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.
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?
Tags: 5k, big island road runners, dimity mcdowell, Fitness, kayak, paddleboard, race, run like a mother, running, sara bowen shea, stand up paddleboard, sup, training, travel
By the way, from the online results, it looks like you were also in the top 10 women. Revel in it!
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.