I look forward to Saturdays for one reason and one reason mainly - the group run with the LA Leggers. This is why I go to sleep early on Fridays and look forward to the weekend. Otherwise, I don't even like Saturdays. It's a day of recovery for me. I have activities and chores I would like to do, but the recovery aspect usually weighs out the chore aspect. I don't like to feel useless, but Saturdays have this effect . So when I go running early in the morning, I have accomplished and received more joy than the rest of the day will ever offer. And today was no exception.
Our goal today was 8 miles. I had re-stocked on the Bonk Breakers peanut butter and jellys from Phidippides and found, again, that it provides enough substance to fuel me up prior to a long run (and I didn't even eat the whole thing!). That and a few bites of an apple, and we were off and running at 7:00. Despite the long weekend, there were about 30 people in our pace group. The oceanside was also filled with various other running and walking groups (the roadrunners will start their training program next weekend and join us too). Although this high capacity can create traffic, it is also a treat to run past other groups in the morning. I have found runners to be a happy bunch, so we all wave and greet each other - strangers and friends alike.
The portion of our run through Venice beach is especially flavorful in this respect since it is full of the colorful locals. Whether you are a runner or not, most people out at the beach in the morning seems to be pretty happy. This includes one man, whom a runner behind me referred playfully as "the king of venice", who, shirtless, jogged along side us with his tall walking stick while singing something gleefully, though indecipherable. We ran as far as the Sidewalk Cafe and Smallworld Bookstore, and turned around back to Santa Monica. Thank you to the store proprietor who took a break from hosing his store front to spray us with some mist. It was hot this morning even though it was still early and Santa Monica is normally blessed with relatively fair weather. Our goal next week next week is 10 miles. Until then, happy running!
Also, this weekend is the Disneyland Half-Marathon race. I just finished reading Sue Ann Jaffarian's "Thugs and Kisses", the third installment of her enjoyable Odelia Grey mystery series. Jaffarian walked the 5K portion of that course. Check out her blog entry about it. And if you like mysteries, read her books - Her heroine is a walker who enjoys early morning treks in Newport Beach.