TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Always an Adventure

Tuesday, I planned to hit the trails as soon as I dropped my oldest boys at school.  Turns out my oldest forgot his violin and I had to run back to the car, drive home, get the violin, drive back to school, and run to his orchestra class to get it to him.  I was fuming -- that detour cut at least a half hour into my trail time.  But boy did I pull back on the reigns.  Yes, he knew that I was annoyed.  But I didn't go on and on about it.  I don't want him as a thirty-year-old man remembering how Mom used to freak out over little things like him forgetting his violin.  What I did was this:  arriving to orchestra, I handed him his violin and kissed and hugged him, told him that I loved him, have a good day, etc., etc., in the sweetest voice ever in front of the whole orchestra (I am a devil -- I even debated calling him "Pookie," but decided against it).  That was about the worst thing ever for him, he squirmed, scowled. (I figured the embarrassment will help him to REMEMBER his violin next time : ) 

I started off my run with the notion that I'd use the hours to think up a title for a short story I wrote the day before.  It's for a contest and I was squeezed for time, since it's due today Feb. 24 by 9 PM.  Well, about FIVE minutes into my run I came up with the title.  So, I had about 13 miles to think about absolutely nothing.  I like that.  Thinking about nothing.

My run on Tuesday was an out-and-back, through the canyons, up to the ridge to Top of the World, and then back the same way (Aliso to Wood Cyn, up Cholla, up Westridge). Generally, I don't like out-and-backs -- I find them difficult mentally, mainly because when I pass something, I know I have to do it again.  I like passing things for good.

My hip felt good, though a bit achey -- it really has improved lately.  I've been keeping up with the same regimen, but increased the icing dramatically.  Basically, every time I think about icing, I do it. I was getting worried, being that I'm registered for a marathon in April.  Now, I'm hopeful.

At Top of the World, I phoned home and learned that the spouse had a deadline looming and was stressed about picking up the boys (it was early-out-day, plus the littlest gets out even earlier being he's in preschool).  Seven miles out, that is, the entire return trip, I decided to run fast enough to make it in time to pick up the boys.  I was gonna really have to push it.  I took that first downhill at that fun "flying" speed, focusing hard not to fall.  Then there at the Mathis/Westridge interesection stood an elderly couple with a questioning expression.  They looked directly at me and said, "We're lost."

I stopped.  I asked how they got there, they weren't sure.  I said, holding my hand at a steep slant, "Was it like this?  Or, like this?" I moved my hand up and down like a ridge route wave.  Turns out, it was a ridge.  "But," the woman added, "it was like this at first."  She held her hand up at a slant. (I communicate with my hands often.)

Ok, they came up Cholla then hiked Westridge.  They were good!  That's no easy hike.  I almost sent them off the wrong way, because he said they wanted to get to Aliso Creek, which turned out to be the exact opposite way they needed to go.  They said that they entered through a grassy park, and pointed off toward a neighborhood in the distance.  I knew exactly where they entered.  I suggested a couple routes, they decided on Mathis to Wood Canyon.  I warned them to stay on Mathis, that if they didn't cross a stream, then they probably turned off on another trail (I was concerned they might turn off onto Dripping Cave).  "Cross the stream," I said, "then make a left on Wood Canyon."

They smiled and set off happily.  The man turned back just to make sure he had it.  "Go down Mathis and turn left on Cholla?"

(LOL)

"Wood Canyon.  You can't miss it, it's just after the stream."  : )

So, after that delay, I hauled *** up and down Westridge, and had a delightful fast run down Cholla.  Wood Canyon was fun as well.  Though I was growing tired, I kept up the speed.  And then for some crazy reason, I ran hugging the edge of this bowl-like portion of the trail and nearly had a head-on collision with a cyclist coming the other way at a crazy speed.  Yikes.  Fortunately, I jumped out of the way without him correcting in the same direction.  Actually, he was going too fast to do any type of correction.  At first a little annoyed,  I realized my fault.  I should have never been hugging the edge on a corner, especially not there.

A little over a mile on Wood Canyon, I realized that I hadn't seen the lost couple and thought -- there went my chance at making it in time to pick up my boys.  If I didn't see them by the time I reached Mathis, I had planned to stop by the ranger station and ask them to take a drive up Mathis.   But then I saw the cute couple wearing smiles on their faces -- "It was Aliso Viejo," the guy said, "not Aliso Creek."  I let them know that they were only about a mile and a half away from Canyon Vistas park, and I was on my way. 

Again, I pushed.  But my fast wasn't FAST.  Still, I ran faster than I would have been if I wasn't trying to beat a dead line.  Turns out, and this cracks me up, I made it back exactly when I told myself I had to in order to stretch and pick up my boys. 

Fantastic run.  Miles logged on Tuesday:   14

Today, Wednesday morning, I was giddy about my hip feeling pretty good.  After dropping the boys at school again, I drove down to the marina in my runnning pants and long-sleeve fleece.  But I live in California, and though it was dang cold at 6:00 AM, it was a different story at 8:00 AM.  The skies were gorgeous blue, with just a tad of whispy clouds. I was comfortably WARM (& getting warmer).

Pressed for time, I set off with about five miles in mind.  About a mile in, my ipod stopped.  I mean, instantly shut off.  A little bummed, I continued runninig on through the empty campgrounds and then the beach and marina.  What's funny is that the sounds amused me:  sounds of the birds, cars, people talking. 

Another delightful run, with only minor discomfort to the hip.  I wouldn't even call it "discomfort."  It was more like a strong stiffness. 

I'm keeping with the regimen, plus ice, ice, ice and more ice.

Miles logged Wednesday:  5.25

2 comments:

  1. Great run! Glad the hip is feeling better.

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  2. Yes -- I love this particular run. You're the one who told me about it.

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