Finding new running routes always involves some leg work. Are you still here after that bad pun? Every time I move to a new place there is the excitement of new training roads but I have to find them first. Strava gets me so far but really it comes down to lacing up and exploring.
Ventura has the reputation of a small surf town but, since it is the biggest place I’ve lived in many years with a population of 100,000+, to me it’s a bustling metropolis. Stopping for a traffic light mid-run? I was really missing the forest in Spain. Now I was in a concrete jungle…but I could see the ocean. I could see the green rolling hills. I could see potential. I just had to run it.
After a few teething runs and some accidental trespassing, I started to find the good stuff. I found Arroyo Verde Park for some trails (and rattlesnakes. And mountain lions. And bobcats. Oh my.) I found the beach promenade and the bike path that extends down the ocean front.
I also found Ventura. The spirit of the small surf town everyone told me about was there. It was overshadowed by four lane roads and modern growth but, as I was stopped at a traffic light waiting to cross (ugh), I finally saw it. Technically, I saw a crossing signal but the message was clear. The heart of the Ventura is still beating sand, surf and as small as they come and I’ve come to appreciate the hidden treasures of my concrete playground.