TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Racing Against Time

With our three sons back in school, I’ve got 3 different school start times and 3 different pick-up times.  It’s crazy!  I leave the house just after 7 AM for the first drop off, come back and then leave again about 8:20 for the 2nd drop off, and finally leave the home once again to make a 9:30 start time for drop off #3.  And these are just the drop offs!  I’m not sure how I’m gonna get my groove with this schedule.  So I thought I’d get my groove with some running in between drop off #3 and pick-up #1.  I had this crazy notion that I could drive to Aliso/Wood Canyons (twenty minutes from the schools) and run the big outer loop and get back in time to pick up our kindergartner.  I have been cross training every day since my last run after all.  I should be stronger and more able, right?  Right? 

I figured if I made it to Top of the World by 11:30, I could make it back to the car by 12:30 – time enough to stretch and get back to school for pick up #1.  (That was kind of stretching it too, because I had never timed how long it takes me to run across Top of the World back down Meadows).

First problem was:  The sun finally showed up today and with vengeance.  When I exclaimed to drop off #2 as we drove to school, “Can you believe it, of all days, the sun comes out,” he looked at me like I was crazy.

“Wadja expect?”  he laughed.  I thought he was consoling me, then realized he simply thought I was a little off : ) 

“When’s the last time the sun came out?” I asked. 

He just chuckled and said, “Ah, like yesterday!”

Silly boy.  We’ve rarely seen the sun all summer around here (which is partly why I suffered so much during Bulldog).  Well, I laughed and laughed at his response, practically all the way to school.

Even though the sun did pop in today, a cool breeze blew as I ran through Aliso and Wood Canyons.  I took my sweet time warming up, enjoyed myself and worked on a relaxed form.  I reached the end of Wood Canyon 8 minutes off schedule, which wasn’t good because I hadn’t even begun the real climbing.  I had forty minutes to make it to Top of the World, and though I never stopped, and consciously picked up my speed, I made Top of the World another 8 minutes shy.

With 16 minutes behind schedule, I thought (didn’t really know, just thought), I wouldn’t be able to make the big loop across the ridge, going down Meadows Trail in time.  And so I thought that I’d cut about two miles off the run by going down Mathis instead.  Surely, I’d be able to make the car in plenty of time to stretch and pick up #1.  I had to make pick up #1 – he’s my little guy!!

I turned around and headed back down West Ridge toward Mathis.  That sun beating down on me was no help at all.  I really pushed it, because it donned on me that I was running in the direction away from the car for much too long before hitting Mathis.  I pounded that downhill trail like I never had before.  Still, I wasn’t going to make it!

Okay, okay, calm down Lauren (though I was really quite annoyed with myself).  You see, I knew when I finally reached Wood Canyon that this supposed cutting 2 miles from the run was a fantasy.  This loop was going to equal just about the same as going down Meadows!

At the base of Mathis, a little over 2 1/2 miles remained.  And I had twenty minutes to run it and still have time to stretch.  Thing is, that dang sun was really beating me up again.  I was wiped out.  I wanted to drop to the trail and lay down and rest.  At the same time, I was more than a little perturbed at myself.  I mean, “You can’t run faster for your kindergartner Lauren!!!”

No, I couldn’t.  I could barely run.  Thankfully, I did have a hat, and I still had fluids.  I needed to power walk a few times.  Staring at the watch, I simply began counting my steps as I ran.  That’s the only way I could get through it.  At some point, I chucked the idea of stretching.  And I ran into that ranger station and straight out to my car.  I threw my gear in and raced back to the school.  I think I hit every single red light, but pulled into the lot about 3 minutes shy of the bell ringing.  When my son walked out, he gave me a big hug, and didn’t even notice the salt that crusted every inch of my body. He was soooo cute.

Miles logged this morning/afternoon:  11.64 (which is the EXACT mileage of the big outside loop that I decided against)

ALWAYS AN ADVENTURE!

My Race Against Time

Big loop - Counter CW Trying to Beat the Clock 9-9-2010, Elevation - Distance

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