Friday, January 31, 2014

Five for Friday

 For Friday

ONE: I have learned that my body does not respond well to traveling combined with not drinking water. Last week once I landed in Nashville from the LONG night of travel I was waiting for the shuttle to take me to my car and I looked down at my legs and was shocked at how swollen I was. For 2 days I upped my water consumption and by the third day I was finally back to normal
No more cankles!!!!

TWO:  CELEBRATIONS!!!I am so fortunate to be surrounded by so many amazing people.
 About once or twice a month we do a "Wine @ 5" (but really at 4) social gathering where someone hosts the event and brings in a few bottles of wine and snacks. We all catch up and unwind before heading out for the weekend. Last Friday the wine @ 5 was in my honor!!
They tried to bring in some Hawaiin items with the pineapple and pound cake- rest of the food was delicious. Everyone brought in different sports medals and trophies and the entire area was covered in accomplishments--- wish I had thought to take a photo of all the trophies.

The second celebration came Monday night- roommate made two melt in your mouth cakes to have for a mini party at our Monday night group run. My only request that there be some type of oreos involved
Cake on the left is hard to make out but it says "Congrats Lisa! 50 x 13.1" Cake on the right is an awesome runner. After our blistery cold run we all hung around and chatted with food, beer, and cake--- even a few strangers joined in on the celebration.  A few of my friends who are not in our run group came as well and Sarah gave me such a thoughtful gift- personalized pint glass with date of my last race and my 2 favorite candy- reese cups and Haribo gummy bears... she's a keeper. 

THREE: Tuesday night was the last night in our trivia league... we went out with a bang and finished FIRST that night!!
In 2 weeks we meet up to play with the top 5 teams in each league in Nashville, and if we place that night, then move on to Mississippi for a chance to win $25,000. Very unlikely we will win, but we've had so much fun in the process! 

FOUR:  Over the last month I've been focusing a lot more on cross training with different types of cardio and weights. I found a groove with Tuesday and Thursday R.I.P.P.E.D class for an hour--- although I'm not the most coordinated, its still fun to try new things and already see progress both in the mirror, but also in the ease of doing some moves
First day kicked our butts

My focus for the time being is less on running (although I'll still do it) and more on getting my body back into fitness shape instead of just running shape. This means building my strength and flexibility. In doing so, combined with proper eating, this will enable to ultimately reach what I consider 'racing weight'. I have no desire to create another goal that involves running a large # of races, I do however have a desire to hit some lower times- one of the ways to do that is to shed some lbs. 

FIVE:  I found my next very LAST MINUTE adventure. Some colleagues from work are doing the Ragnar Arizona (Del sol)  next month and asked me this week if I wanted to tag along. This is actually a work 'team building' event for the core group that I'm crashing, so the focus is on having fun and not being competitive-- change of pace for me, but I'm ready for change.  I'm also excited to cross another Ragnar in a different location off my belt- Once this is complete I'll have 5 down, 11 more to go. 

Thinking about it... I would like to do another relay this year in a different location, so if you are putting together a team in a non crossed off location and need a runner, hit me up!!! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Weekly Recap- Hawai'i Style

The last few weeks have been a blur with time changes and so many emotions running around.
Recap of Wed- Wed 1/15- 1/22

Today was the big day for traveling- up at 4am for my 6:30 flight, meet up with parents in Dallas, then 8.5 hr flight to Honolulu and a hopper 30 min to Maui. Exhausting day. I've flown first class once or twice before when the airline messed up and upgraded me, however flying first class on a long flight like this is a whole different story. Seats recline ALL the way back for sleeping. Champagne. meals. free entertainment.

