I had two fantastic workouts this weekend – and neither was in a gym.
Saturday: Yesterday I planned on heading to the gym, but as I was walking to the car, I realized what a beautiful day it was. It wasn’t too hot (like it had been all week), and there was a nice breeze – a rare occurrence in the valley. So I decided to forgo the gym, and headed out on a run. I didn’t really think about a route or destination – I just walked a few blocks to warm up, and then started running. I felt great, and seemed to keep up a swift pace. I had great music, and used it to push myself – telling myself I wouldn’t check the clock until after the next song was over, and when that song ended, I pushed myself to go yet another song before checking the clock.
I made it close to 40 minutes before glancing at the clock for the first time, about 10 minutes longer than I thought. After 50 minutes, I still felt pretty good, and decided to see if I could go an hour without stopping. And I did! 60 minutes on the nose, without stopping – not at stoplights, not to catch my breath, never! When I made back to my condo after cooling down, I immediately plugged my route into Google Maps:
The total distance was 5.1 miles! My impromptu jog ended up being my most successful run ever in terms of distance and time. Here’s how it compares:
- 9/21/10: Distance: 3.1 miles. Time: 41 minutes. MPH: 4.53
- 9/27/10: Distance: 3.3 miles. Time: 45 minutes. MPH: 4.4
- 10/5/10: Distance: 3.2 miles. Time: 40 minutes. MPH: 4.8
- 10/12/10: Distance: 3.8 miles. Forgot to note time and MPH
- 10/16/10: Distance: 2.9 miles. Forgot to note time and MPH
- 11/1/10: Distance: 3.1 miles. Time: 36 minutes. MPH: 5.16
- 11/6/10: Distance: 5.1 miles. Time: 60 minutes. MPH: 5.1
Sunday: I woke up pretty sore from the run, but I stretched and went with my friend Tavi for a hike. I had read online about a waterfall you could hike to, called Switzer Falls, so we headed towards La Canada to the trailhead. We didn’t get far. The road leading into the Angeles National Forest, where the trail was, was closed, and bad been for months – thanks to last year’s Station Fire, a wildfire that raged in the forest for almost 2 months, scorching 250 square miles. So we improvised a Plan B, parked in a neighborhood, and hiked a different trail that skirted the border the Angeles National Forest.
At first, I wasn’t hopeful about this alternate route being a very exciting hike, mainly because at the beginning, it wasn’t very scenic:
But after we had wandered away from civilization, it turned out to be quite magnificent. There was lots of new growth that had popped in the year since the fire, and tons of dead, burned trees and logs, plus rocks and mountains and a rambling stream. Some more photos:
Here’s me on a rock:
It’s so cool to think that we were walking through this beautiful landscape and still only, like, 20 minutes from home in the heart of the city. That’s southern California for ya!
There was a wooden bridge over a creek that had burned in the fire, leaving behind just the steel supports. Here’s me going across one of the beams:
We had to cross the creek a couple times, and I got a shot of Tavi mid-leap:
And next is a shot of Tavi where you can see his face:
This was right around the spot, where, on the way back, we came across an old man who had just taken all his clothes off to go swimming in the river. We saw him stripping as we approached on the trail, and decided to start talking loudly, hoping he was hear us approaching and cover up or something. I kept my eyes on the trail in front of me.
In all, our hike lasted a little over 2 hours, and between it and the hour-long run on Saturday, I got more than my fill of Vitamin D!
Keep it up, David!