Day 1 - LA to Norco 45.6 miles - First day in the new job

If this really were the first day in a new job I'd probably be in a pub right now telling all my friends how I have bitten off more than I can chew and that I probably won't last here long. I thought first days were where you were gently introduced to the co-workers and told vaguely what it is you'll be doing but that does not really matter because you can make the job your own and do what you like. Today has made the point quite starkly, this is going to be an incredibly difficult summer.

It was dark when we gathered at Huntinton Beach for the start. Laurie drove up to park the car and exposed a poor Japanese guy "mid-lubing" in the headlights. After a few photos and at least one confused local we got away, taking turns to be in the lead before Rainer cruised in front.

I settled into a relaxed pace with Alex (Beady Italian endurance Rower) and Markus Mueller. There was a huge amount of stopping and starting at the lights even though there was no one there we had to stop as jaywalking gets heavily clamped down on here and we didn't want to mess the race up. LA was not awake yet, at least for the first 10 long straight miles.

After around 7 LA started to wake up, burger joints and coffee shops started their sunday hours, the freeways got really busy with fast cars. There was the odd exchange with locals as to "where are you running to?" The answer is quite swift "New York" and met with responses ranging from "Awesome" to "F**k".

I had to sit down several times to stretch my groin out, I don't normally worry too much about this as it happens in most races and usually clears after about 30 miles. However if this is going to happen on the first 30 miles of every day I am going to spend much of this summer in pain. I was hoping either for it to just go away or for other things to start hurting more so that I didn't think about it anymore.

Half way took a long time coming. LA is so huge. It goes from being industrial to commercial to residential then back to industrial again. Some of the crossings were very confusing and sometimes you have to cross 3 roads to get on the other side of one road as there was no crossing there.

Around the marathon point we got onto a cycle lane which was busy with cyclists often asking us what we were doing. It looks like a road, cyclists seem to have more luxury over here than in London as these are miles and miles of unbroken cycle roads. I was pretty much on my own now though I got overtaken By Serge and Jenni at this point. From then I didn't see anyone again.

Around 35 miles in we were back in the industrial areas though quite hi-tech stuff. Away from the massive oil refineries on the coast. Ruth had come out to support as well and was getting along with Laurie as I was meeting them every 2 or 3 miles or so. Towards the end there were plenty of turns which they always made sure they were at so that I would not go wrong.

BEHOLD - a blister on my little toe. It was a welcome distraction from my groin strain though a little annoying. I've never really had to deal with them. I was hopeless in the other multi days I have done and in long races I just carry on as normal.

It got much hotter as I entered Norco, a funny town made for horses. My "plan" of 10 hours looked to be coming in way under so I slowed considerably and walked a fair bit of the last 7 miles. This was fine in the heat of the day for me, I was feeling a little dehydrated and light headed.

I passed a prison where you could see through the fence and see the prisoners at play time (or whatever it is called). Glad I am this side of the fence.

I finished in 9.36, under my target but not so much so that I feel spanked. Rainer came in under 7 hours and the group of Alex, Jenni, Serge did around 8.44.

I am glad I had plenty of time afterwards to skype, eat, blog, upload photos, drink beer, swim and stretch. I fear I will not have this luxury every day.

So that was an "average" day. I'd take sub ten for every average day going. Tomorrow is a little longer, much hotter and uphill.

Stuff - I am trying to take some notes of each day like this.

Start Weight End Weight [Forgot to get the scales out - I'll start tomorrow]

Miles  45.6 Time 9.36

Consumption Approx: 1 coffee, 3L Gatorade, 4L water, 1 coke, 1 Monster 500ml, 2 Natural grain bars, 2 cliff peanut butter cake things, 1 large bag of beef jerky (88g protien in total), 100g Cashews, handfuls of jelly beans. AFTER - 1 bottle of Sierra Nevade Pale Ale, 1 Fat Tyre Beer, can of coke, 2l water, 500ml gatorade, Calimari starter (about twice the size of an English starter), lamb kebab and bread.

Kit: Serpie top, Kathmandu Shorts, Nike compression pants, Kalanji Socks, Asics Glycerin, Buff, Visor, Shades, Camelpack

Injuries: Contant groin aches though it improved towards the end, the usual achillies tightness, headache after about 20 miles (probably from drinking nothing but coffee and beer for the week before), Left hip pain.