California Adventures

The last 10 days has been a whirlwind. Here’s the breakdown of places and faces I came across since my last entry:

Thursday, March 12: Flew to L.A. as planned even though I wasn’t racing. Checked into Millenium Biltmore for the night. Had dinner at Soleto Pizza Bar with the lovely Alissa ‘Nana’ McKaig.

Friday, March 13: Checked out of Biltmore since the race would not be reimbursing ZAP since I wasn’t racing and headed to LAX to pick up Esther who was getting in from NJ. Esther and I grabbed our rental car and had dinner at a fast food joint in L.A. before crashing at a friend’s house somewhere in the vast and traffic filled City of Angels!

Saturday, March 14: Met Pete and Reebok’s Patrick Joyce at Millenium to do an easy run on the OT course. Course maps had been distributed so we checked out the 6 mile loop that will be run 4x during the course of the race. There’s certainly some uphill in there people! It will be interesting for sure. Esther and I drove to Cal-St. Fullerton in the evening so she could race the Ben Brown Invitational 5k. She won the race and came away with a nice PR in hot conditions. She’s tough. Went back to the Millenium for the night to crash with McKaig and her friend Taylor.

With Esther after her 5k PR.
With Esther after her 5k PR.

Sunday, March 15: No L.A. Marathon for me but we followed the live feed when we woke up then headed up the coast towards Pismo Beach, CA. We had reserved an Air BnB spot a few days before and arrived around 4. Esther and I went on a beautiful run at the not-yet-opened Pismo Preserve. It was a very steep run but offered breathtaking views of the coast. PB&J and beer for dinner.

Pismo Preserve in Pismo Beach, CA.
Pismo Preserve in Pismo Beach, CA.

Monday March 16: Drive 20 minutes to San Luis Obispo and did a hilly run at another nature preserve. Great views once again at the top. Drove another 10 minutes down the CA-1 to Morro Bay to lay on the beach for an hour. Hopped back in the car and made the long but beautiful drive to Oakland, CA to see our buddy Jesse Cherry. The Pacific Coast Highway is like the Blue Ridge Parkway equivalent of the west coast. Steep, windy, and sometimes dangerous roads but totally worth it for the views. Esther and I were both impressed with how awesome the drive was. We stopped in Piedras Blancas to check out the elephant seal community and drove by a zebra farm at one point as well. Arrived in Oakland around 8pm and grabbed a quick meal at a great Mexican joint.

The elephant seal rookery  of Piedras Blancas on the PCH.
The elephant seal rookery of Piedras Blancas on the PCH.

Tuesday, March 17: Jesse and I helped Esther with her uptempo medium long run around Oakland. It was 60 degrees, sunny, and low to no humidity! After the run we ate lunch at a hole in the wall burrito spot where the gave you much too much food. For dinner we tried Burma Superstar which was excellent as well. Got a few drinks then called it a night.

Wednesday, March 18: Easy run with Jesse while Esther met a friend somewhere else to run. Ate at Bakesale Betty’s for lunch. GOOD fried chicken sandwiches with cole slaw and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Walked around downtown Oakland in the afternoon and got a B-12 shot! Had dinner in Sunnyvale, CA with college soccer teammate Walshy and his wife Molly.

Hanging out with my best bud (and future best man) Jesse Cherry in Oakland.
Hanging out with my best bud (and future best man) Jesse Cherry in Oakland. Business time.

Thursday, March 19: Made our way to the airport to head back to NJ with Esther. Luckily we had a direct flight and were back at her place around 11 pm. All in all a great trip!

I feel very blessed that I was able to see two of my favorite former ZAP teammates, Jesse and Alissa, who coincidentally are the best man and maid of honor for Esther and I’s upcoming nuptials in September. Both are still running and I suspect both will be on the starting line with Esther and I when the Olympic Trials roll around in February 2016.

Running wise, I was taking it very easy both mentally and physically in California as my calf finished up its healing! I was nearly healed when I arrived in L.A. but running over 7 minute pace and trying to run 5 min pace are two completely different beasts. Once I returned to NJ I got in a moderate workout to test out my calf. I did a 3-2-1 minute fartlek with no set rest in the midst of a 13 mile run around Princeton, NJ. It went quite well and I did not feel my calf at all. The coming days will tell the real story as Pete and I try to see whether my body will be ready to go for Boston. We are not going to force things but simply see where my fitness and health go the next month.

Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (3/15-3/21):

Sunday: PM: 12 miles (Pismo Beach)

Monday: AM: 8 miles (San Luis Obispo)

Tuesday: AM: 16 miles (Oakland)

Wednesday: AM: 8.5 miles

Thursday: OFF (travel to NJ)

Friday: AM: 10.5 miles (8×20 sec post run)

Saturday: AM: 4 miles   PM: 13 miles (3-2-1 fartlek x3 within run)

Total: 72 miles, 7 runs


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