Update on races….Did the Glenview Triathlon. This race was my first tri ever and I still love it. Lots of friendly neighborhood cheer, close to home, short and sweet. I did well, swim was better, bike and run a little longer than last year but overall time was much better. Most of the TWT team does this race too, so there is always allot of great cheering going on. Also did the Naperville co-ed sprint triathlon. I didn’t like this race AT ALL. The swim was like a washing machine. Too many people in this little quarry pool and the water had nowhere to go; this created insane choppiness, and people were climbing all over each other. The bike course was too crowded, in many areas there was no room to pass people, road was too narrow or there was car traffic open in the next lane. Run was good, but by this time, I was hot, frustrated, and really didn’t care anymore. Chalk this one off the “to do next time” list. So far, it seems I’ve found my staple races and I’ll stick to those going forward, adding some others along the way…maybe.
Injuries…One week before going on vacation to Kauai-Hawaii, my back goes out. Really, it went out right underneath me. I couldn’t stand, sit, bend, nothing. Now, I’m freaking out here because I literally was walking fine one minute and fell to the floor the next. I had no idea what was happening. My husband said, yep, had that happen. You will be fine in a few hours. NOT. Try 3 weeks later and just now getting back to normal. See, I figured that since I was going on vacation, I needed to get a bunch of training in before leaving so I can relax there and gear up for my next race, The Chicago Half Marathon. On Friday, I ran 12 miles in heavy winds (I was sand blown, wind blown and wave washed). Then Saturday, I rode my bike 36 miles, relatively easy pace. Now, this is not unusual activity for me, but by Sunday I was very tired and decided to skip anything else and just sit, relax, do paperwork, etc. THAT, was my mistake..and the fact that I didn’t bother to stretch at all after any of those activities. I didn’t have time??? Monday morning, I walked across the room, showered and then fell to the floor…end of story. It took the entire week for me to walk somewhat normal (thank goodness for my chiropractor and his PT because they really put me in some excruciating pain, but with excellent results). I worked from home all week; literally face down on the floor propped up on my stomach with a pillow, my back hyperextended and hands on a computer. That Saturday, I left for Hawaii with a Mackenzie roll, biofreeze, ice packs, lots of Advil and an arsenal of stretches.
Kauai-Hawaii….We had our vacation this summer in Kauai, also known as the “garden island” of Hawaii. Very neat little place to visit. My plans for this trip were to hike as much as possible, snorkel, kayak, ride a boat to see the Na Pali coast, and did I say hike? Here are some highlights…
After an incredibly long travel time (total time 12 hrs with a stop in Denver), we arrive in Kauai. My back is doing ok as I was able to “upgrade” my seat to one in front of the wall so I had some standing/pacing room for the long ride.
Paying an upgrade fee for this seat is a joke, and the fact that United only offers food for purchase on a flight that is 9 hrs long is just ridiculous. Top that with having to pay for both our bags. Yes I know this is flight is still within the U.S., but does anyone go to Hawaii or any 9 hr long flight with just a carry on? Any flight over 4 hrs should have at least one free bag.
*End of rant*
The island is not difficult to navigate so we found our home base quickly and set off to the grocery store to get our staples, breakfast items, water, etc. We rented a garden level condo a few minutes walk from the ocean. It was clean, well maintained with a king size bed, all kitchen amenities and powerful shower. Also had wonderful Japanese gardens on the grounds with koi ponds and walking paths. My only regret is that we didn’t get an ocean view or that we were not up a few floors. Having the lanai on the ground floor attracted lots of bugs; we had no view and we didn’t have the benefit of the sea breeze that was so wonderful each evening on the island.
With my back being so touchy, we spent the first two days, Saturday and Sunday getting acquainted with the neighborhood, playing at the beach and snorkeling.
