Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Finding My Way Through Irvine

I'm in Irvine, CA for business. I'm kicking off a new project with one of our largest customers. It's a great opportunity for me, even if I am only "on loan" to this other group for the time being.

I have mixed feelings about business trips - I don't mind the travel and I love being in new places. However, I also like having my routine...and business trips really messes that up.

I finally arrived at my hotel on Sunday night at 11:30pm Pacific (that's 2:30am in my home Eastern time zone). My cellphone rang at 2am Pacific with issues at one of the maintenance window activities I was managing. By the time I "woke up" in the morning, I was really tired and in no mood for a run.

After the workday, I decided to head out for dinner and watch Monday Night Football - which starts at 6pm out here. Wow! I walked over to an awesome place called the Yard House and had some very good food (seared tuna and hot spinach and cheese dip) and excellent beer (Young's Chocolate Stout and Maredsous 8). On the way back from the restaurant, I found that there was a bike path behind my hotel - and I had seen the path on my walk to the restaurant - so I knew what I was going to do for my run the next morning!

One of the benefits to running with a Garmin Forerunner (305), is that I no longer need to meticulously map out my runs beforehand to see where I'm going to go and how long it is going to take. I can just get up and go - RedG maps everything out and tells me how far I have gone. As long as I remember where I'm going - so I can get back to point A - I don't have to think too much about my route anymore.

I ended up waking up a little before 5am (this Pacific time zone stuff is killing me!). It was still dark outside so I waited about an hour until the sun started coming up. It was a crisp 50 degrees, and although there was a chill in the air it felt great running in shorts and a short-sleeve shirt again. I guess 50 degrees is cold for California since everyone else who was out on the bike path that morning was bundled up!

The path ran against a wide creek bed that was completely dry. I suppose that when it rains here, this probably flows like a river - there were lots of signs warning about flooding conditions. The trail was very nice - a wide asphalt path that went under the major streets. No worrying about stopping for traffic or watching for cars - awesome!

I ran for about a mile and a quarter, and then the path stopped at a street that it did not go under. When I got up to the road, there was no crosswalk and there was a median in the middle of the road. I guess it was time to turn back towards the hotel and then continue on past the hotel. After passing the hotel, I was able to go another mile before the path ended in that direction. So my out-and-back one way and out-and-back the other way route was a bit over 4.5 miles. I had run nice and easy at a 10:15/mile average pace.

Later today, I took a look at Google maps to figure out if this path goes further than that street where I stopped on my way out. It ends up that if I go up to the street, turn right and go about a tenth of a mile, I'll be able to pick up the path to go under the road and continue on. And there's a long network of paths after that. looks like I'll be good for a longer run tomorrow and/or on Thursday. Woo hoo!

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