Saturday, April 2, 2011

Shoe Tags

The Plan
From: Alice
Subject: Train Run
Date: April 1, 2011 9:09:56 PM PDT
To:  Mik, Betty, Kat, Elsie
CC: Walter

5:30 am - Meet at Betty's house
6:05 am - drop off at the Solana Beach train station. Whoever get's dropped off finds a parking spot and saves it. Elsie gives Alice her parking pass for the state beaches :-)
6:13 am - Alice meets Kat at the South Carlsbad Beach parking lot that is north of La Costa Avenue (see maps below). I am about 98% sure that this is the same place we were at in week 2 or 3.
6:23 am - Alice and Kat find parking in Solana Beach
6:45 am - train leaves Solana Beach
7:01 am - train arrives in Oceanside (this is what the Amtrak schedule says)
7:30 am (ish) everyone runs
9:00 - 9:30 - everyone finishes running/walking/wogging 9.1 miles and stops running at Water Station 3 (near Chair 21), then heads to Alice's car in the parking lot
9:45 (ish) - Breakfast (NOT IT!*)
Did I miss anything? 
*despite being NOT IT, I do suggest that we go somewhere that serves a mimosa!
Yes...I included both the overhead shot and the map in my email to The Herd...can you say "control issues?"
The Reality
3:00am - Wake up - Unable to go back to sleep - GAH!
4:45am - Get out of bed. Make coffee. Get dressed. Ready to leave the house at 5:20.
5:30am - Arrive at Betty's house, even before Mik who ALWAYS gets to Betty's house before I do
5:45am - Call from Kat - she's already at South Carlsbad!
6:00am - Meet Kat at South Carlsbad (Five minutes ahead of schedule)
6:15am - Arrive at Solana Beach train station, in plenty of time for the 6:45 train to Oceanside
And this is where our story starts...We were SOOOO flippin' proud of ourselves! We were early. We were at the train station. We headed toward the loading area and could hear Coach Paul on his bullhorn welcoming the track club members. As the 6:45 train pulled into the station, we saw a group of runners (one has a stroller...interesting. Usually nobody on the track club runs with a jogger stroller on our Saturday long runs, but this is THE TRAIN RUN, so maybe someone decided to bring the kid along for a 16 mile stroller push...not a choice I'd make, but whatever), anyway, we saw a group of runners cross over the tracks and descend the stairs to the loading platform.

Funny that nobody looked familiar, and upon closer observation, none of them had the tell-tale green shoe tags. We overheard someone saying that the other track club was taking the 7:39 train, but the 6:45 train was boarding, and Betty, Elsie, Kat, and Mik were on it, and they were looking at me, the rule follower who made up and, yes, emailed the above itinerary to everyone the night before like, "Whatcha gonna do Alice?"

So I got on the train, much to the delight of Betty, who was gleeful at getting me to sway from "the plan," even though it was "the plan," but the plan was wrong...

Oh whatever.

So the ticket lady says, "Do you have your tickets?"

Well of course we don't because we're supposed to be with the track club on THE NEXT TRAIN, but we do have the next best thing...
Shoe tags...apparently this and a smile will get  you on a train to Oceanside on a Saturday morning...or at least they did THIS morning!
So...we tell the ticket-taker-person that we are with the track club and were told that all we needed were our shoe tags to ride the train, and she said, "OK."

Who knew?

So, after 15 minutes of teasing because I'd deviated from the Track Club Plan, we were in Oceanside.

Good thing about being at the Oceanside train station sans 300 SDTC members?

No line for the restroom.

And so it begins
I do love this run. For the third time that I've done it, it's the same weekend as an Rhoto Ironman, so the streets are already blocked off (I will only assume that since it was only about 7:30 at this point, the Ironmen were still swimming). The four of us ran for a bit, then Mik and Kat took off, then after while, Betty and Elsie dropped back and by the time we left the south part of Oceanside, I was running solo. Not a problem. It was a perfect running morning. Cloudy. Cool. A bit windy, but not bad. Perfect.

