Headed out this morning at 5:30 AM to beat the heat and ride a century with George. We went to Carpenteria and back. The last mile of the route required ascending the Potrero Wall at mile 99. Man that was tough but never stopped pedaling. We completed the route in 5 hour 51 minutes. Not really pushing the pace but a good benchmark to start from.
Just broke down and ordered one. I figured with all the riding it
will help me train better.
Now that I am back from China and the Hardrock 100 I will try to get back to blogging. I have been accepted to compete in the Furnace Creek 508. This is a 508 mile solo bike race across the Mojave Desert in early October. I have about 10 weeks to get my long distance cycling fitness in order. This will be a step up from other endurance activities and frankly it scares me. That a lot of time in the saddle. On a recent 200 mile ride I got to feel what this will be like. It was and epic ride where my saddle sores got the best of me. I will work out these kinks for the 508.
Here are some recent training:
7/25 – Bike Mulholland Loop – 42 miles
7/24 – REST – feeling a little left knee ITB pain… also not sleeping well the past 2 nights
7/23 – Run – Backbone trail, 10 miles west of Kanan Road
7/22 – Bike – Rock Store, Yerba Buean from Mulholland, Stunt Road, 40 miles
7/21 – Bike with Bill, PCH, Latigo Canyon, Mulholland, 70 miles
7/20 – REST,
7/19 – Bike with George, Mulholland Loop, 42 miles
7/18 – Run – Pt Mugu State Park, 10 miles
A bunch of us met down at LaJolla this morning to run some miles and then feast in Pancakes, Eggs and Mimosas. Put in about 16 miles at a good pace running with Gretchen, Justin the whole way. Julie, Jill, Marla, Jack, Jerod, Kim, Maria, and Sean also joined for some good running but on different routes.
Heading down Hell Hill we heard the sonic booms of the space shuttle landing in Palmdale California instead of Florida due to bad weather.
Had a good tempo run up Mugu and down Ray Miller. This was a big mileage week for me and feel it was a good test of my fitness and lack of injuries as I ramped up. Rest Day tomorrow.
I started at Kanan Road at the backbone trailhead today at 7:40. Andy’s friend Maria wanted to run long today so she joined me on this run. The plan was to run to Misha Mokwa where she would meet her husband Shawn and I would continue to Newbury Park to my house. I did this very same run in January in cooler temperatures. I enjoy showing people new to the area these trails. There is all kinds of history about the area and the evolution of the trail over the last 10 years. There are the stories of bushwacking before the trail was built, the location of the rusty car, new trails created by the inmates at Camp 13, the Boney Bunker and more.
We made good time and Maria is quite a fit runner. We both had high mileage weeks (she has more miles than I) and we still pushed to the pace.
As always I ran into people in need of directions: two guys hiking the Backbone West to East were ready to walk on Yerba Buena instead of going up on Etz Malloy motorway; I set them straight. Others throughout the day asked “where’s Boney Mountain” or “How much farther?”
I ran into Scott and Mike up in Tri Peaks doing some photography. I directed them to the arch for some interesting shots. It was ironic running into them there since two days earlier I showed Scott some new areas to explore in Google Earth . Ran into John and talked about business opportunities. Lots of chatting delayed my finish but i am OK with that.
Got back to the house 6 hours from the start and 24 miles. I cooled down by soaking in cold water below my waterfall. Ahhh, that felt good. Powered down a recovery drink, Avocado, tomato, orange juice. Now to pick up the car. Hopped on my road bike and made my way back to Kanan Road via Decker Canyon and Mulholland Highway. Decker was tough in the really steep section and I could feel the strain in my knees. Got to car and found a front mountain bike wheel just laying against the fence with no owner. I talked to one guy there but he did not claim it. I took it and will look for the owner by posting it in a few lost and found biking web sites.
Saw a hawk being badgered by a crow. A closer look revealed a snake in the hawks talons that the crow as set on stealing. After watching them for 5 minutes the hawk was still airborne with his snake and the crow just gave up.
Weekly Mileage Running: 82 miles
Weekly Mileage Biking: 65
Finally got around to doing some repeats on my favorite trail. I ran into people I knew on every iteration. It was a nice way to break up the work. However we did have an encounter with 3 rude mountain bikers coing down the trail. This trail is marked by sign that have been damaged by vandals, probably mountain bikers, to show that biking is allowed. Click on the picture for a close-up where you can see they smeared brown painted on the sign. Anyone who would look at this sign and make that assessment is an idiot. Just like these 3 bikers. First they said they didn’t see the sign, then they said the sign allowed bikes. What a bunch of dicks. We told them to turn around and they refused. Voices got raised, shouting began and I thought he was going to push Chris but he did not. As they passed we tried to call law enforcement but had no cell coverage. I took off up the hill with a mission to make the call. After 5 attempts I finally got a signal and got through only to get a record message of extraneous stuff I did not care about. There was no reference to law enforcement in the recorded message but I was able to leave a message. I suspect no action will be taken related to this incident but new signs must be put up as soon as possible.
