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WOW! What a trip to Hawaii that was. The whole family came out for the fun; mom, sister, sister boyfriend, grandpa, great aunt, and my boyfriend (fiancé now)!

It started, of course with an easy run the first morning we were in Maui. My boyfriend and I went out at around 6:30am, left as boyfriend and girlfriend and came back engaged!! Best 3.3 miles I’ve ever run.

YAY!

YAY!

The reason we were in Maui was because Rob was going to participate in the Xterra World Championship Off-Road Triathlon. I decided since I was there, I might as well take part in the Xterra 10k Trail Run. I have done one other Xterra trail run, which was also in Maui, 3 years ago and I pretty much wanted to die during it, so I thought, hey, I’ve been running a lot more, maybe this one won’t be so bad.

WRONG!

Oh my goodness, this was the toughest run course I’ve ever done. When I normally finish a 10k in a little under an hour, this run took me and hour and a half! And the hills! Oh, the hills!

Run Course - Picture Courtesy of http://www.xterraplanet.com/maui/mauiTrailRun.html

Run Course – Picture Courtesy of http://www.xterraplanet.com/maui/mauiTrailRun.html

The climb - picture courtesy of http://www.xterraplanet.com/maui/mauiTrailRun.html

The climb – picture courtesy of http://www.xterraplanet.com/maui/mauiTrailRun.html

We got to the race at around 7:30am for a 9:20am start. Yes, I was early, but I’m always early, so it’s no surprise. We walked all the way up to the registration area. It was kind of a trek from the car, but we made it, I picked up my bib, t-shirt and goodie bag. I had asked for a small t-shirt and got a large and later I saw they had women’s cut, which I was kind of bummed about because the large is definitely a men’s cut. That’s okay though, I’ll just cut it up to make it look cute.

Swag

Swag

I did some warm-ups, went for a jog, hit up the bathroom. As the minutes ticked by, the heat was rising! I knew this was going to be a hot race. We weren’t allowed to wear headphones, so I had to go without my music, which was kind of messing with my brain I think. But I was ready to get this race started!

Ready to go!!

Ready to go!!

Ready at the start line!

Ready at the start line!

IMG_7518

At 9:20 sharp, the cannon went off and away we went! I knew, at the first mile, there was no way I would be running this entire thing. At that point it became a race that I just wanted to finish. The first 3 miles were climbing. I don’t do a lot of hills, but I do some. My legs actually felt okay, but the HEAT! Oh, man, the heat! And there was not a lot of shade the first 3 miles. I started walking the hills. It almost turned into a 10k hike!

At the top, we hit a really pretty lake! So, that took my mind off of how terrible I felt. Finally, mile 4 came…dowhill! I took a part a little too fast and rolled my ankle and while trying to recover from that slammed my left foot into my shoe. I’m pretty sure I have a bruised toenail, but it’s painted to I can’t tell. Thank goodness for an older man who passed by, stopped and asked if I was okay. I moved it a bit, started walking, I was fine, it was just a little tender.

Then at mile five we hit a vertical section where I had to use my hands to scurry up these rocks and grabbed onto a tree to pull me up (there was a little group of us together doing this and I yelled out, “FULL BODY WORKOUT”), and I thought I was in the home stretch….NOPE!

Right there, after that scurry, was a large concrete hill. I said a few choice words to myself and almost just sat down and sucked my thumb, but there was a spectator there and he clapped and said, “You’re almost there!” And I thanked him and just kept putting one foot in front of the other.

This was after the last big hill...I was over it.

This was after the last big hill…I was over it.

Just kept moving forward!

Just kept moving forward!

After some more single track downhill, I saw my fiancé at the end of it cheering for me.

He said, “Go Nicole, come on finish strong, you can do this.” I said, “no” HA! I was done. Luckily, they let him finish up with me on the course. Thank goodness for him sticking with me the last 1/2 a mile. I honestly don’t know if I would have finished had he not been with me.

He even got me to run a bit more.

He even got me to run a bit more.

My hair was soaked!  I poured water over my head at every water stop...I should have just run with ice...

My hair was soaked! I poured water over my head at every water stop…I should have just run with ice…

The last bit of the run was on the beach…I walked most of it, but ran and smiled when I saw the cameras, LOL!

Fake smiling

Fake smiling

After the beach, I was on the grass to the finish line! I was so happy when I crossed. It was a tough race, but I was really proud of myself that I finished.

Happy finish line picture...

Happy finish line picture…

How I really felt...

How I really felt…

It’s races like these that remind me I still have a long way to go with my running and I definitely need to hit the trails and hills more!

I’m looking forward to my next race, the Vegas Rock’n’Roll! I can’t believe its almost here!!

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