race recap: old koloa sugar mill run 10k

We happened to find a run/walk that was happening when we were going to be on the beautiful island of kauai.  The Old Koloa Sugar Mill Run had a 10 mile, 10k and 5k option.  Sister and I opted for the 10k and the parents were talked into participating in the 5k ;).

It’s the end of week 4 of marathon training for me, which means I am 1/3 of the way done – absolutely crazy since it seems like no time has gone by!  I knew this race was in our plans when I made it so I included it on my training plan.  This 10k was my third 10k overall, and the 2nd since I have started my training.  With being somewhat discouraged at my time for the last run, I needed to rethink my priorities and remember that it is not about speed at this point for me, but just the fact that I am/will be running longer distances than I ever have before and I know that is going to wear on me and my legs.

I wanted this to be a stress-free run and finding out the course was no earphones helped quite a bit since I left my entire iPod at home – so I wouldn’t have music or my Nike+ to figure out my pace.  On the way to the race I did think it would have been nice to have, but it was too late at that point so I would just go technology free for the 6.2 miles!

In the morning I had a pre-race breakfast of rice cakes, pb2 and strawberry-guava jam (so good!) and some Kona coffee.  I got up almost 2 hours before we had to leave to give me time to get ready, eaten and settled before setting off for the race.  We left at 6am and had a half hour drive to the sugar plantation.  We got there right on time and found a spot along with all of the other runners.  We had plenty of time to stand around, take pictures and use the restroom before we had to line up by the starting line.

 

Once we were ready to start I took off, attempting to keep it easy and start out slow so I wouldn’t lose steam halfway through like I did during the Haunted Hustle.  I did start slowly, but then I heard someone with Britney blaring out of their phone for the “no earphones” rule and had to speed up to get by.  There was no way I was going to be able to run to crackly Britney when the sights were to pretty – I just wanted to zone out in peace!  Around the 3rd mile the course took us past the Old Koloa Sugar Mill.  The run was rising at that point so it made pictures a little tricky (although these pictures are all from Sister since I left my new camera in the car so I wouldn’t end up dropping it!).

It was around this time I ended up running by 2 ladies who were going just a bit quicker than me.  I figured it would be helpful to use them to help me pace to see if that would motivate me and help me push to the finish, especially since I was running in a brand new location and climate.  A little before the turnaround point I passed one of the ladies but still had a bit to go on the other.  I obviously had no idea what pace I was going or what they were going (or if they were even good at pacing themselves haha).  It went back and forth a bit for me and the one, and then I passed her one more time and she said “good job”, which ended up being the last time either one of us passed one another.  Now it was time to go after the other lady.

I know I was probably pissing her off because after the half way I ended up taking a few walking breaks, and then start running.  This method actually made me faster than the second lady when I was running, but slower when walking so it went back and forth a bit (sorry lady!).  I eventually came out with about a mile of the race left to go and she didn’t pass me again.  The course itself was hilly and quite sunny, I was breaking a good sweat and was definitely working hard but knew my speed was not very fast and I was definitely nearing the end of what I had in me!

With around 1/4 mile or so left to go, Sister actually came running the other way since she it a ton faster than me, and ran with me at that point to help with the motivation.  Jingle lady then came up – I had first heard her at the beginning.  She had a Nathan water belt on and what sounded like a dollar worth of pennies rattling in it.  I knew I was not going to run near her so I wouldn’t get annoyed, but I REALLY wanted to beat her.  I somehow managed to say this to Kinley and she asked if I wanted her to push me to the finish and take her out.

Well, she definitely pushed me and more so than I actually needed to beat the jingler, but I felt better pushing myself so much at the end!  The timing system was so old school at this race, just a one time start and then you handed the bottom part of your number to someone at the end to record.  I don’t think they’re even posted online and I am in no hurry to look, and really have no motivation to look either since it was definitely my slowest 10k.  No need for records when you’re running in paradise, right??

After the race I refueled with some pineapple (my first since getting here somehow!), and plenty of water.  We headed to the car at that point to get home and eat some breakfast to continue refueling and recovering!  On the way, Sister and I grabbed Starbucks iced coffees and a container of Horizon organic chocolate milk.  We split the chocolate milk between the two cups and I think we’re both hooked on our new favorite coffee drink!  Similar to an iced mocha but without a ton of the fake ingredients and sugar that are put in the regular syrups.

