TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hill Repeats on West Horsethief? LOL.

For a long time during my short trail running “career” Bulldog Road was my nemesis.  Bulldog Road is dirt road in Malibu Creek State Park that runs a little over 3 miles.  Then I ran Holy Jim, a local trail in the Cleveland National Forest (5 miles).  And Holy Jim became my nemesis.  Once I conquered Holy Jim, I couldn’t wait to get back to Bulldog.  But I didn’t get back.  Instead, I met West Horsethief.  I thought I had kind of conquered it – conquered it, as in I could run the whole thing in training.  And conquered it, as in, hopefully, it wouldn’t “kill” me in a race.  Problem is, West Horsethief CONQUERED ME in my last trail race.  I think that I was feeling a little “cocky,” so the beating took me by surprise.  AND all of Horsethief is only a little less than 2 miles long.  The major climb portion is even less!

That beating that Horsethief gave me really pissed me off.  I try to be a calm, patient person.  But I’m really not.  I took West Horsethief’s beating personal.  And silly me – before this “beating”, I went and registered for a 50k that goes up this trail at mile 23!  I needed to do something, and something fast.

My grand idea today was to run up and down West Horsethief three times.  I must be the “Queen of Denial” because it was WAY harder than I thought it would be.  Going up that third time was a death march (I don’t mean to lighten or disrespect those in the Bataan Death March WWII or other death marches throughout history).  Actually, climb 2 was pretty bad.  Climb 3 was terrible, but I had the mental battle over during climb 3, knowing that I was running my final “lap.”

Almost the entire adventure, a helicopter with red blinking lights flew in and out of Trabuco Canyon.  At times it flew lower than I ran.  At times, it seem to be attempting to land on a high meadow across the valley.  It would leave, then return and hover and circle the same area for quite some time.  This made me nervous as I mentioned in the video of this adventure below, for a few reasons.  First off, I wondered whether someone was injured, and if so, I worried (selfishly) that the injury could be due to a cougar attack.  Secondly, I worried that someone was missing, or worst yet, dead.  Other things that crossed my mind were 1) the dumping of a corpse or 2) a psycho was running loose in the wilderness.  

The Movie Winking smile 

7 comments:

  1. Wow Lauren! Awesome and well done! You are crazy but that's what great trail runners are made of...crazy stuff. Have a super weekend!

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    1. Thanks Johann. Definitely fun stuff (looking back!) Seriously, I'm glad I did it. But it was kind of an absurd idea. LOL.

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  2. For good measure after the 3 time to the top, run over to Upper Holy Jim and say hello. Proud of you... Great job Lauren.

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    1. Thanks Jeremy. I doubt next time I run on over to Holy Jim : ) Though this time I did have to go a bit up the Main Divide to get a cell connection to phone home. This challenge was not a popular choice back at the homestead. : ))

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  3. I watched your video, so yeah, I guess there WAS a psycho running loose in the wilderness!

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    1. Thanks for watching Tom. You comment cracked me up for DAYS. It still cracks me up. : )

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