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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Decision Time

Day Three of 100 Mile Week Celebration/Challenge: 42.85 Miles Run

CIMG9787Off again for another run, heading toward that 100 mile week.  I started off tired.  And upon taking off, I honestly thought, “I just can’t run today.”  At .90 of a mile, I felt like my old self – enjoying the run.  But I did learn today that it’s time to decide.  Do I want to run 100 miles this week?  Or do I want to explore run, like I so much love to do.  I can’t do both.  I just don’t have the time. Sad smile


This cool, nearly chilly morning, I took off onto the river walk again.  This time though, instead of crossing the bridge, I headed off along the west side of the creek where it splits.  Just what is it that I’m looking for?  Well, I once heard that I could run trails from the beach to the mountains, Trabuco Canyon, near the Holy Jim Trailhead.  So far, all I have reached are dead ends and closed trails.  You may ask, “What about a map?” 

I say, “Eh?  Can’t hear you?” Smile

Today I found a trail called West Trabuco trail.  I ran that until it turned into another trail by a different name.  And then I came to this?  Can you guess which path I took?


You guessed it!  I took the right trail.  And it was a lovely wide trail for quite some time.  Then I passed a camper in the middle of nowhere.  A bit later I passed a rundown house and worried that I was trespassing on private property.  And then I came to this: 

No more trail!!  After traipsing though this thickness (as it got even thicker toward the creek), I finally found a bank to claw up back onto the original trail.


And so, I ran some more.  Until I came to this. Smile  A lovely single track that I gleefully ran, hopeful that I would find a trail along the stream.


And then I ran upon this.  An old abandoned house, surrounded by nothing but wildlife.  A little spooked, but intrigued, I snuck up on the house, listening carefully.  I figured though the house was abandoned, it could be some kind of drug house or perhaps homeless slept inside. 


I simply could not resist and I went on in.  The stairs intact, I even ran up to the second floor where I walked carefully among rusty nails and broken boards.  There were sleeping bags and cases of empty beer cans scattered about.  A blanket even hung like a curtain in one window.  And large tree had fallen right through the top of the roof and had stabbed through the floor into the first story.  I found it surreal.  But then suddenly felt the urge to get out of there. 


A bit nervous, I snapped one more shot as I took off to run that single track all the way down to the creek, where I indeed found a nice wide trail – actually a dry creek bed adjacent to the flowing creek. 


I ran alongside the creek until I could not pass through the brush.  Nor could I cross the creek without getting my feet wet.  And so I turned around.  My legs stung from tiny thorns perhaps – not sure.  It felt like I had brushed against Stinging Nettle, a plant that I have only come across in Utah.  I haven’t seen this irritating weed in California.  But we may have something similar to it.  I didn’t see any thorns, but my legs felt cut, though by appearance they were not.  (I also noticed small bumps forming on my calves).


Unable to find the single track back, I found myself boxed in again.CIMG9821  I just felt that I needed to get out of there.  Deciding to trust my instinct, I crossed the creek, getting my shoes drenched.  Surprisingly that lovely cold water got rid of the stinging legs (& even the bumps).  Happily, I ran back up into downtown San Juan Capistrano.

And I saw this – pollywogs!


Feeling comfortable back in the historic district, I ran around until it was time to pick up our youngest son.  Then I raced home to change clothes and shoes. 


And then I returned to school to run with my two youngest sons for the Kids Run the O.C. program.  After work this evening, I put in another mile run to bring today’s running total to 14.47 miles.


Exploring runs to cease for the next few days!


  1. Oh believe me. There's stinging nettle around. I ran into some in Buck Gully on one "exploratory run" one evening. Needless to say I 'm avoiding that single track in running shorts!

  2. Wow! I hope you had your mace out and ready while you were in that "house" how creepy! The art is amazing though!!

  3. Another great and exciting run! I know I would have checked out the house as well even though maybe not the best choice. I’ve encountered the Stinging Nettle here as well but only in parts where there are nearly only weeds and no proper plants. So you are still pushing for 100 miles then…good luck and enjoy!

  4. Discoveries like that are what keep me running! Safety is relative. Sometimes the risk is well worth the outcome.

  5. And yes, I did notice that I sound a bit like a fortune cookie.

  6. Oh Funny Glenn! I never knew we had Stinging Nettle in California -- bummer, I love single tracks. They are my favorite.

  7. Of all the days Kate, I didn't have my pepper spray. Needless to say, my husband was not happy at all that I went into that house. But then his words, "no harm, no foul." : ) He thought it was a good idea that I didn't take the same route back.

  8. Yup Johann, still pushing for that 100 miles! There's no way I could have avoided entering that house. And I was careful. I really was : )

  9. I love discoveries on my runs Windnsnow. I really try to make good decisions about how to handle them. So far, so good. But I am going to make it a habit to carry my pepperspray when I go searching for these discoveries : )