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First, a bit left over from Monday: I went out to Hilo Bay Cafe, which is a more high-falutin’ place than the name suggests, and had an awesome beef short rib dinner. Now, I’m not normally a beef person (except for hamburgers) and I generally don’t like short ribs at all because they are too tough. This was grass-fed beef and super-tender. I’d been there on my previous trip and they were really great to work with to find food I could eat, plus they specialize in local and organic. Considering that (and the price of food generally on the island), it was quite reasonable.

This morning, I went first to Volcano winery. As the name indicates, it’s up by the entrance to Volcanoes National Park, and it’s literally at the end of the road past the golf course.  I tasted several of their wines, but I’m not a wine drinker. I’d heard their wines were sweet, but they didn’t seem particularly sweet compared to other wines I’ve tried. So I picked one for Thanksgiving. They do have a macadamia nut honey wine that is very delicate — it reminds me a lot of an elderflower cordial that I’ve tried in the past.

After that, I went to Hilo Coffee Mill, which has coffee from several regions around the big island, and even coffee from other Hawaiian islands. They do roasting for a number of growers, and they gave me a little tour. I had to dodge a few chickens (they’ve got about 200, so if you’re ever in Hilo looking for super-fresh eggs, you might want to try there first).

I tried several of their coffees. As they put it, they get so much rainfall that their coffee is milder than on the Kona side, which is far drier — for the simple reason that soil chemicals tend to get washed away. They do supplement the soil, and they’re not an organic farm as a result, but that’s the nature of working with what you’ve got sometimes.

There are coffee plants on the east side of the island that are 100 to 150 years old; it’s a longer-established coffee-growing region than Kona.

What surprised me most, though, was their pineapple coffee. It doesn’t scream “bad coffee hidden by horrific fruit flavoring” — no, it’s good coffee with a delicate lilt of pineapple, and it seemed to me to work very well. So I got some.

At that point it was around noon. I decided to head south past Pahoa (a town I keep going through) and see how far south one could actually drive. About a mile out of Kalapana, the road forks, and I kept going on highway 130, which ended abruptly. There’d been signs earlier that visiting hours for the lava flow were 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Now that I knew where the entrance was, I had about an hour to kill, so I went and got lunch, then headed back.

At the end of the road, there were scary signs that said, “Restricted Access – Authorized Personnel Only.” So I parked just before that and started walking, but a woman pulled over in a car and said I could drive in anyway. So I did, wondering if I were negating my rental agreement in doing so. I drove about a mile in (over two sections of relatively recent lava flows and regular old road between them) and parked where the security people told me to. The woman said, “Oh, because it’s between 2 and 10, you’re authorized.” Nice to know.

Then I set out to walk to the end of where they let you walk, which is about 4/10 of a mile down the road, crossing several flows that seem at most a few years old, houses (still inhabited) dotting either side of the road. Of course, yards are problematic.

It was brutally hot. The wind was behind me, so I didn’t feel it on my face, and it was full sun, I had SPF 85 on, and a liter of water, my camera bag, and my purse. I felt like a camel. I managed to get up onto the end of the road where the lava flow was and look out; I didn’t see any actual lava activity, but they said it was about six miles from where I stood. Then one of the women who worked there said the flow I was standing on dated from January.

I was thinking as I walked it that it seemed that this spot of land was in fact the very land I was photographing last year from the water’s edge. Some of the details seemed familiar, though of course the perspective was radically different. Another staffer said they’d lost a mile and a half of road in the last year — just eaten up by lava.

So, yes, I was basically standing near the hot melty stuff I photographed last year.

New lava flows are shiny and glassy. I tried to capture that in photos, but didn’t capture it last year and not sure I did this year, either. It turns out that silicon is part of the flow, and it rises to the surface as the lava is cooling (being less dense than some of the other minerals), so it gives the freshest lava a very cool sheen. I’d seen that on the black sand beach last year but hadn’t known the reason. I took some photos; we’ll see how they turn out.

Because silicon isn’t super-hard, though, that layer wears off fairly quickly (over 2-5 years), and then lava takes on the more familiar matte appearance.

On the walk back, I had the breeze in my face, but it was still pretty brutal. At the end, I was hot, I was tired, and I kind of collapsed into the car, turned on the air conditioning, and drank some extra water until I felt unshaky enough to drive.

After that, not much. I missed Namaste’s feeding again, darn it, so I’ll just have to go tomorrow. I’m reserving tomorrow for Hilo town stuff: the zoo, the planetarium, the farmer’s market, and a store I wanted to visit.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)

I slept in late (really, I slept 8 hours, I just got to sleep late) and got up and had the same old thing at Ken’s Pancakes. For breakfast, I’m a creature of habit.

