TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Up Mathis

I headed to the Top of the World solo this morning. After a struggle warm-up, I arrived to the base of the Mathis climb with dread. I thought, "I . . ., I ca, ca, ca . . . I . . ." But I wouldn't allow myself to think it. "Don't think about it," I hollered inside my brain, "just do it." (Hey isn't that a Nike commercial???)

How shall I describe my run up Mathis this morning? Hmmm. It was steep, slow to end, uneven and rocky, so, so difficult. Let me think . . . Hellish comes to mind. (Is that a word?)

Don't think about it, just do it.

The skies were blue, clouds white and wispy, the breeze cool. A blue heron wandered about on Aliso Creek Trail. Picture perfect for a morning run. My body though just wasn't into the difficulty. Fortunately, my mind was. And so I did run up Mathis, and then up Westridge. Finally reaching the Top of the World, I ran into the park, when my boss phoned. That cracks me up still, to get a call on the run, and to answer it! Well, I sat right down in the middle of the sidewalk for a few minutes talking, then rose (like rising from the dead) and ran across the Top of the World neighborhoods to enter the park again for a Meadows run.

Running down Meadows trail was a blast. I ran all the way back to the ranger station, my IT band acting up : ( When it was all over though, I was GLAD, wishing I could do it again soon. Back at home, it was ice on the hip and then a hot shower.

Here's my theory on what's happened here with this injury: 1) extra weight (pounds on the body), and 2) compensating for my toe problem. I tried to change my uphill gait, by implementing a mid-foot strike, even on the steepest parts (to avoid toe running) -- well, I'm pretty sure I started bending at the waist more when I got off my toes -- and tadaa, injury. (When I told my doctor about trying to run hills with a mid-foot strike, he said, "Our bodies aren't meant to do that." I should have listened.)

Needless to say, about a week ago I scratched the "off my toes on steep hills" plan, but the injury hasn't completely healed. Will I ever get it right? I'm 44 years old, a fairly new runner, I don't know what the heck I'm doing!! I never thought that I had to know what I was doing. That's one of the reasons I started running (because it was free and it didn't take much knowledge -- funny, eh? I'm laughin'. Seriously, I am.)

I love it still. And I smiled this morning driving home when I felt the layer of salt crusted across my face -- now that's a tough workout : )

Miles logged this morning: 9.08

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