Over the weekend I flew back to my former home, Newport Beach to visit some friends before and after my CrossFit Mobility Certification in San Diego. As a creature of habit, on Sunday I returned to one of my favorite running out-and-back courses: Corona del Mar to Reef Point and back. It would be a solo-mission with just the sound of the waves crashing on the shore on this sunny and 80 degree day.
My Corona del Mar run is an 8 mile lap starting and finishing at "Big Corona" beach, taking runners through town and over to dirt paths running through Crystal Cove State Park, atop bluffs with some of the most spectacular views anywhere.
I was curious to benchmark my fitness at a very-sumo 200lbs and minimal running for the last few months vs. my former 180lb, 20-25hr per week self. I know that I usually finish this loop around 53-54 minutes for 1 to 2 laps at my "steady", sub-LT, marathon type every-day pace. NOT ON SUNDAY! I had a great time, and took a couple snapshots (seen here) but used all of 59 minutes to knock off my favorite non-trail run in the world at a conversational but steady pace.
But hey, I'm running pain-free!
Start of the run at Corona del Mar beach park
"Little Corona" just south...and my old swim course for long Wednesday Night summer ocean swims...
Before leaving town, I was lucky enough to get into CrossFit Newport Beach's early class with coach Carl Borg. My friend Cat Mills belongs to CFNB and was able to get me into the class, which was already packed. I recognized Chris Hanson, CrossFit Endurance cyclist and RVCA artist who last week posted some great shots of racers on the Vision Quest course while the race was happening.
The hour I spent with Carl and CFNB was painful (the WOD was 20lb wall ball shots to 10'/30 meter broad-jumping burpees...5 rounds for time) but even in this short amount of time I was able to recognize some things I was doing wrong and Carl shared some fantastic advice and insight. I finagled my way into the class not just for the workout, but to learn from Carl and see how he runs a class. Super cool people in that box. Check it out if you are in OC. They are near HOAG hospital.
One of the best parts of visiting Southern California is catching up with my sea-level friends spread out between LA and SD. I could have done the Mobility Cert somewhere else, but I am always looking for an excuse to get back "home" and catch up with my crew.
In addition to my trip to CrossFit Newport Beach, I was also able to catch up with friends, fellow Team GENr8 Vitargo S2 members and ultramarathon crushers Mark Matyazic and Alexa Dickerson of CrossFit Anaerobic Inc.
When I first moved to Huntington Beach in early 2005, Mark was the first guy I met on weekly 3-4hr trail runs in the Santa Anas. Why doesn't he bring water or fuel?
I received quite an education on all of our long runs, and I always appreciate a chance to pick the brains of guys like Anthony Almada or Mark on biochemistry, physiology and nutrition. Alexa gave me some killer Paleo recipes that blew my mind. Tasty, awesome stuff. Email me if you want a copy.
Before heading to the airport I was able to catch up with my friend Ryan Weeger, a fellow cyclist, DreamCrusher and also an exceptionally talented photographer. (His TumblR: http://theravenwillfly.tumblr.com/post/4458941911/huntington-beach-ca-tonight-from-our-entryway) He is finally going to make himself more available for weddings and other events. If you are getting married in SoCal, you should check out his work. His website is http://ryanweegerphotography.com/ Ryan's wife Sarah runs Great 8 Creative, designing websites for folks like professional mountain biker Alison Mann, Adventure Racer/Ultraman Slater Fletcher, cyclist/triathlete James Walsh, and many more. Quite the creative couple!
Overall, another packed weekend traveling, learning new skills, working with some of the best coaches in the world, visiting old friends and making new ones. Successful trip.
The Journey continues...
HUGE THANK YOU to my other Team DreamCrusher/GENr8 Vitargo S2, FeedTheMachine and nuun teammates and friends Slater & Monique Fletcher letting me invade their home in Irvine for the weekend. You guys rock. Slater, fresh off a victory at a gnarly adventure race in Chile is off to Italy for another adventure race tomorrow, on the island of Sardinia. CRUSH IT!
HUGE Congrats to fellow Team-DreamCrusher teammate James Walsh and his wife Beth for BOTH winning their Age Groups at Ironman 70.3 California and BOTH qualifying for Ironman Hawaii World Championships. How AWESOME is THAT!? Their kids are going to be little freaks.
More Information on how to follow the 2011 CrossFit Games, and the athletes busting their asses to make it there...http://games.crossfit.com/features/videos/lance-cantu-returns