Running in Cambria

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Ok, I know I said that, when it comes to running, the two things that excite me are nutrition and training. Well, I’m adding a third: exploring new places to run. And, as fate would have it, we spent last weekend in Cambria, CA, a small town along Central California’s coast.

Whenever we go on anything even remotely resembling a vacation, one of the things that I really look forward to is running. I feel like I spend so much time on the same old routes around my house that the opportunity to check out some new places really appeals to me, especially when a scenic coastline is somewhere in the equation. What made this trip especially fun was that, about a week and a half earlier, I had surgery to remove a cyst that was located in a pretty sensitive of my jaw. Throw in some post-op infection and I wasn’t exactly the happiest of campers. I had been told that I would likely be off the road for about a month post surgery, but that technically, I could run at any point, as long as I was willing to deal with the pain. Well, me being me, I headed out less than a week post surgery and, though I’m glad I did it, the doc wasn’t wrong — it hurt like heck. But, knowing that Cambria was right around the corner, there was simply no way that I was stop running, regardless of the pain. And, as it turns out, both of my runs there there were virtually pain free — I was a happy guy.

Cambria itself is a pretty small town, consisting of a main drag, appropriately named “Main Street”, which is about a mile inland, and another main’ish drag, called Moonstone Beach Drive, which runs right along the ocean. Moonstone is roughly a mile and a half long, which doesn’t provide for a very long run but it dead ends on the north end into Hwy 1 and the south at the corner of Hwy 1 and Windsor Blvd. Follow Windsor and it dumps you out on the Leffingwell Landing Trail, which is a stunningly beautiful path through meadows on the cliffs of the Pacific Ocean. The trail itself is a a mix of dirt trails and boarded paths and, in places, you feel like you’re out in the middle of nowhere, you only companions being wildflowers, coastal grasses and animal trails.

Whichever way you go, you’re going to be treated to some pretty nice views and, for whatever reason, as I was running north on Moonstone, I chose to stay on Hwy 1 to grab a few extra miles. The runs were really nice, save the occasional head-down-texting driver, and, as I was out there, I honestly didn’t want to turn around and head for home. But, as it seldom does, wisdom got the better of me and I wound up staying out for 6 and 8 miles — I didn’t want to push it too hard given that I hadn’t done a lot of running in the last two weeks and I’ve been bit more than once by trying to do too much too fast. Again though, simply an amazing place to run (though I’m not entirely sure that Vicodin didn’t have something to do with my feelings at the time) and I’d go back in a heartbeat if, for no other reason than to take in some more runs.

We’ll be in Maui in February and I’ve already got my routes planned out. And, though last time we were in Hawaii I received a rather rude introduction to running in high humidity, I’m still really looking forward to it. Until then though, it’s the same old routes around my house in Los Gatos, which ain’t a bad thing at all.

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