Monday, June 25, 2007

A fun Week of Running

As my time down in Orange County wraps up, I'm trying to get in all the good running that I can!

Wendy, Jessica, Myself, and E-Rod, courtesy of Wendy
Wednesday morning was Wendy's 'birthday run' in Chino hills, so Jessica and I carpooled up to meet up with E-Rod and Wendy to enjoy the beautiful morning. We were up above the fog and had a great run. After all the talk about mountain lions in Whiting Ranch, we were feeling smart in picking a different park. Of course, as we started out, we looked down and saw massive paw prints on the trail, that continued on for a mile or so. Now, we weren't positive they were lion tracks, but we weren't positive that they weren't either, so we were a little extra alert out there. The only exciting wildlife that we did end up seeing was coyote that was hanging out on the trail. When it heard us coming it headed for the hill on the side of the trail. It's amazing how well that animal can blend into the brush! The run was just under 7 miles and a great way to spend a wednesday!
I introduced my dad to the joys of trails a few weeks ago, and have convinced him to join OCTR, which I think he'll really enjoy being a part of. Thursday morning my dad and I joined Greg, Skip, Tracie, and Russ for a great beach run in Crystal Cove. I had never run on sand before, and it was actually really nice.

Russ, Tracie, Skip, Me (hidden) and my Dad running with the waves, courtesy of Greg

The softness of the running surfaces felt great, as I'd been feeling a little achy lately from the mileage I've been hitting. My dad ran mostly with Russ, which was good, as I was hoping that he could start connecting with the other club members so that it won't feel weird for him to go on runs without me after I leave. I ended up pushing things a bit by trying to stick with Greg, which was nice. It's good for me to run a bit harder than I usually do! We left the beach after 3 miles to check out a bit of the canyons, and I tried to power up a hill with Greg to check out the view before heading back. It's been a while since a run reduced me to that kind of gasping breath that harkens memories of when I was an out of shape child trying to run around the soccer field. There was a reason I switched to being a goalie! Still, hills are good for you, right? And the view really was great.
nearing the top of the hill! Photo courtesy of Greg

Greg and I headed down and pushed the pace (well, he tried to hold back and I tried to keep up) to meet back up with my dad and russ, who had turned around earlier. All in all, a very nice run. After that I went to the pool and tried my hand at swimming. It felt great, but I discovered that I'm even a slower swimmer than I am runner. Ah, well, I'll eventually get better :)


Saturday morning had Abbie, Jessica, and I out off of Ortega highway checking out trail for the 100 mile race Jessica is putting on. Abbie and I were feeling less than inspired, running wise, and ended up doing only 6 miles, broken into 2 sections. The majority of the run was done in Capsers park, the sight of the mountain lion attacks in the 80s, but somehow, despite all the recent sightings everywhere else, hadn't had a sighting since December. It was fun to run with Abbie, though yet again I was with a faster runner than me and had to push myself to keep up! Jessica lent me her camera to take photos while out, and I marveled at the lightness of hers compared to mine. I really need a better camera for running!

Even though it was still pretty early, it felt hot out! It's so dry out here, which makes us all worried about the likelihood of a fire at some point this summer. The fire danger was 'extreme' according to the sign, and will likely be such all summer.

We did have a fun wildlife sighting on this run, right before returning to the car! Abbie and I looked into the field on the left, and there was a beautiful deer! It moved foward to the trail, about 30 ft in front of us, sort of bobbed its head out and back to check for any danger, and then crossed the trail! It was pretty cool :)


On Sunday, my Dad and I decided to just go out on a father daughter run, so I took him up to Modjeska Grade, where the Joplin adventure had started, to just run out to the flags and back. Why there are flags here, I don't know, but it's a great spot for a run turn around!

Just before I left, I decided to check out the OCTR sight, which posted a warning about mountain lions, saying that one had been sighted earlier this week on Modjeska Grade. Needless to say, I was slightly paranoid for the first few miles! My dad checked in with me on mountain lion protocal (if you see one, make yourself big, noisy, and as unlike prey as possible!).

We were just about the clouds when we started, and it was pretty amazing to look down on the blanket of white below us.

The uphills are a bit intense at time on this route, not so much because of steepness, but more just the length. It seems like a few of these hills will just never end! It was fun looking down into the canyon and seeing the wisps of clouds hanging between the hills. We could also see Tucker Wildlife Reserve, where the Joplin run ended last weekend, which was fun. I enjoyed pointing out to my dad the end of the trail that took us to the run's finish :)

There were a few mountain bikers that passed us not too long after we started, but it was pretty quiet on the trail until after the turn around, which was both nice and a little eeriee.

