Tuesday, May 30, 2006

California Dreaming

Just got home from a short vacation in California. The weather all weekend was phenomenal and I managed to get in 4 good runs over the 4 days I was gone.

Saturday: Costa Mesa – I left the hotel near the world famous “South Coast Plaza” at 5:15AM heading south down Bristol Avenue and linked up with Newport Beach Blvd. Newport Beach Blvd is an odd street that is little more than an access road running along the 55 freeway south towards Newport Beach. I was pleased to find a bike lane on the asphalt as I turned the corner, but this petered out after less than a mile and I was forced back on the concrete sidewalk. After a couple of miles, the 55 freeway ends and Newport Beach Blvd becomes a real street. I continued south on Newport Beach Blvd until I reach 15th (or 19th, don’t remember), made a right and then an immediate right on Harbor and headed north for another ½ mile. Some brainiac placed a street sign at shoulder height along Harbor Blvd and I managed to scrape my elbow on the bottom of the sign as I ran by. Looking at my damaged elbow caused me not to see a large puddle near the curb, until I had stepped in it. At 5 miles I turned around and headed back to the hotel with a sore elbow and wet socks (for those of you keeping score at home, I brought my running socks on this trip and was not wearing the dreaded cotton “gym” socks).

By the time I turned around, the sky had lightened up, but the dense marine layer was keeping any hint of the sun at bay. I pushed it a bit on the way back trying to make up for the 1:30 I was down against an 9:00/m pace at the turn. Things were going fairly well and I was having great luck with the street lights. There just aren’t a whole lot of people out and about prior to 6 AM on a Saturday morning. I was forced to stop at my first traffic light just south on the 405 freeway overpass on Bristol. This wasn’t any fun after 9 miles of running. I took off fast after the light changed, determined not to stop again.

I ran over the 405 freeway and past South Coast Plaza and turned right on Sunflower. I was doing around an 8:00/m pace feeling good on the 10th mile when the last traffic light I would be faced with turned red. Since there wasn’t a car in sight, I ran through the red light light. Not 2 seconds later, I was stunned by the sound a police siren blasting in my ear. It was, of course, one of Costa Mesa’s finest police officers. He was probably 20 to 25 years younger than me and gave me a lecture on running street lights and threatened to give me a ticket the next time. I held my tongue – not wanting to argue with anyone carrying a gun. I sprinted the rest of the way to the hotel and completed the 10 miles in 1:30:08. I had made up the almost the entire deficit on the way back

Sunday: Costa Mesa - 1 found a one-mile loop course near the hotel in Costa Mesa that didn’t require me to run through any more street lights. The skies were clear on Sunday morning and I got to watch the sun come up on a cool Sunday morning. 5.55 Miles completed in 48:28

Monday: Manhattan Beach – My sister in-law lives near the north end of the Strand in Manhattan Beach (see picture on left). At 5:15 AM, there is no one on it (I am starting to think that it is illegal to be outside before 7:00 AM in Southern California). Monday was yet another gorgeous morning at the beach. The marine layer was nowhere to be found and watching the sun come up and light up the hillsides along Palos Verdes Peninsula was breath-taking. I ran from the north end of the Strand in Manhattan Beach south to the pier in Hermosa Beach, and then out to the end of the pier. Not a soal around. I returned via the same route; however, there were signs of life on the return trip. I probably saw 10 people along the 3.5 mile route. Total Run: 6.74 miles, 1:00:01

Tuesday: Carlsbad – My sister-in-law also has an apartment in Carlsbad California. The apartment is only a mile from the beach, so I got another nice 5.75 mile run in along Carlsbad Blvd running parallel to the ocean. Once again, no marine layer to speak of and another glorious sun-rise on a very cool morning.

We drove back to Phoenix this afternoon. The temperature at sunset was 92, so I can only imagine what I’ll wake up to in 5 hours. I’m fairly confident that it will be a bit hotter than 57.

Keep running


Sun: Rest (actually – toe recovery)
Mon: 3.3 M Easy – 9:08 Pace
Tue: 5.0 M Easy – 9:15 Pace
Wed: 5.0 M Easy - 9:00 Pace
Thr: 5.0 M Easy - 9:08 Pace
Fri: 5.0 M Easy - 9:00 Pace
Sat: 10.0 M Long - 9:00 Pace

Total for the week: 33.4 Mile; 9:02 Pace


StumbleGuy said...


I'm taking a 2 week break in France in August and it recently occured to me that I might actually have to keep running through that break - or I'd never hit my target! The wife will think I'm mad.

Glad to see you're not putting your feet up. I think I'll be running down to the local boulangerie for Pain au Chocolat and croissant. Mmmmm.


Phil said...


Je suis jaloux. J'adore la France, particulièrement le sud de la France. J'étais en France il y a 4 mois et je veux retourner en juin (si possible).

Où vous des vacances en France?

A bientôt,


Amy said...

Alright, so that is just weird that you used to live in Macon and your father still does??? What a coincidence! And running in California has been beautiful and the weather is fabulous!

StumbleGuy said...


Pardon pour le Franglais. J'avais une mal de Francais, n'est pas. Nous allons au le Nord de France, dans une ville qui est about 100km de le sud de Calais.

J'also aime le France. Malheureusement, quand je studied Francais au ecole, j'etais plus de lazy, et failed avec les misrables. Ma epouse refuse outright parler en Francais.

Entrangement, je n'avais pas un problem avec les locals comprende moi.

Wierd huh?