Wednesday, July 13, 2011

No flat land in California

This past weekend, the family and I took a little vacation over to California.  We spent a couple of days near Temecula, then headed over to Mission Beach for an afternoon at the ocean before beginning our drive home.  Our first couple of nights, we actually stayed in Canyon Lakes.  This was the scene of my long run for the week.

We were staying in a gated community, which was awesome.  In fact, you couldn't get passed the entry guard unless the person you were visiting called ahead and notified the guard!  My long run was supposed to be 15 miles, and I wasn't too sure I'd be able to find that much distance running around in a neighborhood.  I woke up and was out the door by 7:35 a.m., which was a nice change from the 5:00 a.m. workouts I've been doing in Arizona.  My plan was to head back to the main road and follow it until it ended, and then figure something out from there.

This was taken as soon as I stepped out of the house.

Once I got to the main road, there was a bit of a downhill to start.
When I reached the end of the main road, I was only at about mile 4.5, so I had to start weaving around the neighborhood before I could turn around and back-track.  At one point in the run, I turned into a cul-de-sac and came face to face with some pretty seriously-sized homes.

On the right side of this picture, that's all one house.  Pretty massive.
Once I finally hit a point where I thought I would be alright to turn around and head back, I was definitely ready.  The views were awesome, but it was constant rolling hills.  I'm pretty sure there was 0.0 miles of flat land.  Here's the elevation profile from my Garmin 310xt:

Pretty ugly.
Even with all of the elevation changes (939 feet of climbing all together!), it was still a really great run.  Almost the entire distance, I ran in a "parking" lane, which was more or less a really, really large bike lane.  And on the particular day I ran, I think it must have been Community Fitness Day, because I ran by about 50 people that were either running or riding there bikes.  In fact, there was one guy that I ended up passing about three times during the course of my looping around and whatnot.  The last time that I passed him, he was so enthusiastic and was even cheering me on!  It was so great to run around such upbeat people while training.  One of the highlights was when I ran through the low point of the elevation profile.  It was at the level of the lake.  I took some video, but it's pretty bumpy.  If you shake your head with the video, it's a lot easier to see (seriously, try it.  It works!)

Did you try shaking your head?  I sure hope not, because that would only make it worse!  Why in the world would that make watching a video easier?!

I finished up the run and spent the rest of the day hanging out with my family, and going to a birthday party (which was the reason for out trip in the first place).  Here's the completed map of the run:

It wasn't really just an out and back, as I had to do the last 1/3 of the run an extra time.
All together, the trip was a great success.  I was able to get in my weekly long run and was also able to see some good friends and relax a whole heck of a lot.  But, back to reality and the dry heat of lovely Arizona!

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