TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It’s All Relative

I felt much stronger on day 43 of Streaking into the New Year than I did for day 42.  Perhaps it’s because today is the official end of Streaking into the New Year.  I doubted that I could run every day until January 31.  Now, I’m so close to a 50 day streak, that I’m going to try to go on a little longer.

Today I sang on the way to the trails.  The weather was cool.  And I was so thrilled to hit the dirt again.  I took off in Aliso Canyon with a dozen or so plump squirrels scampering across the trail.  A gopher poked his head out of a hole as I hopped over it. 

I focused on form while keeping my pace way up from yesterday.  After running into Wood Canyon Trail, I took a quick right onto Meadows Trail, lovely Meadows Trail:

I’ll tell you, the difficulty of hills is surely relative – pretty much like most everything (at least in physics anyway).  A bit off subject here, but there was a time when mankind thought that we would surely die travelling on a train.  It was simply too fast, we couldn’t take it.  Turned out, we when sit in a train or a car or a plane, though we’re travelling the same speed as the “vehicle”, it doesn’t feel like it.  It feels like our bodies aren’t even moving at all.  Similarly, there was a time when I thought I would surely die running up Meadows Trail.  LOL.  Even though I sweated running up it this morning, and the journey was hard, it was definitely easy, relative to some of the trails I’ve been putting myself through.  I force myself to “run” the toughest trails.  Now when I run up Meadows, I wear a wide smile like this:

The smile of course is also because of views like this:

And dried flowers like this:

When I hit the top, I kept on running.  I ran on through the neighborhoods until I reached Top of the World.  I stopped momentarily to fuel and took off so quickly that I forgot to snap a photo of Top of the World.  It’s my custom to take a photo of Top of the World.  The fact that I forgot shows how much I enjoyed the moment on this run, how I enjoyed feeling strength. 

I ran all the off-shoots on West Ridge Trail so that I could get more elevation.  Only one of those off-shots is named:  Park Avenue Nature Trail.  I came upon several cyclists, hikers and runners along the rolling ridge.  They were all mostly smiling.  And though it grew warm enough to take off my sleeves, the weather remained cool for the remainder of this spectacular trail run. 

Sometimes when I reach Cholla Trail (the trail at the end of West Ridge), I am exasperated.  Today I felt gleeful with views like this of Wood Canyon running down Cholla:

At the bottom of Cholla I decided to run the canyon all the way and not take the parallel trails like I usually do because I missed wide tranquil trails like this:

With creek views like this:

And I was nostalgic for Sycamore Grove now covered with the parasite Mistletoe.  Yes, those clumps of green in this deciduous tree are Mistletoe.  So be careful who you stand beneath these trees with:

I continued focusing on form, but more so on keeping the pace up.  I still needed to do some grocery shopping before returning home.  Though I kept an eye on these beautiful pastures, I kept the kick out the back quick and made it back to the truck exactly when I planned:

12.14 miles ran today (19.54 km):My Activities Big Loop up Meadows down Cholla 1-31-2012, Elevation - Distance

6 comments:

  1. Beautiful. That is one of the reasons I love your blog... you take pictures of the moment. Running trails is such a beautiful sport!

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    1. Thanks Kate! I agree. I absolutely love running trails. It's so fun, my friends/family think it's funny that I don't consider myself an athlete.

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  2. Oh yeah! Thanks for the tag! It was fun. :-)

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    1. I'm glad Kate. I found this one hard to do and was hoping that people wouldn't be annoyed for me tagging them.

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  3. i think a vacation weekend just running these trails is in order this spring or summer. beautiful. we will be in your area this weekend, but only briefly to run Surf City and then head home right after.

    you are ending your streak? Awh..? sorry to hear that. I am going to keep mine going until something pops. lets just hope it is not my Achilles. :)

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    1. No, Slomohusky, streak is not over. I'm aiming for 50 days. At 46 six today (2/3/12). Good luck at Surf City!! It should be a fun time. Definitely put aside a weekend for trails out here. If you are doing Saddleback mountains in the, be sure to pack lots of fluids -- IT'S HOT. And let me know, my club may have a group run going on. Good luck again!!

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