Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lions and Pure Grits and Ramping up oh my.

Finally put in a solid week of training with 91 miles last week, and I feel pretty good considering.  And I felt pretty fresh today running 28 miles with 9k of climbing after taking a day off yesterday.  Maybe my body is slowly getting used to running a lot again.

A couple months ago I’m pretty sure I caught a mountain lion out of the corner of my eye on the Mt. Wilson Toll Road, a mile past the idle hour trailhead.  A couple weeks ago my wife Elissa watched a mountain lion walk across the same fire road, in nearly the same spot… on one of our most frequented running routes.  THEN, immediately after running on a trail (where there was a confirmed mountain lion attack in 1995) I come home to see this on my computer:

This situation totally reminds me of a situation I encountered when I used to surf back in the day:

While running, I know cats are out there watching me run by, usually not being interested in the slightest, and have probably seen me dozens if not hundreds of times.  When I used to surf I accepted the fact that I surfed in areas like Marina, CA, where there have been two nearly fatal attacks in the last 5 years, and that great whites have probably swam by and saw me, but weren’t interested in having me for an appetizer. 

It’s not like I’m going to give up running around for hours out in the mountains, just like I continued to surf in shark infested water.  I love exploring and getting away from the hustle and bustle of civilization, immersing myself in the outdoors grounds me somehow.  In a feeble attempt to decrease my chances of becoming a catamounts catch, I am doing two things.  First, no more running in the dark all by myself, it just freaks me out.  Second, have you ever seen those discover specials on people working in the jungle around Tigers? 

Well here’s my trail running version:

Is it ridiculous?  Yes.  Will it work?  Hopefully.

I recently purchased a pair of Brook’s new trail shoe, the Pure Grits.  I really like them.  Light, yet have cushion.  They have good traction and they are comfy.  They do have a silly split toe thing up in the front that I don’t really notice when running.  There isn’t a whole lot of protection up in the toes, i.e., when I kick rocks it hurts bad.  At first I wasn’t too stoked on their fit.  Going around fast rocky turns if felt like my foot was sliding off of the sole, not staying directly over it.  Considering how much I enjoy going fast downhill I was just about to return them, but then I cinched down the laces a bit I noticed that the stretchy material hugged my foot better without cutting off any circulation, problem solved.  I am on the prowl for good 100 mile shoes for AC coming up this July.  These Pure Grits may be the ticket, we’ll see how well they hold up at the Ray Miller 50 miler and possibly Miwok.



  1. Ha - too funny. But yeah, I'm the same way about them mountain lions. Since I frequently run solo, I resort to making a lot of noise while I'm in the thick of things.

    I have the Pure Grits too. Initially wasn't crazy about the cushiony aspect of them, but think they'll come through for longer races (50+ milers). Usually resort to something that "feels lighter" for my daily runs though.

    Looking forward to seeing you throw down at AC!

  2. Thanks Billy,

    Yeah, I tend to hoot and holler a bit when I feel like I'm being watched, not sure if that's a good thing, preventing me from surprising a kitty, or a bad thing because I'm drawing attention to myself. I'm going to error on the side of yelling so that they know I'm coming.

    I'm scared of AC. I'm probably more likely to throw up than throw it down, hopefully I can do both!

  3. we have had several mountain lion sightings recently here in Sierra Madre. Best not to run during dawn, dusk and night as that is when they seem to be around!

  4. That is why I bring Ernie on most of my runs. I am out at 5am each morning and I never have any worries with him. He did stop a charging momma grizzly a couple years back. Invest in a good dog.

    Love the eyes on the back of your hat...that is classic.

  5. Not running alone in the dark is a good idea...but it's tough because night runs are fun! See you at RM.

  6. I've seen very nice huge mountain lion tracks plenty this week around Pt.Mugu SP, bigger than my hand, dried up in the mud, very cool. I'm not afraid running by myself all over there as I'm usual out there only during day light.
    I love your hat, make a fashion out of it Chris, but I think the eyes could use some improvement though, if I was a lion I wouldn't take it.
    I have some brooks trails too for when I need some more comfort and I love them. AnnO.

  7. just bought another batch of pepper spray, the kind that repels grizzlies. check out the one that clips to your belt ( Not a big help if you get jumped from behind, but could be helpful if one of those cougars is charging you, and I'm not talking about happy hour here.