The coolest summer I've ever recalled ended last Wednesday and Autumn began on the 23rd. Two days later, we're into not only the hottest weather of the year, but all-time record temperatures on Monday, the 27th (it reached 113 degrees in Downtown Los Angeles before the thermometer apparently broke).
Sandwiched in there, my plans were to do a 20+ miler on Sunday, come hell or high water. And I did. It wasn't pretty though.
My previous 22 milers went without a hitch. Nice and steady, mostly road runs in overcast conditions.
Sunday's run was different. I knew we were in for high temps, so I opted to run to PCH from Newbury Park down Sycamore Canyon. My first foray down there for about 3 months. The most brutal aspect of this run is coming back up the 800 foot ascent from the canyon.
With the help of an alarm, I was out the door at 6 a.m. It was still dark out and thankfully not hot yet. In fact, it was on the cool side. Better yet, it stayed cool pretty much the entire journey down to PCH, where I ran through the campground at Sycamore Canyon.
At PCH I headed west and ran until I reached the entrance of Thornehill Broome Beach, where you see all the RVs lined up enjoying the ocean. From there I turned around and successfully navigated my way back up the canyon, where it continued to stay cool until I reached the steep ascent. From there it was a slow journey in about 80 degree 8:30 a.m. heat. Total distance covered was 21 miles.
I was sore the next day but in a "good" way. Looking forward now to this coming Sunday, where I will get a reprieve from the 20 miler and try my luck at the Camarillo Half Marathon. My goal there is to run about a 1 hour, 20 minute race, which is about 6:06 per mile. That might be a stretch but if I can do that, I'll be comfortable with a 2:50 to 2:55 marathon target.
One rookie move came on Saturday...in my haste to eat on Saturday, I downed a can of Chunky Beef Chili. Mistake. Did not sit well with me on Sunday. I survived. But...note to self...keep the food simple the day before a long run or race.