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.