Boucher Hill via Nate Harrison – Nov 15, 2014

Did a completely spontaneous climb up Boucher on Saturday via the Nate Harrison Grade, which is apparently a popular local bike ride — despite being a dirt road for much of the ascent. It was a beautiful day for a hike, not too hot or cold, but from the parking area at Pauma Valley School, the ascent looked pretty intimidating. This was probably because Kam was talking about us running the thing, which she apparently had done a few years earlier. To me, it looked like a long slog uphill and well beyond my running abilities.

A short while later we had walked up the lower paved section of the Grade and were climbing steadily on the dirt road. Apparently it was time to “run” or at least try. We started off at a slow, steady pace and six miles later I was still going. It was an amazing feeling to be able to keep going for so long, never really pushing that hard, just slow and steady until my legs started dying on me.

We hiked the last few miles to the top, enjoyed a cloud impeded view of the valley from the lookout tower, and headed down (note to the reader — there is no water at the top anymore). The run down was actually harder to my mind — not as aerobic, but a lot of impact and increasing heat — but soon enough we reached the tarmac by the organic farm sign, and walked from there. Kam was running along just as happy as a freakin’ clam except for a little cramping. Impressive.

By the time we were back at the car, we’d done some 22+ miles in total, 16 of it running. This was the longest cumulative run I’d ever done in a day, and all things considered, it wasn’t that bad. Even if the next day was a bit brutal. Next time, need to run all the way up. Then spit up a lung.

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