click on any picture in a post for a larger view

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Road to Santiago

Most of my runs are good runs.  No; more than that – they are joyful runs.  Sometimes (rarely) I have magical runs that seem effortless.  Sometimes (rarely) I have runs that seem hellish.  Today, day 53 of my running streak was pretty much hellish.  With about 6 miles remaining I wanted more than anything to stop and WALK home.  Or better yet, phone my husband for a ride.  Thing was, there was no way for him to drive a car to me.  And I couldn’t walk because time was fleeting and I needed to pick up our two youngest boys from school.

For today’s run, I set out to explore more of the run for my epic adventure, Tom Fangrow’s “Tides to Towers” Run (a run from Doheny Beach to Santiago Peak).  I went into this morning’s run a little cocky, thinking that two days of short runs would give me enough rest to keep me running strong.  Such is with the sport of running (& all sports, and all things in life in fact), I had another thing coming!

The run began strong as I ran toward Arroyo Trabuco Trail.  Overall, this portion of “Tides to Towers” is not extremely technical terrain, nor is it steep.  It’s a bit more difficult than the first segment which covers Doheny Beach along San Juan Creek to Trabuco Creek.  But overall, today’s run wasn’t any tougher than my normal runs.  In fact, it should have been a lot easier than a typical run on my regular trails.

BUT, this run did cover the out-and-back route that included the Las Flores Trail Marathon that did me in some time ago – the race where I took the coveted DFL, the race that I thought I’d run again some day, merely for vengeance.  LOL.  Not after today! It was about the point that I passed the race’s entrance onto Arroyo Trabuco that I really began to weaken.  Perhaps my fatigue was exasperated by the memory of Las Flores.  Then when I passed the Las Flores’s marathon turnaround point, energy seeped out of me like a leaking tire.  I was pooped!

About a mile in, running adjacent to the golf course headed toward Arroyo Trabuco (& the Crown Valley Parkway underpass):

Posing above golf course, Santiago Peak in distance:

I love this part of the trail, reminds me of being a little girl.  The house I grew up in had this feathery blooming plant in the furthest part of the backyard, growing like a jungle:

Though I’m tiring, the moments I can escape to The Now, I can enjoy beauty like this:

On the way back, I found myself counting creek crossings.  I stared down my garmin.  Actually, I didn’t want to do that, so I wouldn’t allow myself to look at the garmin until at least two songs had fully played on my ipod.  I tripped twice, but thankfully didn’t fall.  Then I tripped and kicked my other leg.  It hurt.  LOL.  I fell into the creek TWICE and got my feet wet.  When I reached the Oso underpass, I whispered, “Thank God.”  Then the run to the Crown Valley underpass seemed like it would never arrive.  When I finally caught its giant pillars in sight, I felt a grand relief. 

I must have covered new ground, haven’t seen this monument before:

Running back:

15.79 miles run on the road to Santiago Peak today (25.41km).  The IT band is acting up just a tad, so I was diligent in my floor exercises and foam rolling this evening. 

Here’s to better runs!! 


  1. Kinda spooky - so not only are our training philosophies very similar (per your comment on my blog), if Friday was day 53 of your running streak, it was day 51 of mine. December 16 was the last day I didn't run. :)

    You have beautiful trails in your neck of the woods!

    1. when running is fun, it seems like the training philosophies will be like yours.
      great Streak you have going! Yes, I am so lucky to have these trails. Very, very lucky!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for reading Kate. I know that you are very busy. But any chance of joining me and 2 other ladies for my birthday run at Aliso (This Thursday), looking atabout 9ish miles. The first climb is the toughest, after that, it's all pretty much easy street.