TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Round Two: 2:02!!

With rain in the forecast for the next three days, I decided to go for round two on my timed loop this week.  I felt good, but slightly slower running through Wood Canyon. (And I had to stop and retie my shoe again – for some reason, I keep tying the left shoe too tight!).  Even so, I ran to the end of wood canyon about a minute faster than usual.

I had some strict rules today running up Meadows Trail.  1)  Don’t look back, 2) Don’t look at the top and 3) Stay in the exact moment of my step, just look to my feet.  I didn’t make up these rules, my running friend, Tom, told me about rules 2 & 3 long ago.  The rules helped out for a good portion of that steep switch-back someone thought they’d misleadingly name Meadows Trail  (sure you run through a meadow – but most of the trail is up, up, up).  Let me tell you, I found it quite difficult to follow the rules.  I felt like Lot’s wife, so, so tempted to look back on Sodom and Gomorrah.  She looked back and turned into a pillar of salt.  I stopped myself several times from looking back and was only crusted with salt.

Overall, Meadows wiped me out!  Still, I made it to the top in 1:03 (a minute faster than yesterday).  Also different from yesterday, I seemed to recuperate faster after Meadows.  And therefore, I picked up my pace some running through the neighborhoods.  I entered Aliso/Wood Canyons Park again a whole four minutes faster than usual.  That nearly made me giddy.  (I didn’t want to get too giddy, because that’s when I fall.)

At top of Meadows Trail, running the ridgeline overlooking Pacific Ocean (& Laguna Beach)

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When I hit West Ridge, as already mentioned, a whole four minutes early, I blasted down the hill, and I pushed the uphills hard.  I held onto a tiny bit of hope that I could make two hours, and even a little more hope that I could at least beat yesterday’s time. 

I rounded the corner onto Cholla Trail with 8 minutes to spare before the two hour mark.  Man!  So close! 

“I’ll never . . . “ I thought to myself.  I was going to think “I’ll never do it!”  But I screamed inside my head, “Stop!  DON’T EVEN THINK IT.”  And I ran.  I ran right into a camera crew setting up their big flash screens amongst a cluster of pretty mountain bikers in brand new clothes.  I could have sworn one of the photographers took a picture of me (If so,  really wouldn’t want to see that picture).  Anyway, I literally plowed through the group, smiling of course, sweat pouring off my visor. 

Whew!  What a run!  What a ride. 

I made my best time since I began timing this loop:  2 hours 2 minutes (see below for complete times including seconds for this exhilarating 9.5 mile loop.)

I finally remembered to take an “After” photograph

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The Loop (yesterday’s post has an elevation profile if you are so inclined)

My Activities timed run 2-24-2011

I do not start or stop the garmin until I cross this line.

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My times for this 9.5 loop (Canyon Vistas Park, Wood Canyon to the end, backtrack to Meadows, across Top of the World, through Alta Laguna Park, up and down West Ridge, down Cholla and back up through Canyon Vistas):

12/3/10    2:24:35

12/9/10    2:12:08

1/26/11    2:13:04

2/2/11      2:11:17

2/10/11    2:04:48

2/23/11    2:05:39

2/24/11    2:02:47 – almost, almost there!

15 comments:

  1. Congrats Lauren. Our favorite stop is right next to yours. LCWP into El Moro State Park.

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  2. This looks very tough! You are hard core - look at you in that after picture! You have worked hard!

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  3. Dang you go girl. Seriously. How awesome was that? Okay i need to go workout now. Lift weights. Run a few mountain trails. Geeze.

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  4. Awesome job, you're really nailing it!

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  5. Thanks Jeremy. Are you running Big Baz's 50k next week? I love LCWP also. Have you read my blog entry "Station to Station?" I took a bus out to Crystal cove and ran through that park, LCWP and Aliso/Woods Canyon. Quite a blast.

    We've probably passed ea. other on the trail, don't you think?

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  6. Thanks AJH. What a compliment -- "hardcore." I don't really feel hardcore, but love it when people say it. Thanks again.

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  7. Thanks for stopping by Amber! It was pretty awesome. So awesome that ten minutes aftewards, while stretching, sweat still poured off my visor : / All fun. When it's over!!!! Wish you could join me. I need the company and the encouragement.

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  8. Thanks Stuart. I'm really amazed. Being such a slow runner, I didn't know that I could improve. Now, I know! I can. I can! Thing is, I'm a little afraid to do the loop at this point now. I'm just too close to the 2 hour mark. Yikes!

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  10. We are headed to Catalina marathon on the 12th. I have never done a 50k. Looking at Whoos In Moro 50k or Calico 50k for my first. We've probably have passed each other. I will be sure to say hi next time. Good luck and look forward to reading your experience of Baz's 50k if you running it.

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  11. Have great fun at the Catalina Marathon Jeremy! I have not yet completed a 50k. My first one was a DNF. If I finish Baz's it will be on a "wing and a prayer." : )

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  12. Wow! Everything is so green! I think I'll need to check out Laguna Coast this weekend.

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  13. Definately do Glenn. The spring flowers are out in abundance and the weather is still cool. I'm gonna make an attempt at Baz's 50k this weekend, or I'd join you. Have fun!

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  14. Almost there for sure, well done! These runs will make you very strong. I had one of my worst falls when feeling giddy took over one day. Now i'm extra careful about that. Lovely "after" pic!

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  15. Thanks Johann. Sometimes I feel like I'm getting stronger. Other times, I actually feel weaker. But I love the timed loop much, much better than speed bursts. The timed loop is still an adventure, and I love an adventure. Speed bursts are just plain hell, as far as I'm concerned : ))

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