. 

Today's motivation?: my dad 


I'm feeling a little stronger than I was on Tuesday, shoulders still a little sore, which is to be expected. The training is great, the water is great, the people even better. 

Just gotta keep trucking along. 

Good night y'all. 

Leahi 

Blue day in Hawaii...



 By blue I dont mean sad, by blue I mean wonderfully blue and gorgeous. So not race related except for the fact that I was just delivering my letters for sponsorship in attempts to have a little financial stability going into the crossing.... but I mean look at this!



It seems that even on my days off I cant get away from the
water....








 I snuck a few pictures in while I was out. Who couldn't? Hopefully the water is just as blue tomorrow  Im gonna need a little more motivation after my last swim was a bust.

Before hand I was able to help some of my friends from the triclub with their run, I got to ride and be their mobile aid station, kinda like they have been doing for me these past few weeks, its a lot different on the road especially because gravity is a factor.... but all was well and I walked away without any new cuts or scrapes, I actually really love helping them out especially now knowing how wonderful Gatorade tastes after exerting yourself for so dang long....

anyone???
Made a quick stop by Bike-works after riding with some of the Tri club and one of the guys in there asked about my nutrition, this is a subject I am a little fuzzy on.... I mean food is great, but 10 hours into a 15 hour swim it doesn't sound that appetizing, at least thats what I'm guessing. I have had a little bit of a problem figuring out what works for me. Its kinda hard for me to swim on a full belly but its seems I cant get many healthy calories, without spiking my blood sugar, and without being kind of bloated. So he recommended these wonderful packs of deliciousness ------------------>

Has anyone tried them? Im looking for anything here, I've swam all my life, but never for this long. Its all in the experimental phase I suppose, what do y'all eat on long days? I have found that a big breakfast really helps, but I am going to gives these a shot tomorrow on my long swim...

Even more exciting news!!!!
Totally a teenager moment but Kim Chambers added me on Facebook,  I absolutely love her story and I am so completely honored to have her as a mentor


The support from everyone is so incredibly amazing and so overwhelming, not in a bad way of course. It really helps to see so many people come together to help just one person out. 26 miles is a long way in the ocean but to hear all the encouragement beforehand makes it all so realistic and seemingly achievable. It seems so close and I cannot wait to make my support crew proud.

Cant thank you all enough for your words of wisdom

p.s sorry for the non race related posts!

4 hour swim tomorrow...

See you manana















Recovery time......

Can't forget that I'm a 17 year old too.... Who doesn't love bowling? I mean, my shoulders were spent as it was and bowling may have not been the best idea but hey, it's my triclub, and I couldn't resist spending a night with them. 

On a separate note, I finished my brochures today to go out with all my letters for sponsorship. Hopefully we can get to our goal of 7000, who knew swimming could be so spendy.....


And on another note...... Steve scheduled my first night swim to start at 4 a.m and to swim until it gets light which is only about a hour, I attempted a 5 am swim a few weeks ago only to find that tinted goggles DO NOT help.... Good thinking Leahi. Unfortunately I'm not crazy enough to adore the depths at such a dark hour but hopefully I can adjust. It will be quite interesting.

 Sunday brings another long swim, hopefully with a better outcome than the last. Fingers crossed. 

Good night all. 

Rough Day at the Office.....

        Well, it happens to the best of us, rough days, we all have them. In my attempt to amp up my yardage I attempted a swim from Kona to Keahou and back, however, my shoulders did not have the same idea after about mile 4. With a mini panic attack a few miles in because I "swore I saw a dark shadow not to far from me", I was physically and emotionally drained,  I pushed on to mile 6 and ended my workout in Keahou, I'm thinking a 8 mile, 10 mile, and 12 mile day all within a span of 5 days isn't the greatest idea. I definitely need time to recover, being my 7th loooooooong swim so far and it only being about 2 month since I've decided on this venture I think I may of ramped up a little too fast, my shoulders were feeling it that night and I had ice plastered to them to soothe the pain, self inflicted, live and learn, as cliche as it is, it rings true each and every time.


        I did have a little inspiration though, my friend Rob, who is known, well I know him by his Snickers bar every Wednesday night at his practice, was recently hit by a car and was hospitalized breaking part of his skull, in his long distance venture on his bike around the Big Island. Being so, showing a little community support athletes sported shirts saying "Run Big for Rob, a spin off of Big Island Running Co. shirts, which simply state "Run Big" and I, being that I cant really wear a shirt while swimming figured a little sharpie would do........

DOLPHINS!

       Well today was quite amazing! Probably one of the best swims I have had, this is my 6th long swim I believe  well besides years of Age Group work outs this was the longest in the ocean. Unfortunately my Garmin was acting up so I think my 10 miles was actually 8 but fortunately I was accompanied by some friends! Around the 3 mile mark I seemed to have misplaced my kayakers and found them a little further inshore with a HUGE pod of dolphins. I kept on trucking along and to my surprise they showed up a little bit below me, I could have reached out and rode one for the next 7 miles if I had wanted to. They tagged along for the longest time and it was so incredibly surreal. My kayakers had a great experience too, 4 hours is a journey in itself for two paddlers, and to see dolphins on such a wonderfully clear day just made it all that much better.
   
Dan and Somer, My wonderful support crew
I cannot thank them enough for coming out there with me that day, it isn't all that glamourous, but days like these remind me of how great the ocean really is. They are a few members of my support team and seeing familiar faces in a sea of blue keeps me trucking.


At the '5' mile turn around, dad says I look like an otter,  gotta practice not holding on to anything while im out there, no hanging on to the boat or kayak on the big day!
     

First Post!




Hey! Its me!
       



      Before we hop right into the swimming, how about a little bit about myself; My name is Leahi. I have been so incredibly blessed to have grown up in a place where a water and the ocean is a necessity  I also have been fortunate enough to have been able to devote 11 years of my life to competitive swimming. Truthfully
       I have fallen in love with the ocean, and always tend to say "I can swim forever in the ocean", people joke that if there were to be coral on the bottom of the pool I would swim a little faster, I think they may be right. Without a doubt long distance swimming has always been my cup of tea, always the 13 year old in the 'big kids' events swimming the 400 IM, 1000, 500, and 1650 free, when ocean swimming was introduced to my life I was swept away.

Summer of 2012, racing to the finish
at the Hapuna Roughwater Swim

        However, my very first ocean swim was a bust, the Kukio Blue Water swim in Kona, long story short, this chunky 10 year old had to be pulled out by water patrol. And now I cant ever wait for summer to come, as most teens cant wait for freedom from school, I get excited when ocean swims are announced. What can I say? It's the life of a swimmer.

        And so here I am, staring at a map, thinking about how incredibly far I will challenge my body, so exciting and so scary all at the same time. This is my journey to Ka'iwi Channel.


Whats a swimmer without a team?!