TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Shoot for the Stars

“We are all of us in the gutter,  but some of us are looking at the stars”  / The Pretenders (Message of Love), which basically quotes Oscar Wilde (Lady Windermere's Fan)

The forecast says rain, rain, rain.  So with little time to spare, I got the boys dropped off to school, ran one errand, got a ticket (yes, a traffic ticket!) and headed off for a trail run before the waters descended upon us (which by the way, they haven’t yet).

Altering my sleep positions have helped with the glute pain, so I changed my running plans this morning.  I ran through Canyon Vistas Park, a familiar route, but instead of starting the climb right away up Cholla Trail, I took a downhill route into Wood Canyon.

Today’s Elevation Profile 

Nov 19 run Wood Cyn up Rockit to Top of World

A slight drizzle fell from gray skies.  Dozens of mountain bikers made their way on the trails as I made my way down Wood Canyon.   It was dark, cold and lovely.  Scouring the sidelines for acorns, I stopped here and there to collect them on special request from our youngest son.   About a mile and a quarter in, I took a right onto Coyote Run Trail.

Entry to Coyote Run Trail

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I did not meet another soul on Coyote Run Trail.  Turning down the tunes to make sure I’d hear oncoming bikes (or other troubles), I concentrated on keeping my pace strong (remember my goal – Calico!)  I felt strong winding through that short stint, but a little anxious knowing what lay ahead – RockIt Trail. 

Rockit Trail

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I felt amazingly well running up Rockit.  It is after all, only a mile and a quarter (yes, about 2.5 times longer than Cholla Trail, but much, much CIMG7624shorter than Holy Jim or say . . . BULLDOG).  I think . . . I don’t want to speak (rather, write)  prematurely, but I may be through my recovery period. (That is recovery from Saddleback).

I met one hiker just as I headed up Rockit.  Otherwise, I had that trail all to my (happily) lonely self.  What a joy!  I think it was Rockit that finally freed me today.  Though that freedom was short (I had to re-enter the “real” world eventually), it was well worth the sweat and not tears, but salt that ran down my face.

Rockit meets West Ridge which I ran up and down, mainly up, up, up to Top of the World.  After stretching my troubled glute muscles, I raced, I mean, raced back up and down West Ridge (mainly down, but there’s some good ups).  I concentrated on form, but mainly pace, amazing myself at times with an eight minute pace (that is a rarity on trails!).  Even more amazing, I conquered the twelve minute pace on the moderate hills.  (I still owe you Tom for the garmin!!).  Increasing my pace is the only way I’m going to meet my Calico goal.  To break through that bottom 25%, I’ve got to beat my Calico 30k time by about 30 minutes.  To place in my age group, I’ve got to beat my time by ONE HOUR.  My goal is the latter.  As the saying goes, “Aim for the stars, and maybe you’ll reach the sky.”

Miles logged this morning:  7.61

Acorns I collected (quite difficult to get a focused pic).  Baby boy was quite happy though : )  He really liked the yellow ones (who knew acorns were so colorful).CIMG7628

6 comments:

  1. So glad you got out before the storm! I just hate the fact that they close everything afterwards. I understand why, but I still hate it....

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  2. I can't remember the last time I saw acorns - I love how you got an assortment of colors and shapes.

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  3. Mojo loco, sounding good and running strong!

    Calico is a great course but you must have the 50 in your sights the last 20k is all downhill...well mostly!

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  4. Ya, I made it Glenn. So glad, because I'm too chicken to sneak into the parks when they close the trails : )

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  5. Stuart -- I really want to CONQUER the 30k at Calico. I've run it twice before, and never really felt like I've conquered it. As far as 50k goes, I am eyeing the San Juan 50k (Big Baz) -- we shall see how the training goes.

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  6. Green Girl -- my youngest son keeps requesting them, now I'm starting to get obsessed with acorns. I have to force myself not to stop when I see a particular fine specimen -- LOL. But sometimes I just can't resist.

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