TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday: Start over Day : )

I ran for several hours today, in the heat, up steep climbs.  Expecting June Gloom, I layered with long sleeves, and also forgot my sunscreen.  Let’s just say I got myself a bit of heat training because I kept my long sleeves on until I could no longer bare it.  I believe mile eight I finally took the layers off receiving cool comfort for a sunburn.

A good exchange at the time.Smile

Today was what I thought of as my “start over” run, as Monday has always been start over day for me.  That’s the day, when I “turn over a new leaf.”  First off, my goal was to think through my troubles and not stop running until I thought through them all.  My “new leaf” was to start a new training program that includes a good diet, a runner’s diet, not so much so that I can get thinner (though that’s a nice thought), but so that I can run better, stronger.

Flowers still bloom in the exposed, dry portions of our coastal hillsCIMG9911

Times have changed greatly during this third anniversary of my trail running adventure (I began trail running June 2008).  I no longer experience anxiety knowing that Meadows or Rock It approaches and I’m about to run it.  And I actually run it!  All of it.  Yes, sweat pours off me as if someone were pouring a glass of water over my head (though not as refreshing).  I can also look at the top and behind me, and it doesn’t freak me out.

Nearly to the top of Meadows Trail (about 700 ft. in a little less than a mile).CIMG9914

Running Top of the World (I can finally see the Pacific!!)CIMG9918

A summer bouquet along West Ridge

CIMG9921

Running Stairs on Wood Creek TrailCIMG9922

Finally reaching Rock It, ready for trip number 2 in today’s run to Top of the World.  CIMG9928

A View of Wood Canyon as I run down Mathis TrailCIMG9931

Stopping by Dripping Cave Trail, I meet a new friend.CIMG9934

This is a gopher snake with gorgeous rich and golden browns in its skin pattern.  Though I didn’t see any rattlers today, I distinctly heard rattlers rattling away on three distinct occasions.  At one point I was running a single track along Park Avenue Nature Trail when I heard the loud rattling.  Well, I “high tailed” it off the single track onto a wide trail.  Then I stopped as I always do to find the snake.  It immediately stopped rattling, and I couldn’t see it anywhere.  I was just checking to see if my perceptions were correct when I tossed a few rocks into the bushes where I thought I heard the rattling come from. 

When it happened again,  this time on West Ridge, I attempted my rock throwing attempt as soon as I ran quickly away from the direction I thought I heard the rattling.  It didn’t make another sound, dang it.  But I did confirm with a hiker that I ran up on that the rattling was coming from the bush I thought it was.

The third time I heard a rattler, it was the loudest.  I was refilling my water at Top of the World.  Since the snake was so loud, I knew exactly which way to run to avoid it.  But that of course didn’t mean that I wouldn’t run into another snake on the single track back to West Ridge.  I “high-tailed” again it with the decision, no more single tracks for today.

My plan should a rattler strike me:  Sit.  Yes, sit.  Panicking or running will only make the venom travel through my body faster.  I have the ranger station programed into my phone, so I will probably call them first, since they can come get me.  If they don’t answer, then 911, it is.  If I can’t get phone service, I’ll probably slowly move around a bit to see if I can get service.  If not, I can try texting 911.  And if all else fails, I will slowly WALK toward the ranger station, checking frequently for phone service.  Let’s hope I never have to use this plan.

With that note, I hope you all had a good Father’s Day, and a great week running, or doing whatever it is that you enjoy doing. Smile

16.27 miles run (26.18 km) +2,621/-2691 feet6-20-2011, Elevation - Distance

4 comments:

  1. Thanks, I had a great father’s day. That’s a lot of snakes on one run! I have to be careful too. Luckily it is winter now so not many snake to see. My main problem is Puff Adders. They like to bask in the sun and also like to ambush their prey on trails. I like your plan of action just in case. I will follow a similar plan I think. Hopefully we never need the plans.:) Runner’s diet…what’s that?

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  2. Or you can try slowly injecting yourself with minuscule amounts of venom every day until you build up an immunity... :)
    I like your action plan better.

    I love that you can see the ocean...I finally get to see the other one (Atlantic) in September.

    On Sunday (since I'm not allowed to run more than one minute - and naked at that ;) - I was bike riding on a muddy trail in the rain. It seems to rain here a lot on the arid western plains!

    I stopped to have a drink and to cross a road that is always busy with football, baseball and soccer minivan traffic and I noticed a rather large turtle looking both ways, seemingly waiting for a break in the traffic to cross.

    I put my bike down and asked him if he needed any help. He didn't say much. I picked him up anyway and gingerly carried him across the road in the direction that he was pointed. The little (heavy) bugger scratched me a few times and protested quite a lot.

    When I put him down he took a good look at me and went off in the direction that he was going, into a thicket. I'm sure I saw a saunter in his waddle and a gummy smile on his face.

    As for the scratches, that's all I could think of for my whole ride home. If you don't hear from me again, salmonella has taken hold.

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  3. Glad you had a good Father's Day Johann! The rattlers are out in abundance during spring and summertime here. I googled Puff Adders. SCARY!

    I'm not following any particular diet, what I meant by "runners diet" is one with no or minimal sugar, alcohol and saturated fat. Plus adding more fruits and veggies. I generally only eat apples for my fruit and green veggies. I want to add more colors to my fruits and veggies.

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  4. I don't know about injecting Windnsnow -- I can barely do blood tests (LOL). How awesome that you have turtles roaming around (though I certainly hope he didn't give you salmonella). We have a pet turtle, but none roaming in the coastal hills or local mountains. If we did, I think I might be too chicken to pick one up, though I was so, so tempted to bring home a good size gopher snake to my husband the other day. I just couldn't think of a way to run him back to the car 3 miles away.

    I hope you training is going good. Sorry about the running. I would be crying : (

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