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Friday, July 6, 2012

Just Run

Thursday, I planned a 6 mile run for “easy” week.  Ended up, I’ve had “issues” at home regarding my running, because I’m having to put in afternoon runs (& they noticed that).  I drove home perturbed instead.  When I arrived home, the two family members that complain most about my running time said, “What are you doing here?  YOU NEED TO TRAIN!”  I told them I changed my mind (grudgingly inside.)  I didn’t want to throw the guilt trip.  What I really want is for my family to not resent running time.  So, I made everyone lunch, did chores, etc., etc.  “The Two” were waiting for my wrath.  But really, I just changed my mind and decided not to run (wink, wink).

Friday, today was a planned rest day.  Being that I’m out all day tomorrow and I didn’t work today, I decided to go ahead and run early this morning (I woke at 5AM).  But, I decided NOT to train.  Instead, I just ran.  I didn’t aim for a negative split, I didn’t throw in sprints.  I did not try to maintain a certain pace, nor did I aim for a particular finishing time.  Nope, I just ran.  And I played a bit too. 

When I pulled up to Aliso/Wood Canyons, I did not see a person in sight.  Nor did I see any cars.  Quite unusual.  I took off on the trails, the lonely, beautiful trails, breaking spider webs along the way.  I noticed hundreds of pill bugs (aka sow bugs) in the dirt.  I’d never noticed that before.  But I didn’t want to stop to take a picture because I JUST WANTED TO RUN.  I had a lot of negative feelings to shake.  However, eventually I couldn’t resist the camera and stopped to take a picture of this little guy (not the rabbit up the trail, but the adorable weasel in the right forefront of this picture):

I chose to run up Mentally Sensitive.  Why?  Mentally Sensitive is my “shake off those negative feelings,” hill.  I ran a bit up Meadows first, which is a brown meadow now.  Still, not a person in sight. 

Running Meadows making my way toward Mentally Sensitive:

Now, from the elevation profile below, Mentally Sensitive might look impossible.  Remember the profile doesn’t show the actual landform.  Instead, it represents the “slope.”  It merely shows the vertical elevation gained over a certain distance.  So, it always looks worse than it actually is.

As you might agree, the pictures below of the Mentally Sensitive Trail don’t look quite as awful as the elevation profile below:

The kicker is, once you reach the top of Mentally Sensitive, turn right and run off to Top of the World.  I turned left first, did some bushwhacking and ran into a city park.  I did a little playing here with some swing time.  So tempted was I to jump off the swing in motion like I used to as a child.  But I feared my pack would get hung up in the chains and I would end up injured.  I.  Don’t.  Want.  An.  Injury.

Swing Time:

After swing time, I ran off toward Top of the World.  About this time I started seeing hikers.  A little later, runners were hitting the trails.  I took all the little detours for more elevation.  Then while running West Ridge, I noticed some animals off in the far distance.  I thought horses at first.  Then realized they were too slender and not quite tall enough.  Then I thought dogs, from my estimate something like Great Danes.  West Ridge is the only trail here where dogs are allowed.  Anyway, I hesitated thinking that possibly three big dogs roamed West Ridge without an owner.  Upon closer inspection, I realized they were deer.  I have never seen deer on West Ridge.  Ever!  I managed to get amazingly close to the deer when my battery camera died.  But tada, I had a back up – my phone!  And so snap, I caught them just as they meandered off up the trail ahead of me. 

What an awesome “Just Run,” non-training run this morning, measuring 13.26 miles according to my garmin.  (approximately 21.34 km)

120706_002My Activities Aliso Big Loop clockwise 7-6-2012, Elevation - Distance

Thanks for reading!  And happy running or hiking or cycling to you this weekend. Smile


  1. With a name like Mentally Sensitive, whats there not to like? I always shake out my feelings when running. It really helps clear my mind.

    1. Thanks for reading Khourt. I have often wondered who named the trail Mentally Sensitive. I have not come upon a name quite like that! I know what you mean about clearing your mind & running.