Hello from Dana Point, CA where I am currently are for the week. We flew in Friday morning from Denver and have been enjoying the SoCal sunshine and the Pacific Ocean quite a bit already. My son (8) just loves the ocean and so pretty much the first thing we did after landing was to head out to the beach. We went to Huntington Beach and spend a couple hours at the beach before heading south to Dana Point. We’re renting a condo with ocean views for the week. It is about 10 minutes to the beach from the condo, but there is a pool as well where we are staying.
So, Friday was a travel day and yesterday I just decided to take it easy and rest. Well, maybe not rest, but I did not run though. However, I am in training for a marathon after all and so I had no excuses today. I got up before dawn, had some quick (Oatmeal) breakfast and then shortly after head out for my first run. I had checked out the area on Google map, but to my surprise Google map was a bit off and so I had to improvise my route a little bit.
I ran past the Dana Point Harbor, passed through the Doheny State Beach, and then ran along the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway / Hi-way #1) all the way to San Clemente. I had some nice scenery along the way, but running along the PCH also meant to endure some car traffic. The temperatures were perfect for running and I really enjoyed it. I saw quite a few other runners and I guess the route kind of matched what I saw on Dailymile.com where I had checked out some routes in this area. It seems like that this route is quite popular. I made it to San Clemente, took a small break to eat a Gatorade Chew and to drink something and then turned around to head back to the condo. Overall I ran for 12 miles today and it matches what I have planned for this week. I want to do several 10 and 12 mile runs – preferably one run per day.
Dana Point is quite hilly, but of course it is at sea-level and so I am wondering how my fitness translates to running down here (compared to 5,900 ft. altitude where I live). My average pace came in at 9 minutes and 32 seconds per mile, which is good and right on where I want to be when running the marathon in Las Vegas. The pace would have been even a bit faster, but I did not pause my GPS watch when I took the break down in San Clemente. I also lost some time when finding out the hard way that the trails that Google maps showed were not actually publicly available trails. The area was completely closed for re-vegetation. Unfortunately that was also supposed to be a really nice scenery run in that area.
Anyway, I love the weather down here. While Colorado (Denver metro) is hard to beat from a sunshine perspective, the warmer temperatures here at this time of the year make Southern California my favorite place to be. If the cost of living would not be so freaking expensive down here, we might actually move down here for. We checked and a comparable condo of where we are staying costs about $589,000 – so, that is not just some change I have laying around.