Saturday, January 2, 2010

Touring the Harbor

AM: 60 mins. (8+ miles)
PM: 28 mins. (3.5+ miles)

Yesterday I was shaking my head ruefully and commenting about how much different you can feel from one day to the next. Today I was saying the same thing, but in a positive way. Looks like the afternoon/evening of rest and relaxation last night--combined with a few hits of ibuprofen and some of Jordan's newfangled healing techniques--did just the trick, as my leg (and entire body) felt dandy on this jaunt today.

In search of a change of scenery, Jordan and I decided to forego our usual park route and instead venture down to the harbor for this run. Turns out it takes right around two miles to run down to the airport (good to know for our rental car pickup tomorrow morning), and from there it takes about, oh, 20 yards to find the shoreline. From there we turned left and headed in the direction of downtown and all the seaside action. And action there was; the next few miles were filled with lots of bobbing and weaving and stops and starts as we navigated around other runners and cyclists, as well as tourists and dock workers, all of whom were out enjoying a beautiful morning seaside. After making fitful progress the crowds finally thinned out a bit, and the next few minutes went by relatively smoothly. We finally reached what appeared to be a large convention center adjacent to the stadium where the Padres play, and at that point we made the executive decision to exit the shoreline and attempt to meander our way home through downtown.

View of downtown and the harbor

When you're feeling crappy, not knowing where you are located on a run can be a source of frustration. When you're feeling good, it usually ends up being a lot of fun. Fortunately the latter was the case for both of us; even though we weren't exactly sure how to get home, we didn't mind taking a tour of the Gaslamp and other areas not normally seen on our jaunts here. After several minutes of wandering we discovered our bearings and found a straight shot up to Balboa Park. When I say "up to," what I mean is that we spent the entire last half of the run climbing uphill. I'd known it was coming; the run started with a few steep downhill miles followed by a flat section along the harbor, so it was only a matter of time before we'd have to retrace the incline on the way home. I was flat out hurting the last three miles of this run, but unlike yesterday's pain this was a welcome feeling. We finished up feeling hot (both of us), tired (mostly me), hungry (me again) and thoroughly satisfied with our sightseeing efforts.

Catching some sun on a perfect Saturday afternoon

After treating ourselves to a weekend brunch at Urban Mo's, we found ourselves back at the park for some afternoon sunshine. My leg felt good on the long walk there and back, enough so that I was confident in my ability to embark on a very easy double. Jordan was a sport and didn't mind ambling along at my pace for the first 20 minutes or so. At that point he turned back for another upper loop and I headed back home, content with the day's endeavors. Balboa Park may not be the best training venue ever, but it's hard to beat a few warm and sunny afternoon miles under the palm trees enjoyed in the company of other runners, cyclists, dog walkers and volleyball players. Oh, and there was even one guy pushing his baby in a baby jogger--while riding on a skateboard. True story.

Our afternoon view in Balboa Park