I would have to say that running is now part of my daily life. This really means, the 3-mile standard run does not suck anymore. My shins stopped hurting, and the phantom pain in my right hamstring has subsided. This could not have come at a better time then the start of my holiday break.
You see, I had ‘mad’ plans for this holiday season, and wanted to make sure I still got all my runs in to set my 2017 up for success. And thankfully I did with (in the words of Joe Cocker) ‘With a little help from my friends’. So a huge shout out to my friends who ran down the ocean on Santa Monica, the paths of Marina Del Rey & Venice, and the long empty beach of Baja, Mexico. I could not continue this journey of marathon training without the support of friends by my side, or just a high five, or text to keep me going.
My 2016 Holiday Break was a stellar one! So thanks for the memories made and the miles added! Happy New Year. Here’s to an amazing 2017!
Week #2 I found myself on the weekend of my long run in Ojai, CA for a friends Bachelorette Party. This was my first time to Ojai and I was very impressed. We stayed at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. This weekend was filled with friendship, laughter, lots of good eats, food, bikes, pj’s, music and all around amazing time.
My Saturday ‘long run’ was through the historic downtown of this quaint town. 2 miles out down the main street, and then 2 miles back. It was like running on a movie set. This gave me the opportunity to see all the businesses that fill this scenic town and get my geography down for the rest of the weekend. This is one of my favorite parts of running, getting my bearings and coming back later.
And later that day us gals hopped on bikes, and pursued the paths of Ojai. This journey led us to 2 distinctly different accommodations I would come back for. The first was the Caravan Outpost. This resort, if you will, is made up of 11 boutique type Airstreams on property that can be rented, in a community camping like atmosphere. The second was the Ojai Rancho Inn. That particular day, this retro motel was hosting a Christmas Market. Each room was turned into a pop up store. It was like being on a commercial shoot of America Eagle, meets Abercrombie and Fitch, meets Urban Outfitters ‘Hiptsers’. If you ever get the chance you must check out this out next year.
My first week of running was an interesting one. You see, when you live and work in Los Angeles there is an algorithm that you need to figure out in order to commit to running/working out around your work schedule. And the main reason for this is due to the dreaded term all LA dwellers know all to well, TRAFFIC. The other piece of this puzzle for those that hate the treadmill is called DAYLIGHT.
So take the fact that you work and live 20 miles away. Well any Midwesterner wouldn’t wince at this mileage, but anyone who has lived in LA knows 20 miles could be infinity when it comes to time in traffic. So my week of research started with running after work in Marina Del Rey (so I might have had to slip out a little early to make this happen in daylight), followed by running after work near our office in Pacific Palisades (much better in terms of timing), to researching sunrise timing and running before work in Redondo Beach, where I currently reside. All, and all they all have their benefits, AKA, mostly the ocean views.
Therefore I decided my end of week Saturday ‘long run’ #1 would revolve around the Hermosa Beach, CA Pier. 4 miles of long flat Strand was the scenery for a great first ‘long run’ on this insane marathon journey I am embarking on.
Ultimately, the Week #1 conclusion has resulted in having a prepared bag in my car for whatever mood strikes me each day, and being grateful to have the endless options of amazing scenery when starting to run again. The ocean seems to dull the pains in my legs that I hope are not conspiring to becoming shin splints.
Somewhere between the end of the racing season and now, I decided that it was time to commit once again to running. You see running is my old friend, that ‘friend’ that I visit here and there. We have our issues, sometimes we are dear friends, and sometimes we battle, but in the end ‘running’ is that friend you can always go back to and realize that they are needed. Something inside you needs them more than ever at times in your life, and that time is now.
You see 2016 was quite a year. It had personal and professional challenges, all while getting used to living across the country from what I was used to. You might notice, since this is the first post I have done in this calendar year, that I was presumable busy, or not really focused, or on the road the majority of the year chasing ‘I am not sure what’ and now I am in the ‘off season’, which has always been challenging for me since I began in the sports season business. 120 mph on the gas, to yellow flag, till the next season starts up……so I find myself needing my old friend ‘running’.
