I had a “moment” on my run the other night.
To say moving cross-country has been a bit of a stress-filled struggle would be an understatement. It’s hard, even with my incredible support system of Brendan+my family+friends. I’m so thankful I’m able to be here with Brendan and am overwhelmed with pride for him and his fantastic new job. I’m inspired by his incredible work ethic, especially amidst all this craziness.
Still, there’s no denying this has been an adjustment. Leaving my job without another one lined up (and no prospects in sight) is terrifying. Plus, no matter how many states I’ve resided in (this is my 7th, if you’re counting) I’m a person who fully invests myself in my location. I spend a lot of time going on walks, running, finding my favorite stores and restaurants, fully exploring the town I’m living in. Where I live becomes a huge part of me. Morristown, NJ became a place of comfort. Sure, there were days I hated it. Just like there were days I got off the train and absolutely loathed New York City. But the good came more often than the bad and although this midwestern girl has never really admitted it, the east coast stole my heart and eventually came to feel like a part of my identity. So, when you pick me up and put me in a new place, it feels like I’ve lost something.
Each day gets a little better…and the other day I finally found a gorgeous new-to-me spot that definitely boosts my mood and hopefully is only the beginning of a a love for my new home in Southern California.
I wasn’t planning to run because I had gone to a bootcamp-type class that morning. But, I was bored and wanted to get out of the house to explore. My new friend (Hi Courtney!) had told me to head down our street and I’d find a running path that goes for miles and miles along the beach. As I began my run I saw signs for “Fisherman’s Village”, which is something I came across when researching fun things to do in Marina del Rey. I was excited to find out it’s near our apartment, so I diligently followed the arrows.
I arrived on the mini-boardwalk and was underwhelmed. I was expecting lots of cute stores and restaurants, but there were very few shops and it looked like everything was closed. Still, the views were beautiful and I distracted myself with reading all the boats’ names.
I kept going down the Ballona Creek bike path (look at me, knowing names of stuff) and as soon as I turned the corner to head even further west, my jaw dropped. I literally almost started crying it was so beautiful. #OnlyALittleDramatic
I kept taking pictures and eventually the pavement ended, so I stopped to walk all the way out on this little rocky sandbar-type path that jutted allllllllll the way out into the water. Behind me, I could see the mountains and LA and the marina full of boats. To the left and right were beaches. The sun was setting in front of me. It was gorgeous.
I headed back to the main portion of the path and continued running south along the beach, reflecting on how different this was from the New Jersey trails, Westside Highway, and Central Park runs I’m used to. I think my heart will always be partial to the energy of Central Park, but I’m definitely on board with running in Los Angeles.
After a short (but hot) time on the beach path, I turned around so I could get home in time to pick Brendan up from work. (We only have one car right now and I like to steal it during the day.) So, my first real Los Angeles run (AKA not just on a busy street) ended up being a fairly brief, but uplifting, 4 miles.
(As a side note, Marvin Braude’s Wikipedia page makes me love him even more. According to those people who write stuff on Wikipedia (really, WHO ARE THEY?!), he was a midwesterner, an avid cyclist, and he pushed LA to ban smoking. He was described as being “professorial, cranky, monkish, abrupt and cantakerous, especially with those who stood in his way. He brought health food in plastic containers to the banquets he was obliged to attend.” Sigh. I get cranky when people smoke or stand in my way, too. I wish we were friends so he could teach me things.)
I’m already looking forward to doing a long run there on good ol’ Marvin’s trail, even though it seems that there are zero hills – which can’t be good for my running strength – but ain’t nobody got time to worry about that right now! I probably should set a new goal and sign up for something. I’m thinking a half marathon. But it’s hard to find a local half when you don’t know the names of the surrounding cities. I mean, I know, like, 5 surrounding cities…but other than that, I’m lost. Google Maps is my current BFF. I think the app on my phone is going to break down soon with all the work I’m making it do. (It recently took me to an Ikea that doesn’t exist, so that was fun.) So far I’m debating the Malibu Half Marathon in November (but I think it’s a point-to-point course which is kind of annoying) and a Thanksgiving day half (do I want to run a half on Thanksgiving?!). I’m full of excuses, obviously, but I’m confident I’ll find something. Related: It feels really strange to click on “December” and “January” lists when looking for races, FYI. Back on the east coast I avoided winter races longer than 6.2 miles (if even that) at all costs unless someone (ahem Beth) convinced me to sign up.
Have I rambled on enough today? The moral of the story is, moving is hard. Running in Southern California is pretty fantastic as long as you go early in the morning. I need to find a race.
I think that’s all.
Where’s your favorite place to run? How do you “get to know” a new place? Any months in which you avoid racing?