This ain’t no mud club. This ain’t no disco. This is LA.

I’m just back from Los Angeles, and had three good runs through Elysian Park around Dodgers stadium. After initially wanting to circumnavigate the stadium, I decided on out and back runs through the park. The main road has several long hills with beautiful views of the Sierra Madre mountains, downtown LA, Dodger’s Stadium, the LA River, and highways (the intersection of the 101 and the 5). I might have seen Mt. Wilson and not known what I was looking at.

My favorite run was under a full moon starting just before sunrise at 6:00 AM. About 4 miles out and 4 miles back took me about an hour. For starters, I had just a little coffee and sugar. This was an indulgence, since this was not a “long” run. There were a few people out, but no cars. One guy shined his flashlight on his dog so I would see it. Nice. Thoughtful.

The ups in Elysian Park taught me to “be the pendulum” and to stop bounding up hills. It’s enough to climb the hill. Lift your feet up, swing them forward (like a pendulum), lean your body forward, and push up. You don’t have to beat the hill into submission. Heck, if the rain and wind haven’t done it already, what are you trying to do? The average grade on this run was 3.5%. While in Kansas, a lot of my runs are in the mid to high 1% range. Big difference.

I also kept my left Achilles in good shape despite all the miles I put on it while on vacation. I think it feels better now than when I left, despite a relatively high mileage week.

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