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Monday, November 11, 2019

Breaking 4:30

If you have read this blog before you know about The Big Loop -- it's basically the biggest loop I can do in Aliso/Wood Canyons (before they added the newest trail, Mentally Sensitive). The loop covers about 12 miles with some decent climbing. I go up Wood Canyon and then return through Aliso Canyon -- that's the easier direction, gradually climbing to the top.

My goal for my Road to Calico Phase 1 (Getting Ready) was to cover The Big Loop in under four hours and thirty minutes. That meant that I only needed to shave off about 7 minutes from my best time in Phase 1. Friday (11/8) was my day to attempt breaking 4:30. I set out at the Ranger's Station with a goal to make it to West Ridge in 2 hours. If I could do that, I would deinately break 4:30. My hike was good and strong through Wood Canyon and to my amazement, I made West Ridge in 1.5 hours! That got me giddy, thinking that I could possibly make this loop in 4 hours! And so, I kicked it in and really pushed. 

Ends up I didn't break 4:30. I crushed it. And it wiped me out good, covering my legs in dirt, and draining my energy for the day! Time for Friday's loop: 4:07:22.  Since Phase II does not start until 11/25/19, I think that I am going to change the final Big Loop goal for Phase I to four hours. Perhaps I am too ambitious, but I think not, as I was quite conservative in creating Phase I's goals in the first placej.

The Road to Calico is long and difficult, and at this early stage in the game, I feel little progress in gaining my strength back. I know it will come. Patience is key! Today at least, I can celebrate this milestone.  

View of Saddleback Mountains from West Ridge

View of Pacific Ocean from Alta Laguna Park, Laguna Beach

Walking through the neighborhoods to re-enter park in Aliso Canyon (@ Meadows)

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