I am visiting some friends in Los Angeles for a few days, and the temperature is around 80 degrees, just perfect to run in the beautiful hills this place has to offer. It’s always good to run a few short runs in the middle of the week to get the body accustomed to running often to prevent horrible cramping during long runs. And since this is a good place to run hills, a friend and I decided to head to Nancy Hoover Pohl Overlook trail off of the dangerous and famous Mullholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills.
Los Angeles has some breathtaking views of the abundant green native chaparrals in the foreground, and the view of the city way in the back making the run enjoyable with this unique view. I am not going to lie, it was a tough run because I am not used to running hills because the vast majority of the trails in Omaha are mostly pancake flat. Nevertheless, for this run I put some big effort to run as much as I could, and only walk when I felt I was exhausted. I think it was a good strategy for such a fabulous run.
The park had two different trails, one of them was relatively flat, and the other one was hilly. I took the hilly one that led to a deeply wooded canyon, and went down a path toward a creek that seemed to be relatively dry. Right after the creek and before the trail started going up, the path was a bit muddy and slippery, which required some leg and quad power to face the hard conditions. At the end of the first mile, the shade from the trees was gone and the hot sun started hitting hard when temperatures reached the 80s in Southern California.
The end of the trail was right at the 2 mile mark close to a nice neighborhood in the area. My friend decided to take off alone, and run a bit faster, while I just kept the same pace as before. I headed back the same way I got there, and started climbing and descending through some rolling and some steep hills. Right after the creek, I ran into the mud again, but this time I was not very lucky. I jumped the little water running through, I stepped with my right foot, and when I was landing my left one, I slipped and my whole body started moving towards the ground in sloooow motion. I landed with my bare hands, squeezed the water bottle I was holding, and touched the ground with my knees. I stood up as fast as I could embarrassed that someone could see me, but then I remember I was in this solitary trail where the spiders hanging from the trees were the only witnesses.
When I reached the top of the mountain at the end of the trail, I decided to take the flat path that was part of the other trail. I ran a solid and steady mile with almost no water in my bottle, as it had been wasted when I fell a few minutes before. At the end of the run, I could feel the salty sweat running down my face and back; thankfully, my friend was waiting for me in the car, and I felt such a relief when the cold air from the air conditioner blew in my face.
It was nice getting away from the cold and freezing temperatures of Nebraska for a few days, and I got to enjoy some nice warm weather in SoCal.