Still a Runner

A Blog by Mary Lou Harris

Archive for Honolulu Marathon

A Tempered & Tropical Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving day on Oahu starts with a 10-mile prediction run, hosted by the Honolulu Marathon Clinic. With the Honolulu Marathon just weeks ahead, what was the purpose of a 10-mile prediction run?

 

FullSizeRender

Dawn breaking with cloudy skies, runners walked to the start with Diamond Head in the background

We were to run without any timing devices, relying on our bodies to determine the appropriate pace, a pace that would be comfortable running through the full marathon. The premise is that as we run the final six miles of a marathon, we pay dearly for any mistakes made in the first 10 miles.

Each runner wrote their anticipated time on a popsicle stick and carried it during the run. The sticks were turned in as we crossed the finish line. Those who had a finish time very close to their anticipated time (I spoke with a woman who was one second off her anticipated time, who does that?) were the award winners.

I drove to registration through tropical rain and fog. Approaching the parking lot in the dark, but seeing shadowy runner forms walking to the bandshell, I knew I was in the right place.

It was an early start, sometime around 7 a.m. Most of the rain cleared, and thankfully the clouds remained giving us some cover from the intense tropical sun.

We started with a loop around Kapiolani Park, then headed up Diamond Head Road, passing lovely cliffside homes looking down on Diamond Head Beach and early morning surfers. The course looped  through another neighborhood and a commercial section, then returned to the park via Diamond Head Road. The hill at Diamond Head wasn’t nearly as daunting as it was a number of years ago after 25 miles into the marathon. Fresher legs make a difference.

FullSizeRender

Diamond Head Beach

 

I fell into what I felt was my marathon pace without difficulty. What I didn’t feel was any sense of what mile I was running. My only gauge was placement of water stations, with three on the course and knowing I had covered roughly another 2.5 miles each time I approached a station.

I had added about five minutes to my expected time at 10 miles for my prediction because I was running in heat and humidity. As I finished, I was off by five minutes and change, predicting at 1:50 and finishing at 1:45 something. Although I won’t be on Oahu to participate in the Honolulu Marathon this year, I may use this type of run as part of my marathon training for races in the future.
1424108096952

One of the few bargains on Oahu, this prediction run had a $7 entry fee. For that, we had a bagpiper start the race, police directing traffic at intersections, and,

as our finisher prize – IMG_1918a deliciously warm, sugar covered malasata from Leonard’s Bakery, a Honolulu landmark.

Hoping your turkey trot was as successful and insightful.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Hawaii Holiday Hill Run

Up and about in the early morning hours of my first Hawaii daybreak, I try to be a good houseguest and avoid waking my host.  I bide my time with a delicious cup of Hawaiian coffee and quiet time on the lanai. Patience brings the dawn and I’m off for a brief sunrise run.photo Makakilo, ‘observing eyes’ in the Hawaiian language, is a superb lookout point.  As I turn out of the street from my son’s home, the view extends down the island past Waikiki Beach all the way to Diamond Head. This morning, the landmark is shrouded in clouds but still visible. This vista was once a strategic spot to observe approaching visitors, be they friend or foe. Now, it’s a residential community far off the tourist circuit.photo

I run downhill on a wide boulevard under a canopy of monkeypod trees. A simple 4-miler will be  great for stretching out after a long flight, which is also a great excuse to run an out-and-back to the Malama Market and pick up a few goodies.  lThis little store at first glance appears to be a typical mini-market.  Inside, it has the feel of  an old fashioned grocery, with a deli area of fresh sandwiches, breads, salads and seafood with a local touch, and a great little coffee shop next door.  I snap up a pack of warm Hawaiian-style andagi, and a couple of other items.  Three favorites:  travel, running and a kickstart with a fresh morning local food treat.

"Sata andagi" is Okinawa doughnuts.サ...

“Sata andagi” is Okinawa doughnuts.サーターアンダーギー (Photo credit: Wikip

This is daunting running territory, with tough uphills and downhills. With a little less than two miles distance, my mini-grocery run requires a straight downhill with more than a 70 foot drop in elevation  (This U-tube video is a good visual of the downhill), which in turn means 70 feet elevation gain for my return trip.   With goodies loaded into a running backpack, I begin my reverse trek uphill with a jog, which quickly becomes a fast walk. 

I’m seeing a few other solo runners, retired boomers like myself along with a few military folks sharing a portion of my route.  On O’ahu, most runners are out early and in before 9 a.m. or so. With this year’s Honolulu Marathon taking place last weekend (Sunday, December 9), this is a recovery week for some.

The sun is quickly rising in the sky but soon enough I’m back to the house.  It’s time for some holiday gift baking before the second phase of my jet lag sets in.

Wishing all good family visits, good food, safe travels and few moments to get out for run.