Showing posts from September, 2010

Trail Running Thoughts

I wanted to put into words my feelings and thoughts on trail running since I am in the middle of training for my first 50 mile trail race in the Rock'n River 50miler on October 16 in Auburn, CA after completing my third 50km (~31mi) run in the Bulldog 50K in a personal best time.  The main reason I started trail running was, simply, to keep in shape for wilderness backpacking, which is my passion.  Physically, backpacking is not easy if you're looking to hike a relatively high number of miles per day, under certain challenging conditions (i.e. elevation, weather, minimal food, etc.), consistently over a period of time.  So, staying in shape keeps me ready for backpacking at whatever time of year.  Fortunately, for me, this provides a whole host of other physical and cognitive benefits that range from having a good cardiovascular system, low body fat levels, higher energy levels, and glad-to-be-alive feelings. I never ran in high school or college but after my first long-distan…

Part III of "Pacific Coast Bike Tour": Santa Monica, CA to US/Mexico Border

Considering I knew this was my last legitimate chance at taking more than 2 days off until the end of the school semester I decided to continue piecing the Pacific Coast of the continental U.S. by bicycle with my girlfriend, Megan. We have already biked Santa Monica to San Francisco north so we wanted to attempt a non-headwind direction: south!We started in Santa Monica, Friday morning, under the overcast layer of fog that has plagued Southern California most of the summer.  We passed through Manhattan, Hermosa, Redondo, and Newport before stopping to wolf down some excellent greek food in Long Beach.  The rest of our day had us going through the surprisingly nice community of Huntington Beach and uppity Laguna Beach to finally arrive at Capistrano Beach ~80 miles later. The entire day felt like a pleasant afternoon bike ride which is a remarkably different situation with 30-40 mph headwinds.   After spending a night in the terribly reviewed but relatively cheap Seaside Inn, we contin…

Eastern Grand Canyon (May 16-22, 2010)

Two days after my first year of grad school was complete I drove to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park to meet my friend JustPaul ('03 PCT) who happened to have a prized backcountry permit for the next 6 days.  He was also leading a group of five people on a day hike that would have us hiking from South Rim to North Rim. The 23-mile 10,650ft elevation trek commenced at the Bright Angel Trailhead (TH) passing through Indian Gardens, Phantom Ranch, Cottonwood Camp, and finally the North Kaibab TH.  After spending the next day at the North Rim, Paul and I continued our trek east along the North Rim via the Ken Patrick Trail.  The GC had a late spring snow pack and it looked like we were the first people through because of the amount of snow, the amount of blow-down, and brush. And yes, Ed Abbey was right, everything pokes and stings.  We were able to get through Imperial Point and finally to the deserted Nankoweap Trailhead around 3pm.

     In the distance I could spot t…