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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

On the Road Again

The morning after Bulldog, I crawled out of bed aching from head to toe. This was no ordinary worked-out-too-hard ache. This was a slammed-hard-to-the-ground-on-a-downhill-run ache. It felt as if I had been in a car accident. My arms, my chest, my legs hurt. Everything hurt. Even my fingers ached from digging out tiny pebbles beneath the skin.

Day two I felt much better, though opted for another day of rest. Day three -- time to get back to the trail. I couldn't wait, though I could have easily slept in when the alarm rang at 5:20 AM. After two short days, I felt like I was missing out. I wanna run!! (Or do I? Am I crazy or what?) And so, Tuesday, 6:30 AM, a camelback strapped to my back, a cell phone and camera, plus a couple pieces of gum in my belt, I hit the dirt running, headed for Top of the World with Tom and Luis.

The weather cool, the skies cloudy, almost misty, we took Aliso Creek Trail to Wood Canyon -- chatting along the way, laughing, taking in a lovely breeze, shady groves, and a nice wide, flat trail. Before we knew it, we hit a wall of hot air, and that's just about when the climb began and the sun shined through. I told Tom and Luis to go on ahead, that they'd have time to rest at the top, because I was going to take a while. But I did run every step of that steep trail named Cholla, and it was even slightly, so slightly easier than it has been before (thank you Bulldog!)

From there we took the ridge (Westridge), a rolling hill adventure, with two rather difficult pieces (one of which Luis sprinted!). At Top of the World, the marine layer gone made for a gorgeous view, as well as a photo-op (lest I forget). We took one of my favorites, my first favorite trail actually, Mathis Trail, on the way down -- what a delight to just run a downhill, no racers breathing down my back (though there's a place for that too : ).

In all we ran 11.63 wonderful miles, arriving back at the ranger station ready for the start of a brand new day.

Running Westridge, Looking towards Santa Ana Mountains

Tom, Me and Luis (Laguna Beach in background)

Tom catches Gopher Snake on the way in to ranger station

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lauren! Thanks for your comment-- good to see that you are hitting the trails in SoCal-- I am going to try to get down there for a race this year-- lots of exploring to do! Gorgeous headline picture, too-- where is that?