I’m California bound this week for my work’s annual meeting. Looking forward to spending some time on the other side of the country and hope I can get in a bunch of good runs.
Monday – Huntington Beach, CA – 10 miles
We flew friggin’ early out of Boston – the upside that we got to Cali at noon. After a lunch at the Hyatt Regency (our home for the next week) I took an hour nap and then went out to explore the bike path. The hotel is right on the beach and the path goes for miles in both directions. The beach itself is very wide with huge waves. No wonder it’s known as Surf City.
Tuesday – Laguna Beach – 9 miles
All we had to do today was get things set up and we were done by noon. We had rented a big van and after dropping my off coworkers downtown, I headed down the Pacific Coast Highway to check out the Crystal Cove Canyons. Took me a couple tries to find it but once I did it proved to be unlike any run we have in Rhode Island. It’s a ¼ mile from the coast but the trail immediately climbs 750 feet up along a ridgeline. This was a tough climb but I was rewarded with incredible views of the coast. I followed the ridgeline and began to get nervous about rattlesnakes (I didn’t see/hear any). The trails were wide dirt roads with no obstacles. As I descended I hit some hardpack single track which was fun to run down…until it got really steep and I had to slow myself down in a hurry. Psyched I got this run in on Day 2 as the conference begins tomorrow and my running will be limited from here on out.
|The initial uphill across from the ocean|
|With little ground cover the views were excellent|
|The largest mountain in the region - Santiago Peak|
|Posed for a picture up at one of the campsites along the ridge|
|Beautiful hills everywhere!|
Wednesday – 0 miles
Thursday – Huntington Beach, CA – 6.2 miles
I had been tasked with leading a fun run at the conference on Saturday morning. A bridge from the hotel leads over the busy road and directly to the bike path. I knew we’d just be following the path for 1.5 miles one direction so this morning I ran both options. Heading north took us next to downtown HB and might be more interesting. Heading south was quieter as the beach becomes a state park. I had called Beach Services and was told to keep this event on the DL so while less interesting I think the south route may be the better choice. I’ll have to think about it.
Friday – 0 miles
My only time to run is in the early AM. However this morning I was overseeing the 6 AM Yoga session, part of my charge as the unofficial “Wellness Coordinator.” We had a good turnout of about twenry people and everyone enjoyed it. The yogi was named Rueben and he was a charming guy. I was able to participate. I haven’t done any yoga in a while and it showed. In the afternoon there was another yoga session. Due to the location and time of date it wasn’t as popular but we still got ten people to attend.
Saturday – Huntington Beach, CA – 6.5 miles
It was the day of the fun run. I woke up at 4:30 so that I could go out and mark the course with glow rings. I decided that the course would head north as we were heading out pretty early and I thought it would be more interesting. I hung a few rings in obvious places and thought that with it being a bike path there wouldn’t be too much trouble. I stuck three rings on the signpost where people would turn around.
We ended up getting thirty people to show up which I was really happy with. Everyone that showed up got a free tech shirt I designed. I thought they were pretty sharp. I explained how far we’d be going and then we made our way across the bridge and were off. I took it easy at first to make sure everyone was accounted for and then I sped up to check on the front runners. I should have been faster – there was a split in the bike path I didn’t account for and a couple folks went the wrong way (they ran parallel so it wasn’t a major deal). The problem was that by the time we reach the split daylight had robbed the glowrings of their power. I ended up staying there and directing the rest of the runners.
Not a major thing and people turned around at the appropriate point thanks to a doctor named Lou who had agreed to help out with the run. Everyone who came up to me afterwards enjoyed the run and were happy we added the event so in the end it was a big success.
|Post-fun run with coworker Carol|
Photo by Justina Andonian
Sunday – Aliso Viejo – 11.5 miles
Started the day with another early morning Yoga session. Sadly we didn't have much of a turnout. I guess the morning after the late night gala was more than people could take. By 11 AM the conference was done. The AAAP Board treated us all to spa appointments to say thanks for all our hard work. I got a deep tissue therapeutic massage. It was rocketsauce.
We weren’t flying out until tomorrow so after the massage I headed for the Aliso and Wood Canyons, recommended to me by rollerskiing maestro Chris Garvin. I had enjoyed the Crystal Cove Canyon but this place was way way better. It was packed withpeople – I was constantly seeing hikers and mountain bikers. The trails were so hardpacked that the mountain bikers were flying down the trails. Dangerously so at points. You had to keep your eye out for them. After a couple easy miles in the canyon I began the climb towards “Top of the World.” This was work but the views made it worth it. With just low shrubs it was incredible views almost all the time. Pretty amazing views of the mountains to the east and at the Top o’ World there were great views of the coastline below.
From here I took the ridgeline out but then realized it was getting pretty late. With the sun setting behind the ridge it was getting dark in a hurry. I hurried down the Rock-It trail which was fast, steep and very fun. By the time I reached the canyon floor it was quite dark but the trails were flat and the last 1.5 miles is on pavement. Great run and I’m so glad I got to check this place out before I head home.
|Lots of fire warnings with the drought stricken landscape|
|Cool caves in the canyon|
|The trails go off into the distance seemingly forever|
|Hardpacked dirt and rock trails|
|The trail leading to the "Top of the World"|
|Oh to have reached those mountains|