Monday, April 22, 2013

4/14- 4/21

Sunday: 6.5 mi, 1700ft Echo Mountain from home ( This is going to be the theme of the week)

Monday: 6.5mi, 1700ft Echo Mountain

Tuesday: 6.5 mi, 1700ft Echo Mountain + after work climbing.

Wednesday: Climbing

Thursday: 6.5mi, 1700ft Echo Mountain

Friday:13mi, 5,000 ft. Steep and Cheap to Inspiration, then out to Mt. Lowe and tagged Markham too with some fun scrambling and dancing with poodle dog brush.It was a fun day out with Unicorn, Chris, and Peter!
Found a friend along the way!

More superfluous heel hooks.

The day's not complete without drawing a little blood.  San Gabriel and Markham from Lowe.

Just a short climb

More chute scrambling, more falling rocks.

Finally some runnable terrain.

Saturday:5.5 mi, 1400 ft. Evening run with Jess up to Echo again. 

Crushing it as always!

Downtown La La Land
Sunday: 11 mi, 862 ft. Ran from the house to the upper Arroyo Seco trail to the Brown Mt. Dam. Opted for some flatter stuff to remind my legs that they are fast. 

Week Total: 55mi, 14,000ft.  Now its time for some more tapering.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spirit Totem Animals: 4/7/13-4/14/13

 Do you ever wonder how people get their nicknames?  Or more importantly how spirit animals get tied to a person?  For some, I am sure, it may involve a sweat hut or some sort of spiritual leader, but for me it rested upon the shoulders of this guy:
Being a unicorn himself I guess Dominic Grossman has a nack for seeing other people's totem animals (or he just makes them up), and so at the beginning of our run on Friday my totem animal was born.  We stopped to sign the registry: The Unicorn, Prizzle, (I don't remember what Peter's was, but I think he's swift like a rabbit, so there), and when it came to me Dom wrote: Schulte the Fox.   I assume that once something is written in ink on some random trail registry it holds some infallible truth to it, and so with it written in ink I became the fox.

I took it easy, did a little cross training, and finished making a hatchet handle that I had been putting off for weeks.

Mike "I need a nickname" Ryan cruising up to Mt Wilson
Ran with Mike (he needs a nickname) up Old Mt. Wilson Trail and decided to take a route that took us up a ridge and to the toll road.

Quick run up to Echo Mountain before work.

Echo again.

Ran with Chris and Mike up a "yet to be officially named" route with some minor scrambling and then on to Mt. Lowe. 

Chris working on his heel hooks.

Ran out of Manker Flats with Chris, Dom, and Peter over Mt. Baldy, Dawson, and Pine and back.  It was a beautiful day,  full of glissading, steep down hills (and subsequently steep uphills), and overall perfect mountain running.  I couldn't have asked for a better day.

Unicorn and Peter Rabbit
Peter navigating the technical downhill with ease.

Perfect form from Mr. Chris Price

I went climbing with Jess at the Quarry.  We got there early and were able to get some really fun routes in before it got too crowded.  Jess was crushing it with her first time leading a route!

Belaying is serious!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Good Day: 3/31/13-4/6/13

My mom visited me this weekend. She showed me this inspiring video. Its beautiful, and I hope everyone has a good day.

 Ate too much.

Ran up to Sunset ridge.  I felt tired and sluggish, probably from all of the over eating the day before.

 Up Steep n' Cheap to Inspiration Point with Chris. I tried to push the pace early, but the sluggishness returned to my legs and I struggled to keep up somewhere towards the top.  I had to bow out early to make it to work on time, but still managed to take a pretty solid digger on the way down Castle Canyon.  And so it goes.

 Mike and I ran up to the bench on the Mt Wilson trail.  It was warmer than we planned, but it felt nice to regain some (as my Grandma would say) "vim and vigger" back in my legs.

 A quick run up to Echo Mountain with Chris. I felt really good, and pushed the pace a bit. Then ran to work.

Had a long run through the fog in the morning up the Mt. Wilson Toll Road, down Winter Creek, over Mt. Zion, up Sturtevant, and back down the toll road for a nice 24 miles.  In the afternoon my mom came over and we grilled up some lentil burgers (from Eat and Run) and had a bonfire.  It was a wonderful end to a beautiful day!

Hiked up to San Gabriel Peak with my mom; then had lunch on top of Mt Wilson (no pictures because I failed to charge my camera).  In the afternoon I ran up to Echo and back, still feeling good.