I’d planned to go to Akaka falls and the Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Garden on Tuesday, but the high bright overcast this morning meant rain wasn’t likely. After the last couple of days, that made for welcome weather prospects, so I headed north to the HTBG, went in and bought my admission and water (knowing there weren’t such facilities at Akaka), then headed to Akaka first.

Last year, I simply couldn’t manage the pathway. It’s 56 steps down, some nasty paths (which are paved at least), and about 2/10 of a mile to the falls proper via the shorter route. The longer route also visits another, smaller fall, but it seemed to have more stairs, so I chickened out on that one.

I managed it without difficulty. Further, last year, if I had done it, I couldn’t have done any other major walking immediately afterward like I did this year, when I walked all two miles of the paths (save for about 100′ where the handrailing for the stairs was underneath significant amounts of overgrown plants). Last year, I walked about 2/3 of the paths and it took me five hours because I was so tired and in so much pain. I wasn’t striving for time (since the point of going was enjoying the scenery, sitting in front of the falls, taking photos of cool plants, etc.), but it took me just under 2-1/2 hours this time. HTBG’s literature says that an average complete visit is around two hours. So I’m not exceptionally slow any more, which is great.

As a photographer, one of the problems of my lack of stamina has caused is that my hands shake when I’m that exhausted, and obviously that means I blow more photos. Much less of that this year.

However, the real point of going to HTBG is the same as last year: Isle of Pearls is set in an alternate Polynesia, and this is the closest thing I have to walking through some real rain forest. It’s not all native plants, granted, but the variety (not to mention size) is stunning. I noticed details that I hadn’t noticed before: how the cliffs are pummeled away at the water line, the difference between the water sounds and the wind sounds, etc.

From last year’s trip, I used a lot of details in other work I’ve done since, but IoP still needs a full re-write and I now feel ready to tackle it.

Now I just need to figure out what to do with the rest of my day; it’s only six in the evening. Hilo being Hilo, that basically means the tourist stuff is over for the day, but there’s still other kinds of adventures like dinner.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)
In celebration of, you know, being able to walk (almost, given one knee) like a normal person. They shipped today, so I should have 'em soon.

These are NikeID custom configured shoes, so they're almost as loud as I'd like. :)

My new shoes


Jul. 5th, 2010 02:37 am
deirdre: (Default)
50.33 miles total. 638th place.

Managed to tweak my knee on the last day.

49.42 miles

Jul. 2nd, 2010 01:32 am
deirdre: (Default)
I have to have 50 (total) within about 22.5 hours. Easy peasy.
deirdre: (Default)

After upgrading to my new iPhone 4, I lost the first two walks I did, totaling 2.22 miles. Irritates the hell out of me, too. If it weren't for that, I'd be a third of a mile ahead of schedule.


I am able to stick with it, though my bod is hurting more than usual tonight.

Sleep now.
deirdre: (Default)
...of a field of 1544 people. That's pretty awesome -- especially given how I'm not Ms. Exercise Gal.

Ten days to go, gotta average 2.11 miles per day. I can do it, right?
deirdre: (Default)
We had an awesome Pen Posse meeting on Saturday including a visit to a distillery, a visit to a wine maker, and an awesome dinner Posse member Ricky organized.

Unfortunately, the hard surfaces and the loud singing triggered a migraine. The first song was a bit painful in that space, the second I feared a migraine, the third triggered it halfway through and I ran out after it finished. This is the first time I've had one where I know I heard sound distortion that others didn't.

Worse, I was the designated driver. We made it home just fine, but it wasn't pleasant.

Sometimes, I'll bounce right out of parties, and others have thought me cold because of it. Truth is, I'm a bit crowd-phobic, and that can be part of it, but a bigger part is the fear of a migraine. I don't get them often, but the idea that I'm in a room where I can't easily evade a sound trigger before a migraine develops really frightens me.

Because of that, though, I really wasn't in any condition to exercise. Rick and I both collapsed; I had taken medication and slept for 15 hours, after which I assessed the remaining headache as about 80% tension, 20% migraine.

Did my walk tonight, finally, but it was only half my Sunday mileage.

I'm behind again. Oh well.
deirdre: (Default)
About 3/4 of the way through the second walk, my knee starts being funny. It's not that it hurts, but, for lack of a better term, a muscle started snapping across the joint on the side, causing weird sensation. I wasn't sure I was going to make it back, and even called Rick.

