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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Normal People

When I arrived home from this morning’s run my husband said, shaking his head jokingly, “When I saw your new [minimalist] shoes here, I knew you weren’t going for a short run.” 

“I only ran twelve miles.” 

He laughed.  So did my oldest son.  “Why can’t you be like a normal person and run a three mile short run?” 

“Ya!”  piped in sonny boy.  “Mom’s short run is ten to twenty miles!!”

Now, that’s NOT true.  Twenty miles is a long run.  And I CAN run three miles, but I’m not sure that makes me “normal.”  Just most of the time, I don’t want to run three miles.  If I’m going to get into the truck and drive twenty minutes to the closest trails, I’m not going to run three miles.  Sure, if I wanted to run out my door, which I do occasionally, I’d run three miles.  That would be just fine with me (assuming I already got in 25+ miles for the week). 

Maybe I’m not “normal.”

Does anyone recall that song with the line “If loving you is wrong, I don’t wanna be right . . .?”  I don’t remember who originally sang it, but in Junior High I bought Rod Stewart’s album, Footloose and Fancy Free, and I played that song again and again.   

Funny, those words are kind of how I feel about trails.

This morning, I ran the big loop at Aliso/Wood Canyons, but ran it counter-clockwise.  I rarely do that.  Usually I run up Meadows Trail in a clockwise loop,  which is much steeper climbing, but the major climbing is pretty much over after Meadows.  Counter-clockwise, I run a continuous gradual climb for quite some time (see elevation profile below) and then I get to fly (I mean run) down Meadows. 

The park was crowded with a multitude of people this cool AuguSANYO DIGITAL CAMERA           st morning.  I was “Miss Chatty Cathy” chatting with anyone who would talk to me.  Talking with the ranger first, I learned that what I thought was a ferret a few weeks ago was actually a long-tailed weasel (which is related to the ferret).  I also talked to several hikers from a local hiking club making their way through Wood Creek Trail.  I said a few words to some of the Mater Dei High School cross country team as every single one of them ran past me.  And I even stopped on West Ridge for a bit to chat with an adult student that took, I believe two of the Photoshop classes that I teach. 

Normal people?  These teen cross country runners did at least a 9 mile out-and-back.SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Wood Creek Trail entranceSANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

A view on Wood Creek Trail that I seldom see since I almost always run it in the opposite direction.SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Dainty flowers along West Ridge TrailSANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Looks like a party at Top of the WorldSANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Running Top of the World toward Meadows Trail (Looking down on Laguna Beach city and Pacific Ocean)SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Ready to descend on Meadows TrailSANYO DIGITAL CAMERA            

12.05 miles (19.39 km) run this morning

Elevation Profile: +1,702’/-1723’

My Activities Aliso Wood Cyns Big Loop counter Clockwise 7-30-2011, Elevation - Distance


  1. Funny debate :) I like how 3 miles IS acceptable... IF you've run 25 already ;)

    That's a good motivator/reason to drive for a run--force yourself to stick to the distance because you already drove over there. Starting from the front door is too easy to just turn around!

  2. Normal is what normal does!

    Sounds very normal to me!

  3. Ah! The ferret was a weasel! You do love the trails and running. I think it is great you do what you love. What is normal anyway?

    There were a TON of people up there! My goodness. When I was there I only saw 3 people.

  4. Love it Lauren! You are so energetic! I'm not seen as normal as well. I like it that way.

  5. Just the opposite: We are the normal ones. I like this post. My coworkers use to be in complete awe about my daily 10-15 mile run. Not to mention my long runs. Now it seems normal for them to ask how many did I run last night.

  6. Thanks for reading Lindsay. It is a funny debate -- one that's held in my home again and again : )

  7. Normal to me too Stuart. 7 years ago though, I would have thought you were all freaks. Funny how life is. (No offense.)

  8. Thanks for stopping by Kate. Yes, that crowd was strange. I was just up there the other day and there wasn't a soul around. Let me know when you want company going up there.

  9. ps Kate. I didn't mean the people were strange. I meant that the number of people up there was out of the ordinary. LOL.

  10. Thanks Johann. I don't want to be a fraud. But I'm really not normal. I'm certainly not dangerous, but it's a bit bizarre that in my 40's (besides my family) running is the most important thing to me. Don't mean to be crude, but 20 years ago, I'd truly rather vomit than run (& I despise vomiting -- it's the worst!!!)

  11. Thomas! So glad you stopped by. I don't have co-workers that I see every day. But I have students who are shocked. I tell them to try and inspire them into doing their passions. Most think I'm too "old" to put in the kind of mileage I do.