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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Top of the World on a Cool October Morning

Rain woke me all through the night Monday. When I phoned the ranger station Tuesday morning, I was surprised to find that Aliso Wood Canyons Park was open. In fact, it hadn’t rained there at all.

Let me tell ya! I did not feel like running one bit. I was so tired; I thought to myself, if no one shows, I’m driving straight home and going to bed. By the time my face hit that cool air and my eyes took in those blue skies however, I began to feel like I could do this.

Two club members, Tom and David, arrived to join me on this weekly run in my favorite wilderness park. We ran through Aliso Canyon and took a right onto Wood Canyon. It was quiet, cool, and we took it at a good pace. Tom commented that at “this pace we could run 100 miles in 16 hours.” At this rate, my warm-up was going pretty slowly – I wasn’t going to get my grove for at least that many miles!

So, it was the usual lovely Wood Canyon, shaded by sycamores and live oaks. We met dozens of crows mingling about in a group on the trail. I saw a bunny hop off here and there in the brush. At Cholla, Tom turned back for a 9 mile round trip. I tried to snap a group photo at the departure. The first one, I got the trash can lid in the picture, the second one sans the lid, I didn’t much like. (I ended up cropping out the trashcan for the group photo below).

David and I ran up that tough, tough exposed Cholla trail and continued on Westridge to Top of the World. What a run that is! I can’t help feel like I accomplished something great after that – even if I had walked it, which we didn’t. We ran all the way to the top. From there we ran through the Top of the World neighborhoods to enter the park on the other end. The goats had moved farther down the ridge. The skies were beautiful, blue with puffy clouds as we headed down Meadows Trail. David kept me on my toes, running this at a faster pace than I’m used to when I run this park solo. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was racing me. (kiddin’ -- but don’t you hate it when you’re in a race and don’t even know it? : )

Anyway, we ran on into the ranger station with a total of 11.64 miles logged for the morning. I was dead-dog tired, and had to replenish calories quickly, because weakness began to fall heavily upon me.

What a run! I loved it.

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