TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Heat, I do not adore thee

Posted Wednesday’s run for 6:30 AM with a plan to avoid the heat that kicked my behind last weekend. As soon as I got into the car and saw that sun shining at 5:55 in the morning, I worried that my heat avoidance plan might not work. Ahh, what the heck! I had plenty of water to carry on my back, and even downed a bottle of electrolytes before leaving the house.

Four other runners showed, one for his first run with the group. I was delighted – this trail running group motivates me, not to mention, they’re a friendly, welcoming bunch. We ran the usual, up to Top of the World, this time, via Mathis, which provides little shade. And it was tough. No, it was more than tough, it was excruciatingly difficult, the sun scorching away my energy, salty sweat dripping into my eyes. The others reached the top of Mathis before me and were waiting in the kiosk’s shade when I turned onto Westridge and continued running on up to the top.

“What??? You want to run to the top of that too,” they said and kinda chuckled. And then they commenced to pass me on the climb. Welcome rests for all at the Top of the World, with an ocean view to add, we drank up, took our regular group photo and were off again running.

Tom, Victoria, Me, Leo, Dave



The heat struck me hard running West Ridge to Lynx trail. And on the way down Lynx, a helicopter circled looking for a place to land, apparently to rescue a victim of a bike accident. Terrible. I could only imagine the worst in this heat. It had to be bad to require a that kind of rescue.

We never saw it land, as we turned off towards my favorite trail, Wood Creek, for the return. Grateful for the shade, I felt pretty good. My energy though, seemed to seep out, like a tiny leak in a hot air balloon once we hit that sunny Wood Canyon Trail. Struggling yes, I ran the remainder of Wood Canyon. But at Aliso Creek Trail, my feet simply stopped running. I opted for the paved path, I think we all did – I’m not sure. It’s all a blur now.

Deliverance! The shade of Wood Creek Trail

With a miserably hot 1 ½ miles remaining, I ran-walked about half of that. Tom and Dave were waiting at the bend, and had it not been for Tom, I know I wouldn’t have been able to run that last ¾ miles in. He encouraged me to find something on my ipod to move me on in, which I did, and I ran on in with Tom. Not a word escaping from my mouth, I pretty much stared at the ground. I couldn’t look up, because to do so meant to see how much longer remained. And I just couldn't bare that. I was tired, dead-dog tired, heat-stricken, foot aching tired, with no more desire than to crash into the asphalt, or better yet, fall into that stream. Then, with the ranger station in sight, at Tom’s urging, we both pulled out a burst of energy and raced on in. Thanks Tom. (I’m not being sarcastic) -- bursts like that (though I feel like vomiting afterwards) help increase my pace.

I ran with a great group of runners this morning. An inspiration.

Miles logged Wednesday: 11.4

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