Saturday, July 31, 2010

Potato Hill Time Trial & July totals

We spent the night in Acton last night to avoid the smokey air in the AV. We stayed up late so we missed a long run today. Instead, we took turns running the Potato Hill Time Trail from our friends, the Schneider's, house. They live on the north side of Acton off the Santiago exit from the 14 freeway. From their house it is a short run down the street to the trail head which takes you to the top of the hill (Potato Hill) overlooking Acton. They have run this loop (almost exactly 2 miles) with other friends and keep a record of peoples' times. The trail is very steep for one mile to the top and then even steeper down hill and back to their house. It starts and ends at the fire hydrant in front of their driveway.
Bill and I ran first. It took about 2 minutes to get to the trail head and after a quarter mile on the hill my legs started burning. The trail gets progressively steeper until the top which I had to walk the last tenth of a mile when the grades got up around 20-30%. It is 1.1 miles from the top and from the low point at the trail head to the top, there is 620ft of elevation gain (3310ft to 3930ft) in just less than a mile with grades averaging from 7%-17% most of the way. I reached the top in 10:51 and started a controlled fall down the back side of the hill. It was more bounding than running as the grades were closer to negative 30-40%. Then there is a slight up hill on the road back to their house. I finished in 16:33 which is now the course record! The previous record was held by Dawn Schneider in 18:46. Bill came in at around 19:20? I will try and get his exact time. I believe it was his course best time.

Andi and Dawn ran second. Dawn took an early lead but Andi passed her and was the first one to the top of the hill with about a 10-15 second lead. Dawn passed her on the downhill, but Andi couldn't make up the difference on the road. Dawn finished in 18:50 and Andi finished in 18:56!

It is a very difficult course, to get a good time you have to be strong on the hills, have good aerobic endurance (you are working at your max HR for the first mile), and then be fearless on the even steeper downhill to get back as quickly as possible. It was challenging but lots of fun.

Because I didn't get a long run in today I didn't quite meet my July goal of 140 miles. I finished the month with 134 miles, but I am much more pleased with the consistency of my training. It was a good month with 3 runs of over two hours (two of which were 15-16 miles), two good track workouts, a pleasantly surprising 5k on July 4th, and a course record at the Pelona Vista Cross Country course.

My goal for August (which also has 31 days) is 150+ miles. Stay tuned.

3 comments:

Chuck said...

Sounds like a fun and challenging time trail. Nice month of July!

Dale Lister said...

Good Job Karl!

So..... You are the king of the Potato Hill.... The Head Potato Hiller.... The Potato Hill Head.... Mr. Potato Head!!!

Question: Is there a way to subscribe to your blog so that I get an email when you update it?

Justin said...

Hey karl...how'd you make out the rest of the run? Sergio and I came back on the paved side of the aqueduct after getting back to the bridge at godde hill rd and never saw you. Figured you either turned around or cut under the aqueduct.