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)
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
The Loop (yesterday’s post has an elevation profile if you are so inclined)
I do not start or stop the garmin until I cross this line.
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):
2/24/11 2:02:47 – almost, almost there!