Sun Surf Sand

Our vacations aren't ALL training... we leave lots of time for play and rest.  Hawaii is a great place for both of those!

Jason watching dolphins in front of our place.

Jason watching a sea turtle.

Happy hour with my Betty Designs teammate Kathy!
I'm going to leave you with two beautiful sunset photos, both from in front of our condo but different days.  #nofilter

More Hawaii Training

One of the things we love about vacationing in Kona is the how easy it is to get some quality swimming, cycling, and running in.  We always end up spending a big chunk of our days doing some training.

One of my Betty Designs team mates, Kathy, was also on
the island, so we hooked up for a ride out on the Queen K!

We stopped at the beach in the Energy Lab
to explore the lava.

Of course I had to do a session
in Karlyn's endless pool - how could I go to
Kona and pass up that swim expertise!
Working on my catch-up glide.

A ride with Karlyn, Chris & Jason, trying to stay on
those fast wheels!  We got to explore some places we'd
never been, including Kua Bay complete with whales offshore!

Run for the Hops 5k... sponsored by
the Kona Brewing Co.  I'm pretending to drink
Jason's beer (I'm really more of a cocktail girl).

Run for the Hops 10k, where Jason took 1st overall!

Another ride, where we found a gorgeous beach!

I promise we did some relaxing vacation stuff too!

Kawaihae Loop

It may seem like I've been on a blogging hiatus for awhile... actually we've been on vacation (in Kona!).  I had the best of intentions to write some posts while away, but sun-surf-sand called to me more than the computer screen did.  So I'll play a bit of catch-up for the next few posts, as we had some pretty cool experiences to share!

We had a car for our first two days in Kona (we don't like to rent a car there, as we prefer just walking around the village and keeping things pretty chill), so decided to drive out to the town of Kawaihae on the northern part of the island, as Jason heard about a climb he wanted to ride.  We didn't know much about the planned route, other than our friend Karlyn told us there was A LOT of climbing.  So of course Jason was excited, me on the other hand...

Driving to Kawaihae

We parked down by the harbour, and got a whole two minutes of warm-up before the climb started.  Jason rode with me for a bit before we decided to just ride at our own pace.  The road to Waimea just kept going up, and up, and up, and we kept passing elevation signs.  I could see snow on the summit of Mauna Kea to the right, and a road that literally cut up the side of a mountain to the left, and I knew that we were headed that way.

Looking back down

Jason self-portrait while climbing

Snow on Mauna Kea

I'm not that great of a climber, and normally on long climbs I have some sort of a meltdown.  But this day I really enjoyed the whole grind (surprising even Jason).  After 2 hours and 14 minutes of straight climbing (but who's counting) and passing the 3500 foot elevation marker, I finally got to shift into the big ring to start the descent.

We started somewhere down by the water...

Still climbing...

Cows at the summit

Luck would have it, as we crested the summit of Kohala, the other side was lush and green... and raining.  The descent was steep, twisty, wet, and fun!  I was on the brakes a lot but soon we were back in the sun in Hawi, about 2500 feet down.  We still had the 30 km ride back to the car - this time along the ocean, with a fun crosswind that had me hanging on the whole way.  

If you look at the plants on the side,
you get an idea of the crosswinds.  Fun!

Back at the car, it was a great first ride for our vacation, and I can't wait to ride that loop again.  Next year???

My Garmin died :(, so I created a map of our route online.
If you're on the big island, definitely ride this loop!