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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

To The Top!

Big clouds, with slight touches of gold and blue, shaded the land for a 6:30 AM run to Top of the World with fellow club runner, Tom. Those gorgeous clouds also trapped in the heat, making for a humid trip through Wood Canyon. I wasn't complaining too badly though, because of the lovely shade those clouds provided. Perhaps the clouds were the reason that the park had more visitors than normal (and I do believe the bikers were out earlier than usual), plus one lone worker trimming branches along the trail.

From the first step, I thought, "Oh my gosh, how am I gonna do this?" so tired was I. (Actually, I thought "How am I gonna do this?" from my first step out of bed). But there's something about running Aliso and Wood Canyons: I have to run all the way to the top -- doesn't matter how tired I am, or which trails we take, to the top they must lead.

And so we ran that gorgeous humid Wood Canyon, with Sycamore trees starting to show their fall color, all the way to Cholla Trail. Cholla is an exposed single track, quite steep, but not too long. It's extremely difficult for me to run up, and I'm never quite sure when it's gonna end. Then suddenly there's a right turn, and Cholla is finished. Hallelujah!

Stopping at bridge over creek on Wood Canyon Trail

There were plenty of bikers out this morning on the Westridge trail, which we took all the way to the top. And at the steepest, toughest part, Tom ran up ahead, and if I'm not mistaken, he raced the cyclist up that thing (and won!).

Running Westridge looking towards Aliso Viejo neighborhood

Quick snacks at the Top of the World, I don't remember even looking over the other side to Laguna Beach. Have I run to the top now so many times, that the view's become mundane? Oh my, let that not be. The view to the other side used to be my motivation. Now I suppose my motivation is simply the satisfaction of running some dang tough hills.

We took Mathis Trail down, with occassional breezes along the way. Cloud cover now disappearing, shade was the greatest relief.

In all we ran 11.63 miles, I'd say a great way to start the week (did I forget to mention that my week doesn't start til I run? : )

Fossils in rock where I stretched near ranger station

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