Damn It Was A Good Day

The first thing I did today was sleep in like a professional. I didn’t so much as roll over until 10:30AM and it was awesome. I’m lucky to live with very lazy dogs who don’t even raise their heads until I’m out of bed and standing in the vicinity of the storage bin that holds their food. On the days when I want to sleep in there’s no one trying to tell me not to.

I fiddled around the house for a bit then packed the bike into the car and hit up Whole Foods for some snacks and breakfast. Then I drove to the top of Wilhelmina Rise and headed off on foot up Mau’Umae Ridge to the Lanipo Trail.

Hiking the first half of Lanipo is akin to walking slowly up through a blast furnace. I don’t know what it is about this particular ridge trail but it’s always hot with very little wind and no shade until you get a few miles back into the valley. It certainly didn’t help that it’s the middle of summer and temperatures have been in the high 90’s. I’ve attempted this twice at other times of the year with the dogs but they just can’t handle the heat so today I was going solo.

It’s an unforgiving trail along a very narrow ridge that is not particularly well maintained. Tropical Storm Flossie soaked the island yesterday so the trail was slick and muddy in quite a few places. Any attempt to avoid a mud puddle would result in landing on packed down ferns with no actual ground beneath me so I just had to give in and get dirty. By the time I finished my legs were caked in mud and covered in scratches from the unkempt flora and overgrowth.

I packed light only taking my car keys, a protein bar and a bottle of water so I don’t have any pictures to share. Trust me that it was breathtaking. You can check out this blog post to see great pics from someone else’s excursion.

I hiked for three hours in the heat of the day, clear sky, lots of sun. I was well rested, fully fed and hydrated, covered in sunscreen and pushing myself through the absurd summertime humidity on purpose. You see, the Spartan Race is going to take place in August in the middle of the afternoon with the sun at its peak in the same spot I ran that brutal 10K a few weeks back. And guess what… it’s going to be a MUCH MORE demanding experience. I need to prepare.

After the hike I gulped down iced tea and more protein bars as I headed over to Tantalus. I changed my shoes, hopped on my bike and rode to the summit. As of today I’ve crested Tantalus 12 times. I can’t say I’m getting faster but I can say it’s getting easier which means there’s room for me to push myself harder – I just have to dig deep for the motivation.

I finished today with plenty of energy left to take the dogs for a long walk as the sun started to set in my neighborhood. No sunburn, no heat stroke, no nausea or exhaustion. Two and a half more weeks of this and I think I’ll be ready to conquer the many obstacles that will be in front of me when I head back to Kualoa Ranch.

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