Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mount Woodson

Today I ran up Mount Woodson and took Gator with me. I got a late start, which was a mistake as I will explain later. Anyways, got there about 10:45 or so. I'd never been to Lake Poway. It was crowded for the 4th, with the smell of charcoal already in the air. The trail around the park went straight uphill then back down to the shore of the lake. That's where the trail up Mt. Woodson began.

From there, the trail is about 2.8 miles with approximately 2,000 feet of gain. It was double track for the first mile and a half, then a steep half mile of short switchbacks followed by a more mellow approach to the summit. By the time I was headed up this trail, it was about 80 degrees. I had a liter and half of water to share between Gator and I. Most of it was gone by the time we got the top. courtesy of my thirsty dog.

To make matters worse, most of the trail is along an area that burned two years ago, meaning the ground was dark and soaked up the sun, making it extra hot on poor Gator's paws. On the way back down, she would run from shade point to shade point, trying to lift her paws quickly to keep them off the hot soil. Finally, I had to leash her up and "encourage" her down the mountain, but that slowed us to a walk. When we got back down to the lake, Gator plunged in for a paw soothing swim.

The climb up took one hour, but it took about an hour to get back down as well. Had I been without the dog, the climb would have been about 55 minutes or so, not bad considering it was about 12 hours after my longer run last night. Temps at the finish were in the mid-80's. I'll be doing this run a lot as it almost exactly mimics the run up Fred's Mountain for the 100 miler, so I can build my strength and get an idea of exactly what I have to do 4 times. I expect I'll be doing some double climbs as well.

Tomorrow is my usual fall pre-tailgate football run to get some easier time on my feet to end my step back week. Should be about 3 hours or a little more with very little elevation gain. I will try to concentrate on running without stopping except at the water fountains. I am also going to bring Heed for the first time as I got a great deal on some at REI. We'll see how it goes.

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