On Tuesday, I organized a night run in the Santa Monica Mountains with Josh, Ethan and Sally. One of my favorite routes starts on Los Liones' single tracks before ascending up Topanga Fire Road to Parker Mesa Overlook. Gives you a good amount of climbing in a span of about 3.5-4 miles at 1,700 ft with some spectacular city/ocean views. After we went to a late night diner and grubbed on some hearty food.
|A blur of headlamps and colors.|
On Friday, I played hooky from work and me and buddy Dave did the 15-mile Bulldog loop in Malibu Creek State Park. It climbs 3,000 ft at a long and steady rate before steeply dropping back down into the park. Loved the views as per usual and being that it was David's first time, was glad to be able to introduce him to that beautiful place.
|Playing with/on rocks.|
Which brings us to today. Another early start, this time with a slightly larger group in tow. From the South Bay where I live, we had me, Dave, Joe and 1st timer Charles going. We rendezvoused with Josh and Ethan at the Bear Canyon trailhead and started the summit towards Baldy. Despite having 26+ trail miles on him from the day before, Josh seemed to have peppy legs and the slower group did our best to keep up. I actually felt pretty good for a change on the initial climb out of the tree cover towards Bear Flats. However, when the *real* climbing started almost 2 miles in my lower calves got super tight making trying to fall into my usual climbing rhythm a challenge. Then inexplicably, my right leg started to feel numb and tingly in certain parts. What the fuck was going on?
I fell back from the group a bit trying to stretch it out but felt more like nerves being messed with. A part of me debated turning back around for fear that a bloodclot could take place the higher I went up in altitude but then I realized I was just being a pussy and to push on. So I did.
|Boys on Top.|
Despite the discomfort, I had a great time with the group. It was a nice day out although it got kind of chilly and windy at the summit. I reached the top in 2:17 and change (hey we can't PR every week) but thoroughly stoked for friends who did (Dave + Ethan). I'm also super proud of Charles for completing his 1st summit despite being away from the sport for awhile.
When it came time for the descent, I wanted to push myself and continue to build up my confidence. We ran down at a pretty good clip until we ran into Charles about 1500 ft down who had summitted before us and was meticulously making his way down the technical trails. I hung back with him the rest of the way since it was his first time down and he's got the weight of the world on his shoulders currently. We got to get a good chat in while sparing the quads and taking in the views.
|Hanging w/ the Chaz several thousand feet up from sea level|
All in all, another great day on Mount Baldy. Already can't wait for Summit #5.