Hiking, Biking, Boarding, and… Brewing?

Here’s a long overdue update about my 30 Before 30 project. I’m getting down to the wire as my actual birthday is less than two weeks away and I roll out of SD this Sunday… yikes! But I’ve been fitting in lots of sports related things in the last few weeks. Enjoy!

1. Go to a Chargers Football Game

A few weeks ago, right after my Esprit de She Triathlon, we went to a Chargers game! Now, when I say right after… I mean Brian drove from Mission Bay to a 24-hour fitness so I could shower and then we drove to the stadium to tailgate. My race had been at 7am and we were settling in to festivities at Qualcomm by 10am. It wasn’t just Brian and I standing around in a parking lot though, I had sent a message out to a larger group asking who was interested in a game. My restrictions were that I would be purchasing nose-bleed seats that were as cheap as possible. And I had three possible dates I could go. We voted on the game versus the Kansas City Chiefs and I bought the tickets! It ended being thirteen adults and one adorable baby that converged on the tailgate. The guys did not mess around with the meat selection, see below, and everyone else brought an assortment of snacks and beverages. Enough for a feast!

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Unfortunately, my stomach wasn’t feeling too great after my race and I barely got down a sausage with my Gatorade and water regiment. But everyone else seemed to enjoy themselves and the food! Come game time, we all headed into the stadium and began the long, long walk up the ramps and then the steps to our seats. I’d gotten tickets in two rows so we weren’t all strung out in one big line. This helped us communicate and interact more throughout the game. The best part for me was seeing how all of these friends got along. They didn’t all necessarily know each other before the game, or didn’t know each other very well. But everyone swapped seats, talked to everyone, and seemed to have a good time 🙂

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As far as the actual football game went, the Chargers played well at the beginning but were overcome in the dwindling minutes of the game. It was a disappointment but I was just glad to have had an interesting game with turnovers, scoring, and excitement! After the game we hung out in the parking lot again to let a good deal of the traffic clear before I drove Brian and I home, unpacked my gear from that morning, and took a nap!

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2. Hike Cowles Mountain

Last Friday, I woke up full of energy and with a long laundry list of items to complete. I knew I’d be sitting most of the day working on my laptop so I made the last second decision to get in my car, drive to Mission Trails Park, and hike Cowles Mountain. I knew from research that this was a three-mile, up and back trail that was extremely popular with San Diegans. I have been having a decent amount of knee pain from running, so a good hike seemed just the ticket! It took about 35 minutes to drive down in minimal traffic around 8:30am and I was on the trail by 9am. This hike is uphill the entire way. It gains 933 feet of elevation in 1.5 miles, which isn’t flat by any standards! A few nice things about this trail are that the dirt is hard-packed and there are mileage signs every 1/4 mile. A lot of people were using these to gauge their workouts, either running between some or walking further than before.


I wasn’t sure what my pace would be, but I set off up the hill at a pretty good clip. I had my iPhone tracking my hike and music playing through my headphones. It was quite nice to power walk and not feel too winded. I stopped occasionally to drink some water and enjoy the scenery but kept moving for the most part. The views of the surrounding area were absolutely stunning. You could see all the way into downtown and all the way over to the ocean. There was a light cloud cover, which was keeping the morning cool, a nice change from the hot temperatures of the previous week. I made it up to the top in 28 minutes, which was faster than I’d anticipated! After walking around the check out the views and observe my fellow hikers, I turned around and headed back down the trail. I was trying to be really cautious about going too fast on the way down. One, I didn’t want my knee to flare up. Two, I didn’t want to mis-step on the rocky sections and twist and ankle. Three, I wanted to enjoy it!


I got down with no problems in 22 minutes, which logged me right at 50 minutes for the 3.17 mile hike. Not too bad! I was not the fastest person on the hill but I wasn’t the slowest either. This hike reminded me that I can find alternate ways to workout while enjoying nature and feeling comfortable with my surroundings. It would be a great hike for any level of athlete because you can easily make the trail easier or harder for yourself. After a quick stop in the restroom after finishing my Nalgene, I hopped back in the car to drive home. Traffic was a little lighter this way and it only took me 30 minutes to cruise home. After a quick shower, I was ready to start my day by 10:45am. Not too bad for an unplanned adventure on a Friday!


