9 miles on highland road
I start by driving down and planting my water along the halfway point of my run. At the turnaround I plant water with electrolytes. If you think it looks like I need new shoes, you are right. These are getting incredibly stinky and disgusting. I'm psyching myself up to hit the pavement.
There's a lot of uphill on Highland Road, and it starts right away. Luckily there is a nice mix of shade and sun for most of the way. Oak trees grow along both sides on this ridge but the sunny stretches are HOT. I've got to practice running with my camera so I'll be ready for Disneyland.
The views are stunning and this helps to get my mind off the uphills. To the left, past the fog, is Santa Cruz and the ocean. Today the breeze doesn't make it all the way up these mountains. I'm dreaming of the beach as I approach the halfway point.
Another mile or so and I pass what I call The Big Slide. This whole mountain came down a few years back and the road was closed for some time. The mountain still crumbles and slides during the hard rains and it will forever more I think. Highland Road can be downright dangerous with gigantic boulders flying down on you when you least expect it!
The turnaround at 4.5 miles is marked by this giant pipe and a cool, clear pool that I'd love to jump into. However I must drink my 'lytes and go back the way I came. Seems like even more uphill going back but I push on.
Training can be a bitch.