The Chances

How a 250+ Pound Couch Potato Got Healthy

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Long Run 12-13-08: 12 miles, Monterey, CA

This weekend was my company's Christmas party. It happens every year, and while we used to have it in Reno, the past two years it's been in Monterey. This location is a lot better, since I don't gamble, and like it or not, Reno's still somewhat a nasty place.

Last year, I used the gym at the hotel and ran on their treadmill. The gym had a large window that you could see out of, and I saw all sorts of people biking, jogging, exercising, while I was inside. At the dinner that night, someone asked me why I hadn't run outside. My reason was that I didn't want to get lost, but he pointed out that the bike trail made that virtually impossible.

So this year, I was looking forwad to running outside. Am I glad I ever did! On the way out, I caught the wife of one of our sales guys jogging back in, and we complained to each other about the cold, which really wasn't all that bad, especially with my tights.

Running to the end of Cannery Row was only the beginning. At a certain point the paved trail ended and small oceanside trails took over. Little windy trails that went alongside the beaches, each one short, but close together. Rain was threatening, but with the positioning of the clouds, at one point I was running right in the middle of a double rainbow.

With the ocean, the rainbow, the air, I couldn't just run for pace. I had to drink it all in! I definitely took my time, and stopped plenty of times. There were lots of runners out there, all friendly and enjoying themselves.

At one point there was no trails and road left to run, so I ended up running perpendicular to the ocean, but wanted to get back towards it at the first opportunity. I found a small trail that went behind a motel, so I took it to see where it led. I came out on a small golf course, the end of which was the entrance to 17 Mile Drive (the kiosk where they charge for driving through, a strange practice indeed).

Not knowing the geography of the place, and not wanting to run on a highway, I just went the opposite direction on 17 Mile Drive. It was one huge hill, so for a change I got some hill running in, and at the end of that hill was a sign that said "lighthouse", pointing to the left. I figured that was as good a place as any to stop and eat a Hammer Gel.

After eating the gel, I followed the road towards the ocean. This was at the 8-mile point, and my original idea was to turn around and go the direction I came to make 16 miles, but when I got to the ocean again, it was obvious I'd been here before. I asekd someone how far it was to Monterey, and they responded that it was only two miles! So obviously I had looped.

As I passed Cannery Row again, I also passed a large group of people from work, who cheered. That was kind of neat.

When I got back, it was 12 miles total. Not what I had planned, but still respectable. As I got into the elevator at the hotel, someone from work and his wife were there, and he asked if I had just run. I gave him some of the details, and his wife shook her head, "TWELVE MILES?!?!?!"

Finally, I went upstairs to clean up, then my wife and I had breakfast, where I ate too much. That's been the theme of this weekend, so hopefully my run will offset it at least a little bit. We've had a great time.

Here are the splits. I think that if I hadn't stopped so much I might have maintained a 9 min mile or less the entire way.

On Google Earth, you can see where I looped, but it was anything but obvious at the time.

And, of course, the route on

I also saw a couple of interesting things. For example, did you know the Borg have a hotel now? Sleep is futile, apparently.

This statue was in a park and totally reminded me of Arrested Development, where there was a statue of a kid holding a severed hand. :)

In the end, it was probably my favorite run yet. It was simply incredible being able to run alongside the ocean. I can't wait to do it again next year.


Chad in the AZ Desert said...

Wow, looks like a great run. Enjoy the Christmas party.

Marcy said...

Oooooooo looks like a fab run! What's up with that motel name? Doesn't sounds too appealing LOL

Pat said...

I'm jealous. That sounds great, I'll have to see the video.