Monday, January 18, 2010

And Now, for Something Completely Different

My plan said "9 miles pace." That meant I was going to need to figure out how to slow down and keep it slow. I have 9 more weeks left on the trails around home and I'm getting tired of the same scenery day in day out. Time to do something different.
I headed up the road about 20 minutes to Peters Canyon Regional Park in Tustin. The park is located in the foothills of Northeastern Orange County. The trail I was going to run is actually part of the same trail network that I run down by home:
The first catch is there was no parking at the southern terminus of the park. I started about a mile south in a community park, where the trail looks like most in Orange County:

About a mile later, I finally entered the park proper:

It hadn't escaped me that I had been moving uphill for a while now. I was slowly climbing through coastal sage:

I crested a hill and Peters Canyon reservoir laid out in front of me. This reservoir is a leftover from the days that agriculture ruled the land here in Orange County. These days it serves as flood control, protecting the homes below from the infrequent storms that hit the region:

Speaking of storms - remember the storm I was talking about? You can see from the pictures that the skies were threatening. My hope was to get out and finish before the rains started. In fact, just as I entered the park, this stuff from the sky started hitting my hat. Two miles later, the skies were spitting, but it was warm out so I continued on the path around the reservoir:

Two and a quarter miles later, I reached my turnaround point. The foothills of Orange County were laid out in front of me as I reached the high point of my journey. I impressed myself. Despite the uphill push, wet conditions and unsure footing that comes with trails, I was still managing an 11:15 pace!

By now though, the skies were no longer spitting, but was doling out a steady rain. I quaffed a couple Endurolytes, a Hammer Gel (Green Apple - yum!) and started back to the car. The trail was turning slippery, so I was more deliberate with my footing:

I was making good time as I headed down the hill. I was eager to get back because it had stopped raining steadily, and had turned into a downpour! Those aren't orbs in this picture - they are raindrops that were caught in the camera's flash!

Luckily I brought a change of clothes! Yes - I'm an Eagle Scout. Be prepared!
That was dry when I started an hour and a half earlier!

To wrap up - this was a *great* adventure. I pulled up a little short on mileage - 8.7 instead of 9, but I was happy with my 11:00 pace on my first real trail run. I will definitely be doing more of this!
That also put a wrap on week 9. Final stats for the week - 36.7 miles running, 8.5 miles rowing. Nine down, nine to go!


  1. Nice job on your trail run! I like the photos too. Oh and running in a down pour...SUCKS! Good job! :)

  2. I really love trail running. Isn't it nice? You start to forget about time and distance and you just enjoy yourself. Great job!

  3. Great Post GLenn. Love the pics. I need to get out and find some trails. I doubt I will find some as stunning as those. Great job on your run in the rain do doubt. Keep it up and best wishes to your training.

  4. It sounds like an awesome run! Thanks for sharing the pictures. The scenery looks wonderful. Congratulations on the great pace!

  5. I love that trail, it looks like fun and you and BS would definitely see eye to eye...he is ALWAYS prepared. Hope your training goes well this week with a LITTLE wet weather! I'm already planning my wet one for tomorrow!

  6. loved the pics glenn, thanks for taking us along! i am jealous of how runner-friendly california is. or, at least how runner-friendly all you californian's make it out to be! ;)

  7. That looks like a great place for a run. And running in the rain...I like that on occasion.

  8. I need to get over there and run. Peter's Canyon is not that far from me at all. I can get there by running Santiago Creek to Irvine Park and down Jamboree. I love that all these trails are connected. One of these days I want to run all the way to Newport on them (and then have someone come pick me up)

    Great job getting out there for a good run. I'm glad that you avoided the storm for much of your run.