Our first stop was in Exeter, CA. Where is this you may ask? Well it happens to be in the armpit of California where there is nothing but farmland and surrounded by some hills. Every year they have a race in this town called the Hell of a Half. You can read my race recap in this link. Since I am familiar with this town, it was easier for me to get motivated to go out for a run. I knew I had to get at least get six miles done and managed to run 6.5 miles instead. It felt great!
Right after our short stay there we headed off to Santa Barbara, CA for a night. My husband had a work meeting and I tagged along since Santa Barbara is beautiful. We were able to stay right on the beach at the Hyatt. Right along the beach there are a ton of hotels to choose from but we really enjoyed our stay here.
The staff was friendly. The hotel was nice and clean and they had a ton of amenities: 24 hour gym, room service, pool, restaurants, etc. I literally walked out of the hotel and the beach was right there. The boardwalk was not packed at all in the morning. I imagine it must get pretty busy on the weekends though. Santa Barbara is so pretty and a major tourist destination along the California coast.
I love running by the beach. It is just so serene and absolutely beautiful. Having great running views always seem to motivate me a little but more. That day, I ran a total of 4 miles along the boardwalk. I am sure I could have squeezed in a few more miles but I was limited in time and that day my training only called for an easy run.
The boardwalk was pretty flat the entire way and was open to not only runners but walkers, cyclists, and roller bladers. I managed to get in a few faster strides and some fartleks since I had a little extra room. I will say that there were not many bathrooms or drinking fountains available to the public. If I remember correctly I only came across two drinking fountains during the entire run. During part of my run my mouth was so dry that I felt like I was running in the desert! That is probably the only negative thing about my run.
Having a marked trail to follow along the coast was awesome. I am glad that I was able to take this trip with my husband. Like I said when there is a will, there is a way. Many people find any excuse to not get a workout while on vacation. I used to be one of those people. Not anymore!
I can't even begin to tell you how motivated I have been during this training cycle. I haven't lost any weight but I feel so much stronger. My pants feel a bit better and it's been great noticing my running times get faster. I am still not at where I was three years ago but for the first time I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
So here are some more pictures from my run in Santa Barbara:
Other places you can find me:
I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons,