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Week in Review: The fight for Griffith Park
December 12-18 (&19)
It has been a long and crazy fall, but the week of December 12th marked the end of the insanity. I had to make it through 3 days of work and then off to LA for a mini vacation. I was finally able to run a few fast miles, followed by many, many slow miles and my winter running tights got to take a much-needed break.
The week did not start off hopeful. Sunday marked the arrival of yet another head cold, not surprising since it was dead week at work, but disappointing. I finally realized the difference between the cold medicine they keep on the shelves versus those behind the counter (thank you meth epidemic) and my head started to clear before I had to go to the doctor for round 6 of antibiotics.
I’d taken Sunday off hoping to avoid the cold but no luck, Monday I rested as well. Tuesday I was ready to run and try the new running shoes out. It was one of the coldest mornings so far but I managed and easy 6.
Wednesday was a long day at work since I was trying to cram a week’s worth of work in 3 days. By the end of the day I wasn’t really in the mood to go to track, but I’d been away for three weeks and I really wanted to get some faster miles in.
Head cold was still going strong, but besides not being able to breathe through my nose, I felt pretty good. It was a really dark night, but warmer (by warmer I mean 41 degrees). We ran a 3.5 mile tempo run with cut down miles. I ran 6:53, 6:45, 6:35 and 3:06 (faster than 4A was supposed to run but slower than group 4). We followed-up the workout with 3 x 200m (43.9, 38.9 and 38.1). The last 2 were a bit on the fast side (we were supposed to run 42s) but I was tired and cold and it was late and I still needed to pack for my early morning flight, so I just ran them to get done. For a full color commentary you check out this link: https://runprettyrunfast.com/2011/12/15/wednesday-night-speed-3-5-mile-tempo-and-3-x-200m/
Thursday came earlier than most; I had a 7:15AM flight to catch for a full weekend of Birthday celebrations. My early hour flight meant a rest day which was much-needed after my late night track workout. Now I realize I could have run once in LA, but honestly my legs were dead from the Wednesday night track workout.
My rest day however was anything but restful. I spent most of the day at the LA zoo with one of my very best friends and her little girl. Maggie (my friend Heather’s little girl) had more energy than I have in a month. I think she managed to run the entire time and she’s not even three yet. When Heather finally dropped me off at my friend Ginger’s place I could barely take another step.
I thought a good nights-rest would fix the legs, but not so lucky. Maybe my head was still in the fog of my cold, or maybe the LA sunshine was playing with my head, but I managed to get lost on my morning run while using my iPhone with GPS. The plan was to run to Griffith Park and see if I could find the trails or better yet the observatory.
I’m from Seattle and run on hills all the time so I didn’t think twice about my choice of morning route, which was my first major mistake. I could clearly tell my legs were struggling after the first mile but figured they’d warm-up, but after another half mile I was twisting and winding my way through the Hollywood Hills trying to catch my breath. Everyone I passed looked at me as I’d lost my mind (which I clearly had).
By the time I realized I’d gone the wrong way I was 2.5 miles up a hill (mountain). I turned around and decided I needed to new plan to get my 7 miles in for the day. I figured out where my wrong turn was and decided to give the observatory another go. The road into the park was deceptively uphill. I struggled and toiled to get to the park, made my way past rows of parking spots. I arrived at the final turn leading to the observatory and that’s where I gave up: Griffith Park 1, Robyn 0.
My legs failed me. I turned around and headed home. The 2 miles back to Ginger’s were fast (duh they were down hill) and when it was all said and done I’d managed 7 miles. The rest of the day was spent on a truly epic shopping adventure (I really think I should count the miles I walked shopping in my weekly mileage).
I was stupid enough to attempt to summit mount Griffith again on Saturday only to fail when I reached the parking spaces: Griffith Park 2, Robyn 0.
The rest of the day was spent in Santa Monica shopping (and again I really think these miles should count in my running log, all those bags are heavy).
After a fun day with friends I was ready for a good night sleep with hopes of attempting a long run the following morning.
I’d plotted out a run that did not include Griffith Park, but surprise, surprise I was worried I was lost around mile 3. Now to be fair I knew exactly where I was, I was on the LA bike trail, I however thought it would be this cute little dirt trail I’d seen with Heather on Thursday when we left the zoo; it in fact was not.
The path ran parallel to a freeway and some empty ravine/once water way. I bailed out of fear for my own safety. I turned around and not even 30 seconds later a pack of about 40 runners passed me; okay so maybe this wasn’t as dangerous as my paranoid mind would have me believe. I decided to give the other side of the trail a chance.
Less than a mile passed (which felt like eternity) and not a runner in sight. I saw a rickety bridge ahead of me and made the excellent life choice of crossing it believing the other side held the dirt path I’d been searching for my whole life.
Once I crossed the bridge I quickly decided to turn around and head back to the urban sprawl I recognized. I arrived at the road back to the promise land, but quickly realized I was fenced in; great. Luckily for me there was a nice man who told me there was a hole in the fence back 20 or 50 feet the way I’d come and I could get out that way. I found the whole, blocked by a garbage can (really what kind of path is this?)I passed a homeless man’s campsite and made my way to safety.
I thought that would be the end of my adventures, but I was still trying to get those dang 12 miles in and I was only at 5, if I turned around now I’d be lucky to get to 8.
I realized that right before I’d tested the fates on the LA bike path I’d passed another entrance to Griffith Park. I figured I was nowhere near the observatory by now, so I’d give it ago. It was a lovely run, fairly flat and there were many fellow runners out. I managed to make it 2 miles into the park before I turned around. I made it back to Ginger’s just over 11 miles, and yes I added the extra .6 miles to get to 12.
My legs were dead. Blame it on the track workout, the hills, the marathon shopping or the California concrete, but these were clearly not the restful sunny miles I’d imagined in my head. Still all in all I was happy to get them in. My foot is feeling good and I’m just happy to be on the road: Griffith Park 2, Robyn 1.
One final note; Monday is my usually day off. Ginger and I decided walk to the observatory in Griffith Park. I know again this will surprise you all, but the path we chose actually lead us away from the observatory, we did however manage to scale a neighboring peak, one that was higher than the observatory. Final tally? Griffith Park 2, Robyn 2 tied-up, guess I’ll need to come back and try again; maybe then I’ll find my California sun.
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