Kauai Vacation Wrap Up

My husband and I have vacationed in Kauai several times. Each trip was incredible which is why we keep going back. This time, we stayed a little longer than usual which was pretty smart considering I needed about two days after the half marathon to walk normal again. LOL My left toe is intact but has an ugly bruise under the nail. GROSS! I will spare you the photo.

Our first meal after the half marathon was at the pool bar at the Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort. Jon didn’t have much of an appetite so we shared some fries and I had a yummy watermelon salad.

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We spent the next two days resting, relaxing and eating. Here are just a few of the meals:

Puka Dog - Jon's ketchup and mango relish always causes a stir

Puka Dog – Jon’s ketchup with mango relish always causes a stir

Reuben at Living Foods Market. NOM!

Reuben at Living Foods Market. NOM!

Ahi Tempura roll at Ko'a Kea pool bar - delicious!

Ahi Tempura roll at Ko’a Kea pool bar – delicious!

My 1st ever acai bowl. Very Berry bowl from Aloha Aina Juice bar. Out of this world!

My 1st ever acai bowl. Very Berry bowl from Aloha Aina Juice bar. Out of this world!

The aftermath

The aftermath

Mint chip hula pie at Keoki's Paradise. Heavenly

Mint chip hula pie at Keoki’s Paradise. Heavenly. Nancy and I made quick work of this. Jon got two bites. Ha!

I loved the acai bowl so much I had to go back for more. Chunky Monkey bowl

I loved the acai bowl so much I had to go back for more. Chunky Monkey bowl

Living Foods Market in The Shops at Kukui’ula is similar to Whole Foods. Their cafe has a wide variety of sandwiches, pizzas and salads. They had a ton more but I was too busy drooling over my Reuben. Jon really enjoyed his turkey sandwich. He said the bread was incredibly fresh. While we were eating our lunch at one of their outdoor tables, a little friend came by to say, “Hi.” Too bad he had to run. I didn’t even get to shake his hand.

Gecko - so cute!

Gecko – so cute!

Living Foods Market cafe menu

Living Foods Market cafe menu

We would love to live in Kauai someday. Hopefully BEFORE we retire. Until then, we’ll just keep going back to visit. 😉

Poipu has stolen my heart.

Poipu has stolen my heart.

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The view from our lanai.

Panoramic view from our lanai.

One legged friend who visited us every day.

One legged friend who visited us every day.

Cute little pineapple plant at Brennecke's. I'm such a tourist.

Cute little pineapple plant at Brennecke’s. I’m such a tourist.

I love that I always feel welcome in Kauai. I love the Aloha spirit. ❤ Thanks for reading!

 

Kauai Half Marathon Recap

The Kauai Half Marathon happened on Sunday 8/31/14. Jon and I got up at 4am to get ready for the run. Thank goodness for that three hour time difference because my brain still thought it was 7am! heh We each had an UGo Anutter bar and I had some coffee (a must). Then we both put on our running duds.

Lululemon neon pink swiftly tank, biker groove shorts, visor, Ultimate Direction belt, SeaWheeze 2013 socks and my trusty old Garmin 305

Lululemon neon pink swiftly tank, biker groove shorts, visor, Ultimate Direction belt, SeaWheeze 2013 socks and my trusty old Garmin 305

The marathon starting line was at Poipu Shopping Village which is a short 5 minute walk from our hotel. Super convenient! It was pitch black at 5:15am so we slowly made our way to starting festivities. The breakfast spread was amazing! Too bad I can’t eat that close to the start of a run.

Pre-race breakfast at Poipu Shopping Village

Pre-race breakfast at Poipu Shopping Village

About 20 minutes before the start, a large group of runners was being lead through an aerobic warm-up which was about the same time a torrential downpour swept through the area. There was a mass stampede to get under shelter. We were all laughing and getting very close to our neighbors. 😀 The rain stopped just as it was time to walk to the start. The starting ceremony was beautiful. The gentleman (I wish I knew his name) who said a prayer in Hawaiian and then in English was so full of genuine gratitude. His voice wavered with emotion which, in turn, made my eyes well up. This was one of the most memorable moments of the day for me. So amazing.

Obligatory selfie

Obligatory selfie

And the downpour.

And the downpour.

Excitement at the starting line

Excitement at the starting line

The starting air horn went off at 6am and we were off! There were men in traditional Hawaiian gear blowing conch shells as we ran by. Loved it! The start was a bit slow with a lot of walkers who lined up in front. Jon and I started together and it took us about a half mile to dodge around the walkers. Once we were able to run smoothly, I eased into my slow running pace and Jon sped off into his comfortable pace. At around the 3 mile mark, the sun started to peek over the mountains. I felt like such a tourist, whipping out my phone to take a quick pic. But then I realized everyone else was stopping too and it made me laugh inside.

