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Storm Chasers


Alright this is going to become a once a week blog.... Anywho

This past weekend was...interesting, I found myself in the warm Lanikai waters at 8 PM swimming to an island I've never been to, sounds a little like Ka'iwi doesn't it? I was able to meet up with Steve, my paddler, on Oahu when I went this weekend to support my triclub in their sprint triathlon. A tear or two was shed when Aunty Bobbi gave me the final hug before I walked to the waters edge, what can I say? I was terrified. Dark, unknown waters, with a potential for scary creatures lurking below. Surprisingly, about 15 minutes in I put myself into somewhat of a trance, the darkness was not as apparent as I just searched for that fuzzy green glow indicating the front of the kayak, like my own personal game in the night. Scary? Yes. Terrifying. But I made it and long story short it wasn't that bad. The sky was tinted with an orangish glow from the city lights above Oahu, while searching further into the night shooting stars were everywhere. As I approached Lanikai island I felt sand beneath me and the beach was filled with black birds which made it all the more surreal. Steve and I sat on the island and discussed logistics for a little and just my overall feelings about this huge challenge. It was like a dream and I soon snapped back into reality when I got up to dive back into the water and swim back to the main island. 


Pre and post swim, so excited to have finished without any creatures taking a nibble out of me......

It was quite a fun weekend, and truthfully the most I've laughed in a while. Being around them makes me pretty dang happy. Even though we have those bipolar moments (well I do) all in all I love that crew. It was good to have a chill weekend with all of them, though I still talked about the swim it wasn't as stressful and overwhelming. 


Somer! Gonna miss this senior....


We're a little dysfunctional 



The best....



My favorites. 

So back to swimming as far as when I got back I was able to head out for a 4
hour swim yesterday with Dan and Cj, it was interesting and quite fun actually. At one point I swore I saw a shark and begged to have Cj get back in the water with me, but Dan refused to comply to my requests and told me I have to keep swimming without anyone helping me. Which I am so incredibly thankful for now. He's right. Just cause I'm scared doesn't mean people are allowed to help me in Ka'iwi and I need to realize this. It's going to be a battle between my body and my mind and which one will give out first, and god forbid its my own scardy cat ways that'll be first. It's these people that I'm thankful for. Something so little that made me a little bit stronger, a mental block that I had to break through all thanks to Dan the man. And of course, my other senior Cj, who helped take my mind off of things. Helped me not remember that I'm out on the water for 4 hours and that I am a little tired and worn. I mean who can stay upset when you have these two kooks out on the water with you? 



After being scared by the "shark"


Headed in! Even though Hawaii was supposed to have a hurricane hit near kona not much happened. A little Rain can't keep us out of the water. 

 I'm so thankful for good friends and amazing support. So close to my swim and I can't wait. 7 hours tomorrow, my longest swim. I'll keep y'all's posted. 

Happy swimming 

Leahi 





All about the ocean!

July 24 2013

Ocean, ocean, ocean! Finally back in the salt water after a few weeks of only pool swimming, I'm not complaining but, I do like the scenery a lot more when coral is involved..... But first lets back track here. States was grrrreat! It was long as heck, 4 days of competition all lasting from about 6 am to getting back to the hotel at about 8pm.... It was hot, windy, but mostly long, however swims went pretty well. I was able to medal in 11 of 11 events ( including 3 relays) and make podium in 9 of those 11 (top 3), which I am pretty dang satisfied with.... 




But on to the more fun stuff! 5 ocean swims in 3 days! I am one happy girl! Slowly revving up the mileage again, and next week coach says we are gonna hit it hard, hell week if you would like to say, then a week taper and I'm off to Molokai. Holy heck this came fast. Countdown: 23 days 

Swims have been going awesome, living in hawaii definitely has it's perks.  I'm so blessed to live in such a great place....


The pier has been bustling with excitement as triathletes begin to trickle in for the upcoming Ironman world championships, we saw a bunch of pros today, and my friend Dan, the triathlete encyclopedia was bursting with enthusiasm about the athletes coming in, and let me just say, him and Keoni are also celebrities of this years ironman as they will be two of the youngest and with our coach KD, who is also doing it, will be representing the Waverider Triclub. kinda crazy how fast our little club grew to have such amazing athletes. I'll be rooting for them, rain or shine, and I can't wait to seem them run across the finish line. 

Lastly, again was was super blessed to have an article published about me today, well two to my surprise! One about that's and one about my channel swim, just the final hurrah to get all my funds in. 



I know, I'm such a kid, to be so excited about being in the local paper. But it's kinda fun...

Things are coming together, flight are booked as well as hotel rooms, my nutrition is getting better, and my shoulders are repairing. Am I scared? Heck yes. I don't doubt my training or my coaches, I fear myself, my mental blocks and those moments when riding the boat to shore would seem like a better idea. But it's not, I know it isn't and my desire to finish will overcome my desire to give myself a break. 23 days.... Wowzers. 

Happy swimming 

Leahi


Im so bad at this.....


July 13, 2013

I need to update more! So sorry! Anyway! The hats are in! I just made a batch, the first ones sold like crazy! 

I'm on Oahu now, and my mom bought a few  ( Yes I made her buy them....) and one of her friends is rocking this one below.....


You like? It was super fun making them. And I will make more! If any one wants on e, gotta let me know. 

