My second training run at Ray Miller, on Saturday, September 27, 2015, was quite an adventure. (Click here to read about my first time on the Ray Miller trail!)
It had been a long week and I was tired from work and daughter duties but training on the actual course is important. I had to get mentally ready for this run.
As always, starting with my fellow Coyotes was great! We met 1.2 miles up because last time we were at Ray Miller, we were getting eaten alive by the mosquitoes in the parking area.
We had our announcements and off we went!
The views from this section of the Santa Monica Mountains are really incredible. I can’t get enough of the ocean and mountain views. Really amazing.
I was really happy on the Ray Miller 2 mile trail. I felt more comfortable this time and wasn’t scared on the narrow sections.
We took the Overlook Fire Road to the junction. Last time, we ran the Guadalasco Trail to Hell Hill. I’m getting to know the Ray Miller 50k course better and this is the second loop we’ll run on race day.
We went to the left at the junction this time and ran the La Jolla loop, beginning with the La Jolla Valley Fire Road.
The La Jolla loop was quite different from the loop we ran last time. There were sandy trails and dry brush.
There were many small connector trails along the way. Our next turn-off was the La Jolla Valley Loop.
On the La Jolla Valley Loop, I found the narrow trails tough to run. I’m still figuring out my footing.
We headed up the Mugu Peak Trail and on our way up this part of the mountain, there were lots of mosquitoes! Ahhh!!!!! The natural mosquito spray we used did not work!
However, the view at the top of Mugu Peak was beautiful.
From the top, we ran around the mountain.
We had a view of the Naval Air Station Pt. Mugu as we ran the peak.
We ran back around and had to go through the mosquito area again!!! This time it was really bad and they were everywhere! I was killing them on my neck and face. It was really bad.
We ran back on La Jolla Valley Loop. I’m still amazed by the devastation the fire caused in May 2013. I’m even more amazed at how well the trails are healing. 🙂
Hooray, a restroom on the trail! We stopped at the solar restroom. It was very clean and there were toilet paper!
We made our way back to the junction to Overlook Fire Road. My teammate, Consuela, had stashed a bottle at the junction for the way back. I’m going to do this next time! I ran with 3 bottles this time but still needed more. I’m thankful my teammates had extra but I need to carry my own. It was really warm but not as warm as last time. There was a slight breeze, too.
As for nutrition, I was well-stocked with my Honey Stinger Energy Chews and Waffles! My friend, Angela, also recommended I practice eating chips, cookies and ginger candy on the trail. I did pack chips and had a snack on the way back. I didn’t really feel that hungry but I know I have to practice eating the stuff that we’ll have at aid stations. I had some peppermints along the way, too. They keep me from thinking about how long I’ve been running. 🙂
I love the view from Overlook Fire Road. 🙂
I’m getting a little faster at running down the Ray Miller trail. My right knee hurt a little on the descend but nothing major. I love this trail. It’s tough, beautiful and it means we’re almost done! 16 miles in 4:31:34 with 2,467 feet of elevation gain. This is the most I’ve run on trails!
Sadly, I was attacked by the mosquitoes. Wow. I was itchy later that day and the next morning, I counted 50 bites. They bit me through my capris! My bottom, back of the legs, front of the legs, arms, neck and face had bites everywhere! I was red, patchy and swollen!
My teacher friend called one of our parents to bring me aloe plant and it helped tremendously. The sávila (aloe in Spanish) was so cool and soothing. By the late afternoon, my face was much less red and less swollen.
For days, I applied sávila and my student brought me more! My students take good care of me! The bites swelled and became one big pancake-sized bite in some areas. It was bad. Really bad. Two days later, more new bites surfaced! How does that happen?!!
The day after the run, I bought 5 types of repellent. My friend, Johanna, who runs Ray Miller and is from Texas, recommended Sawyer products. I checked Consumer Reports, too. I bought lotion with Deet, lotion with Picaridin (a newer compound, said to be more effective than Deet), spray, spray for my clothes, and wipes. I’m going to be more prepared next time and will report back on what worked.
I’ll also be more prepared by stashing a bottle and carrying an extra handheld bottle. I want to try ginger candy, too!
Here’s to enduring a traumatizing mosquito attack and living to tell about it! Lol! 🙂 I know I’ll be stronger and more prepared from this experience and that’s what matters.
Your path, your pace, Tam