TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Changing it up

I hardly recall shutting off my 6:00 AM alarm this morning.  I do remember waking at 7:00 AM, turning to my husband and gruffly saying, “I’ll run this afternoon.”  To this he sighed and said something like, “Please no complaints when you don’t do it.” 

Why wouldn’t I do it?  Because it’s DAMN HOT, that’s why!!  But I did do it.  Why?  Because I have to.  I need to. 

I checked on-line for the temperatures at my nearest trails: 97 F (36 C).  The temperatures in my beach town were 85 F (approx. 29 C).  So . . . I ran a 15 mile suburban, tourist-city-run this afternoon, beginning at 1 PM.  And the 85 degree temperatures did not feel cool.  Not one bit.

The beginning of today’s run was a struggle, first off, because it was on pavement, and secondly, because I ran inland, mainly uphill, away from the shore (which means HEAT).  Pavement is such a chore for me because I’m not used to the constant stride, the same exact movement over and over.  There were no rocks to hop onto, no logs to walk, just cement for miles.  Eventually though, I made my way back to the Pacific (and I got a bit of variation).

Making my way beneath the highway to the grand ole’ Pacific Ocean:

When I finally made it down to the seaside, I was drenched in sweat.  Yet, I was giddy.  Though the weather was still hot for these parts, a cool ocean breeze blew here and there.  Children ran about, literally screaming with glee.  Innumerable surfers road coca-cola-bottle-colored waves into the slanted shore.  Families spread out on their blankets.  Mothers paced the shore anxiously watching the waves.  As a runner, this was all great “eye candy.”

I was a tad out of place because I was the only person wearing shoes.  The only runner I saw, ran barefoot.  And she blew me away.  I studied her footprint in the sand and noticed she had a heavy forefoot strike.  That would kill me.  A forefront strike that is.  Can’t do it. 

The Difficulty of getting a self portrait: Smile

Sand running was a chore, but not because of strenuous difficulty.  I ran the wet sand which as always, was a delight.  The chore was avoiding the waves, as tide was rising.  Frequently I ran up the sand to avoid a wave rushing up to my legs.  Then it happened.  A wave drenched my right foot.  For a mili-second my wet shoe bummed me out.  Then I remembered that I run through creeks all the time and have frequently run with drenched feet.  For some reason, I guess, it seemed (at first) that suburban running should be with dry feet. 

Since I don’t know the mileage anymore of running locally, I played a little game – a guessing game to get me through the heat.  I’d pick a point far off and guess what mileage I’d be at when I reached it.  Amazingly, I was usually right on. 

After the sand running, I ran up a tortuous amount of stair steps to the headlands where I did some “trail” running, sand trail running.  The views of the deep blue sea were awesome.

Running The Headlands:

After the headlands, I sat for a moment to empty what I thought would be two pounds of sand from my shoes.  Ended up, I only had a small pile of sand to account for.  But it felt great to get that stuff out of my shoes. 

From there, I ran down to the marina for the grand finale of this run.  It was a long grand finale.  And it was still warm.  But I found this portion lovely with plenty of shade and lots of happy people. 

Though I didn’t get the elevation in today (but this wasn’t a “flat” run by any means), I’m super glad I chose to give myself a break from the extreme heat.  And I’m super glad that I slept in.  I hardly ever do that.  I need to do that every so often.

Running down to the Marina:

A Popular Look-Out Spot:

Crossing the Bridge over to the Marina Island, which I ran 1 1/2 times, weary, but wanting to get to as close to 15 miles as possible:

It’s always good to change it up once in a while!

12 comments:

  1. Where is that town/marina? And why don't I live there? So beautiful.

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    1. This is Dana Point. It's very lovely Alma, lots of things to do. But in the summertime it gets very crowded. Thanks for reading!

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  2. That is a really nice run! Great to see some views I've never seen, thanks!

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    1. Thanks Johann. Glad you liked the views. It really is beautiful in Dana Point.

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  3. Nice route. Ah, new follower here :)

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    1. Thanks for reading Daniele. This probably has to be my favorite "non-trail" route. Glad you stopped by.

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  4. Beautiful! The place where we got our wedding cake and our fave brunch spot is there and I love the scenery there. If you have skip the trails, that is so much better than a typical road run.

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    1. Thanks Rachel. I agree. And there's lots of areas on this run where there's no car access. Love that!

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  5. Cool run! Where does the headlands trail connect to the beach?

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    1. Thanks Adam. If you take Dana Strands all the way to the end (to the cliffs) and go up about a thousand steps (not really that many, but it feels like it), turn right when you get to the road. It looks like you're running straight into a dead-end. But there's gate there to one of The Headland trail systems. When you run that one you come out on Green Lantern and there's a couple more trailheads on that street over looking the harbor.

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  6. Great run! I never really thought about it before, but I agree with you on suburban running needing dry shoes and it being ok to have wet shoes on the trails!

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    1. Thanks for reading Khourt. Another thing I noticed about suburban runs is that I don't come home so filthy. : )

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