Saturday, October 12, 2013

Kona Chronicles: Part 4

Since I arrived on the island, the best word to describe how I have felt is reminiscent. Every place I visited, every person I bumped into, every nook and cranny that I passed created an overwhelming sense of nostalgia with a funny or sad or exciting story attached. Nothing made me miss racing here, though, until yesterday at 2pm. When I walked by the finish line, I felt a catch in my throat, and I envisioned myself running under the gantry in the tired and elated state of an Ironman finisher. The feeling left as quickly as it arrived and I came to my senses as sweat trickled down my body in the unbearable heat and humidity of the afternoon.

Yesterday morning we skipped the Kona pier and headed north to Hapuna Beach. The vast nothingness that surrounds the beach is stunning in an ugly sort of way.

We ran along a connector road and met up with another that took us to the quaint town of Puako. The madness of Kailua was nary a thought in our minds as we ambled down the road admiring the houses, foliage and unique smells.
Brandon and I laughing at a joke during a run.
Nothing like a running selfie!
After our run, we cooled off with a swim at Hapuna Beach. The cove is huge with crystal clear water. Unlike Kailua Bay, there were few fish to view, just endless sand and the bubbles created by my hands entering the water.
It is hard to imagine the desert directly behind this beach.
The Big Island, particularly the Kona side, is infamous for vog, a form of air pollution that results when sulfur dioxide and other gases and particles emitted from the erupting volcano react with oxygen and moisture in the presence of sunlight. In the past, I rarely noticed the vog. This year, the vog has been wreaking havoc and causing my asthma to flare up and blocking my sinuses. The result is that I have been wheezing and coughing changing my voice from its normal timbre to that of a husky, pack a day smoker.

Yesterday afternoon I finally took some time to do nothing. I lay on a couch in a friend's condo and stared at the ocean. I guess that qualifies as relaxing.

Today is race day. I am psyched to see how everything unfolds. More later...