Monday, April 13, 2009

Hills with Hil

Hilary and I ran her 3-mile residential Monterey Hills Route to start off the weekend. She takes this route a lot – I don’t. Somehow hill running doesn’t appeal to me much unless it’s in a natural area. But, since I’m trying to get ready for the Mt Wilson run in May I figure I should do some more hills with Hil.

Hil’s thinking about the Mt Wilson run, too, so we also went up and did a practice run of the course on Saturday. We just ran the trail section of the course, about 7 miles (skipping the 1.6 miles of road). There were several other people up there running the trail – probably getting ready for the race, too, including last year’s winner. It’s a pretty steep trail for about the fist half and then it levels off a little with some ups and downs before dropping into the Orchard Camp turnaround. The lower hills are still pretty scarred from last year’s fires but a lot of wildflowers are coming back. Up near Orchard Camp it feels lush, shady, dark, rainforest-like by comparison.

I’ve got a lot of work to do if I’m going to challenge my time from last year. I want to be able to maintain my 4-strides-per-breath pace all the way up the mountain. Right now, I’m not even close – I’m still calibrated to the slow crawl, get-to-the-finish-line pace. My speedy descending skills are out the window right now, too. I ran the trail in road shoes, which didn’t help, either - had a couple scary ankle moments coming down the trail. Still six weeks off, though, so we’ll see.

5 comments:

Evan said...

Where is the Mt Wilson race and how many miles is it??

Jonah said...

The Mt Wilson Trail Race is held in Sierra Madre, California, about ten miles up the hill from where I live. It starts right in town and heads straight up the road for about a mile before hitting the trail. 4.3 miles and 2100 feet up (although, I’m convinced it’s even steeper than that) and then right back down the same way for a total of 8.6 miles. As far as I know, no one has broken the hour mark yet – first place last year was 1:02. My mantra for this year is “1:24” as that was my bib number last year and the time I’d like to hit this year. Limit 300 so sign up soon…

Jonah said...

Correction:
After further investigation it appears that Matt Ebiner won in 2004 with a time of 59:09. Wow, that’s fast!

And, yes, my elevation perception was accurate: it’s not just 2100 feet, it’s 2160! (but that’s just maximum elevation minus minimum elevation.)

Evan said...

Cool

It sounds like an Alaskan type race. Brutal. I am sure you can make up a ton of time on the way down as long as there is room on the trail to get past the runners still heading up.

Bradford said...

kick ass, J! those post-race chips+salsa will be oh so sweet....