Sunday, April 15, 2012

Page Mill Road Ascent - Mt. Washington Prep

This year I don't want to suck at the Mt. Washington Road Race (MWRR).  Once upon a time (1999) I ran a 1:06 but since getting older and moving West my times have been pretty slow.  2010 saw my all time WR (worst record) of 1:20+.  Climbing 4200' in 7.6 miles Mt. Washington is a giant among mountain races and probably the longest, steepest road ascent race in North America (runners at mile 7 of the 2008 race pictured below).

I'm in better shape leading up to the 2012 MWRR than I've been in many years but to run fast I need more hill work.  Specifically long sustained efforts uphill - preferably on roads.  Page Mill Road is a good training ground ascending about 1500' in 5 miles so today that's the run that was on the menu.

I started my run on Moody Road before the final steep pitch to Page Mill.  My goal was to run a steady zone 2/3 over the "rolling" steep uphill route to the Monte Bello Open Space Preserve parking lot (high point on the run).

It took 45 minutes to run these 5 road miles (1500' of ascent).  Part 2 of the run was to find Kelly who was running up/down on the Bella Vista trail (pictured below) after having dropped me off at the beginning of my run.

If I wanted to add 500 vertical feet to my run I could have continued on Bella Vista to the summit of Black Mountain.  Today we had post run plans so I wanted to meet Kelly on the trail and run back to the car with her.  55 minutes into my run and here comes Kelly down the trail - perfect timing!

You couldn't ask for better running weather at Monte Bello today - sun, warm, no wind and great views.  Unfortunately with the summer-like weather come the crowds.  Not on the trails, but darn; I've never seen a full parking lot at Monte Bello prior to today.