A few weeks ago I headed back to the Big Island to participate in the Honu 70.3 and then take a little time off to recover and recharge. I was following the news closely before my trip because of the Kilauea volcano. Fortunately, I would be far enough away from the lava, but I was a little concerned about the air quality from the vog. Overall, I didn't really notice that my breathing was impacted at all on race day and I am grateful for that. First stop after leaving the airport was Island Naturals Market and Deli. This place has everything that I needed. My plan on vacation is usually to cook most of my meals at the house using fresh, local ingredients and then treat myself to a few meals out to experience the local restaurants and try new things.
I landed on Wednesday and the race wasn't until Saturday, so I had a few days to settle in and go through the normal race prep and logistics. Finally race day was here! The water temperature was perfect for the non-wetsuit swim. It was so clear I could see all the way to the bottom the entire time. The bike course was beautiful, but also challenging because of the wind. We biked on part of the IM World Championships course with the turnaround in Hawi. The run was actually really fun, but pretty hot as expected. It was two loops with most of it on a golf course. I was on top of my hydration and tried to stay cool. There were so many great volunteers with water and ice at every aid station. Overall it was a great experience.
Once the race was over, I could relax and enjoy some of my favorite spots on the island and take the time to explore some new ones. Recently, I've gotten back into my meditation routine. On most mornings I would head to Puako Bay for some yoga, core work and meditation by the water. This is one of my favorite spots for peace, tranquility and watching the sea turtles:) After a few recovery days my legs felt ready to take on some hiking. First on the list was Waipi’o Valley. The access road down to the beach has an average of 25% grade!!! The views were spectacular and the black sand beach was beautiful. The next stop was Pololu Valley. I've done this hike before so I knew what to expect and the dramatic views were just how I remembered. It rained that morning, so the hike down was a little slippery, but I managed to stay upright. On the way back from Pololu Valley I stopped to get some food at the Sweet Potato Kitchen in Hawi. They serve Vegan comfort food that doesn't disappoint. I enjoyed the Hummus Tartine which is an open-faced sandwich topped with onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, sprouts, and edible flowers. The other restaurant I wanted to try while I was on the island was Under the Bodhi Tree.They are located at the shops at Mauna Lani and have a great selection of Plant-Based food. I also made another visit to the Waimea Mid-Week Farmer's Market. I love how easy it is for me to find so many organic, plant-based options on the Big Island. The food is always fresh and delicious. I ended this trip with a relaxing sail around the Kaunaʻoa Bay. A perfect way to end an awesome vacation. I can't seem to get enough of the Big Island though. I'm headed back again in November for some wale watching!