TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Five Oaks Trail

I have a love/hate relationship with hills. I love running them, I hate running them, I love running them, I hate running them. I can narrow it down a bit more: I hate running the first three-quarters of a big hill (mile plus kind of hill), and love the last quarter. And I love, love, love, reaching the top.

So when my doctor asked, "Can you not run any hills until this IT band is cleared up?" I politely responded, "No." It was like OUT OF THE QUESTION. He compromised, "How about train on flat trails for now, races go ahead and do hills." I politely responded again, "No." With a smile on my face of course. And then I got to thinking, maybe I should at least cut down the hills. (It's not like I'm a serious athlete or anything-- I do this for fun!)

Tuesday's Top of the World run therefore, was not to the Top of the World. I don't think Tom believed me when I said that I'd run to the end of Wood Canyon and back with him, a relatively flat run. He said that I didn't say it very assuredly (I'm not sure if he used that word. I'm not sure if that is a word : )

Needless to say, it was a lovely "flat run" along Wood Canyon Trail. I put the quotes around flat because now I call that trail flat. Put me on it before I started trail running, you'd find me blubbering in the dirt, crying, "You call this flat???"

One of my favorite spots on Wood Canyon Trail, where you just might see a deer:

We turned around where Wood Canyon hits Cholla Trail, and I wasn't at all missing climbing up that thing. It was a delight in fact, knowing I was going to turn my back on that hell of a climb, a delight to feel no burning in the hip. Tom probably didn't believe that I really wasn't running to the top until that point when we turned around and headed back.

Being the mileage junkie that I am though (and I have been so low lately), we took a detour up Five Oaks Trail, one of the few that I don't have marked off on the MASTER MAP (a crinkled up map that I keep on the back kitchen counter where I highlight all the trails I've run in Aliso and Wood Canyons. My goal: highlight every inch of trail).

Anyway, what a pleasant surprise Five Oaks is! What started off as a dry, sunny trail, turned into a lovely shady, mainly leaf-littered-single-track. It ran along a dry creek bed, where water obviously spilled over some boulders during the wet season. After climbing up some wood plank steps, out of the shaded grove, we turned around, with the promise, "We'll be back", to conquer the rest of that trail that continued, up, up, up : )

Five Oaks Trail:


Miles logged Tuesday A.M.: 9.66

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