Monday, we went to Waimea Canyon to hike but it was closed due to a fire that was not under control. We ventured out to our next planed hike, which was the Kalalau trail, a rugged tough trail that went from 2-11 miles. We started late, due to our change in plans, and although we had plenty of water, we forgot to add snacks to our backpacks…everything was in the car. Smart, hugh? The trail was beautiful, challenging, and everything I could have wanted from a hike. I really wanted to go on for the extended trail (about 2 more miles) but I knew that with no food, it would not be a good idea. By mile 3, I was very hungry, my back was throbbing and I had blisters on my feet. By mile 4, I was glad to head back to the car and eat when we were finally finished. Chalk one up to stupidity on that one.
Tuesday, we did a kayak trip on the beautiful, calm Wailua River, me in the lead and Chris in the back. Chris didn’t tip us over; this would have been normal activity for him on a Kayak. We kayaked for about a mile out and then we hiked about 1 mile away from the river to a waterfall. The waterfalls have been a bit dried out due to the lack of rain in that area so I would actually call it a water trickle, but whatever. We swam around in the falls for a little while, ate a packed lunch and then hiked and kayaked back. It was a fun, beautiful day.
Wednesday the Canyon was open again. I really wanted to hike the 6 hr. Awa’Awapuhi trail. However, after the previous two days of Hiking and Kayaking, my back was feeling quite sore. I decided that visiting the canyon from the road and lookout points might be a good idea rather than collapsing on the trail or spending the rest of our vacation lying on the floor. The Canyon was beautiful, we were up to about 5500 ft. of elevation and the views were spectacular. This is the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. There is much rain in this area of Kauai and the Canyon gets greener and greener with more elevation. It was truly beautiful and someday I would like to return to hike this canyon and that trail.
Thursday we decided to do a helicopter ride. We did not have this planned, but after speaking with another couple on the Kayak trip, and hearing how much they loved it, we decided to give it a go. Honestly, this had to be the best hour we spent on the island. The views were just amazing; and the pilot took a “tour guide” approach to explaining all the areas were flying over. We took so many beautiful pictures and had such wonderful views of the Na Pali coast, the Waimai canyon, the ocean and many other beautiful areas of the Island. Even the music that was playing on the ride was perfectly appropriate!!
Friday, Catamaran sail and snorkel tour. Up early and on a Catamaran…saw some dolphins… and that was about it. The ride (not sail because the sail did not go up) was very nice. The crew was great, and the lunch was good. We went to see the Na Pali coast, the beaches and coves that are in this area that can only be reached by boat, we also snorkeled in this same area. The fish however had other ideas and we literally saw NO fish. Seriously. I was very disappointed. Now, I have to really work hard to overcome panic attacks while in the water, there were a few days while on the Island that we went to the beach to “practice” with my mask on (no fish here either) so I could get ready for the great snorkeling adventure scheduled on this day. I was prepared, I jumped in, I swam, I snorkeled, no panic attack…but NO fish either. Is that even possible??? Anyway, I was very proud to have jumped in to who knows how many feet of water, comfortably, with a mask and no panic attack. Yeah me…I think.
Ah, Saturday and heading home, but not before taking another hike. Yes, my back felt very good and I was ready for another hike, albeit, a very easy short one by my standards. We went to shipwreck beach and hiked the Maha’ulepu trail. We took our time and walked along taking pictures, splashing in the water and savoring the view. What a beautiful coastline it is.
Then the trip back home. I will refer once again to the rant above only without the upgrade. Strapped into a 777, with no room to move and a sub sandwich from Quiznos. By the way, don’t go to Hawaii for the food, its not very good. Unless of course you are not on a budget and can afford to eat at the best restaurants. We had one delicious meal, and that cost a fortune and I had one very good fish taco for $9, the good food ends there. My back is doing better; I was aggressively following the Docs orders while gone and I still am. Add in a few recent visits and a massage and it’s has been getting better. I was finally able to run 2 miles yesterday and biked 20 today and I’m feeling good. Hopefully that wont change tomorrow!
Oh, and If you ever go to Kauai, bring earplugs. Sleeping after 3 am became impossible with all the feral roosters. Who knew??