Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sleepless in El Moro

We had a great time at El Moro today.
Pete scheduled a pretty cool training run there consisting of 3 loops:

Loop 1 - 10 miles - Start 5:00am - Finish Time 7:05ish
Loop 2 - 7 miles - Start 7:10am - Finish Time 8:40ish
Loop 3 - 10 miles - Start 8:45am - Finish Time 10:44am
I did only the first two loops: 17.5 miles with about 2:55 overall time. And I would go for the third one, except that something told me that running 27+ miles would not go along with my tapering before the Orange Curtain next weekend.

For the very first time at El Moro I ran through all the up-hills on both loops. Keira had some hard time with me last time kicking my butt and dragging me up the BFI. I guess the spirit of Keira kept staying with me (or better to say kept kicking me :) Go figure!

But my adventure actually started a bit earlier today - at 4:30am. Once I crossed the bridge on Crown Valley Pkwy I found out that Crown Valley is completely shut down in west direction: the was a blinking police car standing right in my way. I have no idea what happened… I had to U-turn, get back to Antonio, turn on Oso, then take I-5 South to get back to Crown Valley on the other side of the police cordon. To my surprise I nevertheless managed to get to our Ridge Park meeting point on time and did not miss the run.

So today I met in person a lot of OCTR folks I never had a chance to run wit hbefore – like the authentic Pete Vara (the one that never broke his ankle), Marisa, Lori, Beiyi, Sid, Cyrus, and …
OK, I have to openly admit it now – once again – I am awful about remembering names (I remember faces a lot better) and I met a lot of new people today – as embarrassed as I am, someone please help me out to fill in the blanks in the blog…

There were a few familiar friendly faces too: Jeff, Shelli and Ryan.

The highlight of the race: when we hit Laguna Canyon, we ran through a big field of a very high green grass – the upside of the recent showers. The greenness of the field looked strange for Southern California where we are more accustomed to a much more yellowish palette. The grass was covered with dew drops that were sparkling in morning sun like diamonds. I tried to take a picture but failed to capture the beauty of it.

Another highlight (same Laguna Canyon, second loop): it was pretty difficult to keep restless Marisa on the trail all the time. She was making circles around us checking out surrounding rocks and caves, and getting additional mileage as well. When Marisa climbed one of those rocks to a cave, and I took a picture of her in it, she suggested I should try it as well. Had not I listened to the internal voice (saying that I was gonna look like a chicken if I do not follow Marisa there), I would not have slept on that rock and would not have found myself embracing a cactus underneath it. My right arm was looking like a hedgehog after that with a bunch of cactus’ thorns sticking out of it :)

I recall Jeff saying that on the bright side I would have something to blog about. And this is exactly what I ended up doing tonight :)

More photos from our today's run:
Sleepless in El Moro


Anonymous said...

I can already see you running up the hill to mt. disappointment and you will be the ONLY one:-)

jeff said...

great run with you yesterday, cha-cha-cha-chia! love the photos in the dark w/ the headlamps. it's really cool to watch you be able to run all the way up the hills. you're in a "league all their own". i can see you flying past me and saying, "catch me if you can!"

Pete Vara said...

Dmitri- it was a pleasure meeting you in person. Thank you for showing up and pacing the rest of us out there. I must tell you the Third loop was torture. I must have been smoking something really good when I came up that idea...