A Palos Verdes Trail Running Love Affair

From L-R (Steve, Chad, Pat, Gary, Weitze)

Finally!!!!

I got the Chi Runners on my home turf. I was being open minded and flexible that day. I was going to see who would show then adjust the run to fit the levels.

Well, some experienced Chi Runners showed up.

Weitze – Just over 4 hr Marathoner and part of our Beach Runner groups. I’ve run and coached him many times.

Chad – Took our workshop last year. Just ran a sub 5 hr Phoenix Marathon.

Pat – Surfer/half marathoner. Knew the beauty of the area.

Brandon – Fellow Beach runner, ran his first marathon in 4:20.

Steve – My fellow coach. He’s always coaching and teaching. Considerate and motivating. Also a fine trail runner as I learned when he smoked me last year running up the top of Mt. Baldy.

Finally me – trail runner at heart, I grew up running PV trails, and since learning to run the “Chi” way, have gotten lightning fast downhill. And a lot faster uphill also.

Exercise can be boring for me if I run the same route the same way every time I go out. So I like to change it up. Makes it a little more interesting to go running. The body and mind likes variety. It tricks the body to getting stronger much faster. So I took a different start than I usually do.

So we did a hill to start the run. Good warmup, we were all huffing a little by the top. Important to save energy on hills, so I took my time and had a conversation with Pat. I hope I didn’t burn everyone out.

Once on the trail, I felt free to fly. Steve reminded me to slow down, but, man, I was so excited to be out there with these good runners.

The INSANE hill #2 was a bit steep. I had to walk a little of it. But by the time we finished that hill everyone was very warmed up. PV runners call this the Matterhorn, as the footing is dangerously loose. I took another one of our Beach Runners, a beautiful girl named Olivia, down this same trail and she managed it no problem. So with these studs I figuered no problem.

Then the bitching started. “Moderate my ass!”. “How much more to go?”. “How are you doing that in running shoes?”. Blah. Blah. Blah. “Get on with it.” I replied.

After the Matterhorn it leveled out and we ran a wonderful scenic single track to the final hill up to the top of PV. I ran with Chad, who is training for the Buffalo run in Catalina, a half marathon on trails. We were both commenting on the breathtaking view, the nature, how good it was to be out running in nature on a Sunday morning.

I felt fantastic. Maybe it was the daily juicing I’ve been doing. Maybe the mega doses of antioxidents, maybe the 2-3 yoga sessions a week, maybe feng shuiing my house, or maybe just I know how to conserve energy going up a hill due to my Chi Running, but, damn, my running is electric boogaloo right now.

The rest of the gang joined me at top. And the view from Del Cerro park is probably the best in the South Bay. A view of Catalina, the ocean, open space, fog rolling in, falcons, and crows circling.

The boys were stoked. We took a picture and said our thanks.

Then we ran downhill. I was just cruising, using no energy at all, flowing like water, yapping, working on opening up my hips. Worried I was losing everyone, I looked back and the boys were right there, just a few steps behind. We finished on a fast fast section, a chance to accelerate to a 6 or sub 6 minute mile pace. Flying.

I’ve had my doubts coming out of a glutonous Xmas season about my fitness. But January has been about running and yoga and nutrition. And my body is responding. And I was flying. I’m almost back to where I was last summer. I can feel it. That’s the beauty of a fitness base you develop from marathon training, it stays with you for a long time.

Again I waited no more than 2 minutes and everyone caught up. I sure hope more people learn Chi Running so they can run as well as these guys did Sunday. Smooth. Energy efficient. And tuned into nature and the Chi emanating all around us.

We took it easy and ran back to Trump’s golf course, quickly past the driving range, to a stretching session with Steve.

Chad, Pat, and Weitze loved the run. They got quite a treat that Sunday morning. We stretched to the view of the ocean. Talked about church, our bodies, our jobs, etc.

This run embodied everything I love about this website. Cool people, inspiring runs, and a spiritual focus.

INSANE? Maybe a little. But in a good way.

Run with Joy,

Gary

comments

2 Responses to “A Palos Verdes Trail Running Love Affair”

  1. Ed on February 23rd, 2011

    Looks like fun… and a lot more beautiful than running the streets. I’ll be doing my first marathon this March. When I get that under my belt, I’d love to join you guys.

  2. Ed on February 23rd, 2011

    Oh, wait. This post is five years old. You guys might not even be alive any more. ;) Ah, well

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