Monday, February 11, 2008


Another weekend, another trail race. Saturday was the second in a series of increasing distance on the trails in the Cleveland National Forest, Blue Jay Camp. This week the distance was 15K. We ran most of the 12K course with a little extra added on at the beginning.

I had to keep reminding myself that this was the Winter Trail Run Series. Based on the calendar it is technically winter, the 70 degree air felt a whole lot more like summer. Such is the difficulties we face here in Southern California.

David brings up the point that last week's 15K mudfest in Mission Gorge can't really be called a race. There's no doubt that for me, and probably a few others, these runs are just a chance to be outside on some trails that we might not get to be on otherwise and to share the fun with a bunch of other like minded individuals. On the other hand for some, the race is on, no matter the conditions of the trail. Trail racers are some of the fiercest competitors out there during the race and then the best cheerleaders for the rest us afterward.

This week's race was flawless, there were no trail marking snafu's this time. This time we all knew exactly when to turn right. The RD had sent out a scout on foot and another on bike to check the markers prerace. He is quite a colorful character and I get the feeling that he wouldn't be shy about disemboweling the culprit of last week's escapade.

I got my new 15K PR at this one, coming in at 1:46:35, good enough for 56 out of 129. The RD has put a nice write up about the race, here, if you care to read it. I carried my camera with me and took a couple of shots of the winter wonderland around me. (Thanks to Trail Scat for the Smilebox link.)

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Along that really rocky section I was running alone. I couldn't see or hear anyone in front or behind me. The trail looked familiar from the last time but I wasn't sure. I stopped a couple of times, not sure if I should keep going. I finally just kept going downhill hoping to see ribbons at the end. Thankfully they were there because I wasn't really lovin' the idea of going back up to find the right trail or that I was right all along.

It was a nice run. There's nothing really to complain about that.

Thursday, I was on vacation and had planned on getting the speedwork done on the 'mill at the gym during the day when the machines would be less busy. The 'mill seemed to work out well for me a couple of weeks back. Instead, the beautiful day beckoned me to run in Bonelli. I heeded the siren's call and left the speedwork for another day.

Sunday was equally as enchanting, weather wise, so I justified another trip to Bonelli even though my plan is to run three days a week at the moment. In my weakness I justified the extra miles as making up for the 15 miler on the schedule that was only a 15K. Still nothing to complain about.

I've got a 20 mile training run on tap this Saturday. Winter is still on vacation, the predicted high is 74F. (OK, now I'm just gloating.) Have a great week, be nice to your Valentine.


Robb said...

Enough with the 'winter' weather. Bah. When was the last time you wore long-johns Darrell?

Great race pics! Have a great week.

Wes said...

Man, hate those pics :-) Give me the concrete jungle anytime!! ROFL!!

Backofpack said...

Your trails sure look different than ours! I hope Eric takes lots of pictures this weekend at Orcas. I predict another green and gray paradise - and who knows - maybe some snow like last year!

Neese said...

amazingly beautiful. and that weather, wow... you know wellington is having 70 right now haha. I like that little slideshow program too, cute.

Neese said...

i meant "isn't" not "is" about wellington weather

Jessica Deline said...

great pics! glad no one got steered the wrong way this time.

angie's pink fuzzy said...


hasn't the weather been GORGEOUS?! it's been amazing here in AZ. Love it.

Anonymous said...

74 degrees???? OK, the thought of that just made me forget what the rest of your blog was about! ;)

Great job on the run - what a nice location. The pictures are awesome!

Joe said...

You socal boys know how to rub it in :-) "Technically winter"...yeah, that's what that wind chill is, technical cold!!!!

How cool you are getting to run the trails. I'm really happy for you.

And good to just take advantage of the nice weather when it appears and do the Bonelli routine. I gotta get to LA and do that route with you, bro!!

OC.Runner.Girl said...

Great pictures! I love running out there. Congrats on your great finish!

robtherunner said...

Great photos of your trail run. Looks like awesome trail. Good luck with that 20 miler.

Sarah said...

Those trail races sure sound (and look) like fun. Hope your 20 miler goes well. And what is your next marathon? : )

scott keeps running said...

i'll take ice over dirt any day.