Even though it was a fairly slow 10k, I still checked off a race completed in Hawaii and feel pretty good after the fact (well actually I am exhausted beyond belief but I think that has more to do with the rest of the activities done today that I will post about next!).

kauai day 2: spouting horn + po’ipu beach

I woke up by myself at 6:15 this morning after 8+ hours of sleep.  It felt so good!  We bought the most delicious coffee last night so I had some of that to get me going.  We had Kona Hawaiian Holiday Cheer this morning that was A Blend of Fresh Coconut with Tropical Fruit and Dark Rum.  Delicious.  And only $5 on sale at Foodland!  Will be back to get more to bring home!  After coffee I went on a 2 mile walk around the property – and found the beach :).  It was so close, within 1/4 mile of our door I would say.  I can definitely get used to this.

I walked up and down the beach and took a ton of pictures because everything was so gorgeous!  And I saw a rainbow – I have a feeling this is not going to be the last one we see since we’re on the Garden Island and rain seems to be a daily occurrence.  I don’t mind the rain however because it makes the intermittent blue skies feel even more special and might help to make a natural sun barrier for part of the day that’ll be good for my fair and easy to burn skin.

When I got back I had a breakfast of Chobani strawberry yogurt with a half of a banana and some Sweet Marie’s gluten free granola along with a half a Sweet Marie’s Mango Macadamia Muffin on the side.  I attempted to connect to the internet with no avail… hopefully it starts working soon so it’s not so pesky for me to get online.

After we ate, we leisurely got ready since we didn’t have any time constraints.  We headed down to the pool around 11, cocktails in hand!  POG + rum is absolutely delicious.  I first heard of POG the last time we went to hawaii, it’s Pineapple Orange Guava juice and is basically the best juice on the planet… and it really needs to come home to the mainland!  We just sat around the pool for a half hour or so and then headed into town to grab some lunch.

We ended up at Mariachi’s Authentic Mexican restaurant.  I ended up with a Chile Verde Taco Salad minus the flour tortilla.  It had a bed of lettuce, the Chile Verde, guacamole, tomato, beans, sour cream and a little cheese.  It was delicious.  I also had a few tortilla chips on the site.  The family got margaritas, but I had forgotten my ID at the condo and they weren’t believing I was over 21… seriously it’s been years since I have been that young!  I wasn’t torn up however since tequila is not my favorite.  After we ate we headed to Spouting Horn on the southern side of the island.

Spouting Horn is a lava tube that is right on the ocean, every once in awhile water floods in and it spurts it back up and makes an angry noise.  It was pretty cool but it was not cooperating for pictures very well – it was definitely camera shy haha.

After that we drove right up the road to Po’ipu Beach for some sun + relaxing time.  It was a gorgeous beach and we even got some snorkeling time in.  I don’t think I had ever snorkeled in the ocean before, but it was awesome going over the coral and seeing the neon colored schools of fish.  Not sure if there’s more snorkeling to come in the next week, but I am glad that I was able to at least do it once!

After we had gotten enough sun for the time being, we left the beach and drove back north, past out condo and to Papaya Natural Foods store.  It was hiding in the back of a strip mall, but we found it and got a few goodies including Macadamia Cashew Nut Butter.  I was hoping we’d find a deal around for Mac Nut Butter, but no luck again.  Sister and I decided to splurge since we are on vacation and got the Artisana brand.  We got a few other things and then headed back to the condo for dinner.

We made steaks on the grill by our condo, along with a side of kale chips and yams/sweet potato things.  We weren’t entirely sure what these things were – they tasted like a mix between a regular potato and a sweet potato almost, and I loved them!  Along with a side of ketchup, of course.  We also shared a chocolate cookie from Sweet Marie’s that tasted like a brownie.

