Touching the Queen

Steve and Gary Touch the Queen Mary on the Beach Runners Long Run

What an endurance weekend, big time base training (Long Slow Distance). It started with a 4-hour run with the Beach Runners on Saturday morning.

What a day! We could have not asked for better weather, still 4 hours of running/walking is a long time. With 1.5 miles to go, Kimmie and I stopped at the Naples fountain and dunked our heads. As soon as we started running again we felt intermittent raindrops. The smell in the air changed and renewed energy charged from every space around us. We finished this wondrous day on the grass as Gary led us through some great yoga.

That’s how the day ended yet my 19-mile effort and weekend was full of great times. I had not gone long since June and the Holcomb Valley 33-miler. I decided to take it slow and (in)joy the day. I ran with many different Beach Runners and one of the highlights of my day was running with Gary (we rarely run together) from the lighthouse to the Queen Mary. It was my first time this year going there and people refer to it as “Touching the Queen.” Upon our arrival we climbed the stairs and walked over the bridge to actually touch the Queen Mary. Next time you get a chance, please take a look at that boat. It is a monster, just the way the steel is riveted in place and the weight of each plate makes you think, “How does this thing float?”

Gary is too fast for me now and after a while took off, heck I wasn’t in a hurry anyways. I met up with lots of different Beach Runners over that last 6-mile stretch but Kimmie and I seemed to be in the same groove. I had stopped for a candy bar and Gatorade, so I was fairly topped off with calories for the last hour of running.

Beach Runners That Have Become Friends Run Along the Long Beach Bike Path

This is what I truly love about training for long endurance events, the friends you make and stories you tell. In the end, it turned out Kimmie and I had a lot in common but had never said much more than hello over the past 3 months. The time goes faster and we both accomplished our desired training runs together. The morale of the story is run with anyone and it is usually quite amazing.

But it doesn’t stop there. While the Beach Runners marathoners were running for 4.5 hours or 23 miles, I had booked a ride with two other members for Sunday. Nichole, Sabine and I left Huntington Beach at 7:30 AM for a ride down the coast. After 23 miles Sabine needed to head back, so before we said good-bye we stopped at a Starbucks for some food and coffee. We were hanging outside when a lightning started off shore, then loud crashes of thunder. Time to go, and who would get to play in this storm.

It looked like it was coming from the north yet it was coming from the south. Nichole and I saw what looked like the beginning of a funnel cloud. Many locals were outside or on the decks watching the lightning storm and ominous clouds as we pedaled south. Next thing we knew the rain was coming down. The campers in San Onofre were packing up and leaving in droves. We were at a point of no return and on our way, at the least, to Oceanside.

After miles of a fantastic summer rain storm, the sun peaked out. Nichole suggested we go all the way down to Solana Beach and catch the train from there. We air-dried as we continued our ride down the coast. Everything was beautiful. The rain has past, people were out and our next stop was Pizza Port.

Today ended with a train ride back to Anaheim then riding 17 grueling miles against the wind to Huntington Beach. So I’ll end this article with 106 miles under my belt this weekend. I feel blessed with so many wonderful people in my life and thankful for my health and the ability to use it. Now I’ll go open a bottle of red and toast God for all gifts that have been bestowed on me. Namaste

Train Thankfully and Focused, Steve Mackel – Certified Hypnotherapist


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