If this were a running log, which is what I originally intended it to be, but a bit more detailed, like a running journal, I would write:

32:40 4 mi. Questhaven, hilly, felt good

And there would be Saturday's run

1:32 9.23 mi. Camp Pendleton, hilly, trails

But that doesn't really capture it for me.  Saturday I drove up to Oceanside and met up with a running group led by a Marine (who flies attack helicopters) who was taking us onto the Camp Pendleton Marine Base for a trail run.  I've biked through Camp Pendleton a number of times and I always am honored and humbled by the experience.  This might sound strange because I am slightly to the left of Che Guevara, but I respect and admire the military and especially the kids who serve our country, not because they have no options left, but because they feel a duty to protect our freedom.  A friend of mine was attending college when terrorists attacked New York City and was so moved that he enlisted in the marines soon after.  That strength of conviction and the willingness to die for your country is one of the things that makes America great. [/soapbox]

Camp Pendleton is about the size of Rhode Island and is one of the only undeveloped spots left in Southern California.  It stretches along the coast from Oceanside north to San Clemente and east to Cleveland National Forest.  Rolling green hills and ocean views that I am sure are the envy of Marines stationed elsewhere.  I am always amazed at how young the sentries are with braces and acne, and I always thank them.

The trail was rolling, one of those trails that stretches out for about five miles and you can see it fading off, a line going up and over rolling hills and I wanted my son to see it because he spends his time in his room making roller coasters for marbles and car jumps and he would love the track carved into the hills.  It was sunny and the view was amazing, green hills and silence, it was supposed to be a live ammunition week, but I didn't hear anything.  We ran over dirt and empty shell casings and I don't own a gun, but I thought how much fun it would be to go out there and shoot.  There is a bike race that goes through Pendleton and it is the only time they open up certain sections of the base for civilians and I remember biking past a church there with signs for a memorial service and I remember thinking how senseless some wars are and how brave these young men and women are to serve, not worrying about the politics; just serving a principle.

Wide trails at Camp Pendleton

Yesterday's run was quite different, the weather brought hurricane warnings to San Diego county, pouring rain and cold wind, but I am on day 36 of my 100 day challenge and I wasn't ready to take a day off.  I spent the morning picking up some new running clothes at Lululemon in Carlsbad.  They chose my previous post as a winning entry and I won some free running stuff and the opportunity to be a product tester, so that was nice.  Sanam and I went and got lunch afterwards and I had a corned beef sandwich which was probably not the best pre-run nutrition, but I think my stomach has adapted to eating on the run, especially in the longer races where you pull up to an aid station and they offer everything from pizza to grilled cheese sandwiches to chicken soup to potatoes dipped in a plate of salt to a big bowl of candy-colored pain killers.

Sanam picked up the kids from my mom's and I decided to run home in the rain and wind because it didn't look like it was letting up and it was probably my only chance to get in a run.  I took the Questhaven route which used to be a dirt road, but then it rained and got washed out so the city put up gates at both ends and made it a nature path.  We used to go out there in high school.  There was a rope swing and ghost stories because it was supposedly haunted and it felt so isolated from the big city of Encinitas that you almost felt like you were doing something wrong just by being out there at night, under the stars and trees on a dirt path, but maybe we felt like we were doing something wrong because most of the times we went out there, we were doing something wrong.

It's funny when it rains and you fight this battle to stay dry, keep your shoes dry, not step in puddles and yell at the kids to stay out of the water, but after you have been out in the rain, exposed, trying to avoid the mud on a muddy trail is pointless and then you give up and aim for the puddles, screw it, and this giving up is what it's like to be a kid and see the storm through their eyes as a playground and not worrying about getting clothes dirty and shoes wet and catching a cold because there is this huge puddle in front of me and I'm going to own that puddle.  Make it my personal foot cannonball.  And you think that running through a tree-lined path would shelter you, but these drops accumulate up on the leaves and they fall and hit my face with a purpose, not some little bit of mist floating around in the sky.  I didn't see many people out in the storm yesterday, but I did pass a postman, wearing a yellow raincoat, driving too fast and trying to hit the puddle next to me and maybe spray me because I am an idiot out running in the rain, smiling and laughing.

You can't really tell, but I'm soaking wet

1 comment:

  1. Great post!
    Congrats on being a product tester!
    I'm no runner, but you sure made it sound like fun :)


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