BY SIMON \n Still dark, I wake up groggy and slightly hung over from my half a gram joint the night before. Feeling slightly nauseated I go into the kitchen to make my coffee and load my pipe with Willie Nelson reserve. As I sit on my lanai watching the sun rise over Haleakalā, I sip and I puff. Oh yeah, did I mention I’m on Maui right now? Decided to give myself a break from the Portland weather and get some hard-core training in, with a little water play. \n OK, back to Willie and I. Giving myself a moment to wake up I slowly get dressed and rub my skin down with ‘2Toms.” It prevents chafing and is a total necessity when running long distances, especially in humid weather. I then prepare my feet by dousing them and baby Butt cream. That’s right, Desitin works wonders to prevent blisters. \n I take a deep breath and leap off the curb onto the pavement. I set my watch for run mode and hit start. Today is speed work. Willie and I cough a little bit as I enter onto South Kihei Road and head towards Wailea. The 20-minute warm-up seemed effortless in my HR zone easy. My head was clear and ready for concentration. \n Willie really gave me the confidence to push through my accelerations. For the next 2 miles, I sprint for 30 seconds and jog for 90 seconds in between. I push myself hard on my sprints. Well, for 90% of them. I focus on form and striking the pavement evenly. Right, left, right, left. The balls of my feet play a rhythm that my heart wants to keep as I drive each step forward. My watch chimes each time I hit my HR threshold. \n I’m feeling pleasure in the exhausted state my body feels during each jolt of power I shoot through my legs. Whenever pain or doubt creeps in, I deal with it by slowing down and breathing, reminding myself to listen to my body. I pay attention to my watch intensely. Either waiting for the 30 seconds to begin or for it to end. I feel so pumped that when I make it through the 2 miles of on-and off-sprints, I tack on another half mile because I’m rocking it with Willie. \n Drenched in sweat I circle around the neighborhood and get myself on the path to return to my condo. Slowing down to my recovery pace, I smile feeling uplifted and proud from my efforts. South Kihei Road is hopping with busy tourists and locals walking their dogs. I playfully make a game of it as I dodge each one laughing every step of the way. \n About a block from my condo I spot the entrance to the beach. Fully dressed in shoes and all I run down the boardwalk only slowing slightly when my feet touch the sand, and jump right into the early morning surf. I dive under as the people watch from the shore. Feeling refreshed and joyful, I let the waves push me back into land. \n My lead like legs moving strong but slowly to beat the next crashing wave. I weave through the crowd, up the boardwalk, and straight for the shower. Quickly rinsing the salt off in the chilly water, I look around to see the best route to cross the busy street. I return back to my lanai and strip down to nothing. Promptly ringing my running clothes out and placing my shoes in the sun, I make a decision to have another chat with Willie Nelson before returning to the ocean with my paddle board. \n The Willie Nelson Reserve is a sativa-heavy blend of Vietnamese Black and Highland Nepalese (sativa/indica ratio of at least 60:40). I found this to be a beneficial strain to smoke while exercising. He was highly energetic, supportive and fun. I will definitely jam out with Willie again soon. Like tomorrow when I run the volcano.