Literally and figuratively. Mostly the latter, but some of the former too!
So, it was a beautiful weekend in SoCal, a bit warmer than it had been during the week, but clear, rather than hazy, so I'll take that.
We started Saturday morning with a quick breakfast and cup of coffee before heading to Newport Beach where we enjoyed an early-ish morning bike ride up to the beach town of Sunset. It's a bit of a drive to get there, but we love cycling along Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway, which is very bike-friendly in that area and doesn't present us with the steep hills that challenge us closer to home. I still consider myself to be a VERY novice cyclist, but I am happy to announce that I haven't fallen off (or over) since Summer of '09. Maybe I am actually developing some level of comfort in the saddle?!
After the ride, we took some photos of random signs before eating a messy, greasy and wonderful breakfast burrito (no photo).
I'm skeptical that this is a "national" organization, but who knows? Also, you can kind of make out our Toyota with the bikes on top.
The other sign that we like - which might be hard to read in this photo - says, "Patagonia wetsuits now available. Still cheaper than most cars." It really does inspire me to want to learn to surf, but I sense that I am not coordinated enough and too old.
The other "running around" was the Calabasas Classic 10K that I managed to start AND finish today! I realize that usually is the idea behind signing up for road races, but you never know with me. This is actually my third race in three months! I ran a 10K back in September in Santa Monica, doubting that I would finish and then just hoping that I could finish under 60 minutes (which I did - yeah). And then back in October, I ran a really fast (for me) 5 mile run in Huntington Beach where I actually placed for my age group (I think there must have only been 2 women between 35-39 running!). So, finally, I decided to make today's run public, at least on my blog. I tell as few people in my day-to-day life as possible, which is neurotic and secretive, but I don't want people to identify me as a "runner". I already work with a few people who use that as large part of their identity, and I don't want to talk about running that much. Don't get me wrong, I am SO SO SO excited that I can run again, I consider myself very fortunate because my partner/husband wakes up early on weekend mornings to wait for me to finish a race, and I love to compete, but I don't need to share this with everyone in my life. With the entire blogworld - why not?
Anyway, here I am pre-race at the "Expo" - it was at a shopping mall which felt totally fabricated, probably because it was. I don't know what it is with these Southern CA malls but they all seem to seek some 'theme' in their architecture. This one, I believe, was sporting some Italian-villa-esque ambiance. All I know, a mall is still a mall.
If I look a little nervous, it's probably because I was. This race started later than the other races I'd run, AND it was a warm morning already, AND I heard that people normally ran the course 2 minutes slower than their usual time because of the hills. I was a bit disappointed because I had hoped to run a bit faster than my first 10K, now that I have stronger legs.
I crushed my disappointment at the end when I finished significantly faster than I had in my previous race, despite some of those wicked hills. Woo-hoo! I usually start off way too slow - that has always been how I've run, but I tried to push myself not only at the end, but also at the beginning. What was nice was that the course was two loops, so I knew when to push and when to hold back a little.
So, here I am at the end, looking like a HUGE dork with the medal but smiling with happiness and relief:
After the race, Michael, a friend of ours and I went to a deli for a nice, big breakfast. Well, I actually ate lunch, mainly french fries. Then, I came home and face planted into bed. I think that I'm about to eat the biggest lemon bar/slab for dessert now. Life could be worse.