Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WWU - Running in California!

When I booked my trip to California, I knew that I would be getting pretty deep into my training mileage and I'd have to be sure and get my long runs in while I was there.  Not a problem, right?  The weather would certainly be better, and let's face it, you can't beat running along the coastline.  But I was a little nervous about doing the long runs by myself.  You all know how much I love my running buddies - I am most definitely a social runner, and having someone alongside while you run miles and miles is a huge help with both encouragement and distraction.  Lucky for me, my best friend Barbara offered to ride her bike next to me while I tackled my 6 and 7 mile runs.  It was on!

I normally do my long runs on Saturdays, but Barbara suggested switching them to Fridays while I was there - there would be less traffic (foot and bike) on West Cliff Drive, where I'd be running, plus that would give us all day on Saturday to do stuff with Theresa since she'd be out of school then.

The day after I arrived in California, I did my six miler.  Barbara lives about a mile from the coastline, so I walked from her house about half a mile as a warm up, and then I started my run.  She rode an older bike that would make it easier on her to go slow, and was mostly alongside me for the duration.  The weather was a nice cool 59 degrees when I started, at just after 8:00 am.  There was a bit of fog and it was overcast, which was perfect for me.  I felt good and pushed myself a little more than I would have, had I been doing the same distance in the Texas heat.  I ran down Swift St., and once I hit West Cliff Dr., I ran toward Natural Bridges first.  Hello rolling hills!  Well, not hill hills, but it isn't flat.  I turned around at the entrance to Natural Bridges and ran back along West Cliff - I passed by the surfer monument statue, the lighthouse, all sorts of interesting people, as well as runners, walkers, dogs, bicyclists - there was a lot of activity going on for a Friday morning!  I turned around when I got close to the Santa Cruz Wharf, but well before then, I could hear the sea lions who live there barking away - that was a different sound than I'm used to hearing while I run!  Barbara carried a backpack with extra water for me, and refilled my handheld water bottle during the run.  It was nice to have my own private "crew" taking care of me - I felt like an elite runner!

I got a little tired around the 4.5 mile mark, but had a salted caramel GU and rallied for the final 1.5 miles.  I finished and we walked to a sweet little place for breakfast, where I had a poached egg and bacon on a chili chive biscuit - it was delicious!
Ahhh, nothing like breakfast, all the drinks (coffee and Nuun) and a good friend to share it with after a long run!

I ran again on Sunday morning - I had 40 minutes on my schedule and zipped through them.  Amazing how much better running feels when it's not so blasted hot!  Barbara walked while I ran, so I was solo for this one.
A gorgeous morning - the fog was lifting and the views were fantastic!

My next long run was a 7 miler, which I did the following Friday.  Not gonna lie - I was a little nervous about this one.  I hadn't run 7 miles since last January, and knowing how tired I was toward the end of my 6 mile run the week before - well...yep.  Nerves.  But the run was great!  Same route, only more time on West Cliff.  I tried to run a little slower in order to keep up my endurance for the extra mile.  I took two GUs during the run, my most-excellent crew kept me hydrated and distracted, and when I hit the 7 mile mark?  My overall pace was only 5 seconds per mile slower than the six miler run - and I felt much better!  I swear, running is weird.

Here's the map of my run:
 So funny to see the blue - yep, that's the ocean!

I finished my run and Barbara indulged me with some picture-taking:
SEVEN!!!  I climbed down the path a little for this shot.
Went a little farther out for this one.

And then, it was time for breakfast - this time at Kelly's French Bakery:
A ton of food - I put a healthy dent in this plate.  Plus, all the drinks.  And a caramel macaron for later...it was so good, I'm kind of glad that Blue Baker doesn't make them.

Normally after a long run, I spend the rest of the day lazing around.  As I told Barbara, "Saturday's aren't usually very productive during training season"  - but after this run of 7 miles, plus a good two miles of walking before and afterward, we went home, showered, picked up Theresa from school, and drove over the hill to the mall, where we shopped until 9:00 pm.  I figure I easily put a half-marathon's worth of miles on my legs that day! 

I finished out my running in California with a 45 minute run on Sunday - 3.25 miles, plus another 2 miles of walking.  All told, I ran just about 20 miles and walked a good 9 miles while I was there (not including all the shopping/walking miles, haha).  I'm glad I was able to not only keep up with my training runs, but also to run in such beautiful conditions!

26 comments:

  1. So lucky. I am. Jealous. Love ocean views.

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  2. Fantastic! Isn't is amazing how conditions and even just running 5 seconds slower can make you feel better? Running IS weird lol! You know, when I first started running I lazed around after long runs but then discovered if I kept moving a bit (even, for example doing some housework) my legs actually felt better the next day. So that's what I do now. Glad to see you are refueling nicely - so important to keep you strong and injury free as the mileage increases.

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    1. I am enjoying the refueling after the long runs, that's for sure. :)

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  3. (((IMPRESSIVE))))) as Id wanna run and plop my arse in a movie theater or on the couch.
    EVEN IN LOVELY CA :-)

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  4. Great runs my friend. It is always nice to run in a different area than we are used to and Barbara is a sweetheart to accompany you on the runs. And breakfast ... yummie!

    When I was doing long runs I noticed (like Helen) that staying active during the day felt better than do nothing. I could run 10 miles in the morning and still go on a 30 to 45 minute walk with Bella in the afternoon back then. I always have more energy on my workout days than on my rest days.

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    1. Funny, I usually come home from a weekday run and that's when I run the vacuum or do some other cleaning - I figured I was still on my runner's high and needed to channel the energy. I still enjoy my lazy nap/TV watching on Saturdays, though. :)

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  5. I wish I lived a half mile from the Ocean!
    I love your shirt, my dad is an Aggie!

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    1. You can get him this shirt at Brazos Running Company - they have lots of cool Aggie technical shirts.

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  6. That is a great picture--you with the ocean view!

    Those breakfast potatoes look like they might be awfully tasty :)

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  7. Sounds like you had a great trip & I bet it was a nice bonus to have a change in scenery! You look wonderful [& the food does as well]. I'm excited about our trip to the Carmel area next week.

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    1. The weather out there is just perfect right now - hope you have a wonderful trip to Carmel!

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  8. That view while exercising is enough to make *me* want to run!!

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  9. Kudos to you fort he running while you were in CA!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Coming from Texas, how could I not, right? :)

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  10. You can have those views all the time if you would just move back here already!! ;) ;) ;)

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    1. I know, I know! Just can't figure out how to, you know, AFFORD to live there. :(

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  11. Feels great when you stick to exercise plan while on holiday, right?you look great btw :)

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  12. So proud of how well you stuck to your game plan - although with views like that, it's not that hard! Great job!!

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  13. Wow, lovely views, yummy looking brekkies, & sounds like a great time w your friends.
    I love the post run pics of the 2 of you at the cafe. You both look so pretty!? After a bike ride (the 'chaser' bike) & your run? Wha?
    Well done on the training!
    I hope both boys (Paco & Jeff, of course) did ok whilst you were gone.
    Chrissy

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    1. Looking pretty? I'll take that compliment, thank you! Apparently this is what exercising looks like when it's a good 20 degrees cooler (and MUCH less humid).

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  14. Replies
    1. GU is an energy gel that comes in an easy to carry foil packet. You use them during long runs or bike rides to get some quick carbs back into your system.

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