Monday, August 20, 2012

Running around a Volcano-Rainforest Half Marathon

Wow, I can't believe it's almost been 1 month since I've last posted. I apologize but, most of my readers are on facebook and I really don't want to annoy people with double pictures and double posts... BUT I just recently completed my 2nd Half Marathon in Volcano, Hawaii (Big Island) and wanted to do a recap on it.

I felt as if I had trained pretty well for it. I did a lot of strength training videos (Chalean Xtreme/Turbo Fire), I ride my bike everywhere, I take 2-3 Cardio/Weight Lifting classes a week, and I would run in the mornings, and then had my long runs with an amazing group on Sundays. I always seem to have problems with my knees but have felt that they were really strong with all the strength training I was doing. I have had some problems about 2 weeks ago with my right hamstring. I did a 5 mile run with my new finger shoes and the following week it hurt so bad I thought I had torn something. I really babied it and rolled it every night on my foam roller, by the beginning of race week it felt back to normal. The Thursday of race week, right before class, I turned my body and my knee didn't go with me. I felt the all too familiar knee pain I used to encounter on a daily basis. I was so mad at myself and at my knee because I thought my knee was stronger than this by now. I still went to class, but tried to baby my right knee as much as I could. When I got home I rolled out the muscles under neath it and put icy hot/Ice on it for a few hours. I was so upset and even thought about pulling out of the half. The next day I wore a brace while walking doing other activities. It still hurt to put a lot of weight on it and grew even more frustrated.

Saturday, was packet pick up day. Even though this was a smaller race than the previous ones I've ran, I still get excited to pick up my number and whatever else they want to give us. Our grab bag was a see through plastic bag from Runners world, A Hane's cotton tshirt with the race logo on it (really cute), a poster of local plants/flowers, and 2 granola bars.

They also had a complementary wine and dine event. There is a winery in the area that sponsored the event so, they had complementary cups of wine as well as a big buffet of pasta, chips, bread, quiches, salads, and punch. It was really nice!

Volcano is 4,000 ft high in elevation. Normally when we drive up to it, it drops about 5-10 degrees in temp. The morning of the race I was freezing!!! Luckily it was beautiful and the sun was shinning (most of the time it's overcast and raining). I had a hoodie with me but took it off right before I rain. Being a smaller race (about 212 people) running the half, I wasn't expecting a very big event BUT they had a band playing local music, a Hawaiian welcoming, and a MC to kinda keep the spectators engaged while everyone was running.

 Me goofing off before the race

Opening Ceremony Before the race
Saw this before the race started and knew I would be so happy the next time I saw it

1-2-3 GO!

5K! done

Running on Rocky trail

Beautiful Mauna Kea

Almost 1/2 way done!

This is where the hill started.. for the next 1.5 miles

Just finished the big hill, about to start another
A hill PLUS a mile of trail running, I thought for sure I was going fall
FINALLY GOING DOWN HILL. I got my 2nd wind here, I caught up with someone, she looked at me and said "we can do this!" a 5K left to go!!!



The race was really hard, one of the toughest courses I've seen/raced on. I was very surprised by the organization of the race. There were LOTS of water/Gatorade stations planned out through the race, always seemed to be perfect timing. There was lots of snacks/food for after the race (bananas, chex mix, water, watermelon, papaya, and Gatorade). I was very impressed. They had a very efficient print out of my time, pace, and where I had placed in my division as well as the race.

If I had to do it over, I would have trained for the hills more but was very happy with how strong I felt throughout most of the race. I wore two small knee braces around my knees, and compression capris (for the cold) and for the support. I was very surprised at how well my right knee was doing. Later on it became very stiff but went home and swam to loosen it up.

The money for the race was to help support the Volcano Arts Center that features local artists work and paintings of The Big Island.

Great day for a run :)