Part 3: the miles continue….first with the driving miles.

We checked out of our cute hotel at Pismo Beach in the late morning and had a 3+ hour drive to Los Angeles. As we approached lunchtime, we were in the Ventura, CA area. We took a leap of faith, exited and found a nifty restaurant (attached to an inn) called the Vagabond. After reading a framed news article hanging on the wall, we realized the establishment had been in business for over 45 years and owned by the same woman. Seriously, the décor was probably original to the grand opening. But the food was so good! I had the best B. A. (avocado) L. T. ever!

Don't let the 45 year old décor fool ya!

Don’t let the 45 year old décor fool ya!

After a few million hundred more miles, we had finally arrived in swanky LA! We checked into the Kimpton Palomar hotel on Wilshire Blvd. They had lots of nice touches, including games to play in the lobby (Jenga anyone?!), free wine and sangria from 5-6pm each evening in the lobby as well, and they are also pet-friendly which made my lobby sangria sipping even more lovely. I was missing Duncan so I enjoyed the dynamic doggie duo sitting across from me.

Lobby fun!

Lobby fun!

I knew this place was a perfect fit when I saw they had a jogging map in each room for their guests.

They know me so well!

They know me so well!

I used the map loosely but didn’t follow any of their suggested routes exactly. I noticed that U.C.L.A. was just up the block. So the next morning I made that my destination. I was also on the hunt for a Starbucks or some other place that Lisa and I could grab some breakfast on the cheap. (We ended up splurging for $22 pancakes with the hotel room service the next day and it was awful). That’s another great thing about running on vacation: It’s a practical way to scope out the area. Especially in LA where parking can be pricey and traffic can be brutal. And yes, my mission was accomplished. My idea that a college campus and large medical center would surely have a Starbucks or supermarket nearby was a smart one. So that’s my W.O.W. here. Save gas and aggravation and scope out your destination by foot first. I ran about 2 miles before having to stop to take a quick phone call. It was important. Once the call was over I ran an extra mile (forgot to document it with my Garmin :( #fail!) Then walked back to the Starbucks with Lisa for breakfast. I’m guessing it was 4 miles in total.

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I hadn’t planned on running for the duration of the trip but on the last day (especially when I thought about all those hours I’d be sitting on the plane) I decided to try and squeeze in another 3 or 4 miles. I ventured in the opposite direction from my previous run and toured the local residential streets off of Wilshire Blvd. I kept thinking of the 90s TV show Melrose Place. Before I knew it I ran past the Beverly Hills Country Club and made a decision to turn back at the famed Beverly Hilton (RIP Whitney!). It was in the mid 70s but felt so hot because of the strong sun I suppose. And while I wasn’t expecting it, the route ended up quite hilly. I was impressed with all the curb appeal. Beautiful landscaping and flowers. Only 2 problems with that. One was that there was a certain type of tree or bloom that had a foul smell (think NYC subway in the middle of August). It was quite stinky and sort of ruined the whole “I’m on vacation and running in beautiful Los Angeles” feeling. The other was that all of these glamorous landscape were in the midst of being coiffed by the landscapers. I learned that they are SERIOUS about their work there and don’t stop what they are doing for silly little vacationing runners like me. Before you know it i had leaf blower schmutz all over my sweaty self. I was sandblasted with soil and grass clippings. I got over that quick when I returned to my beloved hotel where there was strawberry infused water waiting for me in the lobby.

notice the leaf blower shmutz on me

notice the leaf blower shmutz on me

Vacation had come to a close. I shoved my sweaty running gear into my suitcase and off we went to the airport to head back to the East Coast. My first day home I decided to sleep in and skip running. But yesterday I felt it was time to get back to hot humid running since i’m now officially training for the NYC Marathon in November and will be logging many icky sticky miles. I started off super speedy….I think I was still on a high from my travels, but the dew point caught up to me. It was 70. I recently learned from this article that a dew point of 70 and above is uncomfortable and you should expect your pace to suffer greatly. So after 2 speedy miles, I plummeted for the last mile. Next up is a 15 mile training run through Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn tomorrow. I’m only scheduled to run a long run of about 7 miles but my running peeps will be there and I REALLY miss them. So I’ll take it easy and slow and shoot for all the miles knowing I might bail early if I feel like I’m about to die. I’ll be sure to post about our run before the weekend is out.

Happy Friday! Question: While running, have you ever been leaf blower schmutz’ed? Have you ever been splashed by a puddle as a car sped through? 

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