Sunday, February 10, 2013

Three weeks of fun

Sheesh, three weeks have gone by since the latest update? This is not going as well as I had hoped. Let me summarize: Lots and lots of climbing. And then some. The highlight was my birthday run. As many of you know, I like to run a mile for every year. While this does not bode well for retirement, it is fun now. I turned it into a training run for Hardrock, deciding to do a triple High Point. That's 39 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing. So to top it off, I did another 2 mile 1800 foot climb which is the start of High Point. 43 miles and 11,800 feet. This was after a week of training, so a good test of how things were going to this point. In short, it was very cold up top with a freezing wind. I tried walking sticks for the first time, and while I liked them, they were a pain to fiddle with, and I need a good way to stow them when I'm not using them, so something to experiment with. I was able to do the run in 11:45, so I'm right on  pace for where I want to be.

That was the Sunday before my birthday. The Saturday before Super Bowl I did 24.5 miles with Gonzo looking at a possible reroute for Noble Canyon 50K. Disappointing day. I didn't really feel like I had it and was hurting by the end. This was in the same week as the birthday run, and I had done a few runs in between, so it could just have been the strain of 80 plus miles of heavy climbing.

This week was relatively normal. Tuesday AM run which went well as my first "flat" run in a while. I did a nighttime Cowles Mtn. run, the Friday usual at my usual 2 hours, a Saturday run with Koa the puppy up North Fortuna which was as much of an upper body workout as lower as I wrestled with him around the single track.

And then today was Harrison Grade. I had not done Harrison Grade before, but had heard about it and even driven it once. It is 11.1 miles and about 4900 feet of climbing one way. So a long gradual climb just like I expect up until the final pass of both Virginus and Oscar's. It went better than I could have expected. I did the climb up in exactly 3 hours. The last 3 miles were complete snow and ice and in the low 30's as compared to the start in the 50's in the orange and avocado groves below. Towards the top passed an awesome old Chargers truck. Met the occupants at the top who were hiking with Rodney the Rottie. Very cute dog who desperately wanted a bite of my Carls Junior bacon egg and cheese biscuit. Sorry, doggy.

The trip down was about 1:40. Somewhere, I lost my phone. I don't know how I lost it as it was in a pocket in the front of my vest. Not sure how it pops out without me seeing it. But it did. And so from the bottom I drove back up to the last place I saw it, over 7 miles up the road. No dice. But on my way down, I ran into three folks in a truck who had found it and called Erica. When asked about what I looked like, she told them, "Tall, bald, and probably dirty." While accurate, I feel like that's somewhat pejorative. Whatever the case, they found me, so thanks guys!

Pics below from the last weekend of running. This week will be a long run Saturday and a long run Monday on the day off. Probably try to do multiple Cowles repeats on Saturday followed by double Holy Jim on Monday. We'll see.
Here's Koa on top of Fortuna. Good job, puppy!

Here's the Charger truck I talked about. I think it was an old F250. The guy's a good fan. I love that his tailgate section, E4 is on the truck. I hope they don't move to LA, or he's going to have to sell his truck.

 A picture of a tree on the way up. Note that the ice is frozen sideways on the trees. I've never seen this before. It looks cold just looking at it.
Here's Rodney the Rottweiler at top. He was super cute and friendly and not cold at all. 
Probably 6 inches of snow or more at the top. Good Hardrock training. 
 Looking up towards the summit and Boucher's lookout, the goal.

 And looking back down at the orange groves.

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