I’m two weeks deep into summer vacation. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not complaining but it hasn’t turned out the way I envisioned it so far. Last week, I spent much needed time purging my classroom of stuff that I’ve been hoarding for years. This week, well… I’ve not been feeling too well. My chronic urticaria flared up Saturday night and I’ve been dealing with itchy skin and hives since. Thankfully, I did have the opportunity to get away for a little bit last weekend… A couple of months ago, a friend on FB shared info about a race in Idyllwild that would take place the week after school let out. I thought, “Perfect!” and signed up. At first, I wanted to go the wifey on a getaway up to the mountains for the weekend, but she wasn’t up for it. Her school year doesn’t end until later in the month. I invited my buddy, Julian, to join me for camping and the race and he was game. We were going on a Bro Retreat. Julian I go way back to college. We were both on the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship worship team at UCSC. We were almost roommates at school. He was my best man at my wedding. But now that we’re leading grown up lives, we rarely get the chance to hang out. This was perfect.
The plan was to leave for Idyllwild on Friday at 1pm. Unfortunately, we didn’t leave OC until around 5pm. But once we got passed all of the traffic on the “Corona Crawl” it was actually a pretty pleasant drive. The sun was setting when we finally arrived in the area but we found a suitable camp site after driving around a little longer. Although it was dark when we finally settled, Julian’s teardrop trailer made setting up camp a snap… actually, there was no setting up of camp thanks to his trailer. So after a quick dinner of reheated chili and a baked potato that I prepared at home, it was time for bed. We were up at dawn to prepare for the race. It was a beautiful morning. The mattress in the teardrop trailer was so much better than sleeping on the ground in a tent. For breakfast, Julian had his oats and I had my usual Vega One shake and a banana. So this 5k/10k was a fundraiser for the P.E. program in Idyllwild. It seemed like there was a lot of support from the community. As usual, I was a little nervous before the race– I hadn’t been training and I was a bit concerned about the altitude. Still, I was excited to run such a scenic route. I gave Julian my blessing to run his own race and I’d meet him at the finish but he insisted on running at my (slower) pace. I enjoyed most of the course… except for part between miles 4 and 5. It was almost all up hill! We started running at about a 5,000 ft elevation but we must have been at 6,000 ft at the top of that hill! Still, it was fun and I’m glad I had my buddy to push me along. After the race, we were both feeling pretty good. Here’s a conversation we had on our way to the coffee house:
Julian: “We did pretty good for not running all out!”
Me: “What do you mean? I was running all out! Haha!”
That’s my friend with his foot in his mouth. I guess he forgot that I’m not part of a track club that competes nationally… He actually placed third place in the 200m at the USATF Nationals a couple of months ago. After our beverages, we made our way to another camp ground and relaxed the rest of the day. It was great to sit, eat, and talk. I even taught him a few worship & praise songs on our guitars. We were planning to spend one more night camping but unfortunately we had to cut the trip short. My wife called because she was not having a good weekend… She was experiencing a lot of pain from her fibromyalgia and she needed me home. So we packed up and headed home after dinner. At least it was a pretty ride home. I am grateful that I got kick off my summer vacation in such a great way. I’m hoping this bout with chronic urticaria is short-lived and I’ll get feel better by the time my wife’s summer vacation starts at the end of next week.
What are your plans for this summer?