TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Last Big Run before the BIG Run

Sunday was my last long run before Bulldog.  Of course I opted for the big double loop at Aliso/Woods Canyon Park.  And I had the pleasure of company of running friends Tom, Sheila and Marcus for the first loop.  The weather was cool.  And taking the loop clockwise (meaning running UP Meadows was the perfect thing to get my mind off life for a bit).

6:00 AM, I’m still getting my pack together for the run. 

From left to right, Me, Tom, Sheila, Marcus08aug2010

Top of Meadows, over looking the Pacific Ocean (Laguna Beach)

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Good company, good run.  We parted ways after the first loop, which is a dang good run (see first half of profile below).  And then I headed back up Meadows for loop #2.  My hip ached quite a bit, as well as an infected toe (can you believe it!).  But I decided to keep on running, taking a short hiking break to eat my snack.

Up Meadows for the Second Time

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At the top, I put in a full set of stretches.  A husband and wife team hiked down on the asphalt road below with their big curly-haired, giant-poodle-like doggie, when that dog suddenly turned around and ran up to me.  He trotted right up and look at me with those big eyes.  I petted him as his masters called out.  They called and called and the dog didn’t flinch.  “You gotta go, doggie,” I said, but he just stayed practically snuggling with me.  Finally, the woman came up closer and called for her dog.  I told her that my dog had just died and maybe her dog sensed my sadness.  She agreed.  Her husband hollered from afar “tell her about the book, tell her about the book!”  The lady then smiled and said that I should go the library for the book, Dog Heaven – that it’s a kids book, but a very good one. 

Okay, I’m way off track here.  I continued running, and the next dog I saw, stopped dead in her tracks as her master walked on.  The dog just stood there staring at me as I ran by.  A realist would say that this is all coincidence, and that I just noticed it Sunday because of my sadness.  (But I’m not that much of a realist : )

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I continued the rest of the run with a good deal of hip pain.  And I ran the remainder of Top of the World pretty mindlessly.  That is, I didn’t think about a single thing.  I kept my mind utterly BLANK.  I simply watched my surroundings.  The skies were still cool and gray.  I refilled on water at the park and ran down Westridge and Cholla numb to the pain (I admit, I took 2 Motrins at the Top of the World Alta Laguna Park – though I’m not sure they did much good.)

The remaining run through Wood Canyon was shady, cool and beautiful.  And then after the foresty park, I began to think about the dog I got to pet at the top.  And I started to cry, missing my Daisy.  Just then I saw a snake racing across Wood Canyon Trail in the sun.  Is it a rattler? I wondered and picked up my pace so that I could get a closer look.  But that slithering thing was really booking.  I got there just in time to catch a good look.  But not fast enough to get out my camera.  It was a long as my eight year old son.  Most likely, this was the largest rattler I have ever seen on my runs.  Its diamonds were golden yellow, and so shiny – a beauty of a snake.  I waved over a cyclist to show him the rattler who was now making its way into the brush.  I said, Look how thick it is!  “Nah, he said, he’s still a juvenile.” 

Isn’t it funny that I see what I hope is a rattler in the road, and I literally race to catch up with it!   (Don’t worry, I know a little about Rattler behavior, how they strike and to give them their space. : )

Elevation Profile2 Big Loop 8-8-2010, Elevation - Distance

 

Miles logged: 20.82

5 comments:

  1. That's some nice climbing, with that under your belt you'll be fine. Some advice;

    Watch out for Crags Road you can roll your ankle in the first two miles
    The end of the first loop and start of the second is a bit longer than you expect it to be
    There are a few ups on the downs but not too many

    I am coming back from vacation the day befpre and I am kicking around doing the 25k so maybe I will see you there!

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  2. Good job! Hope your hip is feeling better!

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  3. Thanks Tom! And Stuart if you do the 25k (which starts an hour later) be sure to wave when you pass me!

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  4. So now it's time to taper before the 21st? I get so far behind these days that if I don't get a chance to tell you so before the big day - good luck! Go get 'em Lauren!

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  5. Thanks Glenn. Yes, my friends Sheila and Tom gently convinced me to go for 6 miles of hills today instead of adding a few more -- I'm in this push-push-push mentality right now. It was good to run with friends this a.m. to put things in perspective.

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