Champagne or mimosa immediately after boarding 

My absolute favorite, everyone got their own samsung tablet to watch movies or play games the entire flight. On the way there I watched Rush, Now you See Me, and Steve Jobs

We have a layover in Honolulu where I ate the most expensive Burger King burger known to man, then had our short flight to Maui arriving at 4:30 or 5? Once we got the rental it was a 45 min drive to our resort and I crashed at the ripe hour of 6:30 while my parents checked out the rest of the grounds. I only had 2 hours of sleep night before and didn't manage to catch any zzzs on the plane. 

The day started off with my first sunrise watching from our balcony
Followed by getting to know my surroundings and going for a run. I was amazed by how difficult this 3.5 mile run was in terms of terrain, but I was giddy the ENTIRE time :) 

Looks like its going to rain, but in reality it just heavy cloud cover early in morning

Originally we were going to scope out the area where packet pickup is, but then we saw it was almost an hour away so we did some mini sight seeing based on what the ACTUAL PAPER map told us... haven't used one of those in years. 
McGregor Point 

No idea what is going on here

Rest of the afternoon was spent at our infinity tranquility pool (no kids allowed!) 

And I enjoyed my favorite local beverage 

Walking back to room from hotel- I can't believe this is my view from balcony every day! 

Night was capped off with fancy dinner watching the sunset and gorging food- skirt steak, kale salad, dijon fried chicken, spicy pork, and the best roasted corn on the cob I've ever tasted (think movie theater popcorn) 

For Christmas I gave my parents a few options of activities to choose from to partake in Hawaii that I found to be the best deals / got good reviews. They selected the sunrise bike tour.
Step 1: Get up at 2am and be ready outside waiting for a van to come pick you up at 2:45am. proceed to have van pick up the other individuals along the way before heading to their home base near airport (45 min drive)
Step 2: Drink coffee / eat pastries and wait around for the bus that has the other 15 people before making the 1.5 hour drive up to Haleakala National Park (top of volcano)
Step 3: Pray that bus driver doesn't drive off the cliff since its pitch black and it is the steepest drive (we went up to 9,700 ft from basically sea level) with a lot of hair pin turns.
Step 4: Find a good standing spot and wait about an hour trying to stay warm before the sunrise comes up
Step 5: take a ridiculous amount of photos as the magic is happening and hope some turn out 

We are ABOVE the clouds! 

Step 6: Hop back on the bus and make the drive down to 6700 ft elevation where we get prepped on how to ride the bikes, steer brake etc. 
Step 7: Try not to freak out that in 28 miles there are 29 steep hair pin turns and you're going at speeds upwards of 30 mph

Step 8: Finish on North Shore Beach and celebrate that you survived

Although it was a long morning (up at 2am, finished by 9:30 / 10am) it was a lot of fun. Sunrise was breathtaking and such a unique experience. The downhill bike ride was scarier than I anticipated mainly because you're braking the entire time and these are downhill bikes so they don't pedal real well. There were only a few spots you had to pedal, otherwise you're coasting / breaking. I wish we were able to take more photos along the way, but its dangerous to do it while riding so I'll have my mental imagery to tide me over l. I highly recommend doing a bike tour if you come to Maui because there is so much you get to see in a short amount of time. As with all activities, you'll shell out some $$, $125 (tax included) per person, but so worth it. 

Spent the rest of the day at the pool relaxing and then ventured out to town for local cuisine... we landed at Fred's Tacos 

Makes sense that the day before my race is probably the most action packed day we had... Took a run in the opposite direction this time and ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. I had raved about my run on the first day that mom decided to walk around and I ran into her on my way back.
On our way to packet pickup we stopped at spot to do some whale watching. How fun that we got to see the same whales in July while in Alaska... I wonder if they remember me?? (they travel from Alaska to Hawaii for winter) 

Eventually did make it to packet pickup in Lahaina where everything start to get REAL 

Stuck around for the art fair next door, posed with the Banyan tree, then had the most delicious burger right across the street for lunch at Cool Cats Cafe... voted best burger in Maui 10 years in a row- HIGHLY recommend 

After a lot of shopping we made our way to the Maui Brewing Company!!! We'd been drinking their beer all week, only fitting to check it out. 

