Discovering Long Beach

Today’s training started with a 90 minute run, and it’ll end with a 75 minute swim.

Wanted to share a few thoughts about the run. Like always, my mind dreaded it. Within five minutes my breath is labored, I am sweating like crazy, and all I feel is body weight and no rhythm.

If you’re like me then let me share a few tips learned along the way that make running  easier.

  1. Learn your rhythm. Wearing a watch helped me realize it takes nearly 30 minutes of running for a rhythm to kick in.  Then my breath becomes even.  My legs are warmed up.  My heart pumps like pistons.  That insight helps me focus on the short term goal of getting through those 30 minutes of agony and to the point of enjoying the run.
  2. Build mental strength to get you past agony and into your rhythm. If your mind is overloaded with negativity it’ll work against you, trying to get you to stop, turn around or even  keep you from running in the first place.  Remember, your spirit is stronger than your mind.  Let it guide you.
  3. Enjoy the moment.

Today I decided to run a new route. From Signal Hill go to the beach and back. Starting at PCH I ran down Temple to Anaheim. Made a quick bathroom break at Food 4 Less and continued down Redondo to the Ocean.

There I enjoyed and tapped into the sooth sound of ocean waves. Then I got distracted with people staking their spot for the 4th of July’s firework celebration.  Kids were throwing frisbees and chasing seagulls, while background music played from the pier.  The scent of BBQs distracted me most, almost gave a few self-invitations to a few parties.

From there, I ran north along the beach path and ran up (okay walked) the dreaded stairs to Ocean Blvd. That is when I saw Orizaba.  I simply love saying Orizaba.  It’s a street that brings you from Signal Hill to the ocean.

Catedral de San Miguel Arcángel in OrizabaIt’s named after a  city and municipality in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Check out the beautiful Catedral de San Miguel Arcángel in Orizaba.

I digress.  Anyway.  I never explored Orizaba before so off I went and what a treat.

If you’re like me and love craftsman style homes, then you will love running the neighborhood from Ocean to 7th.

Craftsman style home on OrizabaThe craftsman style homes lining the street are amazing. The trees are mature, and everyone I passed said hello.

Check out this beauty that was recently on the market to rent.

Neighbors at Vista and Orizaba sectioned off the street for a block party celebrating the 4th of July.  Pop-up tents, chairs, and BBQs lined the street. Each front yard beautifully showcased food for all to enjoy. I felt at home though I knew no one, yet their positive energy fueled my run home.

Then another treat; Zaferia Historic District. Signs proclaiming this district are on each corner of Anaheim and Temple. I never heard of this district before and with research learned no one seems to know where the name came from. Yet thanks to a Press Telegram for sharing insight into the communities history.

In the early 1900s the Red Car rail line had a Zaferia Station stop. Travelers could either go south down Redondo Avenue then west to downtown, or continue southeast to Seal Beach and other Orange County beach cities. Several years later, an enterprising developer named Joseph Ray began selling acre lots for $100, and a small business and residential community was born.

In 1909, the area got a fire station, in 1910, a post office and in 1913, its own newspaper. It was also the home of the original Virginia Country Club, at the site of the current Recreation Park.  With its own water source, the rail line, and the energetic Ray, Zaferia enjoyed its status as the bold country cousin to the more uptight Long Beach. Among Zaferia’s advantages? Alcohol. Long Beach was dry.

Zaferia was officially subsumed by Long Beach on Labor Day 1920. The Zaferia signs were taken down at the depot and library, but the community went on. The oil boom in nearby Signal Hill led to explosive growth in East Long Beach and the city as a whole. Since then the area has forged its identity both on its own and as a part of Long Beach.

Joe Jost's Long Beach CaIf you want to explore the neighborhood, park near the legendary Joe Jost’s and start walking, better yet run.

So happy my mind didn’t talk me out of this run. Within 90 minutes I built strengthen, enjoyed the ocean, learned more about my community, and met a few nice neighbors along the way.

Now it’s time for a 75 minute swim. Being the 4th of July it’ll be difficult to find an open pool, so off I go. Time to explore and discover new places along the way.

Happy 4th of July.
Always tri. Never stop.

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