Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hawaii: First 48 Hours

I'm adjusting to life here on the Hawaiian isles nicely, thank you. Visited a coffee farm and sampled several different kinds of Kona coffee. Got up close and personal with some sea turtles. Perused a few art galleries.
Here are a few photos of my first couple of days here. The first is the open-air coffeehouse I blogged from yesterday. The second is the road leading away from the airport. The third is of me standing on the lanai of our cottage in the uplands of Kailua-Kona(which has a beautiful view of the sea on a sunny day), the fourth is of me running on a 1/3 mile loop by the Old Kona Airport, and the fifth is a silly one of me at dinner earlier tonight at a seafood restaurant in South Kohala.
But this is a blogeroo about running. So, ummm .... it's difficult to find a place to run around here not only because it is very hilly. But there are NO sidewalks, and the cars come careering around the twisty-turny two-lane roads - with no shoulder to speak of - at breakneck speeds.
Paying My Dues: But I ran nonetheless. Yesterday, in 85-degree humid heat, I logged about 6 miles treading up and down the 1-mile long tarmac runway and around an asphalt trail at the abandoned Old Kona Airport. Even though I was by the beach, it was so hot that the tarmac seemed soft underneath, and the air shimmered and distorted in the middle distance.
By the way, I was one of the few people running. About a dozen people were also on the trail. Most were walking, and looked at me as if I was a crazy person.
Today, near our B&B in Kawaihae further north up the Kona coast, I ran 4-5 miles up and down a 1.7 mile hill so steep that my rental car strained in 3rd gear to get to the top. Even though I ran at a relaxed pace, my breathing quickly grew labored, my calves were about to pop and my heart wanted to jump out of my chest.
Midway up the hill, a jazz band practiced in the open garage of a house. I ran up and down that hill to the sounds of Count Basie's biggest hits, e.g. "Satin Doll" and "Take the A Train." Or was that another 40's big band?
A (bit) faster: The race director of the National Marathon emailed all of us half-marathoners and told us that because of a misplaced cone on the race course, our race was actually .24 mile longer than 13.1 miles. So my average per-mile pace was 8:31. Okay for a training run.
But way too slow for my 10-miler next month. Note to self: Keep running while on vacation. No time to lose ...


  1. You'll run a little slower when the huimidity is so high and the temp is hovering in the mid-80s. Your body is using a lot of blood in a vain attempt to keep you cool.

    Congrats for running on vacation. It looks beautiful.

  2. Wow, enjoy your time there. I am so jealous!!!

  3. Mmm, freedom in the sun is that much sweeter, isn't it? Good luck keeping up the training schedule though - the heat/hills sound brutal.

  4. I SO envy you Bex. Running in a paradise like that must be such a surreal experience. What are you bringing us bloggers for souvenirs?

  5. First 48 hours and I'm still jealous. Just wanted to get that out of my system :-)

    Hey, I had to look up google maps to check my bearings. We were down the street from you at the Hilton Waikoloa in 05, just after my first marathon. I ran around the property, always early to beat the heat, and tried to end beachside to cool off.

    I also ran a few times up and down the main highway along the west coast. At least that has a pedestrain "lane", but the cars and the wind coming down the mountains were pretty intense! I can't imagine the Ironman runners running that same highway!

    Hapuna Bay has a long expanse of beach just south of you.

    48.05 hours and I'm still jealous ...

  6. I am not the least bit jealous. (remember what day this is.)
    You are looking good! Can't wait for your return!