When you live on an island (and have lived in the same spot for 7+ years!) and are training for an Ironman, it can get a bit boring. My problem (if it is a problem?) is that I am a creature of habit and I tend to ride and run the same routes over and over and over.... we don't really have that many roads to choose from anyway- especially for biking b/c most of our roads just suck and are highly trafficked with tons of lights, etc... but the fact that I do the same run routes over and over is pretty much just a result of my own habit of just choosing the same routes time and again. I can be a geek too and I like to compare times on my routes sometimes I race myself, etc.
So my plan today was to run long and yesterday I decided that I needed to do something different for this one. I have two 20 mile routes that I tend to do... I either run south to Lanikai or north to Chinaman's Hat. 10 miles out 10 miles back la la la (read: BORING!) same same every time. I like those routes b/c I know them and I know where I can stop for water, etc but today I wanted to do something more epic. I know I am 100x more motivated when I am attempting to do something I am not altogether sure I can do... so I spent some time yesterday on Map My Run trying to find a more interesting loop to run today.
This morning at swimming I described my intended route (a giant loop through two towns) to Nalani and she agreed that it would indeed be epic. While I have run all of these roads before, I have never combined them in such a way as to create a full on 22 mile loop.
Nalani and I spent some time discussing the pros and cons of running the loop clockwise or counter-clockwise... One route had me running big hills (but likely shady and cool) for the first half and then flat/hot/tailwind along the coast for the rest of it... the other way had me running hot/flat/headwind for the first bit and then hitting the major (yet cooler) hills around mile 12. Nalani thought the heat at the end would be worse than the hills at the end but I disagreed so chose to do the hills first... even though I thought maybe the long/steep downhill in the first half would trash my quads so completely that I might just end up walking the last hot bit...
Anyway, I have to say, I definitely had some fear as I started out this run... maybe instead we could say it was a very healthy level of respect for the route... that sounds better, no? Regardless, I started off as easy as I could and kept it mellow with the full understanding that at some point I was going to feel like death. I have to say though, it really wasn't that bad! Really, the worst part was the end when it was hot. (Nalani was right!) For a bit I actually thought I was going to luck out because ~16ish miles in I could see it raining up ahead and I was thinking ohhh this would be beautiful if I could just run the last 6 miles in cool rain but unfortunately the wind was blowing pretty hard and I was not running fast enough to actually get under the rain. No. Instead the sun came right out from under the clouds and beat down on me making it absolutely sweltering after all that rain. (Think 99% humidity!) So that was fun. I will say though that when I stopped in a Burger King to fill my bottle with water somewhere ~15 miles I just felt bad/sad for all those people sitting in there eating that shit for lunch. Unbelievable to me in this day and age when all that information is out there that a place like Burger King would actually be full of people scarfing down that stuff that is not even food. Anyway.
Maybe next time I'll try it going the other way and see if the hills at the end are indeed worse than the heat? Either way, this run was epic and I am stoked that I did it and did not die. On a MONDAY nonetheless. Who runs 22 miles on a MONDAY??