Tunnel to Cielo

It struck me, about a month ago, that here it was, half past July, and I had done nothing about Pier to Peak.

(Pier to Peak starts at 6:30 this year, not 7)

Time for some trail runs. Time to run in the heat of the day.

But in the back of my mind I am actually thinking about running a 50 miler next year. And Mike has been telling me that I need to work on my downhill running, saying that I can already go uphill just fine.

Downhill is DANGEROUS! Uphill is so much safer — if I slip and fall going up the ground is closer, I’m almost falling against gravity, I won’t end up sliding off a cliff.

But the ultrarunners all say “walk the uphills, run the downhills”. Ug. Mike ran with me on some hilly terrain out near Elwood. Down a slope, then around and up back to the start. Mike flew down the hills. I didn’t. “You’re working too hard,” he says, “just lean forward and fall.” I try to lean forward, but I’m still kalumphing down. (I take secret pleasure in the uphill, though I know I shouldn’t).

I don’t get it.

So Thursday I’m out on the trails, and I’m just going up. Up Tunnel and up and up. Up to Camino Cielo. A stairway to paradise.

And then I have to turn round. But before I go down. I can look round. The tops of the Islands are clear, but the bottom fades into misty haze. It looks as though there is no ocean, just another mountain range behind the Riviera.

I go down about as fast as I went up. There are flies. It’s hot. Mike will be disappointed.

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