Caren Ware's Blog

May 31, 2010

Memorable Memorial Weekend…doesn’t that mean shopping?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 6:11 am

Besides Manhattan Beach 5k, I had timing crews at BrittiCares In Pacific Palisades, Xterra Mission Gorge trail run in San Diego, Brentwood 5k/10K, Storm Baseball Red, White, Blue in Lake Elsinore, and a run at Descano Gardens in La Canada/Flintridge presented by the YMCA. I spent a lot of money this weekend. On staff. On hotels. On parking. On gas. On food. And I took my daughter shopping in Westwood Village and Santa Monica!! We were thrilled when the Starbucks UCLA college girls filled us in on a sercret…a great, cheap shoe place called the Shoe Lot on Westwood Blvd catty corner from the Coffee Bean. We summer accessorized for mere dollars! Sandals for $8. Shoes for $10. Boots for $20. We moved onto Santa Monica and got belts and scarfs at the same discounts. Fun. We stayed two of the nights in LA at the Angelino. That is the tall round 17 story building off the 405 just west of Sunset. It used to be a Holiday Inn. They L.A.- fied it and we were pleased. We watched the Lakers win the conference in the West Restaurant, with its lounge, bar, and formal seating on the 17th floor. Sporting a spectacular, panoramic view it was enjoyably inviting. We welcomed this snatch of social time in our otherwise, demanding weekend. Refreshing. Check it out on

Two runner trivia things. I have a pair of favorite running shorts. I picked them out in a climbing store in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They have no brand name on them. Just a picture of a fossilized bird I cannot pronounce. Archaeopteryx. I think they are called a Skort, a combination of a skirt and a short. As I was rapidly trying on and off clothes in Santa Monica I saw a glitter in the mirror. There’s a zipper compartment on the front right legging. What a discover. I have owned these for near a year. You have no idea how much simple pleasure this brought. I am delighted. I always wondered why there were no pockets. Now I can stash my car key when I run in them. Just wanted to let you know in case you own a Archaeopteryx skort!

Buying these cute sandals for the summer may pose a problem. I am losing my BIG TOE NAIL on my left foot. Is this the consequence for running 26.2 miles? It died a death on the LA Marathon. I think it was the .2 that did it. I can remember when my “into pretty” daughter wanted to take up ice skating. We lived in Lake Arrowhead. Every driven little girl wanted to a stab at being the next Michelle Kwan. At four years old, my daughter picked out a ‘cute as a button’ skating outfit and was ready for her first class. The parents sat erected in the bleachers. The instructor went down the line of ‘cute as a button’ girls and slapped safety helmets on them. With a gentle push, he glided them out to the center of the ice rink. Before my daughter even glide to a stop she was pivoted to face the parents. She bellowed, This is NOT pretty!” She shuffled off the ice and on to prettier things in her life. That is how I feel about my toe. “This is NOT pretty!!”

So I finally I get a run in today . I was determined to put some mileage in no matter how little sleep I had. Up since 4am for the La Canada Flintridge YMCA Fiesta Days Run . I felt ughhed.

The 10K course was still marked. It was gorgeous. Every home is a Descanso Gardens in this area. It was fun to run past diverse and stunning yards and huge homes. Every one of them. Large shade trees cooled the way. The course did venture past the freeway across some shimmering pavement, but it soon worked its way up a hill into the sound of a creek and birds chirping and more gorgeous homes. I was droning along with a dead ipod and having dead thoughts when I came to and doubled back. I saw a dirt trail and a railing. A sign said horse trail. I needed more than six miles and this looked inviting. Of course it went up. And up. I had to do the ‘till you can’t run’ thing. It emptied onto a street and a tiny parking area with a sign that said Cherry Canyon,a part of the Santa Monica preserve project. Ohhh. Auhh. I started up a trail called Owl Creek and it was pretty. The Canyon topped out on a spread your eyes view that stretched across the Pasadena basin and into the valley. The San Gabriel Mountains were the perfect back drop. Wow. Wow. Wow. There were dirt roads and I could see that they would lead me back to Descano Gardens. I could run for miles up here. So yahoo I did. I am, again, thoroughly amazed that there is this much ‘outside’ between the freeways. It was the perfect place to unwind. It was a great route to end a hectic weekend. I was thankful to be this healthy. I can say I took the time to be thankful that many had made it possible for me to experience this freedom so freely. Yes, thank you vets. I remembered you.

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