TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Day 28

Early into this whole thing, I intended to end my running streak yesterday.  I have a favorite race coming up and I feared (and still do somewhat) to run up until race day.  I have never run up to race day.  In fact, I have never, to my recollection, run the day BEFORE race day. 

Running-wise however, things seem to be going swimmingly, in fact, I seem to be gaining strength.  Therefore, I decided to run the 28th day of my running streak.  Actually, I NEEDED to run today.  My mood was less than perky, actually it was in the pits. 

I set out the door this chilly afternoon for a quick out-and-back.  And I ran up three flights of these stairs (below)  to cross the pedestrian bridge, and three flights down to take me into the state beach where the traffic speed limit is 15 mph.  The steps’ lower landings were puddled with urine, sadly.  But there were no pot-smokers taking refuge in the stairways today.  I ran past one homeless man who turned away at my glance.  Other than him, my trip to the beach was stranger-less.

A sign that the tourists, on the whole, have left our seaside town:

I felt strong.  I felt free from worries.  My feet moved with ease across the asphalt.  I ran through the campgrounds (twice, there and back) and ran through the state beach to Capo, until the sidewalk ended.  The sidewalk does actually end, and I named it that (Where the Sidewalk Ends) in honor of Shel Silverstein, the children’s poet. 

After my out-and-back to where the sidewalk ends, I decided to extend my run a bit and cut into Doheny Beach to run the boardwalk.  From there I ran out to the jetty, then ran up a climb, where not that long ago I needed to rest frequently while walking (before I began running regularly).

Today’s run, was not exactly an out-and-back as planned.  It was the opposite of a lollipop.  An upside-down lollipop.  I suppose it was a noose.  In fact, this was a regular run I used to do before I became a trail runner.  And it was oh so difficult, though beautiful and satisfying back then.  After becoming a trail runner, I began to loathe the road.  But getting out there on the road recently convinces me, that I need these road runs once in a while.  Trail runs make them seem so “easy”.  More importantly, I love the nostalgia, the nostalgia of this used to be my “long run.”

Running along the parking lot, headed toward Capo Beach (where the sidewalk ends):

My camera does nowhere near the justice of the scene above me as I ran back – thousands of seagulls swirled high above, making me feel that everything was going to be okay:

Miles run today:  6.57 (10.57 km)

I dedicate this run to dear friends involved in a horrific car accident a few days ago.  My family thanks God they survived (though I’m not saying God had something to do with their survival – I still lack faith in God’s actual involvement in our lives, though at times, like this accident, it seems like God has a direct hands-on involvement).  Prayers go out the the big-rigger driver’s family whose father/son/uncle/nephew/grandfather(?) did not survive the accident. Sad smile

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