Charlie: So, you’re really going to get up early and go for a run tomorrow?
Me: Yeah, I was thinking of getting up at 6am to see the sunrise and going to the Ferris Wheel since I’ve never been.
Charlie: Hrm, let’s see the sunrise tomorrow is at… [Looks up the sunrise on his iPhone 5s] 6:37am.
Me: Ooooh awesome you’ve just given me an extra 37 more minutes of sleep.
Charlie: You think you’ll actually make it?
Had gone to LA on a business trip and decided to stay in Santa Monica just so I could get a chance to finally see the Ferris Wheel on the pier. I’ve been to Santa Monica dozens of times and practically lived there for a few months when I graduated college, but never made it to this particular landmark.
For the night before my run Mallory, who is my resident Los Angeles guru, had suggested that I order food to go from SUGARFISH by sushi nqzawa and eat at the hotel. Once I arrived at the restaurant the hostess said the wait would be the same for to-go items, since orders were backed up behind already seated patrons. Put my name down and gave my cell phone number then headed for a walk along the 3rd Street Promenade. Relished listening to live music from street performers until the restaurant called me. Someday I need to live in a city, so my nights can be strolling around busy streets listening to music.
Finally my single seat was ready, and I was placed in between a bohemian woman reading on her iPad and a young tall blonde man in slacks and a shirt. The man was infrequently checking emails on his phone and had just ordered as I arrived in the seat next to him. Sizing him up he looked kind and I determined he was also on a business trip. It was then that I decided that he was going to be my impromptu dinner companion.
Looked up at him and asked “You on a business trip?” And that’s how I met Charlie.
The next morning I woke at 6am with my alarm and got ready to run. Glad I had the forethought to put out my clothes the night before otherwise I might not have gotten up at all. Quickly googled the distance to the pier and it was a short distance away roughly 1.2 miles, totally doable.
Stepped out of the hotel to face perfectly warm weather for wearing shorts and a tank top. Headed towards the sound of the ocean and ran along the upper trail until I was able to find a crossing overpass. Latika and Renee, you’d be so proud in that I’m no longer afraid of heights like this.
Ran on the path along the beach where people were cycling to work, and the only other folks out where the people who get the glorious job of turning the beach into a zen garden and some homeless who had slept outside in the warmth.
Finally arriving at the pier I took pictures of the funnel cake shop, as it’s one of my carnie weaknesses (thank goodness it was closed), then headed to the edge of the pier to take photos of the ferris wheel.
After all the photo taking, I did a quick time check since later on I had to be an hour away from Santa Monica for a meeting. Still good. Phew. Because I want to just go sit on the beach for a while and be “mindful” and all that jazz. Gosh everyone is so new age-y about being “mindful” lately. Honestly I just wanted to enjoy this moment with the sand between my toes. After all it’s a Tuesday work morning and I’m here in Santa Monica watching the sunrise. Took 15 minutes to savor just sitting in the sand, then took a deep breathe and expelled a happy sigh before heading back.
These are the gifts you can give yourself. Allowing yourself to meet someone who would help you to chase the sunrise and making time to explore something beautiful while also getting your miles in.
Also, thanks Charlie. I’m glad I said hello, because I don’t think you would have, and if we hadn’t met I might have been too tired to enjoy the sunrise.
Days till Marathon: 191
Mileage: 2.6 miles
Met Along The Way: Charlie Sunrise