Week in Review: April 2 – 8

Silver Moccasin Trail Between Shortcut & Charlton Flats

Silver Moccasin Trail Between Shortcut & Charlton Flats

This week was a step-back week – what should have been a relaxed 76 miles that somehow still managed to have some serious elevation gain – 15,600 feet of climbing. For all you road runners, the much-talked-about and dreaded Heartbreak Hill at the end of the Boston Marathon rises 88 feet. Sunday, I ran the equivalent of 64 Heartbreak Hills. This week, with 15,600 feet of climbing over 76 miles, I ran the equivalent of 177 Heartbreak Hills. That would be an average of 2.3 Heartbreak Hills in every mile. Put another way, there was seldom a moment when I was not running up or down a Heartbreak Hill.

On Saturday, I started at Shortcut Saddle with the intention of running the AC course backwards past Chilao towards Mt. Hillyer, and then back, for a nice 20 miles.

The first stretch of Silver Moccasin Trail, from Shortcut to Charlton Flats, was a bit unnerving because it was unfamiliar and clearly seldom traveled, and I did not know I’d be hitting civilization (that means the Charlston Flat campgrounds) as quickly as I did. I reckoned that if anything went wrong, it could be weeks before anyone found me. In actuality, it would have been about an hour, because coming down the trail in the other direction were Jack Cheng, Wilson Liu, Anibal Corsi, Ernesto Cruz, and a handful of others.

Whenever I am in the mountains, I can always count on running into someone I know. In the city, not so much…

Jack wondered why I was running in the wrong direction and urged me to stop eating wheat, fried food and icecream. He rubbed my little belly and solemnly said AC100 will be much easier without it.

I missed the turn-off from the fireroad back onto Silver Moccasin Trail and never made it to Chilao. I headed back up to Shortcut, stopped for a bit to talk to a couple of the runners I’d passed early, and then headed down the fireroad towards Newcomb’s Saddle to make it an even 20 miles.

Sunday’s Easter run began at Eaton Canyon and went up the Mt. Wilson Tollroad through Henninger Flats, past the turn-off to Idlehour, and up 7.5 miles to the Wintercreek Trail, which I took down a few miles in the direction of Chantry.

Wintercreek is a lot of fun to run down. Unfortunately, at AC100, we will be coming up, not down, and doing it on legs that already have 75 miles of mountain running on them. This will not be fun. It’s a bitch to climb on fresh legs.
Once I hit the 10 mile mark, I turned around and headed back, up Wintercreek, & back down the Mt. Wilson Tollroad, for a total of 64 Heartbreak Hills.

Tuesday: 15 miles Cherry Canyon (7 miles), Griffith Park (8 miles)
2,700 feet climbing (31 Heartbreak Hills)

Wednesday: 9 miles, Arroyo Seco
200 feet (2.3 Heartbreak Hills)

Thursday: 14 miles. Cherry Canyon (8) Griffith Park (6)
2,700 feet climbing (31 Heartbreak Hills)

Friday: Rest.

Saturday: 20 miles: Shortcut almost to Chilao, and back.
4,400 feet climbing (50 Heartbreak Hills)

Sunday: 20 miles, Eaton Canyon, Mt. Wilson Tollroad, Winter Creek Trail
5,600 feet climbing (64 Heartbreak Hills).

Total: 76 miles, 15,600 feet climbing, 177 Heartbreak Hills

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