Sunday, January 11, 2009

Welcome to the freak show

Even though I have been to Venice Beach a few times before I am always struck by what a slice of California this area is. No doubt it epitomizes the stereotype one envisions of SoCal.

A long run out and back on the bike trail from Venice Beach past Santa Monica to Pacific Palisades will pretty much take you past thousands of people on a sunny weekend. Today I got a very late start on my run and it was almost noon when I started off. By then it was nearly 75 degrees but all my time spent in the gym without the benefit of wind cooling me makes this weather seem nice. A stop every few miles to hit water fountains made it all the more enjoyable. Total for today was 14 miles at 6:45-50 pace.

Without someone to run with I resorted to keeping up with the occasional bike that would either barely catch me or I would barely catch up to. I spent about two miles catching, passing and getting passed by a hand-cyclist who would put in a few hard cranks to gap me only to have me bridge up to him when he got slowed down by traffic. I had one couple that I passed three separate times on the way back whenever I stopped to get a drink. They had to wondering what the hell after the last time.

As I can't run as much as I have time here I have been getting some extra training by biking while adding miles to my NCC totals for the Tri Club. I'm back in the top-100 overall, but not thrilled that my bike total has just eclipsed my run total for the program. January is bike month so I've been helping the cause by hitting the bike way more than normal. It's been a new source of training and I'm curious as to its benefit. While here I've rented a bike everyday and tried to get 20-30 miles in. The bikes are pretty mediocre as for performance but training is training. I went south just past Hermosa Beach and back. Finished up just as the sun was setting and so many people were gathered to watch it drop into the ocean. I don't know what primal urge draws us to watch but it reminded me of the scene in City of Angels when the guardian angels would gather at the end of the day on the beach to do the same.

Today at Venice Beach ........ . City of Angels

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