Los Angeles August 2017 Final 2 Runs

The 8th and 9th days of running from my August 2017 trip to Los Angeles.

All good things must come to an end. Here’s the story on my last 2 runs in Los Angeles.

On Wednesday I decided to take a train into Hollywood and run / hike up to the Hollywood Sign.

I started with a steep climb up to the Griffith Observatory, which is gorgeous and a place I definitely want to check out again.

After that initial ascent, I followed a trail to the peak of Mt. Hollywood. I was confused when I couldn’t find the Hollywood sign from the peak, but I realized that the sign and “Mt. Hollywood” are two separate things…

I felt pretty silly, but decided to make the best of it and followed a different trail from where I was that connected to where the sign was. It was only an extra couple miles, and it was totally worth it.

After navigating my way down the mountains and back into the city, I made my way back to the my friends’ apartment.

Wednesday totals: 18 miles – 8:47/mi avg pace – 1,428 feet of elevation gain. (Strava info)

Thursday was my last day in LA. I woke up a little extra early, and ran down my favorite bike / running path one last time. It was a perfect day, and the views from my favorite beach spot were phenomenal.

Beach Spot Panorama

I then met my friends for breakfast (burritos and smoothies on the beach). It was a perfect morning.

Beach Burrito

Reflections: I’m sad to be leaving, but there will be more trips to look forward to. I accomplished most of what I wanted to while out there.

One major thing I took away from this trip is how important it is to travel. I may not have the money to travel the world, but this country is a good place to start, and I think I’m going to start doing a lot more of that.

Los Angeles August 2017 Day 6 and 7 Runs

The 6th and 7th days of running from my August 2017 trip to Los Angeles.

Monday was a pretty active day for me. I did a morning 4 miles, and an evening 4.5 miles, with a 3 mile hike in between.

Tuesday though.. Tuesday was a big one. I ran from UCLA to attempt this hike. Getting there went fine and the first half of the loop was great. I managed to snag some pictures:

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Somewhere along the way I got mixed up (they really need to have some trail markings out here). There was a lot of climbing and looking around, and then I lost phone service. I brought emergency backup water this time though, which wound up being needed.

After panicking for a while and second guessing every decision, I found a road which led to another road which led to civilization.

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17.8 miles 10:22/mi average pace, with 2,015 feet of elevation gain (Strava info).

Hooray for mid-week long runs!

Los Angeles August 2017 Day 5 Run

The 5th run from my August 2017 trip to Los Angeles.

I just got back from an amazing, and exhausting run.

But what about my day 3 and 4 runs? Those were nothing special so I’ll go through them quickly.

On Friday I totally lost to the heat… It was 90+ out, my muscles rebelled and I only managed a few miles to UCLA.

Saturday after resting through the hottest part of the day and feeling bleh I finally got out for a 10 mile run. I need to remember how much running boosts my mood.

It’s now Sunday, and with fresh legs I decided to explore an area I’ve never gone before. I ran to Santa Monica, and then went North to Temescal Gateway Park. Just getting to the park was about 10 miles, so by the time I got there I just wanted to do a short easy loop which I found out about here.

This loop was far from easy…

The terrain was perfect for trail running, but man was it steep, which meant much of this part of my run was power walking. The trails also aren’t really marked at all so I was constantly second guessing whether I was on the right path. That combined with the 90 degree weather and my dwindling water supply led to a pretty scary experience.

The views at the top were amazing, totally worth the soreness I’m sure my buns will feel tomorrow.

After the run I met my friends at Philz. Sure wish we had that coffee back east.

It was a rough run, but I’m glad I did it, despite being underprepared. It wound up being 16.7 miles with an average pace of 9:21/mi.

Now it’s time for some gatorade, hooray!

Los Angeles August 2017 Day 2 Run

The second run from my August 2017 trip to Los Angeles.

My Thursday run went through Venice beach and up to Santa Monica.

Approaching Pier

I went during the hottest part of the day (it hit about 90 degrees), so while it was supposed to be just an easy run, my muscles were exhausted by the time I was finished.

Pier from distance

Nothing too spectacular to report on the run. 12 miles at 8:09 average pace. Hoping to get out to some trails over the weekend.

Happy running!

Los Angeles August 2017 Day 1 Run

The first run from my August 2017 trip to Los Angeles.

