Monday, September 19, 2011

The Kauai Marathon




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One of my favorite things to do is to have coffee with a dear friend or loved one and just chit chat and talk about the nitty gritty of their day-to-day. We share the highs, we also share the lows. We celebrate, mourn, dissect problems, create POA's (plan of actions), then part ways always with a heartfelt hug. The end result is that warm, fuzzy feeling of having connected to someone that really matters. I am recharged, my cup feels full again, and I can share with those who need it.

...My run two weeks ago at the Kauai Marathon felt like that. Except, that the South Shore of the Garden Isle of Kauai was a new friend that I got to know in those splendid, glorious, challenging, and tiring 13.1 miles

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Love that purply, blue sky


My sister and Matt picked me up at our condo at around 5:36 am which was LATE because the race was due to start at 6 am.  (Gerald gallantly let me run while he watched the kids because our babysitting had fallen through =( The good thing is that we've rolled over his registration for next year. And YES. we're doing the half again and making an adult-only-island-hoping trip!)


Matt was mashing the Ford convertible rental and I felt bad they had to pick me up :( Oh well cuz we got to the starting line in the nick of time. I, however, did not get to the bathroom which I ALWAYS do at the beginning of a race. I was too anxious and I just wanted to be where everyone else was...at the starting line.



The excitement of race day to me is always palpable. The fresh island air, the enthusiastic MC, the magnetic aura of mother nature untarnished by real estate development after real estate development heightened this feeling to the nth degree.


One lane of the two lane main highway in the Poipu area was closed for us runners. This allowed for the truly special meet-and-greet-feel of this run. The first three+ miles or so were quite pleasant except for the fact I had to stop and wait in line for the porto potties to pee. Boo. I will NEVER get used to using them. EEEEWW *shudders* One good thing about using the porto-toilets early on is that they are not as "tainted." That and the sun hasn't cooked their remains to the point that stepping inside them makes you dry heave, vomit, and want to do you your business out in nature. I only had to go once and the conditions were tolerably-horrid. Had I gone at the start of the race, I wouldn't have had to pee. But oh well. LESSON LEARNED.


At around 4+ miles I started feeling sluggish and FML (F/ my life) thoughts started popping up in my head. I thought to myself..hmmm..this is way too early for this. I usually don't get those thoughts until around 6+ miles. Dang, I must be out of shape! But....after the race I was informed that the elevation rose sharply around this time.


Our cheerleaders helped us through those miles.



The magnificent scenery helped as well.




Runners helped each other out without even knowing it ;D



And the volunteers at the aid stations were phenomenal!



This is a picture of the ancient Tunnel of Trees. No picture or video for that matter will ever capture the feeling you get running/walking under these magnificent structures.





Mile 8 rolled around and I was starting to feel good again. There were some descents that helped but the sun as beautiful as it was, did not. I veered off the "running lane" to the dirt road for some shade because heat is not typically a runner's friend. And being a veteran fainter and light weight anemic, I knew I needed to be very careful of heat-stroke, dehydration, and all those nasty heat-related ailments.


I remember feeling okay at mile 9.


The Aloha the locals showered us with was gratuitous and much appreciated. FYI: getting hosed down in the heat, as sexy & relieving as that sounds is neither. Wetness dries and chafing happens. I've never chafed this whole season until this run. Boo. Although it hurt, there was no blood. For that I'm thankful for!





Cheering on the local Taiko drummers helped me push through the last 3+ miles. That and thinking of Jojo getting better in the hospital made me push, push, push!


As physically demanding as this run was I managed to finish in less time than my first half marathon in June. More importantly never have I felt so "one with nature" as I did in Kauai during this run. Something awoke inside this coffee-loving, FB junkie, house-keeping-rebel...A profound yearning and new found appreciation for Mother Nature...I am forever changed and I am grateful.

Have a charmed and blessed week all!