After a short hiatus, one that seemed too long, I hit the trails on Monday (3/20) in late morning. How, you might wonder, was I able to run trails during the morning on a week day? Well, I teach at three schools, and it is spring break this week for one of those schools. (Yes, I have 3 different spring breaks.) That meant, this week, the first week of spring, I am wide open, schedule-wise, until 6 pm, Monday through Thursday.
Wow, whatever am I going to do with myself?
Well, first off, I woke with a sore throat, and I know from experience, that of all things, I cannot run with a sore throat – it ALWAYS makes my sickness worse. But I did it anyway. To hell with it. I was ready, I was willing, and I was semi-able.
I chose a 10.7 mile loop through Laguna Wilderness (a county park) and Crystal Cove (a state park). And for some odd reason, though I recalled vividly the hell I encountered last time I “ran” this loop on the climb out, I somehow either didn’t think it would be as bad, or I flat out ignored reality. Not sure which. I was just so happy to get out there for a few hours, just me and the trails.
To begin, it was beautiful. Lots and lots of green, and lots and lots of spring flowers.
The first six miles were a joy. The weather was cool, almost cold. The terrain was extremely unstressful, not very technical at all, and mostly gradually downhill. I took Bommer Ridge to El Moro Ridge, which I ran to the coast. From there it was a significant downhill (on BFI – “Big Friggin’ Incline”), and then a side trail to the Pacific Ocean. Cannot make this trip without a quick detour to the ocean.
I felt peaceful after that detour. The sound of the waves rumbling in does wonders for my soul. But, that peace came with a price. I cannot tell you how wretched that climb out up No-Dogs and No-Name was back to my truck. Well, maybe I’ll try. First off all, the marine layer burned off, and the sun came through strong. And the trip was overall uphill – lots and lots of uphill. Yes, it was beautiful, and I took any excuse I had to stop and click a photo. But I felt light headed, and at times like I wanted to vomit. I just am not in shape for this. Stupidly, I think that I can do anything, but I can’t. I’m not in shape to do this kind of stuff. But I guess it wasn’t such stupid thinking, because I did get through it eventually. It was just miserable, utterly. I basically behaved like a zombie (except for the eating human flesh part), I mindlessly, joylessly, placed one foot in front of the other, over and over and over again.
I counted steps. I stooped over, with my hands on my knees to try and gain more strength. I played with my garmin. I even browsed the internet during some of those hills – anything to get my mind off the hell I was enduring. Eventually, with about 1.5 miles left (I think!), I remembered the tank top I had stashed in my pack. Thank God for a reason to sit and rest!
So, anyway, after that change of clothing, and rest in the dirt, it was all a little more bearable. Perhaps what made it even more bearable was that I could see the trees where my truck was parked.
Yikes. I really don’t think that I will do that loop again.
I was sick in bed that night after work. And sick the next day, napping as much as I could for a speedy recovery. Because hell . . . I can’t wait to hit the trails again.