And being the Type A person that I am, I need a goal to go along with ‘running’. So here it goes. I am committing to my 2nd marathon, writing about it, chronicling all the places I will end up training for it at, and hopefully along the way inspiring some friends to join me. I also hope to learn about new places to travel to train, take awesome photos, listen to great music and of course, and because there is vanity in us all, loose a few lbs along the way.
So welcome to my journey of marathon training. I am going to thank in advance my trusting editor friends who have committed to helping me improve my writing along the way (thank you Jillian & Betsy). And ask that any of you that want to join me on this journey, whether it be just run here or there, feedback on great running routes, good music, awesome apps to take photos, let me know. Here we go!
It’s early November when my co-worker and I jumped in my Pilot, which finally made it to LA (dear god, so excited to not be driving a rented Yaris). We where embarking on our last travel journey for the 2015 RBGRC season. Now that I am becoming Los Angeles qualified this road trip started at 9 PM, because apparently there is a very small window to drive to Las Vegas from LA without traffic.
We did all the normal stops you could imagine, Inn and Out burger at LAX, yes we didn’t get too far, gas at the largest thermometer in Baker, a bit of racing back and forth with a BMW who couldn’t decide if they wanted to lead or not, and the usual head nods at about 1 AM, as we hit the lights of Sin City. Upon check in to the SLS Las Vegas, we got a few hours of zzz’s before starting the longest 10 days of work of the season.
This is the 4th year of working a GRC race in Las Vegas and this year we where back at the Village Lot across the street from the Luxor. Now most people are excited that we race in this lot because of the amazing scenic views of the lights of Vegas, or that we are across from many great casinos, or even because it is close to the airport, but my crazy cat loving co-workers and I love this lot because of the ‘Kitty Motel’.
You ask, what is the ‘Kitty Motel’? Well it is an abandoned motel that is smack dab in the middle of this event lot, that for some reason has not been torn down. Instead the ‘Kitty Motel’ has been fenced off and any event type people have to build around this space, which has become home to hundreds of cats. And this is where my cat loving friends and I take things to a new level.
First the day starts with the song “Kitty” by Presidents of the United States of America. How did I never know this song existed? And what type of drugs where being used when it was being created? Do yourself a favor and listen to this amazing anthem for the crazy cat lovers. Next we bring out the kitty ears. To be fair it was actually Halloween when these where purchased, but I don’t doubt these will continue to travel with us in 2016. Lastly, we choreographed a cat dance, which is maybe where I think we crossed a line in kitty crazy, and danced on the stage in the Village lot for a few of the Labor Ready folks putting up catch fence. Yes, they loved it.
So you ask, what does this blog entry tail (ha) trying to tell you readers? The answer is this. Camaraderie on the road comes in many shape and forms and here in Vegas, with my co-workers whom have become family, due to many months on the road together, our camaraderie came in the shape of a kitty love. Meow.
So the biggest question I normally get asked about traveling for a living is ‘do you get to see all the sites of the places you are visiting?’ And the answer is……no…or not usually.. or probably most likely not ever. And normally the answer given after that, at least in my current profession in motorsports, is a racetrack is a racetrack is a racetrack, no matter what city, state or country you are in. But, and there is a but, there is that one-off chance that you are able to make it work, to see some sites, or at least a site, and normally it is a restaurant that someone usually drags you to, when you rather be sleeping on the few hours you get free, but then afterward you are glad you did it.
So when it is more than a restaurant with your co-workers or an After Party that is part of the event that you probably planned, it is something to write about. And so on my last trip to Barbados, for work, I got the chance to see the island in a way that was not expected or planned, but turned out to be amazing.
So the story goes like this. Round 11 of the Red Bull Global Rallycross Series was held at a great permanent track called Bushy Park on the island of Barbados. I was lucky enough to have been here once before in 2014 for the Top Gear Festival with RBGRC, but that year I was sick, it was a new venue, which both equaled to I saw nothing but an airport, a racetrack and the house we rented to stay in. Let me tell you the house is awesome and made the trip great and I appreciated it. So luckily we rented the same house in 2015, I was not sick, RBGRC was the event headliner, and I was lucky enough to be booked on a flight departing 1 day later than normal.