Crystal Cove Hike 6/16

I’ve been really surprised at how well my body has responded to this fitness push lately. It started kind of slow last year, but since January 2014 I’ve really seen some major changes (weight loss, increase in strength and endurance, and definition in my legs.) In the spirit of continuing this progress, and to prepare for the Star Wars race series that Alea and I are participating in, I’m searching for ways to cross-train on the weekends that isn’t just another run session.

This weekend I decided to go for a hike at Crystal Cove. I’ve been on the beach several times this year already, but I haven’t gone into the back hills since 2010 when I last hiked it with friends. On Saturday I checked out the State Park Backcountry Wilderness Area and started off on what I thought was the moderate trail:
crystalcove route bw marked

From El Morro School/Ranger Station where I started, I should have turned into the Moro Canyon trail but I missed it and ended up going up Moro Ridge. When I had realized it I was already halfway along, so I decided to continue on the “difficult” route. Moro Ridge was a gradual uphill, so that was somewhat tiring. I got a little bit of a break on the East Cut-Across, but that stretch called Poles was steep. Short distance, but quite steep. At this point I was hungry and a bit tired, so I stopped and sat down for a few minutes to rest.

I’d like to talk about my shoes for a moment–I’d just gotten these trail running shoes from Running Warehouse: the Nike Zoom Terra Kigers.

In its inaugural wearing. First dirt!

Now on road I’m used to much more cushioning, so this shoe’s more moderate ride felt a little different for me. Different not bad necessarily. I’m always going to want more arch support but Nike shoes tend to be a little flat for me–I think my next step is to look for some insoles or have someone recommend something for my feet. I tried jogging along at some parts of the trail, but I just felt too tired to really give it a good go. I think it will be more than enough cushioning and traction for most people. I liked it just for stomping around, and when I get more rest and I’m a better runner, I think it will be good for running in as well. No break-in period, sore spots/rubbing. My sports shoe size is 1.5x larger than my leather shoe size, so don’t be afraid to go up. I’ve been told (by friends who cannot wear Nike) that the brand tends to run narrow, but that’s perfect for me since my feet are fairly small in volume and width.

Great day to be out in Orange County, CA.

I finished 4.84 miles in about 1 hr 45 min-1:50 (counting rest breaks); all in all it was a nice bright day. It started getting warmer by the time I finished, so I’m glad I’d wrapped up by 10 am. The way down from Poles into No Dogs was lovely since I was facing the beach the whole time. The good view and the nice breeze made the rest of the trip down a good reward.

Next time I head out–I’ll be prepared with more water and a cap to block the sun out. Can’t wait.


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