Monday, July 9
Coming off the tough and hot Harding run just two days before, I ordinarily would have just done an easy recovery workout. But a posted OCTR run was just too good to resist—a sunset beach and hill workout followed by a splash into the ocean. We would start along the strand at Crystal Cove, then hang a left into El Moro Canyon and do two loops up I Think I Can and down BFI. "B" stands for "big" and I for "incline." You can figure out what "F" means. A few of us OCTR runners were there—me, Greg, Alexa, and WS100 veteran Sue. Guest runner Wendy also joined us for part of the run.
Because of the high tide we had to run on the loose deep sand, instead of the wet and packed part of the beach. I found this 3.5 mile section tough and was glad to get to El Moro's relatively stable dirt trails. I pushed myself up I Think I Can and was able to make it up the top of the hill non-stop, my first time doing so. And to make it more fun, we went up the same hill again, before returning to our cars about four miles away—a challenging, but rewarding effort of 15 miles.
Tuesday, July 10
Did a little cross-training today at Rockreation. I haven't been going to the rock gym much since I started running especially since I'd been having a bit of shoulder soreness. This was my second time in in the rock gym in as many weeks. OCTR mate, Abbie and her boyfriend, Eric were there too. Abbie, scaling up the wall (rated 5.10d+) so effortlessly, is poetry in motion. With her long limbs and slight frame, she is a natural. I, on the other hand, was struggling up just to make it up a couple of 5.10a routes, but it was good to hang out there again (bad pun). I would have been satisfied making myself feel like a rock stud going up and down 5.7s and 5.8s, but Abbie would have none of that. She "pushed" me making sure I challenged myself.
Wednesday, July 11
Well, my brother and his wife convinced me to do the Cool Breeze Metric Century Ride with them. I'm not a cyclist really, but I figure I can do 60 miles on a relatively flat terrain. In return, my brother agreed to run the Bulldog 25K with me.
So I was back at El Moro Canyon. To get my brother ready for some trail running, we joined Suki's 8-mile hike and run workout. I kinda took it easy since I was running a race the following evening. But I couldn't resist the call of the challenge when I came upon Poles, the notoriously steep hill climb that gains about 500 feet in about a quarter mile, with the toughest part waiting and taunting you at the top of the trail. I wanted to stop and walk here, but I sucked it up. I ran up Poles non-stop for the first time—another breakthrough in El Moro in two days.
Thursday, July 12
I had forgotten about this, but I just received my cool TheRunDown.net Brooks tech shirt from Charlie. Now, I too, can be a running/walking/gabbing billboard on races and training runs.
Today was the second installment of the Peters Canyon Summer Trail Run Series. The first time I did this 5-miler a month ago, I timed in at 42:32. I was hoping to do better today, maybe breaking through a sub-40 minute time.
Jeff, who I met today, lit up the course in a blistering 35+ minutes, good enough for 7th place. Mari, struggled with cramps and dehydration, but still came through for a strong finish. I was behind her for the last mile-and-a-half and was able to appreciate her speed, form and efficiency on the trails. I came in approximately 30 seconds behind her at about 41 minutes, not quite the goal I was shooting for (#%@ hills), but better than the last race. Wendy G., who was cheered on by her entourage of Dave, Jake, Tiana, and Kelly, finished at about 47 minutes. It was especially warm, but I told Wendy to look at it as heat training for the Bulldog where she's signed up to do the 50K.
After the race, I hung out with Wendy and the kids for the barbeque, the awards ceremony, and the raffle. At the last race I won a pair of running socks. This time around I won a year's subscription to Trail Runner magazine. Awesome!
Friday, July 13
On the OC Hiking Club calendar I posted a 6:15am walk/jog. I wrote:
This is designed as a friendly introduction to running for those who would like to try it, but don't know how. We'll start with a warm up walk to get our heart rates up, followed by a short easy jog, then walking again, and so forth. The short term goal is for the novice runner/walker to eventually be able to comfortably run 5K/3.1 miles.
I had a good turnout of nine other early birds, some from the July 4th boat crew—Kip, Eusebio, and One-L Michele. Other familiar faces of Rita, Erika, and George were joined by newcomers Michelle, Jody and Ron. It was fun, and most did not seem to find the running part too tiring. They went as far as suggesting I do this on a regular basis, and even requesting for an earlier start time of 6am.
Little do they know that my ulterior motive is to get them addicted to this sport also. Gotcha–hook, line and sinker :)
Tuesday photo from Rockreation web site. Thursday photos courtesy of Wendy G.