14 Weeks To Go, and Aloha from Hawaii!

Edit: I wrote this post on Monday, but I wanted to add a picture of the beach, which I somehow hadn’t taken yet, and then I didn’t reopen my computer until now. So here you go.

Ok that “aloha” was super cheesy but bear with me. I’m currently taking a break from the Maui sun to enjoy some iced coffee and air conditioning. Eric still has to go to work while I’m visiting, so I have some free time to fill on my own (tough life, right?) Anyway, one of my favorite things to do on vacation is to incorporate sightseeing and exploring into my workouts, and this trip is no different. Now let’s see if I can even remember my workouts from before I left for my trip…

Monday – 5 mile run before work

It has rained SO much in Durham this summer, and once I again I got caught in a downpour on my run. I really do enjoy running in the rain, but I wish I had had the foresight to wear my visor to keep the rain out of my eyes.

Tuesday – 2000 yards swimming before work

I have grown to enjoy my morning swims this summer. It’s peaceful and different from running or cycling. Plus there are no errant drivers to worry about, and I usually have my own lane.

Wednesday – Rest day

Travel day! I had an early flight from Durham to San Francisco to Maui. I was really proud of myself for packing breakfast, lunch, and snacks for the trip so I wouldn’t have to pay outrageous amounts for food. I will spare you any photos (not that I took any) because honestly it’s just food and my choices were utilitarian at best (i.e., overnight oats in a throw-away container, multiple pb&j sandwiches, fruit, and almonds). I also treated myself to one of those “trail” mixes from Target that are mostly chocolate and peanuts.

Eric and I swam around in the ocean for a bit that evening which totally counts as cross-training, right? The water was so clear I even saw a sea turtle swim past me!

Thursday – 4 mile hike

We drove the “Road to Hana” on Thursday, and we took a lunch break at Wai’anapanapa Park (I double-checked and yes, that’s spelled correctly). After lunch we explored the park’s black sand beach and then set out on a hike along the King’s Trail, which was a trail for the royal messengers to travel around the island in pre-contact days. The views were gorgeous, but the path itself was made of rough lava rocks for the most part, so we both twisted a few ankles along the way. I learned of this hike from this website, and all I know about its history is from that guide as well. We don’t know how far we actually hiked out before we turned around, but the guide says we’d see a sign at 2.5 miles, and we didn’t make it that far, so we’re guessing around 4 miles total. Midway along the hike, we came across a family of four – the parents were sitting and looking out at the water, and the two young kids were clearly not having the greatest day of their lives. At one point the boy complained about something, and the mom shouted back, “You’re supposed to be finding harmony with your sister!” Eric and I definitely shared a laugh at that. These kids were definitely not finding harmony with each other.

Eric splash

Making Eric stand in the splash zone


We came across this shack along the hike. Neither of us would sit in the chairs for a photo – too creepy! Also, note the black lava rocks and how they do not look appealing for walking.

Friday– 2400 yards swimming

Eric’s apartment for the summer is right next to a nice (and free) community pool. He said it’s usually set up for 25 yards, but on Friday it was set up in long course for 50 meters. Forget everything I’ve ever said about how much I prefer long course. Instead of enjoying the fact that I had to do half as many laps, my brain instead chose to focus on why is this lap taking twice as long as normal?? Put that together with the fact that we didn’t eat a real dinner on Thursday night (long story – traffic from Lahaina to Kihei after the fireworks was worse than we anticipated, and I fell asleep in the car before we made it back for a late dinner) and you get a very tired Allison.

Kihei pool lanes

Would you complain if this pool were right next to your apartment?

Saturday – 85 minutes running + 4-5 mile hike

My first run of over an hour since Boston! I set out to run out 40 minutes and then turn around, actually turned around at 41:11, and have apparently become the queen of positive splitting. Great. I will chalk it up to the excitement of my first “long run” of this training cycle and the heat. The run itself was gorgeous because I ran past all the nice Wailea resorts, and as a workout, it was exactly what I needed for my first longer run – confidence-boosting but challenging enough to remind me that I have work to do.

We drove up to Haleakala National Park for the late afternoon and evening to explore the crater a bit and watch the sun set over the islands. We think we walked at least 2 miles down into the crater before we were worried we’d run out of sunlight and turned around. With the thin air at 10,000 feet, my heart was racing as we hurried back up the crater wall.


The path down into the crater


Sunday – Open water ocean swim (!)

I don’t do much open water swimming outside of triathlons themselves, but I know they’re important to practice. The ocean is pretty calm where Eric lives, so we were able to go out beyond the splashing children and swim a bit. I admit I was nervous at first – in my past experiences with open water swimming, I couldn’t really see anything further than my hand in front of me, and I have had trouble settling into a rhythm. Part of that I’m sure is the fact that the beginning of a race is a stressful time already, but I’ve also swam in the murky lake in my hometown a couple of times and had similar struggles.

Thankfully this time I was totally calm! I think because the water was so clear, I couldn’t get myself worked up about the possible monsters coming up to grab me from the depths. (What, you don’t worry about that?) We swam over some coral and saw lots of fish swimming around. Aside from the gross taste of salt water in my mouth, I felt completely comfortable. Then we turned around and were going diagonally against the current and I was absolutely not comfortable anymore. Still not scared, but with every breath I risked a huge mouthful of water from the waves, and I was getting bounced around quite a bit. Yuck. After about 20ish minutes of swimming, we headed back to shore.


All in all a lovely week of training. It’s hard to complain when you can fit in a few good runs, hikes, and swims while on vacation!

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