Friday, September 28, 2007

There and Back Again

Since my wife and friends will be joining me in Pt Mugu a week from tomorrow, I have been looking for a trail in Palos Verdes that, for them, would prove a good introduction to trail running and, for me, a chance to break in my new Asics Kahana trail shoes while reacquainting my legs with the challenges of navigating uneven and unfamiliar terrain. My search turned up Burma Road, a 2.5 mile long fire road starting near Del Cerro Park and ending at a fence. Today I decided to scout the course to see if it will be sufficient for training.

The trail is wide enough to accommodate people hiking or biking in both directions and with room for passing. The grade, though substantial, never gets too steep to be discouraging. There are segments with more rocks than others, but my feet could usually find a smooth patch to land upon. The biggest problem I have is that the trail starts from the top...I have a tendency to start too fast when I am going downhill (I did close to 7 minute miles for the first two miles without even trying), depleting my reserves by the time I hit the inclines. I also wish this trail looped rather than dead-ends (I prefer to not retrace my steps), but there are a number of smaller trails branching from here that may be worth investigating. On the plus side, the view overlooks Portuguese Bend, so, on clear days, you should get a nice view of Catalina (I could see its shadowy form through this morning's marine layer)...and a couple of wild rabbits crossed my path providing a nice distraction as I worked my way back up the hill.

This was my first trail run/jog since high school, but it will not be my last (I had to walk far too much on the inclines). I plan to come back here with my wife and friends on Sunday.

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