Saturday, April 30, 2011

Big Sur

I've been in Monterey for over a day now getting ready for the race, and I think I've done everything I can. I ran 5 miles yesterday, and 3.5 this morning, at a very easy pace. I've eaten plenty of carbs (though I occasionally splurged on a bit of chocolate or whipped cream).

This afternoon, Todd and I drove the course, and it looks absolutely fantastic. Yes, it's hilly, but none of the hills are especially steep or long. I've seen hills this big before -- just not this many in a row. The predominant feeling is simply shock: "I get to run in a place like this?" I snapped a few pictures along our drive, and I think they do give a sense of how special this place is:

An early glimpse of the ocean

A small slice of an epic view

The surf pounds the shore at the turnaround point
Even though the course is "only" an out-and-back, it almost immediately enters a realm of spectacular scenery, which just gets more spectacular as you run farther. At one of our many stops, we could see sea otters swimming lazily among the kelp, some of them with babies resting on their bellies.

While we don't get to run up Hurricane Point, we do get to see a truly awesome portion of one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. And we get to do it with no cars spoiling the idyllic beauty. We decided to drive up Hurricane Point to see what we'd be missing, and we agreed that though it was obviously a dramatic vista and would have been a satisfying challenge, we're happy with the revised course. Todd, who's run 25 marathons, said this was by far the most scenic.

Now all that's left is for me to get my gear ready, get some sleep, and run the race. I can't wait.

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