Today's run was supposed to be a one hour easy run with the rest of my training group to rehash and relive last week's half marathon. So, I climbed in my car, and did my one hour training run, alone, in El Moro.
If anything, that is my beef with the way that I trained for the half marathon. It was me. Sometimes I had my shadow along, but otherwise, I had no one to share my hours of running with. Now, on the short runs during the week, that was fine. But, as my long runs got longer, I would be lying if I said that there wasn't some drudgery involved. So, this time, I am going to look for a training group to run with, especially on the long runs.
I've done a bit of scouting for training groups around here, and being in Orange County I actually have several options. I think though, the one that I will try is the Cal Coast Track Club. First and foremost, it's close. They run out of Corona del Mar High School, less than 2 miles away. Also, I have some personal experience with the guy who runs the group - Coach Bill Sumner. My oldest son ran Cross Country at CdM as a Freshman. Of all of the sporting programs that I have been involved in at the High School (one daughter and two sons), Coach Sumner's Cross Country program was by far the most positive experience that any of my kids had in athletics. He was a constant positive force. The goal of the program wasn't to win, but to make sure that you made a personal best each time you went out and ran a race. Even if it was only one second. There was constant socialization and team building. Compared to the other experiences I have had there, his team is far ahead of most of the other programs. I do have some concerns though. His program is rather high priced. I am also a little concerned about the "typical" Newport Beach runner. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Back to today's run, though. Today was one of those days that we live for in Southern California. Sunny, warm, dry breeze blowing, not a cloud in the sky, 70 degrees. Perfect running weather. Today's time was a little slow, but that's because I decided to run on the ridge top. So, I took off in the canyon, and in a mile and a half, reached the "East Cut Across". East Cut Across is a little longer than a mile, and takes you from near sea level to the top of El Moro Rodge at about 800'. Needless to say, there wasn't much running for me up the trail. Along the ridge though, I got to enjoy views past Catalina Island, Santa Cruz Island, and the breaking waves hundreds of feet below. I need to get a cheapo camera to spice up these blog entries with some pics. I then got to run down "BFI" (the Park's brochure calls this trail Big Fat Incline - don't believe them. I heard that it's really called Big F***ing Incline by the locals) and back to the parking lot to finish my 4.9 mile run for the day.