Monday, May 7, 2012

Exploring the PCT

Sunday I decided to do more exploring of the PCT. I had to get a 14miler in and knew that after running 20miles yesterday and this route starting at 5500ft and getting up to 7100ft, would be more of a hike then a run. In the end it was about 50/50, my heart rate wasn't horribly elevated as I had expected it too be so I was able to get a decent amount of running in. But I was much quicker to walk once I got above the 153 bpm range. I would say I held my own until about mile 9 and then things were more difficult. First I got really tired, then the last 4 miles were mainly steep rocky downhill and it was hurting my toes. At one point I stubbed my toe on a rock and almost face planted into a small pine tree/bush, somehow I was able to catch myself and stay on two feet...I was quite amazed by the recovery because I was running downhill and seemed to launch myself several yards ahead. I thought to myself "Wow, I must be getting more agile on my feet because I am not a graceful person." Even though I'm sure I didn't look graceful at the moment.

I was able to get up to 7112 feet of elevation on this run which is the highest this year to date. Didn't seem to struggle much with the elevation, so next stop 8000ft and going. Staying local to Southern California the highest I'm going to get is 10,000ft. I'm hoping that spending the weekends in the mountains running and hiking will help with my elevation training. In June, I will be able to get to 12,000 ft in the training camp. And I will also be running the 50 in Leadville. Then I will spend the whole month of August leading up to Leadville in the Rockies.

Anyways, back to the run. This was by far the most beautiful run I have done so far. Breathtaking views. Big beautiful boulders.Once I got up higher running through the pines reminded me of the woods back home. I thought yesterdays run was serenity, this was that 10x that. There were so many backpackers on the PCT to. Some solo, some in pairs, and others in groups. It had me dreaming on hiking the PCT from Mexico to the Canada one day. I had to laugh at one guys reaction when I ran by him on my way back, "What are you doing?" Like I'm crazy or something ;) If he would asked I would have said I was and loving every moment of it.

I even saw a big (well maybe medium size) snake and didn't even freak out, I even got the courage to run by it once I realized it wasn't a rattler, it slithered by in front of me as I approached it. It looked like a very nice snake. Very proud of myself.

Run/hike stats:

Starting/Lowest Elevation: 5500ft
Highest Elevation: 7112ft
Elevation Gain in 1st 2 miles: something around 1300ft
Total miles: 14 (i did laps around the car to make it exact, since I still had it left in me)
Total Elevation gain: 4150
Calories: 800 (600 in bars of various brands and 200 in coconut water)
Average mile: 18:57min/mile (including stops)
Average Heart Rate: 143
The trailhead is outside Temecula, I took Ceder Springs 2 miles up and east and then headed north on the PCT

Hoping to see some bighorn sheep but no luck

On the way up

What a view!!!!

An example of the rock formations

Pay attention to the next 3 pictures, I redid this one because I'm hidden behind the brush.


Much better. 


How cool is this rock.

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