We blagged a 5 day expedition to SD a couple of weeks ago. My sister was going already for 3 days for her real work but I tagged along and we extended and got to spend a couple of days on the beach.
Going to the US is expensive at the moment, the exchange rate is shocking and La Jolla where we stayed for the non-work part even more so. I don’t think we managed a meal under £50 include breakfast and don’t get started on the price of a glass of wine. We resorted to storing gin and tonic and snack things in our hotel room fridge and ate a lot of Cheetos – so orange, so fake and so good.
The best bit of the trip away (and I can’t actually believe I’m writing this and the “me of 10 years ago” is face palming and making an eejit face at the “me with 2 kids today” for being such an exercise dork) was being able to exercise every day without having to worry about who was going to look after the toddler terrorists and all the associated guilt that comes with.
So we ran, we swam, we went to the hotel gym, sometimes all on the same day. It was amazing (we also ate a lot of orange crisps and drank a lot of gin, we’re not completely crazy).
Without doubt the absolute best bits were the 2 early morning runs we did at the very beginning of the week, first day heading south and the second heading north following the coast from our beach side hotel in La Jolla.
Neither of us are good jet lag dealers so we were up stupid early both days.
Day 1 was foggy and a bit chilly and we couldn’t get to the coast south bound unless we ran along an enormous Californian highway for the first mile but when we got on the coast path a weird fishy smell and a quick peer over the cliffs rewarded us with Sea lions, then Pelicans and then Seals, we jigged about with happiness for a bit and took terrible photos – see end.
Day 2 took us North to try and get to the more remote surfer beaches, this involved an enormous hill to start along with the obligatory 4 lane highway, then one of those decisions every runner has faced….do or die. Do we run down this unsigned roadway that looks like it might end up at beach? Or do we turn around and run back down the miserable road? We took the risk, it was a very long way down, increasing trepidation that we were going to have to run back up again (and it was a long way) but then were reassured halfway by the sight of one a SD surfers trudging up the enormous hill and importantly still slightly damp. The beach was beautiful, the waves enormous, the surfers awesome. And an only mediumly terrifying scramble across the rocks at high tide gave us a good couple of k back along the beach (how and why is beach running sooo hard?)
It was amazing to see how busy the beaches in La Jolla were even on a slightly chilly day, there were Surfers, Stand-up paddleboarders, open water swimmers, scuba divers, kayakers, people playing Frisbee, joggers, dog walkers, people doing Yoga…..mental
Running in a strange city must be one of the best ways to get off the beaten track and see bits of it mere non-running mortals never get to. Totally recommend it.
Other random things we learnt
- Sleepy tablets on a night flight are a good thing
- Californian brunches are a good thing – although everything comes with fruit. Even savoury dishes….
- Swimming outdoors is ace
- American running machines work in miles/hour not km/hour. There was one terrifying moment when I thought I’d lost all my running mojo then realised I was trying to run at 10mph rather than 10km an hour.
- Lavender margaritas are not a good thing