I took a run today with Jonathan on a new trail out near the far West end of Hidden Valley. An obscure trail that is being used by the horse owners in the area connects to the National Park. The dusty horse trodden shaded trail connected with a fire road known as Stauber Road. We climbed up this road for a good 1500 vertical feet to a radio repeater on the top of the mountain. We were looking for a trail to connect to the Misha Mokwa trail. Unfortunately this connector does not exist. We tried to bushwack it but it was a fruitless attempt to make the passage the last two tenths of a mile. We retraced out steps and back to the car drenched in sweat with a plan to scope it out and come back another day.
I started my run late this morning because I had some business to tend to and because I wanted to start my run at LaJolla Canyon on Pacific Coast Highway. I saw a new sign installed next to my normal parking spot at the entrance to the park. I was amazed at the verbiage on the sign and the source of this banter.
Now does this mean the Sheriff has just given up trying to apprend the theives or is the Sheriff in on this raquet? Not sure which is true but I was concerned that I better take my important stuff or just hide it in some obscure corner of my car.
I started up the Ray Miller trail with the thought of doing repeats on it. I needed to get some hill work and I needed to fine tune my down hill running with a mid-foot plant to keep my heel blisher from getting worse. Running fast down hills without a heel plant will take some time to get used to but it is a technique that has great promise. It will ultimately be easier on the knees and hips since I will be absorbing more energy with my feet and has the potnetial to make me more agile over technical terrain.
I look back to my car after the first switchback to make sure nobody has stolen my wallet and scoped out 3 people and a dog parking in front of me. Are they runners? hikers? I continue up the trail at an easy pace and keep looking back to see if anyone is coming up the trail. I arrive at the Overlook trail after 30 minutes of runner. Take a two minute rest and then head back the way I came. I meet some runners coming up and find its my friend Scott and his buddy Ian and his girlfriend Maria. They were doing a big loop and that sounded so much better than repeats on Ray Miller so I joined them for the next 2 hours running up to Mugu Peak and back to the car. Scott and Ian are incredible runners with more experience between them than dozens of my training partners. They are cool people and we had fun running and chatting on the trail. Good for me they had a hard day yesterday and were taking it easy today.
The Ultrarunning community is full of down to earth people that don’t take themselves too seriously and provide encouragement to others despite their running abiltiy. This community is about sharing experiences with the goal to make each of us better runners. Yes we are competitive but all within the boundries of good sportmanship and a caring for our fellow runners. I am glad to be a contributing member to this community and welcome others to join us.
My quads are still a bit tight from Saturday’s run so I decided I needed a Hard Walk up to Boney and Sandstone Peak. I filled up my Atmos 35 with a gallon and a half of water and energy drink and started up the hill. Passed by some Velvet Ants and a newt. A nice surprise but I was only getting started with the wildlife.
I did some trail cleanup on the way up to help with the never-ending flow of rocks in the trail and the eventual water damage that would occur without berms or gullies. Took in the big view on the top of Boney with my feet extending into the landscape like a portal to freedom.
Make my way through some rocks and stopped in my track only to see a California Mountain King Snake motionless on the trail. I was awe-struck. I have seen only a handful of these in my lifetime. This was the first I had found i this park in 20 years of hiking and running on these trails. I snapped some pictures and videos and grabbed him ot get some close-ups. What an amazing animal. This species is restricted to steep canyons and cooler temperatures. They are secretive and at most 3 feet
in length. This one was about 2 feet long and despite the cooler temperature of the area was quite fierce.
After snapping some photos I let him continue his crawl under a rock.
On to Sandstone Peak. Met a guy up there and chatted a bit then back down the trail where I stashed my rem
aining water for a cache I will access later in the week.
I ran down Chamberlain Trail toward Sycamore where I ran ito a group of 9 senior citizens make thier way up the hot trail. I was surprised too see them. They were spread sout and the last guy was having some major difficulty getting up the trail. I offered him water but he just said his legs were tired and he was out of shape. I felt for the guy and I could tell he had a great desire to complete the hike. He paused, gathered his energy and forged forward. I was proud of him as he had to be in his late
60s or older. His companion remained at his side despite the speed of the faster hikers ahead.
I continued down the trail and stopped to fill up my water bottle at Danielson Ranch. Just as I was going to turn on the faucet a lizard that was in the sink started frantically trying ot get out of the sink. He couldn’t get any traction on the porcelain and just spun his wheels. See this video of him and what happened next.
Back up The big BB hill to the car for a nice hike/run.
Spent the morning at the Chinese Consulate turning in my application for a visa. After a 90 minute wait and 2 minutes at the window Rachel and I went to lunch.
Roscoe’s is an iconic diner serving up fried chicken, corn bread and 2 big waffles. It was tough eating all the meal but I did it as my belt was loosened a couple of inches. Rachel however could not meet the challenge and left some on the table.
On the way home we stopped to see the latest epic Startrek movie. It is customary for me to nod off at the movies after a big meal. Rachel was so sure I would be pushing zzzzs that she bet me $20 that I could not stay awake. I qualified that bet by saying as long as I can stay awake during the feature I would win. Hoping I would get a quick snooze int he previews I agreed on the bet. Well, I was on the edge of my seat for a few of the previews so no sleep there.
The Startrek flick was action packed and engaging. I highly recommend it to any loyal trekkie fan or anyone who likes action flicks.