Having decided that the next 9 months or so would focus on running with a build up for Leona Divide 50m and being in a “lull” between plans it made obvious sense to head out the trails at the weekend. So Sunday morning Becca and I managed to slips the bonds of eggs and bacon which usully have us locked down till 9 or sometimes even 10am (although that will change now Becca is stepping up her IMAZ training) and headed off to the Backbone Trail. If you have been reading this blog for a while there are references to this way back but since I have been on a Triathlon bent since late 2011 it’s been some time!
The Backbone Trail follows the entire length of the Santa Monica Mountains and is overseen been multiple agencies that foined to create and oversee the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, it extends over 65 miles starting just North of Santa Monica and end close to the Point Mugu on PCH. It open for multi use including horse riding and mountain biking but hiking and running are the only activities that are allowed on the entire length. I have run the entire thing, albeit in three sections back in 2010 and maybe one day I will in one go!
So we headed off to the local section that connects Kanan Dune to one of the high points at Coral Canyon neat to Castro Peak. The plan had only been to run out for 5 miles but I suggested that we push onto the natural turnaround at around the 6.5 mile mark giving us a solid 13 miles or so. As you can tell by the photos the weather was perfect, a slight breeze and hardly any sun.
Trail running is just a joy and I had forgotten how much I love it. With no headphones it’s just you, your footsteps and breathing. We stopped often for photos and finally hit the turnaround after 90 minutes and sucked down a gel. The clock was ticking so we headed back. At the 10 mile mark we both concluded that we were done, but with another 3 miles to go we had to push on. Both of us were feeling the aches and pains that would set in and last a more than a few days from the ups and downs, the rough terrain and the general lack of trail time!
We reached the car and of course did the worst thing possible, got in a drove home, no stretching. So here I sit feeling like someone has torn my legs off and hit me with the bleeding stumps…still I did get some nice photos!
Back to the trails is going to take some time but fortunately I have 250+ days to get there!