It’s The Journey

One week in Maui:

What was your morning routine?

Every morning, I’d get up while it was still dark, make some coffee, and settle in for several episodes of The Golden Girls. Turns out, it’s a great show! Hilarious, biting, perverted –those ol’ gals sure know how to make this ol’ gal laugh. It was recommended to me by a few people, but I resisted. I mean, come on, a show about old white ladies? No, thanks. But by the time I could count all the times they uttered the word “slut” on two hands, I was hooked.

Of course when the daily morning marathon of The GG had finished, the sun was out and the heat was high, and I’m pretty sure that most of the runners had already gone out and completed their workouts. But I’m also pretty sure that most of the runners had already seen The GG decades ago.

Which Golden Girl(s) are you?

According to a very close friend and big fan of the show, I’m Dorothy, with a layer of Sophia.

How hot was it?

When I finally did get out to run, most days it got up to 30 degrees, often feeling hotter than that. There wasn’t much shade along the highway where I ran, and I’d say I went from a 21 to a 27 in less than a week.

Does it pay to be short?

Yes. Sometimes. It was often very windy, and when we took turns blocking and drafting in a two-man pack, I, 5’4″, actually received a benefit, whereas someone who is 6’1″ would not. I still took my turn pulling. It would’ve been rude not to.

What if you don’t want to run on the highway?

Then don’t. I’d suggest the loop in Makawao Forest, which about 10k with 600m in elevation. It was at least 10 degrees cooler in the forest. Keep your eye out for the “Secret Trail”, which was marked with a sign. Shhh.

What was delicious?

There were a lot of delicious things to eat Maui. In the first town, my favourite take-out place was Coconuts. The poke bowl was amazing and came with some of the best wasabi I’ve ever had. It was legit. There was also a café on the side of the road, beside a fruit stand that sold giant avocados, and their sandwiches were delicious. They also had a salad with charred brussel sprouts and a poppy seed citrus dressing that was really great.

On the Road to Hana drive, we stopped by a small stand, known as Halfway to Hana. They sold banana bread, I think the best I’ve ever had; it was dense, moist, and heavy in your hands. It was also halfway to Hana.

At the second town, there were also a bunch of great places to eat. The Kuau Store had great poke, served on brown rice; Tobi’s Shave Ice had delicious acai bowls with granola, fresh berries, and coconut; Mama’s Fish House was a nice treat for the last night’s dinner and featured freshly caught seafood, a great location (right on the beach!), and had been visited by one Kelly Gruber himself.

Do the roosters have large talons?

I never let myself get close enough to one to check out the size of their talons, but I was assuming yes. There were roosters everywhere. Eating outside of Coconuts, they would be skittering about, common as the city squirrel or pigeon. I frankly, was terrified. Birds have the advantage.

There were also mongoose everywhere, and I tried to get up close to one at the Wai’anapanapa State Park (the blow-hole is a can’t miss attraction there as most blow-holes are), but was wisely advised not to put my face so close to it. According to the narrator on the Road to Hana audio guide, the mongoose had be introduced to Maui to curb the rat population. There’s something in their pee that can be deadly to humans.

Should I go to Maui?

Yes, absolutely.

Should I fly with United Airlines?

No.

Is every pool noodle for public use?

Also no. It would be advisable to ask if the pool noodle by the pool side is someone’s personal noodle before lodging it between your legs, seahorse-style, in an attempt to pool run.

 

 

 

Three Bears

During the past couple weeks, I’ve developed a literal pain in the butt, in my left side (Remember Left Shark? I couldn’t remember exactly what that was all about, so I went back and searched for it, watched the Super Bowl video, and couldn’t figure out if it were my left or Katy Perry’s left. I thought they both looked great and were living the dream.), which has forced me to hold back on the hard workouts for a few days. Prior to that, I had been quite sick for about a week leading up to and following a 3000m indoor track race, so it’s been a couple weeks since I’ve been in “regular” training.

The track race was a really fun day. Really great races to watch, huddled along the wall with teammates and trying to keep warm at the indoor York track, and then roughly 11 and a half minutes of pure agony. The race itself didn’t go exactly as I had wished –the first kilometer felt harder than I wanted and the wheels starting coming off pretty rapidly after that; I was thinking desperately how to sneak off the track without my coach noticing (he was actually on the track pacing someone else in the race) but I tagged along behind another gal’s heels for the rest of the race and finished with an o-kay time. Not great, but it was a hard effort and I was glad not to have run it alone.

(Re-capping the race with a more experienced friend, he told me that I was thinking too damn much and should’ve just shut off my brain and run. All of that wasted brain power as I was calculating splits and plotting my early escape from the race could’ve been siphoned into a faster time; just be a dumb jock, dummy.)

After the race, it felt like someone had climbed up into my sinuses and throat and just raked them raw and bare. I was out of commission for a few days, repeatedly going into work and then leaving early as I realised how useless I was and how much noise I was making in an otherwise pin-droppingly silent workspace. It took a few days of being horizontal on the couch with a Snuggie, eating soup, and watching a lot of Will & Grace (& Karen), but I finally started feeling better. When I returned to health and running, I was stoked to get back to it, and started with a nice, moderate speed workout to start ‘er up. Unfortunately, while running I felt a pain in my left side, from the back to the butt to the hamstring, the lower leg, and the foot, enough so that I had to tell my coach about it. No secrets between runners and coaches, right?

(Okay, my left leg was bothering me for a while, probably since starting the indoor track workouts, but it had felt like something I could stretch, roll, ice, etc. etc. etc. my way through. Perhaps I should’ve stopped sooner to avoid this recent set-back? I’m not sure. Also, I’m not sure how much wearing older than I should be wearing pairs of shoes made an impact, but I was having a brutal time finding a new pair of shoes to replace my NB 870s, the last model which just felt weird and bad, and which they then just discontinued. As someone who hates shopping, it took me a long time to settle on a new pair, but I am now trying out the Brooks Ravenna.)

So I had to back off again, and this time, I went to the pool, mostly because I didn’t want to be in the seated position and aggravate my back and butt further, but also because I wanted to see if I would still look like a huge dork. In the slow lane. With my floatation belt. Mission accomplished.

Tonight will be my first real test of the leg with a short ladder. I’ll have to do it outdoors, so it’ll be tough to find somewhere that’s juuust right. I’ll just try to find a place that’s reasonably well-lit, with minimal off-leash dogs, a decent surface, low-vehicular traffic, and as a bonus, a discreet place to pee.