Sunday, July 15, 2007

Running Up Signal Hill

Me at the trail head

This morning I finally got my run up Signal Hill done. Unfortunately because I woke up a little later than planed so I had to shorten the run by driving the four miles to the trail head, instead of running there I had originally planned as the day was already getting hot, it was 90 degrees when I left the house at 6:00 am.

Start of the trail

The first part of the trail is a mile and half approach the base of Signal Hill. The only real difficulty with part of the run is the grapefruit sized rocks that parts of the trail (usually when it is crossing a wash) that the trail is composed of. This part of the run went very well, it was relatively cool and I was feeling energetic.

The first hill

There was a few small rolling hills that had to be crossed during the first part of the run.

An Octillo

One of the things that I love about running this particular route is the beautiful desert scenery that it goes through. I particularly love all the bizarre looking plants. Like the octillo which reminds of something from a Dr. Seuss book.

Where the real uphill begins

After about 20 minutes I reached the actual base of Signal Hill, and this is where the difficult part began. Oddly there is cement road all the way to the top, it was put there to allow service to the radio towers on top. This is both a blessing and a curse. It blessing because it provides a nice sure footed surface. It is curse because of all possible surfaces cement is hardest on the body.

A very steep part

The "trail" is not really a trail but rather and access road, and such is not designed with the comfort of the runner in mind. Large portions of it have a grade that portions have a grade that has to be of 30 degrees. To say I ran up these portions would be generous, I would run the best I could up these parts for about 50 feet, rest and repeated the process as I inched my way to the top. I saw some marines from the locale base running up the hill, damn, they are in shape.

A look back at the road already traveled

Finaly I, rounded a corner and was at the top. The views from up there are amazing, especially if one ingnores the dozen or so radio towers that are up there.

At the top

The run down while quick, was in its own almost as painful as going up. Stopping myself from careening out of control down the mountain absolutely killed my quads. The cement of of the access road made it even worse, usaly when going a very steep hill it is possible to bleed of speed by skidding in the dirt/rocks, this is not possible on the cement. None the less what was a 40 minute trip up, was less than a ten minute trip down.

It was a very good way to start training for the fall marathon season. It was the kind of run that makes running fun and exciting again. A very nice way to bust out of the summer doldrums.

1 comment:

VA Friend said...

I am really impressed. It looks like a very challenging run. I could never do it running and I don't think I would be able to walk it either.

Congrats on making it to the top!!