#all the beers

Dad and I both got tasters- the entire edge of bar was lined with ice to keep the beer cold- how neat. My absolute favorite is the Double Overhead Imperial IPA.... best IPA I've ever had and its only available at the brewery (naturally) 

Highlight of the trip was in the gift shop looking at something to purchase. I saw a pink shirt in the corner and asked what it said... as soon as they told me I had to put it on and buy it- #truestory 

Instead of  heading back the way we came, dad thought it would be good to take a different route. We had a map after all and it didnt look that far.... 3.5 hours later right before sunset we made it back. It was actually fun because we drove all over the remote areas on skinny one lane winding roads and took TONS of photos (i'm pretty sure i took over 100)
My favorites:

in a giant crater

Makes me think of Ireland

Did a little hiking / avoiding bees 

Quiet little fishing town 

Came back in time to clean up for dinner and watch the sunset

Sunday- race day, aka "most emotional day of my life" day 

Recap of race HERE

Although I love all the photos from that day, these are hands down my favorites

Finally throwing up the 5-0

The best finish line photo ever

Me and the parents (couldn't decided which I liked more)

Epitome of celebration for closing a chapter 

Rest of day was at the pool relaxing, took a mini nap, then dad took us out to Ruth Chris for celebration dinner

Skipped the run and traded it in for SUPing (stand up paddleboarding) with dad

Practicing getting up on board

Everyone has to paddle out on their knees till we get past waves. 

So it was much harder than anticipated. Although its great being tall- it does work against you in this sport. I found it difficult to stay balanced and I did fall off my board twice, but it was fine to get back up. The current kept moving us so we constantly were rowing just to stay in same spot. Nashville has SUPing in the summer at the big lake around here, Percy Priest, I'll be trying it again to see if I can get better


Rest of day was balanced between beach time (only day spent at beach) and a little bit of pool time. I got pretty burned so I was limiting how much sun time I got. 

Since this was our last full day in Maui we jumped the gun and went to a Luau- everyone should do at least one luau! 

While waiting for food to be served, I got to watch how a coconut was split open and you got coconut water, and then how you made coconut milk- pretty interesting. I got to be the volunteer to drink the coconut water, but it happened so quickly I didn't have time to tell dad how to use my camera

Unveiling of the pig 

Time to party with unlimited drinks and food- yes please

And once the sun went down was the entertainment. Lots of hips shaking, story telling, and yelling- no good photos to depict the show

Was debating on running, but when I saw all the complaints of cold weather on facebook I knew I had to soak in the last bit of warmth before returning home

After breakfast and shower, dad and I enjoyed one last Maui IPA we had left over before checking out
Rocking the race shirt 

For lunch we ate at a nearby restaurant I had been wanting to try, Monkey Pod- best kale salad and pizza I've had in a long time - awesome ambiance, food, and craft beer selection

Eventually made our way to Maui airport, short flight to Honolulu, then longest layover before boarding back to Dallas for our 8pm flight.  Its and 8.5 hour flight from Dallas to Honolulu-- on way back its 6 and change... got to love that jet stream 

Sadly I did not sleep despite my earplugs and attempts with reclining into the laying down position. 

Land in Dallas at 7:15 am, I'm in a different terminal than my parents so we part ways and I play around of FB / internet until my flight takes off at 9:30. I somehow manage to sleep for 30 min on the plane, land in Nashville at 11am, and am in for a RUDE awakening as I wait for the shuttle with 20 degree weather. 

Rest of day I did laundry (all my clothes were musty despite doing a load while in Hawaii), cleaned, and just did NOTHING to prep for chaos back at work 

Such a relaxing, exciting, exhausting, bittersweet trip. Memories to last, however I will eventually make my way back to the Islands to create some more!!!

Have you ever been to Hawai'i?

What events do you recommend to fully experience the island??