My schedule called for 9 miles. By Cruiser buddies were planning on a long run at Huntington Beach again. They were hoping for something longer than 15 so were planning on getting started at 6:15. We usually get going around 7:00. I was OK with the early start but my inner tree hugger started questioning the logic of a 90 mile round trip drive for a 9 mile run.
I thought I'd check with my work buddy Terry to see where she and her friends were running. They too were meeting at HB for a 20 miler, but they were getting started even earlier at 5:30. It looked like I'd be on my own for the 9.
I had several options but in the minimize the carbon footprint vein I wanted to stay as close to home as possible. The obvious choice was the San Gabriel River Bikeway or possibly the service road up to Cogswell Dam. Ultimately I decided to go back over to Glendora Ridge Motorway that I had run back in March. I did a quick view of my map from then and figured out that up Garcia and then east on the motorway to Glendora Mountain Road (GMR) was about 4.5 miles.
I overslept some and started up Garcia at 8:00 on the dot. Garcia is just a crazy run. I had woken with a headache and running up that hill wasn't making it any better. Luckily as I went along it improved and before I made it to the top it was gone. That mile up Garcia was once again the longest mile ever. It took me 21:04 to "run" up Garcia. You can bet there were plenty of walk breaks up that thing.
Once I hit the motorway things smooth out considerably. The first mile is a long slow uphill and then the road continues it rolling nature all the way to GMR. I felt pretty good, but lacked any real umph to get up some of the hills. The 7 miles or so out and back on the motorway took me about 1:22. During the run a deer crossed the road about 20 yards in front of me. I didn't have my camera but I doubt I could have gotten it out quick enough to get a shot.
I knew that all the way to GMR was more than 4.5 miles, but less than 5. When I'm running I have a mental block about turning around except at a known landmark. The point that the motorway meets GMR is a perfect turn around point. I just ran the route and figured out the mileage when I got home with gmaps. The route ended up being 4.8 miles for a 9.6 round trip. Close enough to the 9 on the schedule but that 0.6 is getting written into the log book too.
My final time for was 2:00 on the dot. For 9.6 miles that means 12:30 pace. I can't really figure out, except for the climb up and down Garcia, why this run takes me so long. My pace last time on a 16 mile run was 12:15. I don't get near this pace in Chino Hills. There's just something about this route that takes it out of me. All in all, slow pace not withstanding, the run along the ridge is a keeper. The views down into the San Gabriel Valley to the south and the rest of the mountains to the north and the challenge are worth the trek up Garcia.
Miles for the week: 26.7 (on a cut back week)
Next week things ratchet up just a bit more. The short runs mid week become 4 milers and the long run becomes 7. I've got a 4 miler down pat. I will have to go looking through the logs for a 7 mile route. It has been a while since that distance has been on the schedule.
Today I got good news from Joe. He's officially entered into Rocket City. So Wes, are you in yet? Anybody else care to join us in Alabama in December?