The first day after landing in LA was a busy one. My friend earned his PHD, so there was a lot of champagne drinking and chocolate cake eating. Eventually by the early evening I decided to go on my favorite running route, down a bike / run path which leads right to the beach.

Beach running gif

My run was a 6 mile progressive run there, took a break at the beach to go to my spot out on the rocks, and then did 7 less aggressive progressive miles back. Had to take that break to snap some pics of the setting sun:

LA Sunset Beach

My paces were:

  • Mile 1- 7:18
  • Mile 2- 7:01
  • Mile 3- 6:59
  • Mile 4- 6:48
  • Mile 5- 6:20
  • Mile 6- 6:11
  • Mile 7- 8:00
  • Mile 8- 7:51
  • Mile 9- 7:35
  • Mile 10- 7:24
  • Mile 11- 7:12
  • Mile 12- 7:09
  • Mile 13- 6:46

13.4 miles | 1:35:59 | 7:09/mi

The run felt great. It was hot all day but by the evening it started cooling down, and of course there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

So far Cali life has been good!

Running Lost In The Woods

Trail running and getting lost in the woods

Does it count as getting lost if you did it on purpose?

There’s this state forest I go to sometimes when I just want to run around in nature (edit: I recorded some video of my adventure if you want to check out the terrain). It has tons of different trails, and every time I go I try to follow one but always wind up losing it, and wind up somewhere I didn’t intend to (fortunately I always carry my phone with me and manage to find the path / somewhere familiar).

I treat these runs like an opportunity to leave my running comfort zone. There’s a whole different feeling to a run when you aren’t entirely sure where you are or where you’re going. The subtle feeling of panic that sets in adds a level of excitement. It’s a controlled panic mind you, I’m certainly not advocating for people putting themselves in dangerous situations. But going somewhere new on a run is a surefire way to spice up your running routine.

Ramapo Lake

Today I got a little extra lost, but it turned out fine of course. I knew I was never in any real trouble. I got about 8.5 miles of mountain and trail running in, explored some new areas of the forest, and just wanted to share with you all as I sit here at Starbucks hydrating and recovering.

Starbucks and Blogging

Is there anything you do to occasionally change up your routine? Ever go off down new roads or to new cities or parks to explore? Let me know!

 

NJ Balloon Festival: Running With The Balloons 5k Race Report

Race report from the 2017 QuickChek NJ Balloon Festival 5k

Last month I ran in the Running with the Balloons 5k at the 2017 QuickChek Festival of Ballooning in NJ . It was an interesting venue with a unique start to say the least, and a very fun experience. This race report is a little late, so I’ll keep it short and sweet.

  • Distance: 5k
  • Goal: sub 18:00 and get a new PR
  • Date: 7/30/17

So let’s talk about this race!

The race starts out in a grass field, after the hot air balloons have made their morning ascent. That was an incredible sight to take in. After the balloons were off in the distance, it was race time.

The first half mile or so was on that grass field, and the footing was a tad tricky. There were large tire tracks (maybe tractor tracks) on the ground, so I had to be extra careful with how my feet were landing. It was nice and flat at least.

After the grass section we got to a gravel road, which then led to a normal paved road. On the paved road there were a couple of hills which I was not expecting. I thought the course would be almost entirely flat since it was on an airfield, but the off-airfield sections had the hills.

For the first mile I was in a group of about 5 people, chasing the lead pack. I soon realized that if I wanted any chance to catch the leaders I’d have to make a move early, so I separated from the chase group and took off on my own.

The course was pretty uneventful until you get back to the airfield. Unfortunately the leaders were too far ahead and I was never able to catch them, but the chase group didn’t catch me either. I finished about a minute behind the leaders, but also a minute ahead of my chasers, all on my own in that awkward little not-lead pack but not-chase pack spot.

My time was 17:40, a 22 second PR! I was really pleased with that result. It earned me 6th place overall and a little age group award medal.

After the race I hung out with my friend at the festival, picking up as many freebies and snacks as possible, and we stuck around for the evening balloon ascent where I was able to get a bunch of pictures.

All in all it was a successful race. It’s not every day you get to set a personal record and attend “the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America” (according to their website).

 

Have you participated in any special, unique races? Let me know!