Posts Tagged ‘running trail’

By “Whittier Greenway Trail Run” I mean a regular run on the Whittier Greenway Trail, not a dirt trail run. I put in my first 10-miler since running the marathon in November, and it felt great. Mostly great. The good news is that I outran the hail and lightning. The bad news is that I did not outrun the pelting, cold rain. It was 46 degrees out and let’s just say I felt like a “serious” runner out there. Tip: use the trail’s Dog Waste Bags to protect your BlackBerry and Garmin from rain!

It all started out just fine at the trailhead at Mills and Lambert. The trail is beautifully landscaped and features all kinds of interesting sculptures:

Whittier Greenway Trailhead

Another nice feature of the trail is that it is divided into two paved bike lanes and a pedestrian/runner lane that is sometimes paved, sometimes hard-packed dirt and gravel.

Lanes on Whittier Greenway

It has mile markers every tenth of a mile, which is either very helpful or very annoying depending on my temperament at any given moment. There are frequent road crossings which make it less suitable for long bike rides but okay for walking, running, skateboards and scooters, or a family bike ride.

By the time I reached the bridge, the grey clouds threatened rain.

Bridge on the Whittier Greenway Trail

The trail is 4.7 miles from one end to the other. I tacked on an extra 0.3 to get my full 10 miles in. On the return trip I stopped in at the restrooms at Palm Park and found a drinking fountain to refill my water bottle. The last photo I took with my phone before it started to rain is of the exercise equipment that can be found at various points along the trail:

exercise equipment at Palm Park

Right after that photo was taken it started to rain and I had four miles to go. My husband called me twice to make sure I wasn’t getting hailed on and to offer to pick me up. I really wanted to finish out the full 10 miles so I kept an eye out for places to shelter me from hail and I picked up the pace as best I could. Nothing like seeing lightning in the distance to motivate me to run faster!

In the end I did 10 miles in 1:40, an easy 10-minute pace. I felt great afterward and looked forward to a nice hot shower. No way I was going for an ice bath when my feet were already numb from the cold!

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Do you run the same route over and over or do you like to explore new places? I don’t mind running the same route now and again but if I had a choice, I would be happiest to explore a new route nearly every day. The only thing that stops me is wanting a route that’s safe and relatively free of cars and road crossings. That and I don’t want to drive far to run. Just typing “drive far to run” makes it sound ridiculous.

Last week I happened to be in a new area and decided to get my six miles in there rather than go to the gym or head near home. I thought I’d simply run out and back along a recreational path through a new housing development. When that path came to an end, though, I crossed the street to explore an older neighborhood. That’s when I stumbled upon the Olinda Oil Museum and Trail in Brea.

The sign explained that Olinda was a boom town in the early 1900s. The town of 3,000 residents grew up around the oil industry there. Over 250 oil wells covered the hills and pumped out an incredible 2,775,000 barrels of oil per year from an area just over two square miles. In 1949, the Brea-Olinda oilfield still held so much oil that it ranked number 18 in the nation for oil capacity. A handful of wells continue to operate there today, including Olinda Oil Well #1, which has been pumping since 1897 — 115 years!

I followed the trail up into the hills to check out some of the old oil wells still in operation, including this beast:

Oil well

I found it fascinating to learn more about the oil industry, check out the functioning oil wells, enjoy the view from the hills, and explore a new running route!

Have you happened upon anything interesting on a rambling run?

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