The run plan today entailed 26 miles to round out a 60 mile week; and specifically, to push on the uphills and see how fast I could run a 26 mile course on rolling hills. I love running in the Verdugos because the uphills are spread throughout any long run; unlike big runs in the front range of the San Gabriels, where the uphill is generally paid upfront with the back end of the run largely downhill, running the ridge line of the Verdugos gives a taste of extended climbs at relatively high mileage when I am feeling tired. Great fitness training --plus the views are spectacular.
We lost an hour this morning with daylight savings, so I split the difference between physiological time and clock time, waking at 6am and getting out to the La Tuna Canyon trailhead for a predawn 7am start. The run comprises a 3.3 mile climb to the ridge line, where I cache water; followed by a 6.2 mile largely downhill run to the west to a trailhead in Burbank; turnaround and run back uphill to the water cache; then run largely downhill 3.5 miles to the west, turnaround and return to cache, finishing out with 3.3 miles down back to the trailhead:
I got my money's worth. I held the same pace as on last week's run up Mt. Wilson, completing the 26 mile course, with 5500 feet of climb, in 4:28, much faster than comparable runs in the Verdugos last year; but I certainly found my limits today. I had to walk a fair bit of the last climb and felt vaguely nauseous for the final 10 miles. My calves were sore from 7 min miles on the long downhill and by the end I was hurting. It was warm and when I got home my weight was 150lbs; I'd lost about 5 pounds despite having consumed about 8 pounds of fluid in the course of the run. I think the Spring Ultra Medical Team training I attended yesterday, which included a fascinating lecture on over hydration and its dangers, was running in my mind!
I consumed no calories other than what is in Gu Fizz tabs during this run yet never felt hungry, so my metabolic efficiency is coming along well.
Here is are the pace and elevation charts for the run:
The GPS track and data are posted here:
Verdugos 26 mile course Mar 8, 2015