Monday, January 12, 2015

Hollywood Hills & Bowl - Day 8 on the Inman 300

Last night I was too exhausted and sleepy to write, which gives a good picture of how grueling the cumulative effect of this route can be. There are others who will be able to do this route as a series of ultra marathons and finish it in far less time than my anticipated 12 days. I know such a feat is possible, but as I walk and weary over the course of each day, there is a part of me that cannot believe it. The stairs are tough, steep and sometimes quite lengthy. The hardness of the pavement and my own body's weight pressing on my feet combine to cause my feet to ache with pounding pains. Each day's segment has statistics provided that tell me how many different stairwells I will climb and how many total steps. The other hill heights aren't measured though, such that I don't know overall how yesterday's segment G compared with segment F. All this to say, I don't know to what exactly I owe my body's exhaustion. Is it elevation gain? Length? The intensity of the sun? Mild dehydration? At this point, I tend to think that it's a combination of factors, chief amongst them that I've been walking for seven and a half days without taking a rest day, which is stretching my body in a new way.

Yesterday's segment was gorgeous. It wove through the 'Hollywood Hills,' and the 'Hollywood Bowl' area, which are full of 1920s and 30s homes, stairway streets and castle-like homes built high on the hills with the sky behind them framing their contours.

I was met by a friend, John, who walked with me for the beginning of this section. Walking while catching up with an old friend is one of my favorite ways to be with another person, so thank you to those who have walked with me. Soon after starting out for the morning, we passed a farmer's market. "Let's see if they have anything I want." I bought a croissant filled with creme and covered in tiny chocolate chips and powdered sugar. Yes! That pastry was one of many things that I can't eat in my normal life, but on a long hike they help me by providing quick energy when I need it.

My friend John came out to walk with me on a Sunday morning. 
Overall, this section was composed of small neighborhood streets with plenty of street signs to help me find my way. There were a few unpleasant sections in regards to dealing with city traffic. One of them required backtracking or crossing a busy street without a cross walk because the underground pedestrian tunnel at the Hollywood Bowl is only open on show nights. Another shortly thereafter involved walking on a narrow shoulder next to a service road with fast-moving cars. Because of the the recent rain, this shoulder was often muddy and sometimes a deep puddle. This road was also directly next to the Hollywood Freeway, so the road noise fought to drown out the sound of my podcast. I was plenty safe enough, just not comfortable.

The best part of the day's route was near the end - a long downhill walk on a curving dirt road through Runyon Canyon Park. I was amazed that such a large chunk of land was so wild in the midst of urbanity on all of its sides. Although it was nearing dark, the road and its adjoining trails were being used by many people, which added to my feelings of safety and comfort.

At day's end, I was met by Reed, my husband, who went ahead of me to the restaurant and ordered, so that soon after I arrived, the food did. I am fortunate to have such support from my partner. I am grateful to be here in Los Angeles, exploring the city and being supported in doing so by many kind people.
I loved being up high in the Hollywood Hills

I'm grateful for the handrails on these long downs. 

Castles for Homes
I wore this shirt in tribute to my mom who's been "walking" with me remotely from Tallahassee, Florida, encouraging me every day and following me through photo texts and short videos. 

There was a group of 5 at this one doing circuits. 
Private Art for public display

Stenciled on a wall. This was one of my favorites. 

Shoulder walking between two busy roads. 

My favorite, Reed. He came out to walk a tough uphill mile with me near the end of the route when I was struggling to put one foot in front of the other. 

Runyon Canyon Park

Almost the end - on Hollywood Blvd. 


  1. Kelley, I suspected that Section G would be tough for you, given that you completed all of Section F the day before. It takes a while to recover from the toughness of Section F, nearly 20 miles and 4300 feet of climbing, so you are doing fine, and I know you will finish the full "300", even if you need a bit more rest than you anticipated. I'm rooting for you from my office in El Segundo.

    1. Dan ~ The idea of you rooting for me stayed with me all of today, encouraging me. That section F was brutal. I'm glad it came when it did, because early on I probably couldn't have done it, and late in the trek would have been tough too. Having you there guiding us through it made a tremendous difference and helped get it done within the day.