Tuesday, April 16, 2024




Last May, I registered for the Maui Marathon.  My orthopaedic dr told me I needed to prioritize things because of my hip and back, so I took that to mean that… I needed to pick my bucket list races SOON!!!

Anyway, this was before the devastating wildfires last fall.  The race management has contacted us periodically to let us know that the race was still on, except that it will be rerouted since it cannot go through Lahaina anymore.

I just received an email last week that the marathon is cancelled. There is still the half.

I’m frustrated. But, I realize I also have to be mindful that I have nothing to complain about after all the people there have lost.  So, this writing is just focusing on my thoughts and options and I never want to trivialize or lose sight of how lucky I am that I get to still go to maui, etc.

The question and issue is: I wanted to run a marathon.  I have already begun training and I have run up to 16 miles already,  and have about 9 weeks left until the race to build further. I asked the race director if there was the possibility of the marathon doing the half 2x (it is point to point, so it would have to be starting at the finish and then running the start to finish half.) He said some people are doing that on their own, but since the half starts at 5am, essentially this would be a 3 am start. And, I’d be doing it, with maybe not a lot of others (I have found one other person so far who is interested, but she is not near my pace, so essentially I’d be out there on dark roads alone.  I’m worried I don’t know what I don’t know concerning safety, etc.  Another worry is the logistics of doing a half before a half.  So, if I am in a full marathon, it is one thing if I am among other people who are at like mile 23 suffering and hurting.  I feel worried though being in a half marathon with other people who are at mile 10, and I’ll be at mile 23.  I think I will feel frustrated and negative.  Like why did I need to get in the full 26 just to say I did?  And it’s in the dark?  And then by 7am (or maybe that is optimistic, but certainly hopefully by 7:30AM) I’ll be CRUSHED for the rest of the day. Do I need to do that?

Should I find a race somewhere around here that I can do a full and then just go and do the normal half marathon?

I wrote the above right after I found out about the full marathon being cancelled.  I was so upset at not being able to run along the coast for 26 miles.  I have now fully gotten over it😊

I mean, for crying out loud.  I’ll be in Maui.  I’m going to be hiking/beaching/surfing daily. I have absolutely zero worries any longer about this not being a marathon.  I am fully embracing the HALF!

And as I write this with 5 days to go until I leave, I am thinking more thoughts on leaving for this solo vacation.

My first solo trip was in 2019. 5 years ago.  I was at a point where I needed to get away/ be by myself/ regroup and have nothing to carry on my shoulders:  no responsibilities, work, no trying to make anyone else happy.  No planning to accommodate anyone else.  No frustrations.  And of course.  WARMTH and sunshine.  So I googled “closest island to the equator.”  I took my first solo trip to Barbados.  I was nervous.  I felt guilty.  SOOOOO Selfish.  But I still wanted and needed to.  I was so embarrassed to even tell people.  I had to tell some people because of work and in order to not LIE!!  But I did feel embarrassed, like WHO DOES THIS?!! And I was amazed by some helpful advice from other women who had gone on solo trips.  Advice to not feel bad eating by myself, advice that it wasn’t selfish at all.  So I went, and the FIRST DAY THERE, I knew it was right and I released all my feelings of guilt!

I then went to Turks and Caicos- literally a BUCKET LIST place- I never knew if in reality I would ever go to Grace Bay beach!  And I DID! Again, I had these weird embarrassing feelings of being selfish at first.  And again…. I realized, NOPE.  This fuels me to go back and be at my best to give my best in all other aspects of my life.

And, so here I am 5 years later, and the funny thing is: this trip is obviously so extreme.  I am going so far away on my own. And I have ZERO DOUBTS that I fully deserve to go and CELEBRATE this time doing ALL THE THINGS THAT FUEL ME.  I love the planning to maximize my days- not having to worry that I am planning too much, being too busy on vacation, seeing too much.  I get to move miles a day, carrying my little go to backpack and towel that I’ve brought each time.  I love planning to bring a bunch of food on my own, so that I can be active, hiking, running and fueled, but also have the time to sit by the ocean with a drink at a nice tiki bar environment.  I love exploring.  I love the grittiness of being as self sufficient as possible.  I love being gone the ENTIRE DAY to see both the sunrise and sunset, then coming back to where I am staying, setting out the clothes/backpack/food for the next day, and having quiet time with no electronics/tv …… just living by the sun.  I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to just read under a palm tree at night until I go to sleep until the next wake up call for the adventures of the new day.

Before one of my trips, a friend said, “don’t you get bored just being by yourself”?  And I felt so terrible, honestly.  Because I was like what IS WRONG with me? Because: NO! I’ve never gotten one ounce of boredom or loneliness.  I enjoy getting to do exactly what lights my fire and exhilarates me.  I’ve called family and friends while away to share some quick fun experiences, but I also do cherish spending time frankly… just all by myself!  Getting sometimes quiet and being able to go inside my own self and just taking a break from outside “noise of the world.”  Traveling alone I have also found that you get to talk and have conversations with more people than you normally would traveling with others.  I remember Turks and Caicos, I met someone on the airplane who then when I was walking down the beach one day called out “Sharon!!” and I was like who knows me here?!!!  And I met a couple at the marathon that I then saw and called out my name also!  It was fun to see how many nice people there are to meet from different places!

I am so thankful as I get close to the big 50 years of age, that I push myself to go places on my own.  When I have a slight fear of traveling alone, then it is almost a reminder that I NEED TO do this!  I do not ever want to not go somewhere because I feel afraid.  (I promise to not hitch hike in Maui though- leaving that experience for St. John!)  I love all my little travel tricks to pack the least amount I possibly need to maximize simplicity and the FULL JOY OF WANDERLUST!