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Tuesday:  super early, hilly 10K around the ‘hood/ 47:34 min.

Monday: rest

Sunday: 6.25 mi. last run in Maui/ 52:33 min.

Saturday: 17.02 mi./ 2:26:49 (THE most gorgeous run I’ve ever gone on. Ever.)

Friday: 8.05 mi./ 1:06:40

Thursday: Snorkeled with the turtles in the AM, swam with the land sharks in the PM

Wednesday: 8.01 mi./ 1:07:01

Tuesday: 8:02 mi./ 1:10:00 first run in Maui, hot, humid Bikram yoga-style sweatfest

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I’ve been putting off writing about my trip to Maui. I kinda felt like it was so special and wonderful that if I wrote about it, then it would officially be over, which it is, but I’m a little off.

I decided that I’ll break up writing about my trip into two parts: running and other activities. I don’t get to travel very much, so I’m pretty much a rookie every time I get to go somewhere (which is also probably why we missed our flight home), so this whole training-to-BQ-while-enjoying-a-vacation thing was completely new to me. BTW, I also REALLY REALLY want to do a destination marathon! I know people do them all the time, but I feel like that would totally be the most incredible thing ever. Hopefully, I’ll get to Boston so it can happen!

Last year when we went to Coronado, I wasn’t training for anything, and the couple times I woke up early to run, I ended up waking up my kids and felt all Hey, I’m on vacay. Why on earth am I setting an alarm? This time I knew I had to keep up somewhat with my training for the Ventura Marathon. 

I came pretty close to running 50 miles last week, a personal goal  of mine. On vacation. Which is awesome. I attribute 100% of my successful(ish) training to packing the right gear, running at the right time of day, and picking the right routes.

First, the things I packed for running: 1 super lightweight Lululemon running skirt, 3 pairs of RRS low socks (so old they don’t even carry the same sock anymore), 3 pairs of ProCompression marathon socks (1 for the flight and LR recovery, 2 for runs), 4 sports bras, 4 running tanks, my Kayanos, a visor, a Garmin and its charger, my Amphipod handheld, 3 gels for my LR, a small ziplock bag for my phone, and 4 tubes of Watermelon Nuun. Nothing was unused except for one gel.

We stayed at the Sheraton Maui in Ka’anapali, which is a huge property located just north of Whaler’s Village. On my first run, I woke up early to get in 8 easy miles, but they were a struggle! Running in the heat and the humidity were new to me, so my first mile of each run hovered around 9 min./mi., and rarely did I push under 8. I did notice that I became more acclimated with each passing day, though.

Another challenge to training was that to avoid waking up the kids, I didn’t make coffee before ANY of my runs!

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Not even my long run! I don’t always drink a cup of coffee before running, but for my long runs, I always do because otherwise I’ll just curl up in a fetal position and cry within the first 800m, so I relied solely on Watermelon Nuun (I should have bought some with caffeine, but the watermelon is just so dang tasty!). And the random outdoor ice machine on the way back when I had sucked my handheld dry.

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God, please bless this ice machine for ever and ever.

Before we left, one of my girlfriends told me that I’d for sure dig the beach path that connects the hotels in Ka’anipali. So for my first run, I ran north until the sidewalk ended, and then turned around and ran as far south as the beach path would take me (and back), and it ended up being 8ish miles round trip. However, the beach path got super crowded super early, so if I ran past 7am, I tried to avoid it as much as possible.

For the remaining runs, I stuck to running north on the path for 2 miles until it ended, then trekking along this road into monsoon country:

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ImageYes, that’s a farmer’s market with pineapple samples. Every morning.

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I woke up early every morning to those views. And not once did I regret waking up instead of sleeping in. Running up the coast was so peaceful and stunning.

It can be so easy to forget about fitness when you’re on vacation because it’s our time to sleep in and indulge in life, but I feel like my morning runs were some of the best memories I have of the trip because the roads belonged to me for the first half of the run, and almost every morning, the monsoons hit the northern part of the island. It was pure magic. How often do I see turtles peaking their little heads up out of the ocean for a breath of fresh air while on a run? Never. I’ve officially been bit by the traveling-runner bug.

Running in high humidity (it averaged 76% humidity the day of my long run, according to Garmin) made for a lot of drying out of gear every day:

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Nobody wants to run in soggy shoes.

The morning of my long run, I had planned on running 4 miles north, then back to the hotel to refill my water bottle, then run 4 south and back. However, as I continued north, my 4 miles became 5, then 6, and finally 8.6. It was drizzling (my absolute fave!), and the road was calling to me:

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How could I say no to that? Then, I came across a sign that pointed to the Ritz Carlton. THE Ritz Carlton! I had heard wonderful things about the Ritz, and because I might not be back to Maui for a long time (or ever), and I am most likely never going to be able to afford parking my rented Dodge Avenger there, I figured running through the property would be my only chance to be a teensy bit fancy!

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So gorgeous. This place is no joke. I can imagine staying at the Ritz and not wanting to leave at all.

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There were quite a few walkers and joggers out on the path, and one couple was nice enough to take a picture of me!

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I ran past the Ritz and past the Plantation Golf Course to this famed part of the island:

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Please be respectful. And that’s that. That seemed to be the way of life on the island. My soul smiled the entire remaining miles of my run.

Because I got carried away following my heart for the first half of the run and I was out of water, I looked unsuccessfully for a good 10 minutes for a drinking fountain. Fortunately, hidden between two time-share properties was a tiny Beach Access sign. I followed it to both a restroom and a drinking fountain on the best piece of real estate any public facility has ever sat upon:

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I took gels at miles 6.5 and 12.5, and felt great the entire run where my average pace was 8:37 min./mi., an easy pace that afforded me time to gawk at the scenery around me and take lots of pictures. I also went through 2-22 oz. bottles of water.

Every run, as slow and sweaty as they each were, was such a complete blessing. Exploring new places and getting some solid runs in at the same time is just about the best thing ever.

My next post will be on the other activities we did in Maui, including tasting the local IPA. I’ll be posting for the rest of the week from the beach in Oxnard, so if you’re around and want to run, send me a message at hautechocolaterunner@gmail.com! I’ll be running the Fourth of July Harbor Run 10K on Thursday morning.

Where is your favorite destination run?

Are you racing on Independence Day? Where? In costume?

What are your plans for the celebrating?

After the 10K, my mom and I will probably take the girls over to the Independence Day parade and street faire, then walk back over to the harbor at night to watch the fireworks.

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