Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sunny San Diego!

I officially want to move to the San Diego area. It is beautiful. It is warm. There were surfers IN THE OCEAN WITH THE SHARKS RIDING THE WAVES!!!

It was totally neat!

And as I was cruising with Liz, Sherpa Thomas, and Chirs - I couldn't help but wonder and marvel of the beauty of it all. So much, until I realized that I had better keep an eye on Chris's rear wheel, lest he swerve to avoid some obsructed road object, only to have me - eyes glued to the Blue Pacific - hit said obstructed object head-on. Not a great way of getting a return invite to train with Liz next year (in my humble opinion).

After waking up VERY early at Kellye and Adam's house, the three of us headed out (in the wee hours of the morning) to Atlanta's Hartsfield Int. Airport, for what was supposed to have been my 5:45 am flight. Thankfully, the plance mechanics caught the mechanical flaw on my airliner (thank goodness! For Pete's sake - I HATE flying!), and I quickly found myself on a DIFFERENT flight (direct, I might add) from Atlant to San Diego.

No Worries! (Somewhere in Pensacola, Nathaniel just spit up his coffee at my nonchalant response to my flight getting cancelled. Yeah. Good stuff!).

After arriving in San Diego, gathering my checked bags (why is it that 1 bag will literally come off the conveyor belt FIRST, and the second will arrive last?), meeting up with Liz and Chris, we were soon off to our home-stay's place (Thanks Brad!), and then before I could say "Holy Time To Unpack Batman!" - we headed out for our run.

The run was beautiful, challenging, rocky, and fast. Penasquitos Canyon was wonderful - a mix of dried riverbeds, dirt, sand, grass, and rocks. Oh yeah - and hills. Penasquitos literally means "little hills." Nice.

After setting off on a "warm up" pace with Chris and Liz, I soon realized I was about to get my butt whooped within the first 30 minutes of our 90 minute run. I kept reminding myself, "If you can climb Panther Mountain, YOU CAN RUN A 12 MILE TRAIL RUN!"

The mantra helped, but it didn't solve the problem. I was in pain, I was suffering... but I wasn't alone. Liz was working just as hard as I was, and it was comforting to know that she herself was finding her limits, reaching deep within herself to draw the energy to keep going. It made the run seem less lonley - especially after her rockstar fast husband took off on the loop back.

Aside from the beautiful SoCal scenery, we encountered: 4 F-18 Jets (I could tell based on how the tail fins looked - sticking out sideways zorching over the canyon), 2 CH-46 Chinook Helicopters (the ones that carry troops), and 1 rattlesnake.

The jets and helos were cool (and I thought of my wonderful Nathaniel back in Pensacola - flying his TH-57)...

The the rattlesnake was a different story. Liz and I went from one heart rate zone into a new gear all together. I don't even remember what we were chatting about (ie - I was chattering away to her, most likely annoying the heck out of her, and she was too nice to tell me otherwise), when all of a sudden - there it was.

"Rattlesnake on the Left," I shouted - and we kept running. I think I tried to make some lame joke about making a tournequit out of my camelback hose - but it fell upon deaf ears. Liz was serious about this run, and I wasn't about to mess with that.

It's always incredible watching fast runners - Chris and Liz - run. They are amazing. They dance on their feet - bounding effortlessly across stones, roots, inanimate objects... Every hill we hit, they upped their cadence, pumped their arms and flew up and over the top. I found myself admiring their form - until I realized I needed to move my own butt, and get my "rear in gear".

Afterwards, I met Sherpa Thomas - awesome triathlete, super nice, from Arizona. He DOES exist - and is as nice and Liz and Chris say. And we settled for an easy spin along Pacific Coast Highway. After dodging a few trucks, car doors, rearview mirrors, and random bikers with surf boards attatched to their bikes, were were on our way - cruising North and then back South along the Pacific,

It was beautiful, breathtaking - and I find myself not wanting to leave.

I'm sure that tomorrow - after we tackle Mt. Palomar tomorrow it'll be a different story. But until then, I'll have sweet dreams of California, and the promise she provides.

So far, Camp has been wonderful - I feel so lucky for this opportunity, marvel at this chance. I am pleasantly tired - after surviving my plane trip, the baggage search, canyons with crazy-fast Liz and Chris, a random rattlesnake, and then traffic along PCH, I feel I can do anything. Which is great. Because tomorrow will be the most challenging day yet.


Anonymous said...

YES!! After Panther Mtn., everything else will be easy - LONGER, YES..., but easier. I thought about that yesterday too. We are getting ready to go out and ride another 4 hours w/ Spencer. OH MY GOD. :) Have fun, Marit and be safe! :) Jen H.

Pedergraham said...

Andrew is very impressed with your aircraft identification abilities. He pointed out that after 4 years as an Army wife, I only knew four things--A-10, generic jet, Chinook, and generic helicopter. (The only reason that I remembered what an A-10 was is because it's called a Warthog and flies as slow as molasses! And, even my three-year old could ID a Chinook, especially when you are driving across base and look up your sunroof and see a Humvee 500 feet over your head and then realize there is a helicpoter on top of all that!)

They all look the same to me. Please don't tell Nathaniel.

I hope you guys had a great day today!