Everything was back on track this week when it came to running. I was able to knock off two 5 milers in Bonelli; once running my favorite loop counterclockwise which I haven't done in quite a while. The other run was 6.4 over on the San Gabriel River Bike Path at an 8:21 pace.
Saturday I had one of the best runs I've had in a long while. I was lucky early in the week to get an invitation from Jessica of OCTR to join them for 14 miles. Unbelievably it has been nearly a year since I last joined the group for a run. This run was described as 14 miles near Holy Jim. It turns out it was the same route planned last year but run in reverse. I invited my friend Julie along for the run. I was really close to joining some other Cruisers at the Long Beach Half Marathon, but the trails won out.
Julie and I are planning on being running partners at MCM in a couple of weeks and had each coincidentally signed up to run Jessica's race, the Twin Peaks 50/50, next spring.
The group was about a dozen of us. I hadn't met any of them before today. No one from last year's run with the exception of Jessica were there this time. We started off in a light rain that was soaking a pretty well as we stood around before the start of the run. Once we started running the rain was less noticeable. We were only about a mile into the run before we all peeled off our jackets. One guy, Robert, commented that we were either going to get wet one way or another, from the rain for from the sweat. The jackets were just too warm. The rain ended up becoming a steady mist. The conditions were actually really good for running the trails. The rain/mist kept the dust down and the temps in control. The only drawback for me with glass in the mist is that the bill of the ball cap offers no protection from a heavy mist.
Julie and I fell in behind a strong runner, Martin, on the Trabuco Trail. He warned us about West Horsetheif Trail. The three of us ended up walking the majority of it. I still have a hard time with walking but the more trail and ultra people I hang around the more I realize that it is acceptable. I tried a couple of times to keep up a running posture and realized I was making no more forward progress than Martin and Julie walking so I walked too.
Once we hit Main Divide Road, we waited for Robert, Ryan and Sue. The others were farther back and we decided to head onward as we were getting chilled waiting. Martin lead the way again and Julie, Ryan and I kind of fell into a pack. Ryan is also signed up for the 50K version of Twin Peaks. Ryan has run one marathon and made the move to trail running. There are two official training runs for Twin Peaks in the future and the three of us hope to run them together. There is a third one planned for the week after MCM that Julie and I will miss.
A mile or so into Main Divide Martin had a sizable lead on us and we never saw him again until the end. Julie lead the way on Main Divide. I took over leadership when we began the descent down Holy Jim Trail. I've only run this trail the one other time but it has to be one of my all time favorites. The trail is superbly runnable with great views, even of mist and cloud filled canyons, and the terrain is just technical enough to keep you alert but gentle enough that you can let it flow. It is too bad that Holy Jim is not part of the 50K event.
It was a great 14 mile run in the mountains on a day that the scheduled called for 12. Thanks Jessica!
Today I ran an easy 6 miles with Tyler in Bonelli, on a mostly flat loop around the lake before the family went to Red Robin (Tyler's choice). Everyone had a burger, I had the Fajita Fiesta Pollo Salad with dressing on the side.
I ended the week with a potluck get together with the Cruiser that are headed out to Washington, DC for the MCM. We shared phone numbers, flight numbers, etc and discussed getting around and other logistics with a fellow Cruiser who had done MCM last year. We had a great time and now I'm getting really even more excited about adding DC to my list.
Weekly mileage 36.4 on a planned 32. Next week things drop off considerable to 24 for the week. That shouldn't be too hard to handle considering my recent weeks at sea and in Panama.