click on any picture in a post for a larger view

Sunday, August 5, 2012

7 Deer, 2 Coyotes and a Squashed Stink Bug

Today The Plan dictated ten miles.  And I put THAT off as long as I could.  After yesterday’s wild mountain run, I would have never chosen to run ten miles today.  2:30 PM, my feet finally hit the dirt in torrential heat and rather warm winds. 

My calves were tight.  I ran slowly.  Slower than usual!  If I would have thought about it, I would have thought, “I’m never going to be able to do this.”  But I didn’t allow myself to think anything except, “One foot in front of the other . . . one foot in front of the other.” 

Taking on Aliso Creek Trail, One Foot in Front of the Other:

Feeling a bit like the squashed stink bug that I ran past on Aliso Creek Trail, I stopped at Wood Canyon to stretch my calves.  Except for a few bunnies and lots of lizards scampering about, I felt pretty lonely on that dry, hot, windy trail. 

At three miles into the run, I cheered, “Only 7 miles to go!” 

Soon after that, I ran up on several hikers, and as I passed them I saw a coyote prance through the dry grass alongside the trail.  I ran on some more along Wood Canyon Trail and very quickly spotted another coyote making his way through the grass.  Two coyotes within a couple minutes?  Now, THAT was a little different. 

The heat waged on as I eagerly ran toward the woods for some shade and beauty.  But before then, four deer grazing in the dry grass grabbed my attention.  I caught a picture of three of them here: 

By the time I made it to the woods, I felt pretty dang good.  Soreness went with the wind.  Suddenly a large doe jotted across the trail just a few feet in front of me.  I noted that when she reached the wooded area, she didn’t move.  Normally she would have raced off.  This only meant one thing.  There were others.  So, the inquisitiveness in me won over, and I stopped to investigate.  I spotted two baby deer on the side she came from.  Stepping away, I waited briefly for them to cross so that I could snap a picture.  After a minute or so, I figured I needed to run.  And so I ran on, continuing my way to the end of Wood Canyon.

At the end of Wood Canyon, I ran up Cholla, a pretty steep climb, especially in this heat.  But it was short.  Short makes all the difference.  Then I ran the rolling hills of West Ridge, glancing back at Santiago Peak wistfully.  At the top of Mathis Trail, I ran down hill for approximately 2 miles with glee, surprised that I was going to actually do this today – run ten miles. 

With 1 mile remaining, I picked up my speed and ran in disbelief.  “Thank God,” I said out loud . . . “Thank YOU God!”  I am so fortunate. 

Today’s elevation profile / 10.61 miles.  I came up 7 miles short for this week’s plan.  I was scheduled for 62 miles, ran 55 miles due to an injured shoulder and my pity party (& I have to attend my own pity party Smile  What would people say???)My Activities Wood Cyn Cholla Mathis Loop 8-5-2012, Elevation - Distance copy


  1. 55 miles in a summer week is no joke, have an extra slice of cake at the pity party and move on!

  2. You are right Stuart. Thanks for the motivation!