Sunday, April 20, 2008

First 9+ Mile Orbit of '08

This morning, Valerie and I head out together, west along Montemalaga, and then down Via Del Monte. Unlike our previous attempt last weekend, we enjoy cool temperatures along the way. I reach the bottom of Via Del Monte ahead of Valerie, but not by much. And when she reaches me, she does not want to stop...continuing on to Via Campesina and eventually back home (totaling just under seven miles).

Having already decided this would be my first ten mile run of the year, I turn towards Malaga Cove Plaza, but, rather than head out to Palos Verdes Drive West, I decide to look for the first trail I ever ran upon. It's not hard to find. I just turn left one street before the bottom and follow it to its end. The trail begins there and continues up the hill. Currently surrounded by the same wildflowers I found on Burma Road, it is not exactly as I remember it, but I do remember the big dip it makes before a steep climb up to Via Arriba.

After working my way back to Palos Verdes Drive West, I head south towards Palos Verdes High School's cross country course. This stretch is a bit longer than I remember it, probably because I am used to running the opposite direction. This way involves a slight incline...nothing challenging, but definitely draining enough to make me not look forward to the climb up Via Coronel.

When the real ascent begins, I start to feel my legs sooner than expected. I decide to detour on to Via Zurita...assuming this street might be a bit steeper, but more direct. Unfortunately, it seems to turn as far to the north as Via Coronel twists to the south, so I am not really sure this is a shortcut. I am walking long before I reach the top.

That said, I still have plenty of energy left to pick up the pace once the incline starts to diminish. I am moving along at a good clip by the time I return to Montemalaga. I finish my run strongly, but just shy of ten miles. My alternate routes obviously took a little distance off of my planned run.

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