Well, we’ve arrived back home after our adventure to the West Coast. Carmel-by-the-sea was the town that we stayed in yet again this year with our favorite Hostess (Michele)! She treats us like family and shares her lovely home with us crazy Ohio peeps. Shout-out to Michele and her cutie of a dog Ben…much love to you both!
We spent most of the week wandering, as we always do. Walking the coastline, hiking parks and just being looky-loos. This year, we traveled a few miles up the road to Big Basin State Park. This park is known for it’s beautiful redwood trees and challenging trails. We set out to roam the 10-mile loop trail on a beautiful sunny day. Once we arrived and figured out where the path actually started, along with navigating a few closures, we headed into a stunning forest full of trees that seemed to reach the sky! The first part of the loop was going really well, but I did notice the temperature jumped quite a bit as we were doing our trek. Surprise! The temps in California can jump substantially in a short distance of travel. We were used to upper 50’s and 60’s in Carmel…well, it had jumped all the way to 88 degrees at Big Basin. This almost caused a “meltdown” in me big time. We hadn’t figured in the higher temps when loading up our gear with hydration. I had a 20 oz. bottle of water along with a snack. For a 10 mile hike in cooler weather, that’s perfect. In 88 degrees of sunshine, not so much…lol! I’m typing this now, so you know we made it…but it was close. I slammed some fluid the minute we reached the ranger station and snack facility. That brought me back to life! All in all, it was a beautiful day, and hike.
The race this year was spot on for weather. We had overcast skies, cool temps with just a touch of humidity (75%) LOL! Karla and I had a case of the sillies on the bus ride to the start while taking a selfie, and then there was an issue with the window next to Karla. It kept falling open, bringing chilly air into the bus. Now, I don’t mind the cool air, but there were plenty of other runners (Karla included) that didn’t care for that. So, Karla ended up holding the window a good portion of the trip to the starting line. (You’re a good egg Karla Jean).
We met a fellow Ohioan on the bus who just happened to be from the same area that Karla’s brothers live in. She was nervous as all get out because she didn’t think she’d make it before being swept from the course. They allow you to go an 18:30 mile pace before being removed due to time allowed for the road to be closed. We did our best to calm her and gave her some helpful strategy to get through on time. I told her the most important thing was to enjoy ever minute she was out there. Take in the beauty of the course.
We got lined up for the start which consisted of walking up a serious hill from the park we’d been stationed at prior to the race. Once at the top, you cross the timing mat and off you go. I told Karla that I would start out running and we’d just see how the body responded. Who knew my body would feel so good that we just kept running! The first stop wasn’t until about mile 3 and that was to shed clothing and take on fluids. We kept with the run walking thing for over the first half of the race. I thought it best to switch back to walking, as I’d been training for walking over the past month. I didn’t want to temp the running Gods too much…lol! We maintained a very nice pace in the 14 minute mile area. The course was every bit as beautiful as I remembered and I just really took everything in. We stopped and took some pictures, enjoyed the music, dancing and other goodies along the way…including free beer! Right Karla? Everything was just great! Karla hadn’t pushed me too much about running until we reach the last .2 of the course. She absolutely wanted to come across the finish line running. I grumbled, but gave into her request and started hauling butt! We came in pretty fast…which in turn gave us some pretty special finish pictures…lol! (see Karla…we should have walked in and taken better pictures) 🙂
If you ever have the desire to visit California, this is a great race to do and they offer numerous distances to attempt. From a 5K all the way to a full marathon. Getting into the full is done by lottery…so keep that in mind if you sign up. The 21 miler gives you all the great views and more time to complete. So, it’s walker friendly. This race is definitely a bucket list run…so go do it!
For 2020 we’re taking a year off from California and seeing what other races peak our interest. I’ve put my name in for the London Marathon, but it’s a lottery and chances are super slim. What the heck…there’s only one go around…yes?
In my closing this time, I’d like to give shout-outs to some people that accomplished some goals they’d set out to crush. Alicia Colombaro completed her first ever Half Marathon this year at the Glass City in Toledo! Way to go lady…I’m super proud of you!
Big Michael J. Porter ran his first sub 3 hour Marathon this year…also at the Glass City in Toledo. That is a serious accomplishment brother, I can’t even put into words how cool that is.
Jessica Knapp…who continues to do amazing races all over the place! She marched through tough weather to finish multiple distance races over the weekend…on trail! Congrats Jessica!
Thanks to my wife Karla Jean for helping believe in myself during the 21 miler. As some of you already know, I had a rough patch this Winter that caused me to need a surgery, followed by getting pneumonia. Prior to all of this, my left knee was giving me all kinds of issues. I’ve stayed true to my walking, pushed every day to reach recovery and with Karla’s belief in me, we had an awesome race! I’m proud of myself for knowing my limits and yet, still pushing right up to the edge of them.
The Big Sur 21-miler is in the books for 2019 and I’m hopeful for an excellent training season this summer to prepare for my first attempt at a 50 mile Ultra Marathon. More on that as we move through the season. Thanks to all that continue to follow, and please, keep on following. Things will get interesting as the year passes. You never know where and when I’m going to show up! This Zombie can still run! Continue to push yourselves for whatever goals you’ve set and rock them! I’m always available to meet up and do a hop with those in need of a partner. I have a great cast that are also available. (Karla, Patti and Leanna) Now get outside and play!
I’ll see you on the road!