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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Back on Easy Week

The moon looks like a perfect half this evening.  If I were a night runner, I could definitely get into that!  The moon was not out when I left my house this morning (or at least I didn’t see it).  The weather was already warm for being so early in the morning (7:00 AM).  The skies however, were gray, gray, gray.  Nice for summer running.  And I really needed this morning’s run.

I’m back on easy week this week.  I missed the first 2 runs of this week’s plan because it’s been so hectic at work.  A bit of background: I “taught” summer school for “late grads,” that is, students who didn’t get their credits in time to graduate for June.  I put “taught” in quotes because my job wasn’t as much teaching, as much as it was motivating, and pushing, and convincing young men and women into achieving their diploma.  It was exhausting work. Especially this last week (which ended yesterday, Wednesday). In 5 weeks, I made 87 phone calls on my own time.  Double that for e-mails pushing these “kids.”  And they were all worthwhile.    

Many of these young men and women succeeded.  And I will never see them again.  That’s kinda sad.  But happy is, many achieved their diplomas and  can move on in life, and happy is, I did make it out the door this morning for a run in Aliso/Wood Canyons Park. 

I really had no plan how many miles I would run.  I thought just do the minimum planned, and make up for the first two days, whatever I can.  The trails were lonely this morning, except for a few other runners who were not carrying water.  By the time I reached Wood Canyon, I decided I would run up Meadows Trail which is a nice, pretty-steep switch-back, but not too terrible.  At one time I would have called it hellish.  Now, I refer to it as a “mini”-Holy-Jim-type-trail.  It’s a switch-back and steep like Holy Jim.  But instead of five miles, Meadows is only 1.25 miles.  Heaven. 

I took it at a mellow stride.  On the flats I pushed for a faster pace.

Entering Meadows Trail:

Climbing Meadows:

Top of Meadows:

After reaching the top of Meadows Trail, I knew I could put in more than scheduled, and make up a little for the first two days missed this week.  Though the weather was muggy, a cool breeze blew here and there.  Not only that, plenty of friendly hikers made their way along the trail.  Most of them were carrying those “walking poles.”  I don’t know what that hiking gear is called.  But I’ve seriously considered purchasing them after having so much trouble running down rocky, steep inclines in the Saddleback Mountains. 

This morning, I saw a trail runner with those “poles.”  I really pushed after I heard her nipping at my heals.  I DID NOT WANT HER TO PASS.  Eventually, I looked back on the sly, and didn’t see her anywhere.  I supposed that she turned down another road or made it to her home.  My fear is that I’d trip and stab myself in the gut with those poles on a steep decline like West Horse Thief.

Top of the World pose:

For the first time, it seems in a long time, I ran a strong finish.  After running down Rock-it trail, a technical decline that I tried to run swiftly, I made my way onto a lovely, of-and-on-shady trail named Coyote Run.  As I ran this trail, two large deer crossed the single track a few feet in front of me.  I grabbed my camera from my Ultimate Direction pack pocket. I caught some pictures, but not good enough to post.  Then . . . THEN, right after I put the camera away, I noticed another large doe hiding in the brush.  She was a beauty.  I decided to keep the camera tucked away and keep on grooving.  I had by the way found my groove today, and I didn’t want to blow that. 

I ran into the ranger station stronger than I have than it seems like ages.  Now that my teaching job is over for the summer, I’m going to try to stay with “the plan.”  Here’s to hoping I can do it.  After napping today, I worked on upper body strength and ab work.  I really feel I have a long way to go.  But all is good.  Today’s run was awesome, regardless of the training plan.  Yay!

Thanks for reading, or for at least looking at my pictures.


Elevation profile for today’s route:  Aliso Creek Trail, Wood Cyn Trail, Meadows Trail, Top of the Workd, Park Ave. Nature Trail, West Ridge, Rockit, Coyote Run, Wood Canyon, Aliso Creek Trail: 

Approx. 11.3 miles. 

My Activities up Meadows down Rock it 7-26-2012, Elevation - Distance


  1. You do awesome work with those kids Lauren, well done! We talked about the moon last night. SA's most famous 100 mile race, the Washie 100, starts today and runners run through tonight. They always try to make it a time of July when the moon is bright.

    1. Funny how we both noticed the same moon. I hope I do good with the kids. I really love working with them. They are the outcast, the one-last-chance kids, and I adore them.

  2. Those kids will forever be grateful for what you did...even if they never told you so. That is the one thing I miss about teaching high school - knowing the difference a caring teacher can make in a child's future.
    Great run!

    1. Thanks Rachel. High school is my favorite too. I sub also for different grades, and middle school is pretty cool too (for subbing that is, never had a long term job with middle school, but I LOVE their innocence, the innocence that they believe they have shed, but still lingers). Thanks for reading!