Chilly Balboa Trot (2/10/20)

I take pride in being okay in climates that most of the people I know would find uncomfortably cold. I take pride in growing up in Wahiawa heights, where, as far as I know, it has some of the coldest weather on the island of Oahu.

One of the things I remember growing up was an old school thermometer encased in aluminum, hanging on by chicken wire to a decorative horizontal board skirting at face level on the garage outside, nearest the back porch. Every morning at around 5:50am, when we were being mushed out the door to the family van to get to the school bus on time, I’d have a look to see what the temperature read. Almost every morning, it was cold enough to see my breath, usually in the 50’s and sometimes the low 60’s. However, on some mornings, those mornings where you needed to fight all kinds of internal biological red flags to get out from under the quilt, you just knew it was going to say something crazy. I can’t remember exactly, but I swear I remember seeing that thermometer dip under 40º F one morning. It often got in the 40’s, especially during the winter and spring months. But high 30’s is some other kind of beast, in Oahu of all places. Unless I’m visiting my parents, I rarely experience anything remotely close to those childhood morning temperatures on Oahu.

On that note, I’m in San Diego right now, visiting Catherine. For the last five or so weeks, I’ve been slowly building up my tolerance for cardiovascular activities; Jogging. It’s one part of my overall regiment of improving my health, including eating better and sleeping more. But I actually started jogging so that eventually, when I got enough mileage in the muscle memory and the lungs, I could run with Cat and her handsome dog Ili in SD. Tonight we officially got our first run in as the Oriental-Eyed Trio Run Club. I understand the current climate surrounding that word, “oriental,” but it’s more an inside joke since someone said Cat’s dog had oriental eyes once. Why was I talking about the temperature to start off this entry? Well, that’s because it was cold enough to see my breath and make me hide my hands in the long sleeve dry-fit shirt I wore during said inaugural run.

We did an easy two-mile course through the Balboa Park Museums via the Cabrillo Bridge. The bridge crosses over the Cabrillo Highway 163 into the west side of Balboa Park from Bankers Hill above downtown San Diego. At 7:00pm, it was already dark, and a handful of other runners and dog owners were hitting the pavement with us. The air hit me with a gentle hand when I exited the car, and I thought about how nice it is and how much more I’d run if it was this cold on Oahu. Cat, on the other hand, was visibly and audibly not having it. We walked a little bit away from our neighborhood parking stall towards the park and stretched for a minute on the sidewalk of a street corner. I squatted and spread my legs to stretch out the quads and hips, and Cat opted to do toe touches for the hamstrings and raise the front of her foot on the base of the streetlight post to stretch the calves. We started north along Sixth Street till we hit the bridge, and I could immediately see it was going to be a beautifully scenic run through the park. The bridge is more than adequately lit up, with wide sidewalks on either side. There was something about the way the different colors lit up the sides of the buildings, creating dramatic shadows, completely changing the feel of them from normal daytime viewing. We did a stop on the way back out of the park at the amphitheater, where Cat said they sometimes had the symphony play and also held a big beautiful organ. As we were walking, I looked around and said, “I could do this run every night.” It really was beautiful.

We finished up the run, made it back to the car. Cat said, “did we earn burritos?” I said, “yes, also I flew all the way over here, so. Yeah, burritos.”


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