9. Bike Camp Pendleton to San Clemente

Okay, so this one I am going to cheat on a little bit. But let me explain! When I added this to my list, I wanted to bike from the gate of Camp Pendleton, through base, and up into San Clemente to enjoy a reward of Pizza Port before heading back south. Back in September, X and I set off to just bike the base and see what happened. I wasn’t used to longer distances on my road bike yet, so we decided to play it by ear. We parked at the gate of base, showed our IDs and biked on through. It was really nice biking along the abandoned roads in base, there were very few cars and wide open spaces to enjoy (see below). We made it all the way out the other side and went under the highway then continued on another access road of sorts.


I was starting to get sore and tired, and both of us were hot and thirsty. So we paused at San Onofre State Beach for bathrooms, water, and a snack. After resting for quite some time, we made the decision not to push on into the town of San Clemente this time, but to use this as a training ride for the long haul. We’d be just over 13 miles and had another 6-7 to go. So we turned around and headed back the way we came, over the hills and around the curves of Camp Pendleton. I knew about halfway back that this had been the right decision because my legs were starting to protest as well as my butt. We made it back with no problems though, and I really enjoyed the ride! Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out with our busy schedules for X and I to go all the way into town. But, I decided that since riding through base was the main goal and because San Onofre is technically part of San Clemente, that I could check this item off of my list anyway 🙂


12. (Night) Paddle Board in Mission Bay

This item again has an adjustment to it, but this time it was out of my control. I originally planned to paddle board in Mission Bay at night, because I had a Groupon that advertised that as an option. However, after adding this to my list I learned that night rentals are only available in the summer months. Bummer. Regardless, my friend Kelly had reached out to me about joining me on the adventure since she’d never been before. Perfect! We met up on Monday morning this week, rented our boards and headed out. I let Kelly decide how long we wanted to stay out since she’d run a half marathon the day before. We ended up circling almost the entire section of the bay, going over a mile!


My core, arms, and legs were starting to ache by the end of our two-hour tour, but it was worth it. Since it was fall and a Monday, the bay was fairly quiet so we could paddle uninterrupted. This allowed us time to talk and catch up on each other’s lives while getting a light workout in too. Paddling back was mostly upstream, which meant that the end of our workout was more intense than the beginning. But we had no problems and even managed to stay on our boards the whole time. Paddle boarding is something I will absolutely miss about San Diego and I may have to find a lake near me in Raleigh to keep this hobby alive. We didn’t take any valuables on the boards with us in case we tipped, but the photo above shows the bay where we went!

23. Alpine Brewing Company

Finally, I crossed this item off my list this past Sunday for lunch. If you read my last post, I had been in Mexico with Sean and Xavier for the weekend. We decided to travel inland to cross the border at a less popular spot, which put us near this restaurant in the Inland Empire of San Diego. Why was this place even on my list since I don’t love beer? It’s simply really, I’d heard them talk so much about it over the years as an amazing place to refuel after long hikes they’d been on in the desert. This place is fairly small but welcoming and known for their beans and their beer. I was craving carbs and went for a grilled cheese (with two kinds of cheese!) with a side of beer-battered fries. That was as close as I could come to ordering a beer, lol. The boys had drinks and both ordered some kind of BBQ meat… I think one had beef brisket and the other had chicken. I won’t embarrass them by using names, but I will say that one got a side of fried pickles while the other got two sides of beans.


As you can see, my meal was extremely cheesy and delicious! I crushed this meal and was glad that I’d ordered what I did. You can see one of the servings of beans in the top left corner, just to give you a feel for those. Anyway, I do recommend this place if you’re out near Alpine and I did enjoy my WARM meal on a chilly(ish) fall day in San Diego. Well, that’s all of the items I’ve crossed off for now. I’m up to 24/30 items complete, with 9/10 taco shops visited. That’s not too bad! Happy Thursday 🙂

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Revised 30 Before 30 Project | Rays of Funshine

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