TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I Like Dirt So Much Better Than Pavement

I decided the big loop at Aliso Wood Canyons wasn’t the best choice today for an in-between-drop-off-and-pick-up-boys-from-school-run, so I decided to have some fun running through Canyon Vistas Park, up Cholla Trail, up and down West Ridge to Top of the World.  

I didn’t hit the trails until 10 AM, and I can finally say, summer is officially here in The O.C.  It was HOT.  Yet, it was beautiful (though I did forget, rather, couldn’t find my hat).  Despite the heat, running is back to “everything is beautiful” even on the dry, shade-less coastal ridges.  I’m feeling stronger with my emphasis on cross training and lower mileage now.  Though this trail run is never “easy”, I ran it with confidence.  It was certainly FUN today.

I noticed hawks, several of them here and there along the ridge, swooping down into the brush.  Beautiful birds.  Lots of mountain bikers were out too (I finally decided to stop calling them cyclists – they are mountain bikers, a different breed than those who ride on the road.  Just like with runners though, I’m sure there’s some who crossover : )  Me though, right now I feel like I probably won’t run pavement again)

The trail is so delightful, so, so very challenging.  I would have never thought that this buckle-shoe, dress girl would ever get a kick out of running, much less running on dirt.  (Tonight, by the way, was my first day back teaching, and yes, I did wear a skirt, blouse and black pumps with a silver buckle across the front!)

In the beginning, I didn’t appreciate West Ridge – it’s quite exposed and not very technical.  It’s a fire road, I suppose.  Now, though, especially today, I really enjoyed its ups and downs.  West Ridge is a lovely trail.  It is after all the one that leads to Top of the World.  And to me, Top of the World is one of God’s churches.

Miles run today: 6.11

Elevation profile:

Cholla Westridge out-and-back

West Ridge – Featured Trail of the Day Video

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