Sunrise during the run

Sunrise during the run

I was feeling pretty good but had to make a potty stop at mile 4. There was a short line at the portapotties but 7 minutes later, I was running again. At 5.5 miles, I started walking mixed with a little running. The winding hill didn’t help matters. haha Shortly after, I reached the tunnel of trees. What an incredible experience! At the end of the tunnel, the bright sun was a cheery sight.

Tunnel of trees

Tunnel of trees

Look towards the light!

Look towards the light!

Miles 7 and 8 were filled with rolling hills and some flat areas. Boy, was I relieved when I got to the downhill portions! Just a bit before the 11 mile marker, the half marathon goes left and the full marathoners go right (right up a big hill!).

Half baked or fully crazy?

Half baked or fully crazy?

At this point, my left big toe was throbbing and my right calf was threatening to cramp every time I tried to run. So i shuffled the final couple miles. I was so glad to see this:

1.1 to go!

1.1 to go!

The last water station at 12.5 was handing out ice cold wet towels. This was the MOST refreshing thing ever! Truly genius! In my delirium, I wanted to hug the lady who handed me the towel but I practiced restraint. 😀 hahaha I knew I was getting very close to the finish!

Approaching the finish line on Poipu Road

Approaching the finish line on Poipu Road. Breathtaking.

Jon was waiting at the finish line, taking photos like a paparazzo. He had to wait over an hour for me. That’s love and dedication right there. He ran a 2:09. My chip time was 3:16 and change. I didn’t achieve my goal of sub 3 hours but the course was much harder than I expected. Next year, I will conquer the beast. heh

All smiles at the finish line

All smiles at the finish line

The Kauai Marathon medals are pretty sweet! Built-in bottle opener in each medal! Pretty and practical!

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I was in a daze at the finish line festivities but I remember the chocolate milk was so good! hahaha I’ll remember this for my next long run! We had so much fun this trip and we’re planning on running the half again next year. Loved every minute of it! I’ll be posting a wrap up of the Kauai trip shortly. I’ll probably continue to blog about my prep for the Disney Star Wars Rebel Challenge in January.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

Kauai Half Marathon Expo

Annnnnd I’m back! Our flight landed at 9:30pm last night and my brain is still on island time. The last 11 days zipped by but it feels like an eternity since I ran the half marathon on 8/31/14! LOL I’m attempting to post the photos in chronological order but that’s based on my spotty memory. haha

Breakfast at SeaTac Airport

Breakfast at SeaTac Airport

We took a cab to the airport at around 6:30am. Breakfast on the plane was surprisingly good. I had ham and pineapple quiche made with a pot pie type crust. OMG, it was so good! Jon got the teriyaki chicken patty over a biscuit with scrambled eggs and sweet potatoes.

Ham and pineapple quiche

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I made sure to pick up a bag of my FAVORITE travel treats. I only buy these when I’m flying. Odd. 😀

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This time of year, Kauai is 3 hours behind Pacific Daylight Time so we arrived around noon. I love it when you gain time. 🙂 It felt so good to be sitting near the pool at Koa Kea again.

Koa Kea Pool Bar - a perfect spot to watch the waves

Koa Kea Pool Bar – a perfect spot to watch the waves

We took a quick walk up to Whalers General Store to pick up some water and snacks. If you stay in Poipu, this convenience store is, well, convenient. Derp. They also have a good variety of souvenirs and treats which make great gifts. I had to pick up some Chocolate Toffee mac nuts, of course. If you haven’t tried these, go find them! You’re welcome. 😛

On Saturday (August 30th), we had breakfast at Red Salt (included in our room package) and then went to pick up our race packets at the marathon Expo. The Expo was held at the Grand Hyatt Kauai. It’s a beautifully landscaped property with lots of fancy schmancy birds lurking about. I might have had more fun talking to the birds than at the Expo. Almost. haha

Black swan (or is it?) and koi fish at Grand Hyatt Kauai

Black swan (or is it?) and koi fish at Grand Hyatt Kauai

Talking to Rico the green-winged macaw

Talking to Rico, the green-winged macaw

Duke, the blue and gold macaw

Duke, the blue and gold macaw

Jon on the schnauzer bench

Jon on the schnauzer bench

Kauai Coffee Company was giving out free samples of coffee. Iced Mocha? Yes, please!

Mmmmm, iced coffee...

Mmmmm, iced coffee…

OK, I apologize for what you’re about to see. This pic is downright creepy but I was trying to get a photo of my big head with the official Kauai Marathon merchandise section. Fail.

Try to ignore my face. The goods are in the background.

Try to ignore my face. The goods are in the background.

Jon and I got to chat a bit with Bart Yasso. Wow, really nice guy! He offered excellent advice and some insight on the half marathon course.

Bart Yasso!

Bart Yasso!

Since this post is so long, I’ll post the actual half marathon recap in a separate post. Stay tuned. Thanks for reading!