I made my way
slowly through the border town of San Ysidro. My objective this day was to
reach Del Mar, 42 miles by the route I would take. I headed north to San Diego.
When I had gone 10 miles, I bumped into my family. They gave me fruit and then
drove off. By noon I had covered 18 miles. I went through Old Town and past Sea
World and Mission Bay. I stopped at the beach to watch the kids enjoy their
summer, cruised through La Jolla and visited some friends.
I reached home,
exhausted, about 6 p.m. I didn't see how I could go on. My attitude had taken a
180� change in course. I didn't want to continue—I felt that bad.
What was to have
been the second day of the trip unfortunately was the first day of rest. I had
run too far too soon. It was not so much a day of rest as it was of meditation.
I contemplated whether or not to continue. For half a day I sat and thought.
Finally, late in the afternoon I decided I would go on.
The next morning
I woke with anticipation. The plan was to run to Ocean-side, 18 or 20 miles
away. Until I got used to covering a distance, I'd be taking it easy. We got
the camper ready and I even let my mother give me a haircut. At noon I said
goodby to my brother and sister, took some pictures and after last looks back,
started to run. As time and the towns passed by I noticed that I was feeling
great. I was proud, and repeated old cheerleading jingles to myself like,
"You're rough, you're tough and you're hard to bluff. So let's go, Jim, and
show 'em your stuff."
It was raining
that morning, the fifth day of the trip. I would be running from Huntington
Beach through metropolitan Los Angeles, and had worried that if the weather was
too hot the smog, cars and congestion would defeat me.
I started up,
running along the beach for five miles, passing the oil pumps that people
complain so much about. Seems to me they don't realize that what they get from
those pumps keeps their cars going. But I do have to admit that the pumps look
rather tacky. Moving inland on the Pacific Coast Highway, I was thankful that I
didn't have to live here, and felt sorry for those who did.
don't mind being stared at when I run. But I did feel sheepish when people
would see me. I guess I must have looked weird running through such a crowded
area. The day's destination was Redondo Beach. I made it, covering the 30 miles
despite the cars.
The next day
would be fun. I planned to tour Los Angeles International Airport. If there's
one thing I love, it's an airport.
I got there an
hour after I started, and walked about the terminal in my little blue shorts.
Naturally I received many glares. It must have been my legs. Some joker noticed
my Mission Bay Marathon shirt and said, "Hey, fella, in a marathon you are
supposed to run." I left the airport feeling happy despite the pains I was
beginning to feel in my legs. I had expected them to come much earlier.