AKA, running in paradise. AKA, the most amazing return to running after an injury.
My previous run transpired in mid-May, so I was laid off 6 weeks. During those 6 weeks, I swam, pool ran, did yoga, took some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) classes and took spinning classes to keep from going crazy. My ankle / calf is all better now, so the break from running was worth it.
In the week leading up to our vacation, I started easing back into running using a run/walk method. The morning we embarked on our travel to Kauai (an epic, 20 hour door-to-door trip), I ran two miles continuously, so I knew I could use the time in Kauai to build upon that distance.
We stayed on the southern part of Kauai, in the Poipu / Koloa area, along the ocean and right along the Maha'ulepu Heritage Coastal Trail, which starts at Shipwrecks Beach in Keoneloa Bay.(click on the map below to for a detailed view)
Scott and I explored part of the trail that winds up through the cliffs, and Friday morning, I set off on a trail run at sunrise, heading east. It was so beautiful, I ended up stopping frequently to take pictures and simply revel in the scene unfolding in front of me, to hear the waves crash and breathe in the salt air.
|Reaching the Makawehi Cliffs|
It's experiences like this that really make me appreciate how fortunate, how lucky I am to have this life, this opportunity to be in this place at this time.
|Sandstone / Limestone Pinnacles|
I couldn't pass up the chance to take a yoga selfie:
I ran over two miles out and came across signs to the Makauwahi Cave. I reached the cave and the filled pond.
It was at this point I decided to turn around and head back to the hotel. If I had followed the stream out of the cave, I would have found the hidden Mahaulepu beach. We would eventually get to the beach during a horseback ride later on our trip.
Some scenes on my way back. Of course, I got lost (I don't recall seeing the arm chair on the cliff earlier), but eventually made it back to familiar territory.
|Chair with a View - Punahoa Point|
I never ran this trail again - this 4.4 mile run took me over an hour to complete at a pace of 14 minutes / mile and I was exhausted at the end. Running trails and through sand is hard work! At one point, I wasn't paying attention (looking at the amazing scenery) and as a result, lost my balance, tripped, fell and scraped my left leg. I was a sweaty, bloody, dusty, sandy mess afterwards.
On subsequent runs, I opted to run to the west, across some easier trails combined with roads, reaching Poipu Beach Park and beyond.
I really enjoyed all my Paradise runs, even the killer hills, warm temperatures and blazing sun (once the sun comes out, wow, it is super strong). Hopefully, some day in the future I'll get to experience it again.