Sunday, September 30, 2007

Enjoying the Sun in L.A.

Recently, a work/family trip took me back out west to the L.A. area. I was staying in Santa Monica for a night and used some free time for nice morning run along the beach.

It was nice and cool with temperatures around 60 degrees. Perfect!

I started out going north past the famous Pier. Since it was relatively early on a weekday morning there weren't a lot of people out, so there was little having to go around people, etc. I wasn't exactly going on trails, but who cares if the views are as beautiful as this:

(perfect trail substitute)

Once I reached the end of this gorgeous, let's call it, 'urban trail, I turned around and headed south towards Venice Beach. One thing that amazes me about L.A. beaches every time is how wide they are. I realize that it's not true for a lot of the coast, but it's still pretty amazing.

(lots of beach...where's the ocean?)

Somewhere between Santa Monica and Venice it happened: my first celebrity sighting on a run! And it wasn't some C-list celebrity you might see on VH1 tomorrow, but it was Jessica Alba! She is certainly one of those people who looks just as good in person as she does on TV. Through my work, I see and meet a lot of famous people, but it never really matters to me (I find fame to be a rather trivial concept when judging someone), however I must admit that this was pretty cool. Certainly a first as far as running goes. (This event ranks behind my run-in with a turtle a few months ago in some Georgia woods. Sorry, Jessica!).

In Venice, I passed an important place influential on my youth. You see, I grew up being a basketball fanatic, so running past the court where the majority of White Men Can't Jump was filmed was fun. Of course, nowadays I'd get a much bigger kick running on the Western States or Hardrock courses. How times change....

(no ballers out that morning)

Soon enough, I got to my turn-around point in Marina Del Rey. I'd been able to run the first 10 miles in 70 mins, which was a nice little accomplishment. So, I sat, watched all the ridiculously expensive yachts and enjoyed some QT with my loyal friend, the ultimate direction bottle.

(Marina del Rey)

(We've been spending a lot of time together lately)


Haile Gebrselassie set a new world record in the marathon distance today: 2:04:26. Woah!

That's under 4:45 min/miles for those of you who are counting. Unbelievable stuff! I don't think I can even run one mile that fast. Somebody want to tell me that he doesn't have a lot of fast twitch muscles? Because I don't believe it!

Full article on here.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Runs Theme Song

Via Kelly's blog, enjoy this video. Just makes you want to go out there and run trails!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Reasons to Love Running #4

"Reconnecting with an Old Running Buddy"

Work travel took me Charlotte, NC, or more appropriately "The Queen City". An old friend of mine, whom I used to run with all the time back in Atlanta, moved here a couple of years ago. We hadn't seen each other since. However, a cool 11 miler fast-forwarded any catching up we needed to do and by the end of the run it seemed like we hadn't missed a beat in each other's lives.

(Btw, I am in complete awe of this friend as he has just started his training program for the Ironman Arizona in March 2008. Boy, that's a lot of training!)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Marathon Maniac?

Apparently I will qualify to be a Marathon Maniac – Bronze Level for my two marathons on back to back weekends later this fall. There are a total of 9 different levels with the highest being the Platinum Level (read: unattainable) for which you have to do one of three things to qualify:

  • 52 Marathons or more in one calendar year
  • 30 Marathons in 30 US states, Countries, or Canadian Provinces (any combination) in 1 calendar year
  • 20 Countries in one calendar year

I think, I’ll be content with Bronze status for now (provided that I finish).

Click here to see if you qualify to be a Marathon Maniac.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

West Coast=Trail Running Heaven

The pursuit of one of my other passions, seeing the Dave Matthews Band live, took me to beautiful Washington state over Labor Day weekend. (This is an annual trip to one of the most beautiful amphitheaters in the country, the Gorge Amphitheater, for a weekend of great company, music and relaxation. These concerts marked the 32nd, 33rd and 34th times I have seen this particular band. Again, I wasn't kidding when I said 'passion').

Like most of the West Coast, central Washington state also has incredible trail running. While this was supposed to be a relaxing weekend, I did sneak in a nice long run at Gingko State Park. The Park is directly adjacent to our campsite and I simply could not resist. I ran an out an back and was either going up or down hill at all times. Definitely no flat trails around there. Even though it was in the low 80s, sunny and the park doesn't even provide as much as a hint of shade (it's the desert after all), the weather was a nice reprieve from Atlanta, where we had been suffering through a ridiculous heat wave in August. (Btw, heat and especially humidity are not passions of mine).

Gingko was completely desolate. I did not see anyone but my girlfriend, who ran the first couple of miles with me, for the 3+ hours I spent out there. The views were breathtakingly gorgeous. Words cannot describe the beauty of this area, so I will leave you with a bunch of photos.

I'll be back out West next week. Not sure if I'll have the time to hit the trails. We'll see...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Scott Dunlap Interview!

Scott Dunlap, author of the very popular "A Trail Runner's Blog", has volunteered to do an interview. It will be part of the interview series on his site. He's had such heavy hitters as Tim Twietmeyer, Krissy Moehl, Andy Jones-Wilkins, Dean Karnazes and Kristin Armstrong 'stop by' his blog for an interview. Now it's his turn!

But I need your help. Is there anything you ever wanted to know about Scott? Something you wanted to ask? Let me know in the comment section.

This should be fun!

P.s. Report of my West Cost trail runs will come soon.