 

Sister and I had a little hot tub time tonight after some frustrating computer time.  My computer refuses to connect to the internet.  The wifi has full strength and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, but it will not go to the login page where i can put in my password.  What is going on?!  It’s so annoying and I hate not being able to chill out with the internet at night…  I hope it starts working soon but I don’t really know if that’ll be an option…

All in all it was a good first full day in paradise!

kauai day 1: traveling

Our day started ridiculously early this morning with alarms set for 1:45am. We got up,
had coffee (it was obviously a necessity!), showered, finished packing and got picked up
at 3:15am by the parents. We headed right to the Milwaukee airport for our 5am flight
to Chicago for our first layover. We got to the airport by 4 and none of the workers had
showed up yet to check us in and take our checked baggage – so helpful, right?
Wonderful United/US Airways/Continental/whoever else is merged together now.
Around 4:15 the workers finally decided to show up and get us through. Then the same
thing happened at security where we had to wait for the oh-so-helpful security
personnel. I got through security perfectly fine – body scan and all haha. There were
still a few minutes before we had to board , so just enough time to use the restroom and
fill up camelbaks.

Flight 1 went well, really fast since there was only about 15 minutes of airtime which
was good because the seats were SO tiny. When we arrived in O’Hare we had an hourish
layover. I got a small milk from McDonald’s to use on some granola we brought and
had two Pumpkin Millet Muffins (made gf recently although not entirely successful
haha). We then boarded the plane to Phoenix. This trip officially has the most layovers
I have ever had for flights, but it’s all worth it to end up in paradise! The flight to
Phoenix was between 3-4 hours, not too bad and it was nice to get off and stretch. We
had a little over an hour layover in Phoenix and then boarded the flight to Kauai.

The flight was SO LONG. The pilot said 6hrs 40 minutes which really feels like forever
when you’re cramped on a plane. At least I was in the middle of mom and sister so it
was not as constricting as the flights to and from London I’ve done with strangers sitting
next to me. Kinley and I packed PB&Js for the plane ride and ate those before we even
took off since we were starving – with the time change it was technically lunchtime in our
time zone so that was good enough for us. We also had a mix of gf pretzels, rice chex
and m&ms which was so delicious and is pretty much gone now after the flight.

We started out watching three episodes of the third season of Castle that I got for my
birthday from mom and dad. It helped the time go by and Kinley fell asleep more than a
couple of times. We then made a grocery list because we were planning on going
shopping once we got to Kauai to stock up on essentials. The rest of the plane ride is
kind of a blur now. I know I read quite a bit near the end and also had a gopicnic meal –
my new favorite! I had hummus + crackers that came with a fruit & nut mix, dry roasted
edamame and a dark chocolate square. It was so nice to have a little pack of gluten
free food for the flight, and for 400 calories, 12 grams of fiber and 25 grams of protein.
It was nice to have a fairly nutritions and protein packed meal while flying and having
what felt like a ton of carbs already that morning ;).

I also had fun with my brand new camera and all of its awesome functions.

And had a few glasses of orange juice along with my water to help ward off the
disgusting germs on the airplane with some extra vitamin c!

We finally arrived in Kauai at 3:15 pm local time (4 hour time difference from
Wisconsin). It felt so nice to stretch off of the plane! We got our luggage and then
headed to get our rental car. The line at the rental car was incredibly long and took
probably close to a half hour to finally get through it and get our Jeep Liberty. We were
expecting a car, but we’ll take it ;).

(It wasn’t dark when we picked it up – just when the picture was taken)

After we got the car we swung by Sweet Marie’s Hawaii gluten free bakery (more on
that later), and headed to the condo. The condo itself is clean, a bit dated but it’ll do
since we hopefully won’t be inside much! It’s 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a full kitchen,
living room, dining room and a lanai with chickens running all over. You think I’m
kidding. We got a little settled and Mom, Dad and I headed to Walmart to get water,
POG, alcohol… you know, the necessities. Then we got back to the condo and got
ready to go to dinner around 6, and by this time we were all ready for a real meal!

We ended up at JJ’s Broiler, it was recommended in a guidebook and the food was
really good. I got a turkey burger that was topped with some dijon dressing, tomato,
avocado and sprouts. I ordered it without the bread and didn’t eat the sprouts because
I’m not a fan, but it definitely made the picture! Served with a side of sweet potato fries
(to the best of my knowledge, they do not have a dedicated fryer, but fortunately it
doesn’t seem like cross contamination is a huge problem for me). The turkey burger
was so moist and I loved the dijon dressing and fries – definitely what I needed after a
long day of flying!

We headed to the grocery store next to get a few things and then back to the condo
where we all passed out. It was such a long day of flying, but definitely nice to finally be
here and get to enjoy the beautiful weather!