Before long we reached the flag, which looked beautiful against the blue sky.

I had my dad sign the OCTR book and we enjoyed taking a bit of a break at the scenic vista before turning around to head back to the car.

All in all, the route was just around 7 miles and a really lovely way to spend a Sunday morning.

I enjoyed having a lighter week, with just over 36 miles logged and no runs longer than 8.5 miles. This week needs to be a bit stronger, with at least 40 planned, and then I think I'll head into my taper for Tahoe! Only a few more weeks :)


GandaMan said...

I like the pictures, Addy.

Question -- what kind of vest/hydration pack are you wearing?

Jessica Deline said...

who's the pudgy girl in the green? Geesh. I'm glad you didn't make that picture larger...

That was a fun "last" run for a while...

Mike said...

Very nice Addy! I am enjoying your photos very much. I had a run down in Santa Barbara where I saw big pawprints....I took photos and posted them on my blog. Being from Ohio, I was REALLY scared...but had to get off of the trail somehow, so I found and carried a BIG stick. ha.

i really like the photos with the flags!

BTW, WSER is a long term goal of mine too, after I get the Ohio 100's handled and maybe one other like Umstead.

Addy said...

ganda- I'm using the Ultimate Direction Wink, which I love! The biggest perk is the front pockets, which I use to store my camera on one side (the main incentive for the front pockets) and easy access food and s-caps in the other. It makes it so convienent to be able to access everything without having to take off the pack. Mine holds 64 oz of water and has lots of storage space for extra stuff. They make a men's counterpart called the Wasp :)

Jess- You're so silly!!! Glad you got to enjoy a good run before darn foot issues got in the way again.

Mike- Glad you're enjoying the photos. I'm such a running tourist, but I love having the pictures, even if it slows me down a bit! Big sticks are a good idea :D. Hey, if you don't mind, send me the link to that blog entry, I'd love to check out your pictures and see if they looked like what I saw! Hopefully we'll both get out to WS someday :)

Phil said...

It's so cool that you can go out running with your dad. Those are memories he will always have and will be talking about these runs when he's 80.

Josh said...

Wow, only a few weeks until your big race! Time for that final push! Soon you will be in taper madness. I think it is really great that your dad joined the running group, maybe you guys could run an ultra together someday!

Addy said...

phil- it is so nice that my dad and I are able to share this, especially now that I've gotten him on trails and have a built in running buddy when I come home to visit!

Josh- i know...can't believe it's almost here! I'm hoping eventually my dad will get up in to longer distances. He's still thinking he'll stick with 12-13 miles at most, but I have a feeling the running group will rub off on him :D

Greg said...

Love your nice recaps. You rock, Addy! I am thinking of getting a Wasp.

Sensationally Red said...

Hey...I know those guys! You are getting quite the Ohio following. I love your pictures too. Are you nervous about your 50K? I know I'm getting crazy nervous about mine!

Addy said...

Greg- The wasp is supposed to be great! I'm thinking about having my dad get one, for when he *hopefully* tackles some longer distances. Just the one small bottle can't really do much more than 7 for him on trails, especially on the hot day. And those front pockets are just amazing!

Red- ooh yay! A following is alwyas fun :D I'm actually not to nervous, but I feel like its because I was so hyped up about it a few months ago, that I used up my energy and now I can't help but be relaxed! I'm sure I'll get stressed during taper though. How exciting that yours is coming up soon too!

e-rod said...

argghh...i can't believe you're leaving already :( well, it was nice while it lasted. glad i made it to one last run with you though i just dragged that whole morning.

well your dad lives here so i know you'll be back.

way to go on the TRT training!

Sarah said...

How cool that you've introduced your Dad to trailrunning! I forget, is Tahoe your first 50K? You're gonna do great! : )

mtnrunR said...

have fun at Tahoe. brother will be doing the 100. yup that's him in the video also placing M9 (me in Cryptonite (yellow) Sunsweet shirt). and the best part is he get's invited back next year to States because of it. he finished in 18:22 and is looking to do even better next year.

Addy said...

e-rod- i know, it's crazy! I still have a few more runs with the group (this saturday and wednesday definitely, and maybe the monday evening one, or tuesday evening). It was fun while it lasted though :D And I'll be back down to visit in not too long

Sarah- Tahoe will be my first :). I wasn't nervous, but now I am a bit, since it's getting closer. I hope it'll go well though. I've definitely put in the most training I've ever done lately, so hopefully that'll pay off!

Tom- how cool! I'll have to go rewatch that video. Congratulations to your brother!!! And great pacing job on your part :D I'm hoping there'll be a blog write up on the experience at some point?