TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Trails CLOSED. %#3@%&!!!

Off and on storms have closed the local trails.  I keep hoping, checking park websites, phoning, to no avail.  My plan to increase weekly mileage back up to where I was at the end of 2009, looks dim right now.  With the hip so slowly healing and now another injury, a bruised tailbone after a household fall, I haven't been in the best of moods. 

HAVE HOPE.  Have Hope.  I've got to have hope.

I drove down to the wharf this morning for what I was hoping would turn into about a five mile run.  The weather was cold, the skies blue.  Most the runners, and many were out, wore pants, including myself.  I added to that a cashmere beanie, gloves and long-sleeved fleece.  It was beach cold, not Back East cold, so I should have been counting my lucky stars that I could get out there and run in the first place.

I headed off first into Doheny Beach, experiencing difficulty due to the pain from my fall.  I was a little pissed, but plugged away nonetheless.  Thousands of seaguls meandered about the sand, occassionally a flock of a hundred or so of those white birds would rise up against the cool breeze only to settle down a few feet away.  I really tried to focus on these outwardly things, escape from reality -- ordinary troubles, and that dang tailbone.  My anger grew as I ran along the boardwalk, and I knew . . . I knew, this wasn't good for a run.  At best, I was gonna put in about 3 miles at the rate I was going.

Finally, I put in a call home, a rant call, getting some weight off my chest.  And with all intentions of putting in another mile or so, I planned on calling it a day, hopping in the car and heading off elsewhere to fume.  Before turning back, I ran out to the campgrounds, circled it once, noting only a few campers.  I ran back though Doheny, the boardwalk busy with runners and walkers alike.  Noticing something in the sand, something resembling a large palm frawn, I ran off to investigate.  The closer I got, I knew, and that sinking feeling rose.  That palm frawn in the sand was a sprawled out dead pelican, those glorious birds that I love so much.  I turned away quickly, saddened.

I ran out to the rock jetty on the way back to the car.  The usual busy Doheny waves were empty of surfers.  The jetty also was void of fisherman.  I brushed the thought of that poor pelican from my mind, along with every other thing going on right now and ran some more.  Enjoying my music, it seemed, my pace picked up some, and my injury said "ouch" less often.  My hip in fact, did not complain at all.  As I headed back to the car, I thought, "you gotta run through the wharf, at least do that." 

And that I did.  It was beautifully lonesome, a serene Pacific Ocean slapping at its edges.  Coming out of the wharf, I saw my dog walking friend, Sherri.  We waved as we passed one another.  Approaching the parking lot, I thought, heck, just run a little further.  And so I ran alongside the yachts, crossed under the bridge, then ran up and over it.  But then I kept on running.  At first I told myself to do half of the island, but then kept on running and did the entire island, plus a little more, finally arriving at my car feeling better, less angry, a little more hopeful.

Miles logged this morning:  7

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