Having not run since last Wednesday, I ached to hit the trail. Literally. My right glute still bothered me. But it is much better. I couldn’t get out until 10 AM this morning which meant warmer, much warmer weather. We’ve got a bonafide heat-wave here on the coast.
I took a call from a girlfriend running down into the canyon, which always gives me a kick. I mean, who would have ever thought that I’d be running a trail while talking on the phone? Not me. We chatted about the writers’ conference when I reached Cholla Trail, which meant time to say good-bye. I don’t think there’s a chance I could run up Cholla talking on the phone. It’s too steep.
I ran Cholla feeling strong, no glute pain whatsoever. It seemed to only bother me on the downhills and flats. And then I ran West Ridge up to Top of the World. Imagine baking a casserole (or cookies) and opening the oven door. You know that heat that pours out of the oven? I felt like I was running through that heat all the way up to Top of the World. It was an oven! Thankful that I packed fluids on my back, I had a feeling that fluids wasn’t going to make everything better (Calabasas all over again).
Joy filled me when I reached the top, one, because a breeze blew way up there, not a cool breeze, but a breeze nonetheless, and two, I always feel joyous reaching a summit.
I took off back down West Ridge. White butterflies fluttered about the trail. Dragonflies with bluish green wings flew about at eye level. The sun still scorching, I couldn’t wait until I started the big downhill. Then suddenly, a fast, zig-zag flying bug flew directly into my sunglasses. I felt its wings flutter between my eyes and the inside of my glasses and then it was off. What the heck was that? It was bigger than a bee, a fly also. It was not a butterfly, because though butterflies do fly in a zig-zag manner, they flutter. They don’t zoom.
A couple minutes later, another bug, about the same size flew into my hand. It hit, and before I could see the thing, it was gone. That’s when I thought the creatures that crashed into my glasses and hand were probably grasshoppers. (Second guess: a dragonfly, but I don’t recall seeing them fly at hand level.) Mystery. : )
I ran down Rock It trail with much concentration. All I wanted was shade. I yearned for shade. Even a nice long downhill like Rock It trail didn’t provide much relief from the heat. No shade, and not a single leaf moved from a breeze. Finally at the bottom of Rock It, where I caught Coyote Run Trail, I stopped in the shade of a gigantic, sort of weeping tree. I had to. I was burning up, seeing orange blotches before my eyes. After cooling off a bit, I ran onto Coyote Run for lots of shade, then back up onto Wood Canyon trail, running uphill, in and out of shade, so, so, eager to stop and cool down. I tripped hard once on a root. But caught myself before the fall (thanks to a stronger core!)
I need to get out earlier during this heat wave. It took a couple hours to cool down after today’s run. Still, I was glad to make it.
View from Rock It Trail (parallel to Wood Cyn. Aliso Cyn in the distance)
Miles logged today: 7.75