Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Observations from A Running Non-Hawaiian

So I’ve been in Hawaii for less than a week and already I know I don’t belong. Don’t get me wrong, I’m having a truly wonderful time here and am already regretting having to say goodbye. The weather’s been fantastic, the views spectacular and I’ve already gotten addicted to 7-11 spicy ahi poke and deluxe spam masubi that I know I won’t find anywhere at home. (I've already had these for lunch for three days straight!) But the one thing I’ve noticed though is that I have a hard time identifying with the sports people around here are most passionate about. For one, I am not a swimmer (although I am signed up for beginner lessons once I’m home) so it’s hard for me to appreciate endurance swimming, surfing, jet-skiing or other athletic pursuits that involve submerging one’s body into a bottomless body of water. Second, because of the widespread access of bike routes, running paths and picturesque scenery at every turn, training here occurs year round and endrance race events seem out of proportion to what I’m used to back home. Instead of 20 mile bike rides across a state, people here routinely do 100 mile bike rides along the north shore of Oahu or up on the side of a mountainous range and back down. Similarly, instead of training for marathons, people here speak of 40-60 mile runs on trails, overnight, to train for 100Ks and an annual event known as the H.U.R.T. 100 miler! Umm, no wonder I wore my Honolulu Marathon finishers shirt around town yesterday but haven't felt like much of an athlete.

Now, I know I probably have a warped sense of reality because I’m hanging out with F.L. who ran the marathon as a training run for her 100K race this weekend (Go ahead, you can go over there, shower her with words of encouragement, then come back…I'll be here...) but still, I can’t help feel as if I’m such a wimp for never having completed a single run longer than 26.2 miles, when her and her local running group friends are chattering about so and so doing 50 miles on the H.U.R.T. last week and another person is tacking 45 miles after the marathon to train for Western States (100 mile) race and so-and-so’s going to pace someone for 40 miles in the H.U.R.T. 100 mile race next year. It is an intimidating bunch to say the least. I’m just glad I’m not here on a daily basis and am going back soon to my own neck of the woods where running 20 miles in the wind, cold, and snow one or twice a month is considered hardcore and somewhat of an accomplishment. Maybe one day I’ll be up to tackling 32 hour runs on an steep and arduous trail run here fighting hallucinations, nausea, vomiting just for fun, but for now, I’m content to just revel in my own marathon accomplishment, eat all the crummy food I want, hang out at the beach all day, rest and recover in paradise and NOT think about running, racing or marathoning for the foreseeable future!

Towards that end, here are a few sun, fun, and sandy beachy pictures for you all to enjoy! Don't judge, it's the best I can do short of a personal invite to come over and experience paradise for yourselves! Aloha!





14 comments:

X-Country2 said...

I'm afraid to go to Hawaii because I'd never come home. Dang that's pretty.

Katie said...

I agree! I think I'll stick with marathons. Not that I think it's crazy to do Ultras. I simply love that fact that a marathon doesn't take away from my sleep time. Also, with a toddler around I need to maintain my energy levels. Anyway, I still think you're hardcore!

Morgan said...

Yeah I'm with you, I'll stick to the marathons! Thanks for sharing the pics... I'm totally drooling over here!!! Love the "sandmen" :)

marathonmaiden said...

i'm toying with the idea of running an ultra someday. it's really only after 2+ hours of running that my legs start to feel warm!!

awesome pics. makes me want to drive to the airport right now :)

B.o.B. said...

I am with you on just eating the fatty foods and relishing being a marathoner. I think it is all about perspective and don't worry you'll come the hero! (Just pretend everyone in Hawaii is training for a 5K. LOL!)

Spike said...

I think this post has made clear that I'm not hard core enough to live and train out there.

Running and living said...

Most of my friends who have done ultras agree that the events are v different. If you run a marathon to PR, I think that is harder is some sense than a trail ultra, where you walk the uphills, can take a break, etc; if not harder, at least different, particularly for those who don't race ultras. My plan is to keep at the marathon for as long as I see improvement (until I get to my limit and there is nothing I am willing to do in training - like running 60+miles/week - to get better). Then, I will switch to ultras, bc speed would not be an issue there.
I feel the same about Hawaii. And I, too, think you are hardcore. Curious about swimming, let me know!

Rio Runs said...

Beautiful pictures! I think it's interesting how sport preferences differ in different areas of the country. Sounds like you've had some good eating lately too!

Haliku said...

Why limit yourself to a certain distance? With that said we should all be proud to be in that minority called runners and/or marathoners. Just because some of us are crazy enough to run marathons for training runs ultra runners don't look down on fellow runners because all they do is marathon distance. Now maybe if all you ran was a 5k...
Good job in HI. Happy Holidays!

Susan said...

I can't believe that's Hawaii in December! No wonder people call it paradise...

I have no clue what my training would be like if it was nice year round. Gives you something to think about, however.

Jamie said...

Oh I want to be there with my toes in that gorgeous beach instead of my slippers next to the fireplace!

I'll definitely be sticking with 26.2 or less :)

J said...

Now you know how I feel while reading all your marathon reports and the longest I have ever run was 13.1 miles, once! Glad you are enjoying hawaii! Hope you are ready to come back to some snow!

Chic Runner said...

Sounds like you are having the best time! I love all the pictures and glad you have such good weather while you are there. :)

I dunno about marathons, BUT I know that I will do another one sooner or later, and I don't loathe them like I used too :)

sRod said...

Yikes!

You know what. I'd like to see one of those Haiwans do a training run while it's snowing. You'd see those miles start peeling off for sure.

 
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