I don’t tend to work out while I’m on vacation. For me, vacation usually means a complete break, although our last few vacations involved LOTS of walking/hiking, so I did get inadvertent exercise. I’m not getting any younger, however, and am in the midst of training for my first half marathon in nearly two years. I knew this vacation was going to have to involve some runs, and at least one long run. I’d done a couple short runs the last time we were in Hawaii and was actually looking forward to it.
Our first morning on Kauai, I got up early, because, you know, time zone change had me wide awake at 4am Hawaiian time. Big Man was supposed to go out with me, but he’d left his running shoes at home. ARGH! I jumped on one of my running apps to track down a route with the mileage I needed, had a little bit of coffee, plugged in my headphones, and headed out.
The first part of my run was along the main road in the town we were staying. There were quite a few people out running and walking. There were lots of waves and head-nods. “Yeah, we’re running in this beautiful place.” My run would loop me up through a small historic town, but was along two-lane roads the entire time. And there were chickens and roosters everywhere! They helped keep me entertained.
I recalled as I ran that going away from the ocean, you’re going uphill. When you’re going towards the ocean, it’s downhill. I did have to stop a few times to take some photos. The views were just beautiful, and inspiring. That I had the opportunity to be in, much less run in, such a gorgeous place….trust me, I appreciated it.
I won’t lie – I did get a tiny bit lost, but it isn’t too hard to find your way again. Kauai is pretty rural overall. We stayed in Poipu. You can’t really get completely lost there. I didn’t get too many weird looks while I ran along the side of this narrow road. I’m sure the residents are used to crazy runners getting out there. I ran through Koloa, noting the shops I wanted to stop by later, particularly the ice cream/shave ice shop. (Hey, I run so I can have my wine, and sometimes ice cream, with impunity).
I ran by some houses, wondering what it’s like to actually live there, and then hit the “main” road, the Koloa bypass. Ahhhhh…..the downhill part. There were lots of smooshed froggies on the sides of the road. I remembered my mom telling me long ago of her trip to Kauai, and how the frogs were so loud. I didn’t hear any frogs while we were there, but they were probably drowned out by all the roosters.
I did seven miles that first Kauai run. A few days later, I ran 3.5 staying in Poipu, running near the ocean and back along that main road. My last Kauai run, the day before we came home, I ran the Koloa bypass out to the main highway and back to our resort, which was almost six miles. That was a rough one…it was super humid, and the cloud cover was gone. The sun was beating down, and let’s just say, I’d celebrated a little bit the day before, as it was Little Man’s birthday, and I was feeling it on that run.
Our world is amazing with so many beautiful places. Getting out and running when you’re traveling gives you a perspective you don’t get from a car, or while sight-seeing. Destination running, I’m discovering, is an awesome way to really see a place, feel it, live in it. I’m so thankful l took my running shoes, laced them up, and got out there.