The week was a refreshing one.
I celebrated the impending closure of my vacation with a bunch of trail runs in those sweet ass new running shoes, the MT 110s. I made it a mission to try and train to run the Mnt Wilson trail before I start school on Feb 13th. This week I managed to run 3 of my favorite trails…
-The Brown Mountain to El Prieto trail run. The reason I love this one is because there are usually a bunch of mountain bikers climbing up the mountain that I get to chase. Sometimes I catch them, sometimes I don’t but they are fabulous pacers. The climb is the perfect hill trainer for me as it goes up switching back and forth between what once was a fire road and what is now a single track trail. It’s a relatively unkept road now so the terrain is complicated at times which for me is good to practice concentrating solely on my foot fall. The El Prieto trail is one of my favorite descents. It’s not so steep that I need to hold back and since I have run it a few times to familiarize myself with the turns I can basically go full bore if I wanted to blast through the small stream crossings and leap over the rocks. The climb up Brown Mountain trail is pretty exposed as the descent through the El Prieto is shaded by the trees. Highly recommended.
-The Eaton Canyon road up to Henninger Flats. It’s a super good short steep run. The road is softer dirt these days which is good for my knees on the descents and helps keep the blisters at bay for the most part. I recommend making it a point to get up there soon before the dirt gets hard packed again. On the way up I passed a big group of women riding horses doing down. As I was struggling up the mountain they all started hollering at me helping telling me, “Hats off to you!” and other super nice things like that. It was great. I always try to be nice to people when I run past so it was great to have it come back my way. It totally helped me through the end of the climb. When I was up at the flats I decided to explore through the smaller trails up there that lead to the beautiful lookout points overlooking the city. I have never done this before, I usually just run up turn back and get back to my car. I’m super happy I did this time, I found a bunch of new places to come up to to sit. Totally looking forward to that.
-Echo Mountain to Inspiration Point. This is a much longer run. As the other 2 were probably something around 6 or so miles round trip, I’m guessing this one is closer to 11 or 12. I don’t ever digitally track my runs so I could be off by a mile or two. I was planning on running only up to Echo Mountain to see the ruins of the old Mount Lowe Railway and the White City. When I got up there I took a minute to look out over the city. The day was so clear and unbelievable that I could see all the way to Catalina Island. I thought to myself, “This would look so much better form up top at Inspiration Point.” I didn’t have much else to do so I decided to go for it. I took a stumble on the way down falling hip / shoulder first into the rockiest part of the trail (of corse). I got up and kept going though. My hips was seizing up as I got some of the most ridiculous charlie horses in each of my legs from the fall and descending is mostly all hip really but as cheesy as it sounds I kept saying the old line, “It doesn’t matter if you fall, it’s how you get up and continue that is what really counts.” I managed to run all the way back to the bottom, slow as all hell but whatever, I ran the whole way.
I didn’t cycle much this week beyond the ride to the local cafe and errands except for one day in which I went super big. I took out my road bike that day, I felt bad about not riding it as much as I should be. It’s a wonderful bike and it’s obviously not going anywhere but I felt like I was taking it for granted by letting it sit and collect dust. A road bike to me is essentially what I use to ride up and down mountains I otherwise couldn’t ride on my track bikes. I’m sure that will change after spending more time on it but on my track bikes I have gotten to a point with where I can go super far on so the distance isn’t really what I use the roadie for. There is however really nothing like tucking in and blasting down a hill on a road bike. It’s unreal. At one point in the ride I went down a super short twisty mountain road and almost took a tumble as I realized that I need to learn a lot more about turning at high speeds before I get too wu-tang with my descents. This is a wonderful thing to think about! It’s almost like cycling is the palace and twisty descents is the new adrenaline filled room that I have never visited before. I can’t wait to familiarize myself with it.
After that I got on my track bike and went to visited my friend Alex at BNIB and we went on a cool night ride, got some sausages and the worlds best fires at Wurstkuche then walked across the street and got pie and coffee at Pie Hole. Enjoy the yummy pics!