click on any picture in a post for a larger view

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What’s baking on West Ridge? Me!

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).Top of the World, overlooking Pacific Ocean

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)


Lovely, lovely shade on Wood Canyon TrailCIMG7073


Miles logged today:  7.75

Elevation Profile

Hot as Hell Loop at Aliso Woods 9-29-2010, Elevation - Distance


  1. Wow. You are way braver than I am to face the heat. I cowered in fear in an air conditioned building....

  2. I don't think I can do another heat run Glenn. I'm just not used to it (sadly, because trails keep me sane, sorta)