Mileage Run #3 to LAX, 61mpg Prius, 12 mile run watching Diaries of Wimpy Kid

Introduction

This was another MR on the BDL-LAX flight and also came with a double RDM deal. Its the same schedule, drive to BDL Saturday morning, drive from BDL Monday morning for work.

BDL-LAX

I left earlier this week than last week by about 30 minutes. I stopped off for gas and put some air in my tires, and ended up getting to the airport about 10 minutes earlier than last week.

Checked-in and found out I got the last upgrade for this flight. I got 3B, front bulkhead aisle seat. I did miss out on the breakfast skillet but the cereal, yogurt and fruit were pretty good. I also had a biscuit as well.

Even though I slept for only 5 hours the night before, I couldn’t sleep much on this flight. I wasn’t all that tired on this flight. A bit odd coming from a really busy week and a redeye flight to start last week.

I used the Gogo wifi to check availability of the LAX-BDL redeye and there were three open seats. Much better than last week but now as I’m starting from LAX, I won’t be right behind all the EXP passengers.

Avis and a Prius at LAX

I never really appreciated the preferred service until now. I made a booking online with the AA discount code only and not with my membership number. This meant that I may have to go to the main counter to pick up my car. I did stop in the preferred service desk but there were a few people so I thought maybe the line was shorter over at the main counter. Yep, I couldn’t be more wrong on that. The line was at least 20 people deep as I landed Saturday at noon.

I walked back to the preferred desk and now there wasn’t anyone there. I waited all of 30 seconds before the attendant came back and helped me with my reservation. She found it pretty quick and she offered me a free upgrade. I instantly took the upgrade for the Prius. I wasn’t going to be driving that much this time but thought it would be nice to try it out.

Well I ended up driving 184 miles. I am not sure how this happened but it did. I made two round trips from LAX to Arcadia and also drove up to Encino for a quick meeting Sunday afternoon before heading down to the airport. Didn’t realize it would be this many miles.

I saw that they had an eco gauge, which is an indicator of how efficient your driving is. Well being the natural engineer and competitor that I am, I reset the trip computer and tried to max that out. The first few miles were rough as it was very hilly and I wasn’t used to the car or the roads I was on. I had a GPS but still unsure of the roads. After a few miles I got used to it and then started to employ some of the mileage tricks I picked up from a few years ago. After I grabbed some lunch in between LAX and Arcadia, the MPG started to go up into the 50 mpg range and I improved on that during the trip.

Towards the end of my trip, I started the Pulse and Glide method. I wasn’t actually doing it correctly on a Prius as when it is in idle, there is some regenerative braking going on so I wasn’t coasting correctly. Despite this, I managed to squeeze out 61.1mpg on 181 miles of driving. I felt pretty proud of that. That also gave me thoughts about getting a Prius myself. In LA, drivers don’t seem to honk much when you are going slowly. I will surely be honked repeated if I drove like how I did in LA back at home in Boston or NY.

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12 miles at Gold Gyms in Arcadia

I would be staying with a friend out in Arcadia so I asked her where was a good gym I could run at. It was 90F on Saturday in LA and even hotter out where she was. I could’ve ran at night but I wanted to finish my training first. She told me that there is a Gold’s Gym in the mall across the street from where they were. The Gold’s Gym in Arcadia was built only a few months prior so all the machines are new and the floor space is massive. This location features a Cardio Cinema, where there are treadmills, elliptical machines, indoor bicycles and stair machines.

I tried out the Cardio Cinema. The movie at this location was Diaries of a Wimpy Kid. I started the movie about 30 minutes in but the movie was easy to follow. It is a bit better than just running in a large room. There aren’t many TVs in the main gym area so it would be difficult to watch TV while running. I prefer to watch it on an external screen than any screen attached to the treadmill controls as its too low in my field of vision.

About an hour into my run, I discovered this treadmill also has a time limit on it, 99 minutes. Why does treadmills need time limits? I am pretty sure people know when to stop running. And one way or another they’ll get off. I just hate time limits on a treadmill. They tend to vary in time limits, from 60 minutes to 2 hours. I decided to stop around 80 minutes, get some more water and reset the treadmill.

