Saturday, April 07, 2007

Back in DC (Sob)


I've been in Washington, D.C. for the last 48 hours, after having returned from Hawaii. The change has not been easy. It snowed this morning, for one. I had to don tights and gloves for my run, whereas I've been running in shorts and sports bra for the past week-and-a-half.

And where's my daily Mai Tai?!

Here's a couple more pix from the trip. The first is of me wading into the water at Beach 69. The second is of flowers on black chunky lava rock, called a'a', on the easternmost point of the Big Island, near Champagne Pond. I'm assembling a slideshow of some of our photos; if you'd like to see it once it's finished, email me and I'll send you a link.

Hawaii Long Run: Last Wednesday at 6:45 a.m., in Keauhou (photo) on the sunny west coast of the Big Island, I set out on a 14-mile run on Ali'i Drive, the narrow and winding 2-lane road that parallels the ocean and crowded with hotels, condos, houses, and beach parks. I wanted to start early to avoid the heat. Already, it was close to 80 degrees and humid.

I thought Ali'i Drive was flat. I was wrong. I trudged up two big hills between Miles 5-7 and several rolling hills in Miles 3-5. And since it was an out-and-back route, I encountered all those hills twice.

At times, the cars came a little too close for comfort, and I had to jump into someone's garden or, once, flatten myself against a parked car to avoid a motorist taking a turn too widely. Another time, a tour bus sped by so quickly that its backdraft lifted my visor from my head and threw it onto someone's driveway. Even so, a good number of walkers - and a few runners - were out and about.

Going My Way?!: I passed everyone ahead of me at a 9:00/mile trot. "Looking good," I said to one woman as I ran by her. She didn't like that. So she sped up.

"You're a good pacer!" she said, running so close behind me she was about to step on my heels.

Did I ask for a running buddy?!

I tried to be a good sport about it. We started chatting. She was from Alaska, I learned in between her increasingly-labored breaths, and didn't get to run much outdoors because of the cold weather there. After a few minutes of polite conversation, she still stuck to me like glue.

I gradually quickened the pace. Which shut her up. Better. We ran together for two miles before she turned off to her hotel and waved goodbye.

I smiled and waved back, sighing in relief. "Onward," I thought, and concentrated on breathing, my footfalls on hot asphalt, the salty tang of the ocean air, and the rumbling sound of blue and white waves crashing on black lava rocks to my left.

I turned my face to the sun. And kept running.

7 comments:

  1. We didn't plan it that way for you...but I hear that's the last of the white stuff!! Beautiful photos...and as David said, "the beach looks good, too!!"

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  2. Welcome back. That sounds like a great 14 mile run in Hawaii. Nice pictures too. But you're just rubbing it in to post them the day snow fell here in the area.

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  3. Those pictures are beautiful. Glad you had such a great time!

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  4. So much is unwritten in the acccount of your long run. So what was running through your mind before and after you had your Alaskan companion?

    Best thing I can think for you to do is plan your next getaway now. It will quell the dull throb of DC snow.

    Oh, and get a good job that travels but not so much.

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  5. Welcome back to the mainland. Now I can stop being envious. :-)

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  6. very beautiful. we're not jealous at all. and so NICE of you to help that other runner out!
    :)

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  7. Good luck this weekend! PR, here Bex comes!!! - A.

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