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Monday, January 9, 2012

Day 21

As yesterday’s saga continues, I woke this morning with a terribly aching arm.  If you read last night’s post, you know that I fell over the doggy gate.  But you might wonder how the heck I did that.  No, I wasn’t drunk.  Though I was extremely preoccupied.  The gate has a latch at the bottom and top, and lifting the gate up is supposed to unlatch both the top and bottom.  Well, last night, only the top latch opened, the bottom remained closed.  Not realizing this I continued walking and walked right into the gate, falling over and onto it when it crashed down.

The pain this morning was continuous, yet I didn’t want to take ibuprofen or another pain reliever because on day 21 of my running streak, I wanted to feel any running aches and pains that may occur so that I might avoid a repetitive-use injury.  So I applied a heat wrap.  I wore it all morning, then after making breakfasts and lunches and dropping the boys at school, then dropping attendance off at my work, I drove to Aliso / Wood Canyons with the heat wrap beneath my shirt.  Those wraps are HOT.  Within a mile of my run, I was burning up, though pain free.  Eventually, I couldn’t stand the heat any longer on this winter day and tied my sleeves around my waist.

I doubted the wrap would stay on much longer as sweat dripped down my arms to my elbows.  You can see from the picture above, the wrap is already loosening.  The sleeves at least helped keep the wrap attached.

I took off running again happily with the sleeves tied around my waist, and with the intent to FORGET reality (or reality as we know it.)  I’m suffering from a great deal of stress right now.  I really needed day 21.  I planned to run, not until I couldn’t any longer, because I could have probably put in 30 miles today.  Instead, I was just going to run until I had to pick up the boys.

First thing I saw after removing the sleeves and unraveling the stress, string-by-string, was my old friend Blue Heron.  He just stood there in the field, blink, blink, waiting for me to make a move.  Finally, when I took a step toward him, as he is such a lovey bird with an amazing wingspan, he took off toward the hills.

And so I continued on running.  When the heat wrap finally fell off, I tucked it away for later and headed for the hills myself.  My arm felt pretty good.  Even though I wasn’t sure where I was running, I knew that I was running up Mentally Sensitive (Psycho-Path).  I needed something strong this morning. Smile

Turning off onto Meadows Trail, headed for Mentally Sensitive:

And then I got silly.  That usually happens first – usually just before everything becomes beautiful.  I didn’t think about anything as I morphed into silliness.  I simply took it all in.  I say “simply” rather loosely, because I couldn’t do this years ago.  To not think is actually difficult.  But if you can do it, and you can with practice, the joy is real, even when utterly fatigued. 

Good Advice:  (LOL) 

Running Mentally Sensitive, looking forward to the climb.  Yes, I am getting stranger and stranger.  But remember, this is DAY 21 of my Streaking into the New Year:

And then I hit the toughest trail in the park.  There are other extremely tough trails at Aliso/Wood Canyons, but right now, this is my toughest.  But a tough trail didn’t take away my silliness.  No, it only added to it, and added to that the feeling that everything is beautiful.  I’m telling you EVERYTHING.  A bug crossing the trail.  A rock in the road. 

Running up Mentally Sensitive:

Off Trail on Mentally Sensitive – Oh No!!:

Upon reaching the top of Mentally Sensitive, I decided to make the “big loop” around the park.  I had more than enough time.  My arm began aching again.  It was all that arm pumping up an extreme climb that probably brought back the pain.  So, I relented and took two ibuprofen.  And I also snapped the picture below of Saddleback Mountains.  I just can’t resist taking this picture.  Notice the meadows, about mid picture – that’s Meadows Trail and the beginning of Mentally Sensitive.  And my starting point (the ranger station) is about 2 miles beyond the hills on the right:

I stopped quickly at Top of the World.  Ate my Luna bar, though I wasn’t one bit hungry.  I figured with the salt that covered my arms and face, that I probably would poop out soon if I didn’t eat.  My fluids did have the salt I needed (Nuun tablets), but it’s usually too late when I realize that I should have eaten. 

So, I ran all of West Ridge, taking a few detours, then down Cholla Trail until I came down upon this gorgeous canyon, Wood Canyon:

I ran all of Wood Canyon, without any detours.  It’s been a long time since I ran Wood Canyon without detours.  I had forgotten just how long it is.  Though I was somewhat fatigued, I ran it on in all the way, happily, joyfully and playfully.

Then I had to check-in to reality (as we know it).

Miles logged:  12.64 miles (20.34 km)

My Activities clockwise Aliso-Wood Big Loop 1-9-2012, Elevation - Distance


  1. Lovely run Lauren! Great post as well. You look like you belong out there.

  2. Thanks Johann. I would have never believed it 5 years ago, but I do belong there. Thanks for reading & the compliment!

  3. It's just that big hill that kills me Ed. But boy is it a mind cleanser!

  4. You are so mentally tough! I'm glad you're arm felt ok enough for a good run - stress is never cool. Your streak is admirable!