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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Snake Run

Saturday, I needed to take care of a residual from my face plant a month ago (Big Baz WTRS 15k).  Whereas my eye actually improved a great deal initially, this week it took a turn for the worse.  It was red and painful.

Turns out, something went into my eye during the fall.  Though whatever it was is no longer there, my eye didn’t react well to the intrusion.  A cyst formed in response, which in turn began irritating blood vessels.  “Thank God you didn’t damage the cornea,” the optometrist said.  And then she went on to say, in not so many words, that women “our age” shouldn’t be taking falls like that.  In my defense, I told her, “Well, I normally don’t fall like that; I was trying to avoid the cliff, so I fell awkwardly.  Usually, I fall much better.”

I’m sure that convinced her that women “our age” are okay to take falls like that.  She sent me off with an eye-drop prescription.  And already, my eye has greatly improved.

Saturday night, I went to bed at 9PM.  I could still hear the boys roughing up the place and didn’t fall asleep until after 9:30.  Up at 5:20 AM, I sat on the couch fooling around on the computer, avoiding getting dressed.  Not that I didn’t want to run.  I greatly looked forward to my long run this morning.  I was just too dang cold (we are so spoiled weather-wise in California – I’m guessing it was 40/45 F).  6:30 AM I was finally out the door and in the car to drive to my local trails (why, Aliso/Wood Canyons, of course).  My plan today was to run every trail up to the ridge and every trail down.  In other words, I ran up the first one (Cholla), ran along the ridge to the next trail into the canyon (Lynx), ran down it, ran up the next one, etc., etc.  The last trip down was Meadows (the beast!) which after running I turned around and ran up it to make the trip back.  Technically, I suppose this 19+ mile run was an out-and-back, but not exactly.  I made a few alterations on the back trip.  It was more like a snake route, back and forth, back and forth.

“Before” (I had planned to take an “After” shot, but forgot), standing in Canyon Vistas Park, layered and ready to take off.


The weather remained cool my entire run, though I stripped those layers pretty quickly.  Running through spider webs on the single tracks, I found myself smiling instead letting out yelps like I used to.  My thought was, “Ahhh, I’m the first one on this trail this morning.”  I would wave my hand in front of my face when running through spider-like areas.  Once a web broke on my upper lip.  I didn’t utter a peep.

Later, I found myself semi-frequently dodging mountain bikers.  Guided groups of hikers also roamed the hillsides.  I ran past one such group struggling up Mathis.  They smiled and shook their heads in amusement as I snaked my way up the mini-beast.  I have avoided Mathis for a while now, because it is so painful.  Surprisingly and happily, I found Mathis Trail quite comfortable to run.  Not at all saying that it was easy.  Just that all those runs up Meadows Trail have miniaturized other trails like Mathis.

Hours later, after running back up Meadows Trail on my way to West Ridge, I met that same hiking group while I ran across Top of the World.  One of the guys exclaimed, “It’s you again, I can’t believe you’re still running!” 

“You’re still hiking!”  It was like meeting old friends.  Turns out I set off this morning at the same time as this hiking group (7 AM).

Running down Lynx Trail in the cool morning shade, spring flowers already dot the hillsides.  (Running back up this at about mile 18 was a bear – no shade!!)


Spring flowers Along Rock It Trail


Dodging Mountain Bikers on Rock It Smile


Car Wreck Trail


Finishing Up Car Wreck


Posing with 2-Headed Dragon I Found on the Trail


Top of the World View of the Pacific Ocean, Catalina Island & Laguna Beach


A Little Detour on Park Avenue Trail (Trip Back)


19.29 Miles: +4,031/-4033 SUPER FUN SNAKE RUN!

My Activities Aliso Woods 2-13-2011, Elevation - Distance


  1. "I was just too dang cold".
    You crack me up. I know of what you speak though, I've not been able to get out of the house in the morning in months (and it was a balmy 20 F this morning).
    Still, beautiful run. I'm glad your eye is safe. I continue to be amazed by non-athletic types who will use any reason, such as age, to justify something that the human body is naturally suited to doing.
    Thanks for the breathtaking vistas.

  2. "Usually, I fall much better" - that's priceless!

  3. I can almost feel how much you enjoyed that run. Isn’t it great that we are capable of doing things like this? Being the first one out on a trail is always a good feeling. Glad your eye is better! Women “our age”…very funny.

  4. Wow what a run woman!! Plus a two headed Dragon!! How often can you say you saw one of those out running??

    I hate when people indicate you can't do something because of age.. That lady has no idea. The synapses you are building right now from falling are going to really come in handy when you really are old, at like 90. If you ever do accidently fall when you get to that age.. you are going to atuo roll out and save your self a hip replacement because you've been primed to fall gracefully from all these experiences. So there. ;-)

    I am really glad you eye is ok.
    Beautiful pictures!!

  5. Now that's some solid elevation!

    And a dragon to boot!

  6. I am totally spoiled here windnsnow. But then again, where I grew up (inland) we had many 100 f+ days. So cold happens quickly for me.

    Funny, lots of people have told me, "You know, running is bad for you." I could tell them, so is driving :)

  7. Thanks for reading Tom! I still owe you $$! I hope to see a new member run soon (if not, tell me, and I will send a check in the mail). Do you remember that time I fell behind you on Santiago Truck Trail? You said the thud was so loud that you thought I hit my head! I also remember another time on the same trail, you fell, but that's the only time I ever saw you fall! I think you were cut out to be a runner : ) Hope you're doing good.

  8. Thanks Johann! Yes, I am so lucky. Also, my eye is 100% better. I'm just using the eye drops now because the prescription says so.

    That "women our age" is going to be a funny joke to tell for a long time.

  9. Thanks for stopping by Kate. I never thought about that (my body learning how to fall so I don't break a hip when I'm 90!) I'm going to for sure tell my parents next time they worry about me running trails. My dad is super anxious about it, he doesn't come right out and say it, but I can tell : )

    The dragon was very cool. It was just standing there waiting for me.

  10. Thanks Stuart. I'm trying. I got a wild hair some time back, some funny idea that I could actually improve my running (even at my age : ). Looks like I can, a little bit anyway.

    Yes, the dragon was a plus! I brought it home, then felt guilty thinking that some little boy or girl was crying along the hillside looking for their long lost dragon!