I realized I was holding my lower back tightly, and so figured that was possibly the problem. Sitting down for a few minutes and stretching my lower back helped.

If I can keep pressing 2 miles, then I'll build up some slack again in case I need to take some time off between now and the 2nd.
deirdre: (Default)
In order to win at this point, I'd have to walk 3k a day -- almost exactly (1.87 miles).

I haven't been feeling quite so well lately, so I've had to take a few days off. I knew this would happen, but along with last week's craziness, it's pushed everything to the end.

I'd like to still accomplish this. 3k in one swoop day after day for 16 days -- I don't think I could handle. I think I could handle it if I broke it up into 2-3 increments each day.

deirdre: (Default)
Due to WWDC, I didn't get most of my miles in last week. I really didn't have a plan for how I was going to get them done. In part, this is because every year, I forget how difficult a week it is logistics and sleep-wise.

The good news is that I did at least something every single day, but sometimes that something was 1/10 of a mile.

Next year, I think I'll plan NO exercise during WWDC week so it's all gravy.
deirdre: (Default)
So I'm 1/4 of the way through the challenge, and I thought I'd share how I feel about the whole thing so far.

First: it's hard, tear-jerkingly so sometimes. On the other hand, the saying "move it or lose it" goes, here.

Second: I am starting to hurt less in general, but more in specific. In other words, the overall pain is waning a bit, but I have exercise-specific pain. It's fairly well documented that if someone with fibromyalgia can stick to an exercise plan for three months, then their pain will diminish significantly. That's always been a pretty big if for me, and yoga alone didn't do it, so I thought I was an exception. Fortunately, I think walking is more successful on the overall pain at the moment.

Third: if nothing else, the shoes I bought are incredibly comfortable.

Fourth: I'm really hitting the wall with not wanting to move. Once I get started on my walk, it's easier, but getting to that point (or even doing normal things that require walking and/or standing) are problematic. Case in point: I nearly missed lunch the last two days because I was so not looking forward to walking over to the cafeteria.
deirdre: (Default)
Some of my coworkers are clearly, well, runners. One person has logged slightly over 16 miles a day, which is incredible.

I'm at an odd place in my current novel: that place where some planning needs to occur, and I'm thinking options through. I may be too close to the subject, still. Time will tell.
deirdre: (Default)
Forgot to calibrate my sensor again, I really did walk a mile, but due to a glitch when I was taking GPS readings, my workout was paused for part of my walk. :(
deirdre: (Default)
Some writing done but I need a short break for the weekend. My brain is mush right now. :)
deirdre: (Default)
So I recalibrated the weeks, then did a walk I'd measured. I was trying to take longer strides, so the sensor was off. I recalibrated it, but I must have mis-selected as I'd actually walked 1.15 miles but it recorded 1.14. :(

About that yesterday: I was simply slammed. Routine gyn appt early in the day I slept in for and was late, then work, then Rick and I went up to the Fillmore to see OK Go. By the time we got back, it was 1:30 a.m. (much much later than I expected given an 8 p.m. concert start time, but I wasn't expecting two backup bands). Stayed up until 3:30 a.m.

Got some writing done in the morning on Weds, but not as much as I'd hoped. So, all around it was a failure as a day except the concert was fabulous. The OK Go part was, anyway.

They have something cool I've never seen a band do before: at the end of their concert, you can buy an OK Go-logo flash drive with the concert on it, and you can buy them for about a month afterward. Cool idea.

I'll leave you with their set-opening song, Invincible.

OK Go - Invincible from OK Go on Vimeo.

Now, off to more writing....
deirdre: (Default)
Strictly for logistics and timing reasons. More about that later.

As a question: would it be better to simply re-calculate the entire rest of the six weeks and spread the missing day over that -- or try to make it up over the next three days (which may be too aggressive, especially considering how much time I spent on my feet last night)?

In theory, I could skip this one day and I'd still make my target, I did allow slack. But...then I'd have no slack and the schedule is yet young.

deirdre: (Default)
I discovered that, from the Macy's parking lot to the Apple store at the Stanford shopping center and back was 0.25 miles.

Then I walked 0.93 more miles, but I stopped to rest about 3/4 of the way through and forgot to re-turn my workout on. So I walked almost a quarter mile more than I had recorded. :(

Several hours later, I ventured forth to pick up the remaining mileage.

My brain is fried. I need to write, but I can't yet.
deirdre: (nike)
Made me a new LJ icon for this venture.

Today was day 1 of the challenge, so I'm ahead of the game. So far. It's going to be a long six weeks, and I can only focus on each day's work.


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