Training: SUP, Kayaks and a New PR

That's me, runner #318.

It was a busy week in Hawaii. We hiked over lava fields. I kayaked. I ran every other day. I. Even gave stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) a try, and remain delighted by my ability to stay upright without a single fall. I fully attribute my SUP success to the core strength developed with 10 years of training by Mercy Bobias of Apex Pilates. It was a fantastic trip, and I can’t recommend the Waikoloa area enough.

As you might know, when I travel, I try to find a local 5k to run in my destination city. Last year, I discovered the Proud to Run 5k in Chicago. This year, I’ve planned to attend reTREAT weekend in Kingston, WA with Run Like a Mother authors Dimity McDowell and Sara Bowen Shea. I’m already trying to find ways to run with my Internet friends in DC and Boston, and work in a visit back home to Philly to run with some high school friends who, like me, came to running as late bloomers.

It was natural, then, that I’d look for a 5k to run during my holiday vacation to the Big Island. Before leaving California, I searched for races and came up empty. Then last week, I decided to look again. A 5k on Saturday morning before catching our flight back home? I’m in!

I got up before dawn and dressed in my insanely pink running ensemble (that outfit alone is a post unto itself) and drove though the lava fields down to Old Kona Airport to run with the Big Island Road Runners in a two-part race with simultaneous starts on the Kona and Hilo sides of the island.

At the starting line, waiting for Hilo to start their synchronized countdown.

The crowd of <100 runners was not only the smallest race I’ve ever run, but also the most eclectic mix of die-hard marathon/triathlon body types and resolution walkers.

We started exactly at 8:00 and ran north up the old runway. I started fast — a little too fast for comfort, particularly on my left foot where I’d sliced it open on underwater rocks taking a comical fall from a kayak to entertain the kiddo. The cut had healed well, but reached the point where the scab had started itching like crazy. I had to take frequent, brief walk breaks to wiggle my foot in my shoe in an effort to scratch the maddening itch.

Coming down the home stretch, I heard footsteps behind me; they were closing fast. In the final yards I was passed by… a kid. He was maybe 9 years old, had one untied shoelace and ran like the wind. Wow, that’s humbling!

Final result: as @delfuego predicted, a PR for me in any 5k — not just a Hawaii PR or a middle-of-the-Pacific PR, but a bona fide top speed run. My previous PR came before my injury, so I’m very pleased (and more than a bit surprised) by the result.

Best comments of the run came from the woman who finished last, asking, “was I supposed to collect the signs as I passed?” and “I haven’t walked since my son was born; he’s 23 now.” She was a blast. I wish I could come back and run with this group again next year.

I have some interesting stuff lined up for the coming week and will report next Sunday. All of it is about change in my training and fitness, some of which I approach with more enthusiasm than others.

What changes are you making this week? What’s new in your 2012 routine?

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2 Responses

  1. Jason says:

    By the way, from the online results, it looks like you were also in the top 10 women. Revel in it!

  2. Alisa says:

    If only they’d done age bracket breakdowns. I’m curious to know where I fell within the age group. But yeah, that is pretty cool.

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