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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Kickin’ Off 100 Mile Celebration

Tis’ the the season of Lent in the Christian tradition.  I realize many readers are not Christian, and that many readers are not religious at all.  This is not a religious blog, it is a running blog.  But I cannot write a blog of any sort without mentioning a bit of my life.  I am not a Bible scholar, nor am I a scholar of any sort (though I do know a bit of Russian literature).  Okay, off point!  I am traditional.  And I am religious, though, not nearly as much as I desire.  I come up short in practically every aspect of my life.

Truth.  Sorry.

I know many people who gave up things for lent.  And they succeeded.  Some gave up sugar, others ice cream, or wine.  I, on the other hand, gave up NOTHING.  I’m not sure why.  Perhaps I’m too selfish.  Perhaps I punish myself too often to go ahead and sacrifice something (which is kind of like a punishment).  Instead, I thought that I’d be a good Samaritan, which was the topic of Ash Wednesday’s sermon (Ash Wednesday – the first day of Lent).  Turns out, I cannot claim that I was a good Samaritan .  I hope it was because the opportunity didn’t come up.  Once I gave a handful change to a poor man, embarrassing my son in the process.  Another time I yelled down a bully in my class for picking on another meeker boy.  I certainly didn’t go “above and beyond” for the poor man.  And though my husband said I protected a boy against a bully.  I really didn’t.  The bullying was over when I found out.  Instead, I just lost my cool and let the guy have it by yelling him down, kicking him out of the class (not the program, just the class), then phoning his mother to “gently” let her know.

So . . . I wasn’t really a good Samaritan during this lent season.  And as mentioned above, I didn’t give up a thing.  As time as passed during Lent, I thought about what I could do for this holiest of seasons in my religion.  And I came upon an idea a couple weeks ago.  For “Holy Week”’, I am celebrating.  I am celebrating by attempting to run 100 miles this week (resting on Easter Sunday).  I cannot call this a sacrifice (though it is for my family).  Instead, as I worded a couple sentences back – my 100 mile week is a celebration, beginning with Palm Sunday, today. (Also, I have no idea if I can do this – I have never run 100 miles in a week).

This morning I woke early, dressed in running pants (because I just can’t go to church in shorts), ran a few miles, then attended an inspiring Palm Sunday service.  Among many other items, I packed a small comb to run through my sopping sweaty hair before walking into church.   Afterward, I ran down to the “river walk” (bike path) and did some exploring.

The marine layer lifted a couple miles in, where I promptly ducked into a public restroom to change into shorts.  Then I ran the bike path past the Los Rios Historic District in San Juan Capistrano.  I noticed a sign that read “East Trabuco Creek Trail,” and thought “Ahh ha!  This is the trail I’ve been looking for!”

Well, that trail ended at an immigrant neighborhood.  The very same neighborhood that one of my students (a lovely student, I might add) calls “the ghetto.”  I’ve run it many times before.  And obviously, he has never been to the ghetto.  The apartments are all well groomed, no graffiti in sight, no homeless sleeping on the streets (still, he warned me, never go there at 2AM – Ah, I’m never anywhere but my bed at 2AM : )

The Trabuco Creek Trail signs disappeared and a new sign, the Camino Real Bike Trail signs appeared.  I followed them, until they ended at Camino Capistrano with no directional arrow.  Well, I know which direction Trabuco Creek flows, so I took a left, and ran a gorgeous, breezy and  shady park until I came to a stop light where I turned left toward the creek.  And guess what I found?  A sign that read “Trabuco Creek Trail.”  Gleefully, I ran that trail until I came TO ANOTHER LOCKED GATE and a sign that read “Trail Closed.”

Well, I turned around, and looked for a passage down by the creek and found myself running through thick mud.  That’s when I thought it was a good idea to turn around and look elsewhere.  I never found a route along  or across the creek.  So, I ran back up into downtown San Juan Capistrano, then the Los Rios District, relishing the festive atmosphere.

Below are just a few scenes from this lovely, yet tiring run.  Scroll to the end for my Palm Sunday trivia question if you wish to play.

Miles logged today:  13.27

Approximately 5 miles in, crossing bridge into downtown San Juan Capistrano


River Walk (headed toward Los Rios Historic District)


Giant Sycamore, so old and tired, it has to lay down


Alas!  I have found Trabuco Creek Trail again!


Running through the mud looking for a way through (no luck : (


The church behind the San Juan Capistrano Mission (crowds of people were walking the streets to enter this church)


Waiting to cross at the San Juan Depot into the historic district


An delightful looking shop in the Los Rios Historic DistrictCIMG9768

Homeward bound – coming upon Doheny Beach


Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem to celebrate Passover (crowds of people laid down their cloaks and palms).  Jesus did something at a Passover meal that sent heads reeling – he sat in a seat traditionally held for someone else.  Whose seat did he sit in at the Passover meal?  And why was this so significant in the Jewish tradition?

I’ll send a half dozen pure honey gels to the first person who answers this question correctly.  They are delicious.

Palm Sunday’s Elevation Profile

Palm Sunday Run 4-17-2011, Elevation - Distance


  1. Really nice run! I love that you are always looking for trails or ways to get where you want to go on your runs. 100 Miles for the week…a big ask but I’m sure you are up to it.
    I’m also religious but not doing enough or my part I feel. Especially with my Comrades training taking some church hours for long runs… Luckily I can get to church at evening services. This Easter weekend I’ll be running on Fri, Sat and Sunday mornings. I think Jesus sat at the head of the home’s place, therefore becoming the host and not a guest at the meal.
    Have a great week and all the best for the 100 miles!

  2. Johann! You are the winner my friend. I just proved how much of a Bible scholar I AM NOT. LOL I was actually thinking about another Passover, not the "Last Supper" Passover. And then today, I went searching for the Passover I was thinking about, and I could not find it anywhere in my research : )

    Send me a note where I can mail you these pure honey gels. ldhm@aol.com

    If someone comes up with the Passover I thought I learned about some 20 years ago (or maybe I was dreaming), there will be a second winner. When I get my facts straight ;) I'll comment what I was thinking about with this trivia question.

  3. Love the picture of that old Sycamore tree. What a cool and unique thing to do for the season!! I am not religious at all but I think it is interesting to watch my religious friends give things up.. My one friend gave up meat and the other gave up Facebook (of all the horrors ;)).

    I am always very impressed that you get in such a variety of awesome runs - you must be insanely busy with work, running a house, and mothering all those cute little beings! You rock!! :D

  4. This is impressive! The most I've ever done in a week is 62, and that was enough to convince me I wasn't going to do *that* again!

  5. Thanks for reading Kate! Giving up Facebook -- I love that!! Very cute.

    Yes, I am insanely busy, emphasis on INSANE : )

  6. Thanks Glenn! I thought it would be A LOT easier.