Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thursday through Wednesday - 44 miles

Thursday - 5 miles, avg. HR 136, ran well, strong, but it was still work. Spun for 20 minutes.

Friday - 8 mile tempo run from Goleta Beach in Santa Barbara. Parked at the beach and ran along a lagoon that wanders back towards down town S.B. Sounds really nice. It was except for the 100+ degrees. Heat wave shattered a lot of records along the coast that Friday (6/20). Morro Bay was 108 that day and the previous high (according to a local) was 98. So, nice day for the tempo run which was longer and sooner than I'd planned. Howeva, driving through L.A. was so F'ing disgusting and long and disturbing and ominous and and and .. . .I was like a caged animal when I finally got to S.B. for my quick run stop before heading north. My PE was not consistent with the 7:20ish pace I hit out of the car just easing into the run. I was pumped to be running. My HR climbed, I got dehydrated and got back to the car in close to an hour. It was more like a giant, raunchy fartlek. But I was heading north. Avg. HR 157. Yikes.

Saturday - 4 miles on the beach with my buddy who is NOT in shape to run. Keep hittin' the hippy lettuce, home slice. The guy's an athlete, but he's become this quasi surf bum who likes to do whatever quasi surf bums do. He looks in shape. But damn. This affected the run volume over the weekend. Not a big deal. My run on Friday was great and Sunday was poetic in many many ways (ideal, tragic, haunting. . . . ). We had a nice little south swell on Fri and Sat, so Sat was spent hanging around the beach surfing and, well, hanging around. The Friday run literally cooked me, so the 4 miler, very easy, was just fine.

Sunday - 12+ miles, avg. HR 143 - Max 163. This was the run I'd looked forward to doing on the trip, at Montana de Oro, site of a 50k in Aug. and basically just a sick piece of land that sticks out into the big cold waters of the Central Coast, between Avila and Morro Bay. I knew exactly what I was expecting. I scouted the area Saturday, asked around a little and figured I'd take to the trail that followed the bluffs heading south further away from any sign of traffic. I had my friend drop me off on a road where I spotted this trail head:
The trail wanders down to the coast (I did not take my camera, sorry) and then runs along some bluffs that overlook truly gorgeous coastline. Here's an image of what much of the trail looked like. But the trail spilled onto what appeared the end of the vehicle access road where some cars were parked, next to a big fence. I saw some people walking beyond the fence, so I ran down to them to see where this went. 200 yards later I'm at another fence and two NASCAR looking guys (i don't have much against NASCAR; hopefully you catch my drift) want to know my "information" and hand me a form to fill-out. The point about NASCAR is not just some weak attempt at humor; I'm at a state park that's unbelievably rich with its natural beauty of voluptuously rolling landscape and primitive coastline -- I'm expecting a ranger, a hippy for God's sake! Not the shallow grunts of a white guy who doesn't want to be there. And wants to know, for instance, the kind of car I'm driving and my address. I filled it out and was granted access to the Buchon Pt. trail, a 3+ mile loop that went further south along a perfect trail, parallel to a coast riddled with dark green coves, huge hairy kelp paddies, and eroding rock that reaches out into the cold wind blown Pacific. I'm pretty interested in this stretch of land and sea and want to learn a lot more. The run looked just fine. From a distance, this is where I was headed (click to enlarge):
The run was great; I did the loop twice and then found some other innocent looking trails to court. I felt very very good afterwards - like I could do it again. . .and like I've waxed, the beauty was prevalent. The little town of Los Osos at the entrance to Montana de Oro was like this little tucked-away secret spot. There's great surf and beach communities with trail running galore. Throw in some amazing sea food and produce and I'm thinking retirement on gold mountain. My little pot of gold. Howeva, as the run progressed, I noticed a lot of signage. Most of them referenced the dangerous bluffs - Stay Back, etc. As the run heads south, you can see the prospect of running out of land. There's a road up the mountain to the left, which you kinda hope might be included. Bottomline: you're getting into "no man's land." Well, as it turns-out, that's exactly what someone wants you to realize. A few of the signs I glided past had the word "nuclear" included in the warning. There was an electric fence to the left that clearly wasn't all that natural or beautiful. My bliss was starting to initiate the landing gear. I stopped to read one of the nuclear signs. I wish I had a camera for the whole experience. The juxtaposition/contrast was unfucking real: "Nuclear Plant/Stay On the Trail/Deadly Force May Be Used to Protect this Facility." I was pretty disturbed. You may think I'm over-reacting. I wasn't. I wanted to throw Los Osos and the whole place into the sea. Or just kill one of the NASCAR gentlemen at the security gate. I had been right about those numbskulls.

I'm actually a little better now. The nuclear plant refers to the Mt. Diablo Nuclear Plant that's south of Montana de Oro. Pretty nuts. I'm still in love; it's just that I know a little more about her. Like she only has one ear, or a green boob. She's a little messed up. But I'm going back to run it. I didn't get a chance to run the peaks which have more trails. Looks like a mountain bike haven and trail running mecca. I'll go back, soon. A few more pics from the trip. And some mileage.

Tuesday - 5 miles, Avg. HR 130.

Wednesday - 10 miles, Avg. HR 135. Running pretty strong.


  1. that's a pretty strange dream.
    how was your trip?

    seriously, sounds like fun and by the way, very few are in your kind of run shape. your pursuit is noble.

  2. Haha ... reminds me of the signs I run into out here for Rocky Flats. I always feel like the Hulk after those runs ...

  3. This "quasi-surf bum" who is NOT in shape to run will gladly take you out for a nice paddle through the breakers at Ocean Beach in SF or Montara Beach in San Mateo when the autumn swells come back...

    (By the way, when you were face-down in the tent at ten pm, I was out running a naked fartlek on the beach. It's quality, not quantity, buddy.)

    Honestly, I just can't stand pavement, and I don't like using a car to get to trails. I could actually see getting a treadmill (yaaark) so I could run on a somewhat soft surface while my baby boy takes his naps. Maybe I'll just get a good jump-rope and stack up a couple yoga mats. Maybe I'll hook up some electrodes for some good ol' East German muscle-building--ANYTHING to avoid getting grilled on my friend's blog!

    --Honestly, I need this sort of cajoling from time to time. Thank you, brother. When Charlie wakes up this afternoon, I'll put him in that jogger thingy and go 3-5, okay? Okay!