Friday, July 5, 2013

To the Mountain Top

The family and I took a trip down (up?) to Palm Springs a couple weekends ago to ride up the Palm Springs Tramway.  The tram takes you up the side of Mount San Jacinto, starting at the base of the mountain, and traversing in the suspended tram car up the eastern face of the mountain to the station at around 8500'.

It's really nice up there, especially considering the temperature difference of about 35 degrees.  It was a hot day in the desert, and a perfectly cool day up at the top.  We did some hiking while we were up there, and then topped it off with a late lunch at the restaurant at the top.  It was a great time, Tyler really enjoyed being in the woods.  He loved running around on the trails, so I may have a future trail runner in the making!

I took many pictures, but this is my first time taking pics using a DSLR, but I think I'm going to like it (once I get it all figured out!).

At the top, starting our hike!

King of the Mountain!

Tyler is loving the trails.

Tyler and mommy.

Even Tyler can work the camera!

His spidey sense was strong...

High country

Awesome single track...I'll be back for you.

My little trail runner.

Just taking it all in.

A little color.

He loves the big rocks!

Looking out over the world.

Looking down over the Coachella Valley from 8k'.

I'm so hungry I'll eat my finger!

Our ride for the day.

Looking down from the tram.

The tram route.

There is running water in the desert!

Nice little waterfall.

Just getting some sun.

All kinds of plant life!
It was a great day on the mountain.  We did a good little bit of hiking, but the altitude had the gang worn out pretty quick.  Miles of single track up there, just waiting to be run.  You can go to the west side of the mountain, and take any number of trails from Idyllwild to the top, or if you are more ambitious, you can take the cactus to clouds route all the way from Palm Springs to the peak of San Jacinto.  One of these days, I will be so ambitious, but it will take plenty of planning.  The route is essentially 10k' of vertical gain, and it's up the whole way.  Planning out water resupply and working out the right time of year is the logistics I'll have to lock down.  Not something I'm going to attempt this year, however, it might be an adventure for the late spring next year; I'll have to see what my race schedule looks like.

In other news, training begins again for my fall races.  The focus race is The North Face San Francisco 50 miler in December, but I'll also be doing Bootlegger 50k in November as a tune up, and probably throw in some other shorter local races in the coming months.  It feels good to have a schedule again, and a focus.  After about two months of non-specific running, I'm happy to be back into a routine.

I know I lost some fitness since my peak for Leona Divide, but I still feel pretty good.  Everything seems to be falling back into place quickly, and hopefully the base I built all last year will keep things on track as the mileage increases.  I'm planning on peaking out at around 70 mile weeks for this one, which is more than I did for my 50k.  Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.  That's the motto I'm sticking to this time.

My climbing legs are coming back, and I plan on having them stronger than ever by the time December hits.  It's going to be hard for me to use Bootlegger as just a tune up, and not run it at full effort.  I want to make sure I peak at the right time, which is the hardest part.  Running a race as a training run is not something I've had much luck with in the past; when the gun goes off, I get a little too excited.  Bootlegger will be a good exercise in restraint.  The plan is to finish it feeling strong, not beat myself up, and then start a nice taper.

I'm optimistic about my upcoming training, and confident I'll be ready come December.  In the meantime, Keep Running!

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