I put in about 70ish miles this week and I am feeling confident about my fitness going into the last few weeks before Leona.  Now the taper begins, and I hope to occupy myself a bit more with climbing, so I can let my running muscles heal to 100% by the time the race comes.  Chris told me to just stop falling and I will do well, so that's my new goal.

Jess was busy this week, so she didn't get out much, nonetheless, she is trying to get into everyone of my blog there you go. 

And remember:
"...if its a path, it could lead you to a beach or something and it could be beautiful." Have a great week everyone!

Mmm, Spring Water


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Living with the Land: 3/24/13-3/30/13

This week I have been thinking a bit about our place in the mountains (as humans).  On Tuesday I ran and found yet another dam blocking up a river coming out of the San Gabriel Mountains.  It seems that there is not one free flowing river in all of the San Gabriel's, that all have been dammed up for one reason or another (and we wonder why LA has no water).  Its sad that we have treated the land and the water with such hostility over the years, just so we can live here.  After running into the Brown Mountain barrier dam (see Tuesday below) I did a little research and found that this one, and many others, were built in the San Gabirels to prevent the destructive floods that would happen every year when it rained.  So they decided they had too much water!  This is the same reason that the LA river is one giant concrete drain instead of a beautiful wild place (check out the history here).  This seemed to be a pattern for the Los Angeles area: instead of learning to live with the land, we decided to manipulate it to suit our desires.  Perhaps instead of bringing in truckloads of concrete to prevent the floods we should have just not lived so close to the rivers.
         As a mountain runner and climber I find myself immersed in what is left of these wild places, sometimes enjoyably, sometimes suffering, but always engulfed in a world much bigger than myself.  I often find myself in situations, in both running and climbing, where I wish I was not so surrounded by such formidable terrain, but as many others will attest to, when you are in such situations in the mountains you have to learn to make one move at a time, to cover the ground that is before you, and there is no way that you can make it any less than what it is.  It's these situations that I have found drive personal growth. When you are at your end and you are forced to live each moment with the land that surrounds you, you learn new aspects about being present with yourself and the place around you.  This always gives me more appreciation for the majestic nature of a place; a place that on its own is beautiful, and to add to it would only take away from that beauty.
      I have the privilege to work for a company that takes this idea very seriously and inspires others to engage themselves in how they effect the world they live in.  This keeps our environmental crisis on the forefront of my mind, and helps me to always re-examine in what manner I am coming to the mountains.  My goal is to go into the mountains with only what is needed, and to take only what is freely given, along the way learning to move in rhythm with the land.

Wasn't feeling too fast up the hill today.  Ran up to Muir Peak via Price Ridge trail and back down Castle Canyon.

Lower Steep and Cheap Loop with Mike.  It was great to have Mike out running again! Ran to work after.

Planned on doing a fast 15 miles up the Arroyo canyon, but I didn't do much research and turns out that after about 3 1/5 miles you are blocked by a dam.  Stupid! So I ran two laps on it and called it a day.

Took the long way to work. 7ish miles of mixed road and trail.

A quick jaunt up to Echo Mountain before work.

I put in a beautiful 20 miles (after I got my keys unlocked from my car) up Mt Wilson Trail over the top to the Sturtevant Trail, Tagged Mt Zion, and then back up Winter Creek. It was a bit hotter than I thought it was going to be, and one bottle of water quickly disappeared.  I refilled it twice, but ran the last few miles thirsty.

I climbed at Echo Cliffs with Jess in the morning.  We had a blast (despite the rough hike in).  It was wonderful to spend the day out in the mountains with Jess.  In the evening I ran 22 miles on the Backbone Trail as a safety runner for the Coyote Backbone Ultra.  The event had a great atmosphere!  Everyone involved was having a good time, the course was well marked, and the weather was beautiful.  The race is definitely on my list to do next year. I was pared up with a guy from Barcelona named Ignacio who ended up being great company on the run! I always love getting to know people while running; it seems like the motion and energy being exerted makes everyone more present, and knowing that you shared the miles together breaks down a lot of barriers that might take more time otherwise.
       We started at 5:30 and ran into the night finishing around 11 or so.  Running at night always adds a bit of excitement to the trail.  Everything is a new sight as your field of vision is lessened to the few feet within the reach of your headlight beam.  The night was clear and we stopped a couple of times to shut our head lamps off and take in the beauty of the stars.

The week was a good one for training.  I had originally wanted to bump my mileage up into the 90's but only made it into the mid 80's.  Nonetheless, I feel good about where my running is going as Leona draws nearer.