Anyway, I have been on cruise control for the last week or so. No extra activities just swimming, relaxing and swimming. Only 3 workouts left until states..... Holy guacamole I'm getting really nervous. This year it's in Maui, which isn't a problem, it's just not home which can sometimes make it a little more stressful. Funny little anecdote here, my first state meet was also a bust, I got kicked out of the meet for missing my 50 fly final on the first day. And if you read my initial bio, you saw I got pulled out of my first ocean swim too..... But. I can only go up from there. And that was when I was 10 and a little naive. First day is the mile, which thank goodness is only swum once, I really want to cut time before I send the times out to potential college homes, that's also a little nerve wracking. But. Focus on states first. 

On a lighter more fun note, the pool was closed yesterday, which in Kona means we're doing an ocean swim for practice. Perfect! Pre ocean swim on of my friends dads, who is a professional in filmography, got some shots of Me swimming around at the pier, Jeff Smith, Uncle Jeff, as I like to call him, is putting together this huge video about the tri club with a segment on the two crazies doing Ironman Kona; Keoni and Dan, and also my swim. So that was a little fun part before training. 


Cj came along, my trusty support kayaker, well for today. And snapped a few shots. After he moved in front of me during a shot and I ran head first into the kayak......  I know ocean swimmers are supposed to site, but I'm glad I didn't, otherwise I might have a broken nose on hand. 


Back to last Saturday.... An article made it into the paper about the Triple Crown, on of my friends sent me the picture, I had no idea they did a write up on it. 


Again I am so lucky to have such a supportive community, it's pretty surreal to see your own name in the local paper.

And now, I'm chilling in Oahu just visiting my mom, more of a chill weekend. The place I'm supposed to land for my channel swim is right down the road. 

Blog world, meet Sandys, Sandys meet my fellow bloggers. 


Fortunately it isn't ALWAYS like this. But it would be quite interesting to have to finish in these conditions. And lastly my view for the weekend, my feet are up, chair reclined, and I'm ready to relax before a crazy stressful and fun weekend next week. I'll keep you all posted. 



Have a good weekend, 

Leahi. 

Count downs

Count downs begin. Count down till  states: 10 days, count down till senior year: 28 days, count down till the crossing: 41 days. As far as my shoulders, they are spectacular, I'm so happy that they have recovered. I've been getting some pressure point stuff done by Juliet Nacino and she. Works. Wonders. My shoulders are in tip top shape.


As far as my nerves they have ceased, the swim went really well yesterday and I was lucky enough to capture first place and the Triple Crown. It's been an incredible summer as far as ocean swims and as Kings swim closes it up until the summer of 2014, Molokai is on the mind. 







I was also lucky enough to finish with this little girl yesterday.... The future of Triple Crown winners......












And a HUGE shout out to Dan and Keoni some members of my triclub who surprised me with flowers after I was called up to be recognized, it was seriously the sweetest thing ever.


Long ocean swims have stopped and it's now time to focus on the distance in pool   


Sponsorships have been going alright, I'm looking to release a one page spread to Bike Works and Big Island Running Co . To help get some more money. Also! Exciting news! I have been blessed enough to be able to work with Jason Braswell, my former runner for Lavaman these last few years, and also the owner of Big Island Running Co. To create hats to sell to whoever would like to support, probably going for 15 bucks a pop, all the money does go towards my swim and the excess to the Talbert Family Foundation: Helping children and families take on the reality of being diagnosed with cancer and also a proud supporter of Waverider Triathlon Club. So I'll keep y'all's posted on that. 


Again. Thank you all so much for your support. It means so much to me. Can't wait to show you guys the hats! 

Until then, happy swimming,

Leahi 

Race day....

So many things running through my mind all at one time. I know race day is right around the corner. Not my crossing, but the final of the 3 in the Triple Crown series. I've had a pit in my stomach all day. Excitement, pure adrenaline, everything compiled into a 19-20 minute race. At some point that pit moves into a goofy smile and I realize this is what I love, all the sets, the million 100's, 200's and 50's, the extra ocean swims, the training, getting my number marked, the race suit, the new goggles, the war paint, and the pre race ritual macadamia brittle, it's everything I take for granted at times but when it comes down to it, it's the little things that I love the most. 

It's a rather emotional time, I'm scared but so incredibly excited at the same time. Can't wait to see what the big blue has in store for me tomorrow. But now. It's time for some chill tunes and a comfy blanket and it's off to dream land until the sun rises. 

Best of luck to all the racers tomorrow. 

Happy swimming, 

Leahi 

Got my salt fix.....

July 2 2013






Alright it's been busy, busy, busy..... My shoulders are awesome! I'm so excited. I swam fly comfortably the last couple of days and raced this weekend without blowing out my shoulders! Wooooot!


                                                

I was fortunate enough to go my full on race pace and snagged 1st over all. 19 mins for a mile, not too bad, I actually might be kinda tapered from swimming backstroke and kicking so much! 

On Sunday I got back into the ocean for another long swim. 3 miles...here's the twist: it was all backstroke. It wasn't THAT bad, my neck was a little stiff, but coach told me to hold off on the insane swims until after states which is 2 weeks away, so I'm letting the taper begin. 

                               

                                                                Not too bad of a view, eh?

                               

                               

One of the times I flipped over I saw a jelly! It was like one of those from the movies and the 3rd one I've seen since I started long distance stuff. Why I'm so excited? I have no idea.....

It was a good weekend. Month and a half until I step off La'au point and finish this journey. Hopefully my shoulders were not too much of a set back. States here we come.....

And another thing... I cannot thank Fairwinds Cruises enough for their extremely generous sponsorship. If any of you ever come to Kona you have to check them out. Just one of the many sponsors that are close to me, close to home, and the community. Can't wait to rep the cap while in the channel.... 

Also can't wait for my next long ocean swim..... 2 weeks and I'm back at it. 14 days... 

Happy swimming, 

Leahi