It was about the 70 minute mark that the movie stopped and kept looping on the DVD interactive menu system. It looped for about 15 minutes until I went up to the front desk for them to start another movie. However, they say that they keep looping this movie over and over again. The last 40 minutes or so would be mentally challenging. If you thought running was boring, imagine running on a treadmill. Then imagine watching the same children’s movie for the last 40 minutes of it. It is still definitely better than staring at a wall though, but not by much.

My legs and body felt pretty good after the first 7 or 8 miles but now seeing the beginning of a movie I didn’t really want to watch anyway and about 15 minutes of the movie I already watched made it all seem so much harder.

If anyone is going to try out the Cardio Cinema, make sure to find out what the movie is.

LA:

I met up with my friend who lived in Arcadia and we bought some ribs over at Jay Bee’s BBQ near Compton. Yep, definitely not a nice neighborhood to be in. We got in and out quick. The “restaurant” itself didn’t have any indoor seating, only a few park benches outside. There was also bulletproof glass too. Very reassuring, especially as it has an A rating.

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We got the food and drove out to Manhattan Beach to eat the ribs by the shore. It was a good view of the coast and the area was still very lively with many people walking around the beach. A dog was also trying to get closer to the ribs and bones I had. Poor dog.

The following day, we had dim sum over at Full House Seafood. The dim sum was pretty good and reasonably price for $2.50 a dish. The dishes tend to be either bigger or smaller, depending on the type of food. Normally, the prices are based different for different types of food but here its all one price.

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We got there around 9am and there was no line. We waited until about 10:30 for the kitchen to open so I can have some noodles as I know dim sum usually isn’t very filling. By the time we left around 11am, there was a massive line outside.

I took the afternoon a bit easy and watched some football and also took a nap at my friends place. It was a great way to recharge for the work week coming up. In a matter of two hours, my fantasy football team went from 10 points up to 20 points down.

I met with Rom from Romsdeals for a quick bite in Encino to eat as I was passing through LA. We discussed a few different points/miles topics and it was great to speak to another person involved with this crazy hobby. I was thinking we would talk more about my posts on his blog, but we talked about it for a few minutes at the end. Either way it was a good meeting.

We finished eating around 6pm but my flight wasn’t until midnight so I checked the neighborhood for a good Mexican restaurant near Encino. I found Las Fuentes a few miles away and there was a long line. There is a big seating area inside but its first come first serve and no table service.

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I think this is a better way to do it as this place was so crowded. I got a dry Chile Colorado burrito with a Horchata. Both were pretty good. I think next time I may want to try another place with a shorter wait. The wait to order was about 15 minutes and another 20 to get my food.

I had the items to go and drove down to Vista Del Mar Park by the beach to eat and also watch planes take off. It was about 9pm so the planes were very difficult to see. This was where I ran a marathon about 9 months ago on that beach and also hearing the planes take off from LAX. There were also about 20 bonfires on the beach, which I’ve never seen in person before.

I got back to Avis at about 10:20pm but there was about a 15 minute wait for the shuttle and another 10 minutes to the terminal. I got through security pretty quickly as no one was in either the elite line or TSA precheck line. I went through precheck and sailed past everyone on the normal line.

I had just received my Amex Platinum Card a few days ago so I was planning on using it for the Admirals Club there. I went in and took a refreshing shower before my redeye flight and a full day at work. I grabbed a quick drink before boarding my flight. The flight turned out to be 30 minutes late, which pushed back my work day by another 30 minutes.

LAX-BDL

The redeye flight was ok. The flight was almost full tonight, which was a bit of a shock to me. There was a 10 or 12 year old girl sitting next to me and kept bothering me during the flight. I was at the window while she was in the middle. I slept for two hours then got woken up. When the daughter got up to use the restroom after that, I asked the father if they could switch seats so I could get some sleep. He obliged and after that, I slept for the remaining 2 hours or so. Not quite as nice as last week where the middle seat was empty.

After the flight, drove straight to work and worked a full day. Luckily, this is the last redeye BDL flight i’ll be taking. I’ll be taking a redeye to BOS but it gets in at 6am so I’ll be at work much earlier.

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