Blurry photo taken as I was running in Oceanside. Blurry things on the left/center are Mik, Betty, Elsie, and me on this
Bad thing about starting the Oceanside Train Run an hour before 300 SDTC members?

Limited aid stations on the course

By the time I got to Carlsbad however I was realizing two things. One, I'd forgotten to bring GU, and two I was really thirsty and the first aid station was nowhere to be found. Not a huge issue because there are drinking fountains in Carlsbad, but I find it difficult to get enough water from a fountain, and water fountains do not contain any electrolyte replacing fluid (although THAT would be a great invention! I'd carry quarters for that kind of drinking fountain!)
Pretty Carlsbad State Beach
Mile 7 - Sending a photo to a friend who'd texted me to see if I was awake...LOL
Around the 6th mile, the second water station was already set up and I LOVE THOSE WOMEN! I was starting to get pretty thirsty and that part of the route is through some residential areas, so there are no water fountains.

I eventually got to Mile 9, which is where Kat had left her car. Kat was already there. Mik, for some crazy reason, decided to run some more. Overall, I kept a pretty good pace. I walked a bit in the 7th and 8th mile because I have having some technical difficulties (for some reason, my shuffle died, even though it still had power...odd) and because I was texting...I know.

While we were waiting for Elsie and Betty to arrive, Kat and I walked down to the ocean and stuck our legs in the VERY COLD SURF...nice ice bath. By the time we walked back to the car, Betty and Elsie (AND water station 3!) were there and ready to go.

So we smushed into the back seat of Kat's car and went to find Mik. She texted me a few minutes later saying that she was in Encinitas, so we went to pick her up.

I have no idea why we all sat in the back seat.
With all of us gathered up, we headed off to breakfast at a place called The Naked Cafe. Awesome food, somewhat slow service, but the waitress understood our priorities and brought us coffee and mimosas first. Excellent!
Gotta love a place that devotes a whole page of their menu to various types of mimosas. I had the Amen. It was luscious!
Perfect ending!
In summary...leaving on the early train was probably a good idea (there Betty, I said it), and even though I suffered having to drink from a water fountain, we did finish running at a relatively reasonable hour and waiting for an hour in the cold at the train station would have really sucked.

This afternoon, my knee is a little achy. Clearly, I'm favoring my right side because my right PF tendon is also a little creaky...none of these things are good things. I'm going to have to consider my next training/running/resting steps wisely. I am signed up for two 1/2 marathons this summer, the Rock and Roll 1/2 in June and the Napa to Sonoma 1/2 in July. I do want to make sure that I'm in reasonable health to do both.


  1. I really like the train run, and was kinda bummed to have missed it, but the 20K wasn't so bad.

    I think you'll be good to go by June. ;) Take care.


  2. I TOTALLY saw you running back to SB this morning on my way to watch the tri in Oceanside! I saw your yellow shirt! Go Alice(is what I was thinking...)but I didn't cause a seen because there were SO many police cars around. How weird that I saw just kind of "stand out" to me in strange places!!!
    Glad you had a nice run, perfectly COOL weather for running!

  3. seriously next time tell me when this Train run is and I'll take the train down and meet you!

  4. Sounds cool (except the 3am start). I would have thought that you would be looking for the bar car to serve Mimosas. I'm sure that is something for next year.

  5. Alice is the best event planner ever! We'd be lost without her. I really was bummed for her - Elsie and I were talking about how proud we are of her for running alone since we were bringing up the rear. Loved the restaurant!

  6. What an EARLY start - I think I'm good but girl you beat me. What a lot of organisation as well - well done you for getting that together. I just love how you all have mimosas together - must get to SD one day and join in!

  7. No wonder you could find parking at the train station! Glad you had a good time, early bird.

  8. I've never had a mimosa. They may be banned here in MI for all I know.