Sunday, June 15, 2014

Working on our SixPack

I am referring to the Socal SixPack of Peaks; though working on a six pack of abs will be just as challenging. Either way a ice cold six pack of beer will be even more refreshing at the end! While searching the web for some new trails to explore Tanya came across a website that listed a the SolCal six Pack as a great way to train for the infamous Mt. Whitney hike.   Socal-six-pack-of-peaks the list below are the six peaks and the recommended order of which to do them. 

Mt. Wilson - Home to a large array of Los Angeles television and radio towers, as well as the Mt. Wilson Observatory. Summit elevation 5,712'
Cucamonga Peak - The first half of this trail follows beautiful Icehouse Canyon. Summit elevation 8,859'
Mt. San Antonio - Known by many as "Mt. Baldy" this is a SoCal icon. Summit elevation 10,068'
San Bernardino Peak - This little-known trail provides a welcome escape from the crowds. Summit elevation 10,649'
San Jacinto Peak - Ascending the Marion Mountain trail, this route skips the tram for maximum benefit. Summit elevation 10,834'
San Gorgonio - "Old Greyback" is the highest peak in Southern California! Summit elevation 11,503' 

Well since we have done Mt. Whitney; and if you know my wife; we threw that order out of the window. San Gorgonio was going to be our first mountain to hike this summer. We met two friends Alex and Ray at the Vivian Creek Trail head and began our journey at 6:00 am on May 17, 2014.
The Vivian Creek Trail is described as the shortest and the steepest route to the summit of Mt. San Gorgonio;  the round trip distance is estimated at 18 miles give or take. We knew we had our work cutout for us. 

We made it to the top and found as you can see there was still snow to have fun in. The round trip took us just under nine hours; a full exhausting day of hiking! One Peak down five more to go!.......

A week later we tackled another peak in the SixPack San Jacinto . The trail we chose was the Marion Mountain Trail. Though the distance was shorter to the summit in comparison to the Vivian Creek trail on San Gorgonio the week before. The challenge was much greater, it was a butt burner!!

Feeling fresh in the early morning air

Relaxing on the top at 10,834 feet

Palm Springs sitting below

Two Peaks in two weeks four more peaks to summit over the summer; looking forward to them all!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Tanya and I had the pleasure of coaching Ray Allard to run and finish his first marathon on May 4,2014; "The OC Marathon. Ray wrote a race report to tell us all about his experience.

The race (event) started anxiously for me.  I knew I would start what I finished, however it was a race against the clock to reach the half way point in time.  The only confidence I had was the training I did and the fact that my trainers had faith in me and said I could make it.  I stuck to the plan for the first mile and tried to walk and run.  I actually felt ok until the 3 mile mark, then the heaviness of the fact that I may be out here all day set in.  I hydrated my ass off and ate at the prescribed times.  It was grueling.  When the 1/2 marathoners started catching up, it was not so lonely.  At the 1/2 way point I was spent physically and mentally.  I felt my new socks slipping and I knew I had a blister.  It took every ounce of will power to run the second half and not go into the fairgrounds for a 1/2 marathon.  I was not about to come this far and not finish especially since I never wanted to run this @#!%$! Far again as long as I live.  I also knew my friends were ahead somewhere.  Then I saw Marc and Tanya for the first of many times.  All the runners around me kept saying "who are those people".  As the miles piled up, exhaustion set in deeper.  I think 16 to 18 were the toughest.  I Couldn't even alter my course to dodge a cone and ran it over.  Once I dropped my bottle cap and could barely pick it up almost cramping completely up.  The weather held up, and the encouragement kept me going,  Miles 22 to 24 were terrible.  I kept losing count of which mile I was on.  When I saw mile 23 and fully expected to see 24, I almost died.  Then I said to myself that nothing matters.  When I get there, I get there.   Once you hit the fairgrounds, they make you do a loop of about 3/4 miles.  A complete disaster.  I mustered the strength to run across the finish line, arms up like Tanya always said to.  Jeanette was there and only a few people finished behind me, however there were several DNF's  I felt great that I just finished.  I felt so much better afterwards that the 1/2 I did there a few years earlier.  Walking to the car was tough.  I rested for a few hours then went to Reynolds wedding.  I was out on the dance floor.  My kids (and everyone else) were shocked and impressed.
My takeaways were that I was stronger than I thought,  I was able to jog some every mile to the very end.  I recovered a lot faster than I thought possible for me.  I can't believe I actually thought about my next Marathon the same day I finished.  Must have been delirious, because those thought are long gone.  Thanks so much to You both for getting me ready and having the confidence in me to let me try.

Ray welcome to the Marathon Club! Your favorite quote from "Rocky" "Ain't Gonna Be No Rematch"; I'm not to sure about that, sounds like you are already thinking about the next one. Congratulations Ray, Tanya and I had no doubts, we knew you would finish.