TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day Two

My training plan for Twin Peaks is basically this:  Rest, then three runs back-to-back (short/semi-long/short), then rest again and end the week with two back-to-backs (long/semi-long). Today I ran my semi-long run at Aliso/Wood Canyons.  Scheduled for ten miles, I decided on a lovely, semi-tortuous run up Meadows trail.  After running through a field of countless swallows nose-diving into the grasslands and twirling about like little children at play, I noticed dozens upon dozens of these gorgeous bugs fluttering between bushes:

Running Meadows:

Looking back, Meadows doesn’t look so bad (but the climb has barely begun):

By the time I reached Top of the World, I sensed (from using mental math) that my loop wasn’t going to equal ten miles.  9.5 / 10 miles – what’s the difference??? I tried to convince myself that it didn’t matter.  But I knew it would matter to me and began thinking of ways of adding a half mile.   

I didn’t run directly to the ridge route (West Ridge.)  Instead, I took Park Avenue Nature Trail to add just a tad to the run.  And then I hit the down hill of West Ridge, pushing my pace for that negative split (ya, ya, I know, not too difficult to run a negative split when the major climb is in the first half – perhaps for some runners, but not this one).  I pushed it even harder for the long down hill called Mathis Trail.  When I hit the mileage marker in Wood Canyon that indicated that I had 2.5 miles remaining, I knew that I was going to come up short at least a half mile.  So I ran a bit up Dripping Cave, but turned around before the cave because I knew I’d waste time playing in the cave. 

When I hit Aliso Creek Trail, I thought that I might find myself running around the parking lot when I got back to ranger station.  Then I remembered a new trail marker that had popped up a few months ago.  It’s located in an odd place, actually alongside the road adjacent to Aliso Creek Trail.  There’s a sign on the way in that says “no pedestrians.”  How someone’s supposed to get to this trail is a mystery.  (By the way, I see lots and lots of pedestrians on this road.  In fact, I rarely see pedestrians on the trail, they almost all opt for the road.)  So, I ran off my dirt trail, crossed the “no pedestrians” road to this “new” trail:”

And I ran it:

After about a tenth of a mile, the dirt trail ended at a cement road that crossed over Aliso Creek.  I found no more trail markers and wondered whether or not I was “allowed” here:

Quite quickly I ran up on a three-wall structure, filled with odd things like a table, a chair, buckets, backpacks, and books.  It felt eerie, like I wasn’t supposed to be there. 

Then I kept on running on a trail that looked like this:

After a while I came upon an apiary or bee yard.  Notice the Do Not Enter sign.  I obeyed that sign, really feeling like I was being watched or something and turned around and ran back to my nice, safe trail. 

Turns out I didn’t need to run around the parking lot to get in my miles. Smile

My Activities Clockwise Meadows Mathis Loop 6-5-2012, Elevation - Distance

4 comments:

  1. Interesting run! I love seeing strange things and places out there but always opt for safety.

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    1. Thanks Johann. I try and go with my instincts when I'm running alone. It doesn't hurt to leave early and be wrong. : ) Still, I'm wondering about the area I stumbled upon. Next time I see the rangers, I'll be asking questions.

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  2. Looks like you found a pretty cool stash of stuff. But I do hate that creepy feeling like you're being watched (either by man or animal).

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    1. I have rarely had that creepy feeling Lumberjack. Though I've run with friends who had that feeling and said, "let's get outta here!" Plus, I always tell my husband what trails I'm running, and on this run, I took a trail he's never even heard of. He would have looked there last!!

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