Posted by: Ingrid | December 30, 2009

Running Ramblings

I have to say that running in California was perhaps the highlight of the trip.  That may sound bad, on a trip that was all about seeing as many friends and family as we could pack into eight and a half days, but as an introvert, I cherished the miles I was able to log in the eight days I had available to run.  I made it out the door six out of the eight days, which I thought was pretty good.  I’d hoped for more mileage and two runs by the beach but ended up with only 44 miles and just one beach run.  The runs ended up being diverse and memory filled, which was both good and bittersweet.

Running is such a centering and grounding experience for me, which always hits me afresh whenever I travel.  It helps me feel more at home and gives me a sense of belonging.  It pulls me back to the present even during crazy Christmas traveling with a baby and lots of people to see.  I feel like running connects me to the place I am at the moment, which is probably why I’ve been logging the miles around our town in Michigan despite weather and cold and snow and getting sick.  I guess it’s a good thing that running stuff is easily portable.  What would I do if I felt connected by horseback riding or scuba diving?

Saturday- 11 plus miles from Newport Beach down to Huntington and back (plus 1.5 miles of walking)

Monday- 6 miles around Torrance

Wednesday- 8 miles around the fields of Fresno State

Thursday- 6 miles around my old neighborhood and paper route in Fresno

Friday- 5 miles in hilly Walnut Creek

Saturday- 8 miles and more hills

By far the most fun and memorable run took place on Saturday morning with my friend and former co-worker.

We started down at the Newport Pier and ran toward Huntington Pier.  The day was warm (I have never been so elated to simply throw on a t-shirt and shorts to run) and bright with blue sky and plenty of surfers out in the waves.  At the beginning we passed a woman in running tights, gloves, and a long sleeve tech shirt.  I wanted to yell, “Wimp!” over my shoulder except for the fact that I was that sort of person last year, before I realized that 50 degrees is not really cold.

I haven’t run that long without my ipod in forever, but it was wonderful.  I forget how nice running with someone else can be.  We meant to do 10 miles before meeting our husbands for breakfast but ran into a slight snag when we lost each other.  How do you lose your running partner on a straight and flat out and back run?  That’s a great question.  It’s complicated and involves one of those formulas where the train leaves a station traveling and 80 mph and another one leaves the station 10 minutes behind traveling at 72 mph.  With the running back and forth I did trying to locate my friend I managed to log some unplanned mileage.  I also discovered that “Just Plain” Gu is really good.  I expected it to be like eating paste when in reality it’s one of the best Gu’s I’ve ever tried.

Eventually we found each other towards the end and enjoyed the last leg of our run and the cool down together.  We totally deserved the enormous breakfast at Charlie’s Chili and also deserved the two concerned husbands who were waiting for us.

Neither of us took our cell phones and I have to admit, it’s disconcerting to suddenly realize that you have no one’s phone number memorized because you rely exclusively on your cell phone.

Anyway, great run, lovely weather for the entire trip, even though it got colder as we moved north.  I have to say, I really miss running in California.



  1. Thanks for the “Just Plain” tip! I am a strange creature of habit and have almost never veered from my fav…Tri-berry Gu. Once I had a Shot Bloc and almost threw up!

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