Friday, July 16, 2010

First Balboa Park Run

AM: 60 mins. (8-8.5 miles)
PM: 3 miles

When I woke up this morning I could hardly contain my excitement for the prospect of running in Balboa Park. We've run here many times since Jordan and I started visiting his dad here, and though I suspect the usual route would grow tiresome after a while we haven't yet come here enough for the novelty to wear off. This time, however, would be the first outing I'd undertaken solo, as Jordan won't arrive from NorCal until late tonight. At 10am I laced up the shoes and headed out the door for what I hoped would be a fun, hard solo exploring effort.

The first few mi
nutes of run took me north down the palm tree-lined streets of Hillcrest toward the edge of the park. Once there I was able to run on the grass next to the sidewalk until I looped back toward the Prado, the long bridge overlooking the freeway and the downtown area that leads to the zoo and the park's many museums. If planned properly 2/3 of this run can unfold on grass and dirt, and I made sure that happened today. From the Prado I ran down the zig-zagging sidewalk to the highway crossing, then ascended the steep dirt path that leads toward the velodrome and the Footlocker XC course on the other side. I was huffing and puffing profusely at this point and loving every second. I meandered around for a few minutes on this side of the park before checking my watch and deciding it was time to head back. I knew from prior experience this would mean I'd have to conquer Upas, the steepest street I've ever ascended, one that had reduced me to walking many times. Today I vowed that Upas (which I at one point renamed Oompa Loompa, because of the similar assonance sounds and, well, because I love midgets) would be my bitch. As I approached its looming facade I looked up, steeled my resolve, and said aloud, "Upas, you are my bitch." I then proceeded to stagger up it at 12-minute pacing while wheezing like a chain smoker. (You can view a photo of this monstrosity here.)

Lily pad pond near the museum area at the
top of the Prado

Heading back along the Prado I felt like I was flying. I knew I couldn't slow down at this point so I picked up the pace even more as I returned homeward. By this point the sun was high in the sky and I was sweating like crazy, but it felt like the right thing to do. The run concluded as every good run should, with me breathless and exhausted but eager for the next go.

But first, it was time to relax with Gary and Roger and take in a flick. I knew Caitlin would be beyond jealous that we would be among the first in the States to view The Girl Who Played With Fire, the second installment in the Dragon Tattoo series. The coolest part was that for the climactic scene in the film, the main character (Lisbeth Salander) is sporting a Craft half zip sweat sweatshirt! She literally wears it for the last 30 minutes of the film, during the course of which time ******SPOILER ALERT****** she gets shot twice, buried alive, rises from the grave and beats the crap out of her father with an ax. Needless to say, she gets her money's worth out of the sweatshirt (as we do from the watching) and it ends up quite bloody and dirty by the end of the film. I guess they say no publicity is bad publicity?? She is the most badass book heroine to come along in quite some time so I'd say it's a win for the brand.

P.S. I will be taking some photos today so I can better illustrate the blog tomorrow. Until then, just picture the most awesome weather and scenery you can imagine. That's what I'm working with.


Unknown said...

ha!!! I'm going to make you go see the second movie with me here in charlotte when it come outs!! glad you're having awesome runs out there. Enjoy!!!!ph

mainers said...

that street looks awesome! have fun out there!