Hitting the trails… for 110 minutes

Taking it easy going up and down Big Daddy

The route takes us from the golf course near the Rose Bowl up to The Devils Gate Dam... and this time... we have to go via Big Daddy which is the name given to the biggest baddest steepest hill we have to climb

Each week the plan is to increase either the time or distance we are running.  Last week we we did 90 minutes and this week we were slated to do 110 minutes.    The route this time took us along the east side of the Rose Bowl Loop, out past the northern edge of the golf course and then into the trails leading up to the dam where the usual aid station is waiting for us to taken on water and other supplies.

The 12 minute pace group (all except Russ who was taking the photo)

The 2nd (and final) time we reached our marker.. we posed to celebrate

The route is planned so that each “pace group” (walkers, runners, fast runners, insanely fast runners) will finish back at “stinky pipe” at approximately the same time.   This takes a lot of coordination and planning on behalf of the TNT coaches who set this all up as it means each group must have a different target for how far we will reach before we turn back and “head for home”.   Today each group were set to run past the aid station into the area leading up to JPL and reach a marker specific to our group.   Then we were to turn around… head back to the aid station.. then turn around.. head back to the marker again… turn around… head back to the aid station.. then head back to the Rose Bowl and the finish by “Stinky Pipe”.

JPL

It was a much different experience this time running on some of the trails.  I have not done that kind of running since I was in my schools cross-country run team over 30 years ago.   Getting so close to JPL was also a special treat for me… for some “the happiest place on earth” would be disneyland.  JPL  is my “happiest place on earth” (especially when they have their annual open house).

So how did I feel?   Well.. it was a much harder run for me this time… but I did it (we all did it :-),,).

One way that I “psychologically” handle these runs is to pick up the pace right near the end of the run.  My “theory” is that if I still have something more to give at the end… then I know I’m improving my stamina and strength each time… so next time will be easier.   I practically sprinted for the final 1/4 mile… and it felt real good!

Here’s the track of my run as recorded by my fancy little Garmin Forerunner gps/watch.

[iframe_loader width=”465″ height=”548″ frameborder=”0″ src=”http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/71440381″]

All in all we covered almost exactly 9 miles in distance.   For some on our team that was the farthest they had ever run.   What an accomplishment.

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