Monday, August 1, 2011

Running in paradise

I've arrived in Hawaii, and for the first week I'm staying here on the "Garden Isle" of Kauai. We're staying in a condo on a cliff overlooking the ocean, and a warm tropical breeze permeates the air wherever we go.

But I didn't want to let my training lag while we vacationed, so I brought half a suitcase worth of running gear, and yesterday I went out for a 15-mile run. At 6:00 a.m. it's about 75 degrees here, so it's quite a bit cooler than most mornings back home this time of year. The dew point is in the mid-60s instead of the mid-70s, and the breeze makes it even more pleasant. And it doesn't hurt to be running along one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. I'm hoping this means I won't have to slow down much from my target pace to accommodate the heat.

Still a bit dark, but a beautiful morning in paradise
The plan yesterday was to run 2 easy miles, then 2 at tempo pace (7:00 miles), then 7 easy, then 2 tempo, and 2 easy, for a total of 15. "Easy" is supposed to be 9-minute miles, so I took off at that pace from our condo and headed west along the shore. I was surprised about 5 minutes in to see a family of wild (probably feral) chickens. And then another, and another, and another. Between the chickens and the dead frogs on the road (I like to call them "toad kill") I was getting a bit more nature than I bargained for. But the views were spectacular, and the miles were cruising by. I could still feel the heat, and so I didn't want to push too hard for my first tempo run, so I did these miles at 7:23 and 7:20. Four miles in, I arrived at spouting horn. I stopped for a minute to watch it blow, then headed back towards home. By the time I arrived back at the condo, my shirt was soaked through with sweat. I'd run 8 miles, and I was getting a bit tired. I refilled my water and ate a cookie to get a little carbs, left my shirt and headed back our for 7 more.

I could keep up the 9-minute pace quite easily but I wasn't sure I was going to be able to pick up the pace at all for the second tempo run. When the time came to speed up, all I could muster for the first mile was an 8:00 pace. I did slightly better for the second mile, 7:49. Then I eased back to 9-minute miles, and finally had to walk a bit between my two cool-down miles, before finally bringing it back home.

The details of today's run are below:

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