Sunday morning I woke up for a 12 mile run in Aliso & Woods Canyons. It's a good thing for the extra hour of sleep Saturday night as we had seen a 9:15 show of "Into the Wild" which turned out to be a 2.5+ hour movie! It was a great movie but made for a tired morning.
I met up with Jeff, Dmitri & Greg and couldn't help but think - how long before they leave me in their dust? Running with all these fast guys made me wonder my sanity... Greg was running 22-23 and the rest of us were running 12. We took off at a pretty good pace and I managed to keep up without too much effort for those first couple miles. However, at about 2 miles we hit the "Meadows" trail. A trail you would think would be flat. I had been down it before (and loved it) but never up it. I had no idea what to expect from that direction. I heard Greg say that he had never run all the way up it before. Yikes. He is a great hill runner and if he can't run up it.. I'll be crawling.
The climb reminded me of the dreaded Joplin trail and the grade was nearly the same. We climbed about 800 feet over about 1 mile (Joplin goes up about 900 per mile). I walked pretty much all of it. Greg and Jeff and pushed each other and ran all the way to the top. Surely an impressive feat and display of their conditioning. The guys ran just ahead of me for much of the next mile (they had waited for me at the top of Meadows). We re-fueled at Top of the World and made our way mostly downhill for the rest of the run. I ran with Greg for a short while before he turned off toward El Moro/Laguna Coast.
We had a fun run down Cholla complete with LOTS of obstacles in the form of mountain bikers. Dmitri took the above picture of me as I was finishing coming down Cholla.
We finished our 12 miles in about 2:18. I thought it would take me 2.5 hours, especially considering my state of tiredness. It felt really good to get out there and run 11 of 12 miles. I had ran about 10 miles during my recent 14 mile run so this was technically my longest time actually running this year and it felt great. My pace was 11:30. Considering I walked up Meadows that is pretty good for me. The total climb on this run was 1100+ feet. Definitely a great run!