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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Cool Summer Run in Aliso Wood Canyons

I worried about today’s run because of my difficult time Saturday. Plus, I’ve got this toe injury/problem, whatever it is, that makes me wonder if I’m even gonna make the Bulldog 25k in two weeks. For some reason sleep has been tough (perhaps the writing deadlines I have put on myself for a September conference). And alas, the dreams-before-a-tough-race have begun, as I woke from a humorous one that I frantically searched the house for a pair of shoes. I wasn’t laughing in the dream, but looking back, I’m amused that I could not find one single matching pair of shoes for a softball game I was already late for. I barked out orders for everyone to LOOK, while I scrambled about on the floor, searching under beds, etc., and threw every single running shoe I found into a mound. And in the end, there was this giant mound in the middle of the room – not one shoe a match!

I woke this morning 5 AM, my toe barely aching, though I treaded lightly, afraid to face the real deal. Free to walk firmly with laced shoes (because for some reason, the toe hardly aches in shoes), I drank my two cups of coffee, surfed the net, then headed out the door about 6:10. (No breakfast, mind you, but some calories in the car for later and plenty of water for the run).

With one no-show, it was just Tom and me running Aliso / Wood Canyons this morning. The skies were gray and misty and lovely. The air was very still, and oh so cool. Perfect running weather. Wearing an old pair of trail shoes, I experienced no ache in my right toes whatsoever. And I was careful not run on my toes over those steep climbs. (Toe running up steep hills is suspect for my toe problems – but there’s plenty of things suspect, while I wait here guessing what the problem is, trying to wish it away.)

Entering Aliso Canyon on a Misty Morning

Nearing the End of Wood Canyon Trail, Canopied by Coast Live Oaks

Anyway, we took Aliso Canyon to Wood and ran it to the end where we climbed up Cholla. Confidence returned when I ran the entire Cholla uphill climb with greater speed than usual. Then we ran Westridge all the way to Top of the World. After a rest in the park, not to mention a “group” photo, we headed back down to Mathis to hit Wood Canyon Trail again. Then we came on my most difficult part of the run, that mile and a half back, half of it trail, the other paved. The difficulty has nothing to do with the climb, as it’s relatively level – the difficulty is all mental. I guess it’s the straightaway nature for some of it, plus the fact that I can’t see the end until about a quarter mile away. At that point, we dug in (at Tom’s request, thankfully, because if it were left to me, I probably wouldn’t push), and we finished off this morning’s run in a blaze. : )

Photo Op at Top of the World

Hitting Paved Road for the last 3/4 miles (the hardest part!)

Miles logged this wonderful Tuesday morning: 11.78

1 comment:

  1. That was a good run. Thanks for not mentioning that I walked all the way up Cholla!