Beaches, Mountains, & Celebrities

What an incredible week for training last week in Santa Barbara, CA.  The weather was amazing and the scenery was just a little better than looking at the muddy Mississippi river every day.  I think the entire time I was in Santa Barbara the highest temperature was 76 degrees.  I was in Santa Barbara for a company meeting/retreat so it wasn’t all fun and games.  However, during our meetings we were overlooking the Pacific Ocean so I guess I can’t complain too much.  The week was also filled with celebrity sightings of Jack Black, Kevin Costner, and even Ron Jeremy.

I completed my normal circuit training on Monday but the running was done through the hills of Santa Barbara and in 60 degree weather.  I’m not sure if I even broke a sweat over the 3.3 miles I ran.  The course I ran took me along the Pacific Ocean for a large part of the run but also through gorgeous homes and lush gardens.  I thoroughly enjoyed the flowers along most of the route which were probably the brightest flowers I have ever seen.  The intoxicating aroma from the gardens was also a much needed change from the stagnant muddy odor from the Mississippi river levee runs.  Unfortunately, I had to complete the circuit exercises in a gym setting.  Normally I do not like working out in a gym, however, I could probably get used to this gym.  The gym overlooked an Olympic size pool which overlooked the Pacific Ocean.  Incredible!

Tuesday morning I decided to go for a solo run on the beach.  The temperature was again in the 60’s.  I had not mapped out any distance nor did I have a watch for time.  I simply walked to the beach, which was in front of our resort, stretched, then began running.  There were very few people out on the beach as it was about 6am.  Some of the people that were on the beach were walking their dogs.  Apparently, this area is very dog friendly as there were dogs everywhere and rarely did I see any of them leashed.  Being a dog person, I had no issue with this other than I wished my dog were there with me as she loves the beach.  As I continued along I was surprised at the large rocks embedded in the sand.  It was a fun obstacle course dodging the rocks while also dodging the incoming waves.  Again, the scenery was a much welcome change from the norm.  There were cliffs, rocks, sailboats, even a few seals lounging on the rocks out in the ocean.  I’m not sure how far I ran but it was possibly the most relaxing run I have ever completed.

Wednesday morning Tim and I decided to “run” a trail run in Rattlesnake Canyon.  The weather that morning was the worst it had been the entire trip so far.  Fog and mist had set in and the temperature was hovering around 60.  We drove about 20 minutes from our resort to Rattlesnake Canyon as the sun was beginning to rise.  Once we found the trailhead and parked we were pretty excited to get started.  I decided to carry my iphone with me for GPS and for pictures.  After stretching, we started to run but only made it about 30 feet before we were interrupted by a creek crossing.  It was pretty obvious early on that there would be no running on this trail and it would be a hike instead.  The trail was supposed to be 3.5 miles round trip with an elevation change of 1000 feet.  Since there were no signs we ended up going 4.5 miles roundtrip with an elevation change of about 1400 feet (thank you GPS).  This might not seem like much of an elevation change to you mountain dwellers but to us flatlanders it was a big difference.  The views available to us on this hike were incredible.  Unfortunately, we were unable to see the Pacific Ocean since the fog and mist were still covering.  We broke through the cloud cover pretty early on as well and the temperature was just about perfect in the sunshine.  We wanted so badly to reach the Summit but had to turn around as we had scheduled group events we had to attend.  I had been looking forward to the Wednesday hike for a few weeks and it certainly did not disappoint. 

 Pictures of Santa Barbara and the hike can be found by clicking here.

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