Sunday, November 16, 2008

Plan B

It's hard to be upset about a cancelled race when there are hundreds of people who have lost their homes to the fires north, west, and south of me. It's horrible, and gives a little perspective on life - running is just running.

I decided not to go back to sleep after reading the Cancellation email. Thought I might try and get in a long run down by the beach where the air might be clearer. Hopped in the car and headed west. Took the 405 south to the beach. It's a highway that climbs over the Hollywood Hills and connects the valley to the city. As I hit the top of the hill, I looked in my rear view mirror. Back in the distance, maybe 20-30 miles north of the freeway - flames. Terrifying. Bright orange masses glowing in the dark. For as hard at the media works to cover the stories (and lord knows they cover it incessantly), TV images don't compare to seeing it out your window.

Got to Santa Monica at 5:30am. Still dark. Took off along Ocean Avenue. Very quiet. One other runner, a couple valets at the hotel and the infrequent dog walker here and there. I felt the itchiness in my throat from the smoke I couldn't see.

As the sun started to come up around 6am, I saw just how pink/orange/brown and smoky the sky was. The smokle from fires in SFV, Yorba Linda, and (probably) Montecito still all converged on Santa Monica. So I was wrong - the beach was not the place to run.

Cut my run very short, only doing 4.75 miles. Back in the car and heading home by 6:30am. The sun was finally rising as I got back to Burbank. Skies were much less smoky, but decided to play it safe and run on the gym treadmill at my apt complex. I've lived here over a year and never once worked out in the gym. Too small. I sweat a lot. Took to the treadmill for another 8.3 miles.

All in all, a half marathon day. Not too bad, although since I did take it easy the whole week, I'm short on my average miles by about 8. Oh well, there is always another week ahead.

Hopefully tomorrow the skies will clear and I will have the motivation to wake up early before work and run a couple miles in the park.

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