FitGirl: Revive Your Running Routine With Trail-Running
Running routines—like romantic relationships—need to be spiced up every so often.
October brings falling leaves, colorful landscapes and breezy Southern California weather-ideal conditions for a walk or run in the park. Instead of sleeping in all morning Saturday or Sunday, treat yourself to one of these gratifying trail runs and remember why you started carving out time for exercise in the first place.
LA Weekly named the Betty Dearing Trail “The Best Running Trail” of 2012. The 3.3-mile dusty trail is located off of Mulholland Drive and nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains. The path is smooth enough to run through without tripping over rocks or roots and has a gorgeous view of the San Fernando Valley.
The 7.4-mile roundtrip trek offers a beautiful view of West Los Angeles as well as some history.
“In the 1950s, San Vicente Mountain served as a mountaintop military installation to defend Los Angeles from soviet missile attacks. Today, the 1,960-foot peak provides visitors with a look back at this chapter in the city’s history,” according to hikespeak.com.
Runyon Canyon Park is just a few blocks from Hollywood. There are three main trail runs at Runyon Canyon, in order of increasing difficulty: Route A, B and C. The park also includes detours such as The Money Shot, which leads runners to the best view of the Los Angeles, and special areas, such as the open-space Tai Chi Area. Runyon Canyon also offers free, daily yoga classes.
“I’m a statistic waiting to happen,” I thought while jogging a mile down the Betty B. Dearing Trail, early Sunday morning.
After living in Downtown Los Angeles always within a 15-feet of another human being, the Santa Monica Mountains were, in comparison, unnervingly isolated for me. Years of watching newscasts about young, missing women that turn up dead months later triggered me to take out my headphones, turn around and begin running back to the parking lot.
As a precaution, always run with a buddy on trail runs, especially if the trail is not heavily populated. Runners can easily trip over rocks and plants on the trail; always bring a cell phone just in case.
Organized Trail Races
XTERRA is a company that hosts adventure races ranging from mountain biking to trail running races.
“Hop across rocks, soar across streams, zig-zag your way along a mountain trail. Be a kid again and rediscover your super-charged sense of adventure and wonder,” says XTERRA’s website. In Southern California, there are two remaining SoCal Trail Runs left: Nov. 22 in Calabasas and Dec. 9 in Laguna Beach. Click here to register and find more information.
FitGirl is a weekly health and fitness column. If you have any questions you want to see answered feel free to email me.