When one runs all the time, one creates a physiological and mental adaptation in their body. The body is used to the constant pavement jarring, to the stress the heart and lungs are placed under and the rate the blood is flushing through the muscles. Someone who runs all the time develops these adaptations and then becomes a stronger and faster runner.

That same someone takes a break from running. They come back to running weeks and weeks after not having laced up their shoes. They are shocked to find that the activity that once came so easy is difficult. Tiring. Their muscles are sore and their heads are confused. They are baffled that this is the case.

Thus it is for me and sleeping.

My body is feeling rather confused and draggy after a full 8 hours. It doesn't understand that this is now my new normative behavior. It has adapted to coffee, espresso and sugar-free red bull as a way of living and now I am changing it up all over again- sigh.

The California Coast Classic (CCC) for the Arthritis Foundation (AF) is what I just completed for work. Backroads did all the logistics for this 8 day ride from San Francisco to LA.

I primarily worked one of the support vans, meaning that I drove the route, bumped people when necessary, aided in hydration and fuel, lifted bikes, fixed chains and tires. I had the opportunity to meet many people riding, which made the 8 days extremely enjoyable (yes Mum, even when sleeping in the back of a van).

My favorite people included Mary Margret, a real estate agent from LA (she swears she can find me a place if I ever move) who for her 48th Birthday decided to take on this physical challenge. I saw her cry more then once and she was so thrilled to cross the finish line you couldn't help but to be thrilled for her. There was a group of 4 guys, all friends, who decided to do the ride with each other. The struck up a friendship and made fun of my Canadian accent. I taught them about toques and that 'woot woot' is indeed a cheering expression from Canada! They made my trip very enjoyable.

Myself and the 7 co-leaders worked to the bone- but we enjoyed each others company immensely. We finished off a crazy week by going to (very expensive!) trendy sushi joint in Santa Monica and then partying in LA at a place called 'The Brig'. The Brig had these Blood Orange martinis that tasted like juice. Woot, woot, as they say!

I took a few pictures down the coast. Not as many as I should. Check 'em out.

*SOMEONE* surprised me for my birthday! Hillary, Brodie and I went out for dinner for my 24th in San Francisco.
Good thing I have watched Thomas for year perfect the art of the self-portrait. This is just south of San Francisco on day one.
Yea, it is all right, I guess.

Every day we took turns manning water stops. You can see some of the riders in their CCC green jackets and jerseys... the sign in the back gives the mileage to Los Angeles, although it is difficult to see.

Near the end of the trip we passed through Santa Barbara and Carpinteria en route to LA. There was a Holly Ave. Evidence I should live in California?! Maybe.

2 – Cups of Coffee Per Day
7 – The number of days of camping completed along the California Coast
8 – The total number of days for the entire trip
9- the number of days Holly has been without Internet, sildenafil wireless or cell coverage
6:20pm- Average time of the California Sunset
1- Sugar Free Red-Bull per day
8 – Co-leaders
250 – people on this insane trip
4.5- usual hours of sleep per night
5 am- Usual wake up call
387 – Pieces of Luggage
65 – daily miles
50- percentage of sanity I have left
2- nights I am in Los Angeles
5- number of flat tires I changed today
30 – minutes of free wireless Internet at the Comfort Inn Ventura.

I am huddled in a corner.
I am wearing a sweatshirt that hasn’t been washed in over 5 wears.
I am so sleep deprived simple sentences are difficult.
I am aware at how lucky I am.

In the California darkness, malady miles from home, sleeping in a van, I am living part of my dream.

Thank you for the Birthday wishes, the calls, texts and emails. I am blessed.