click on any picture in a post for a larger view

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fit for a Mountain

I made it to the Saddleback Mountains this morning and set off running up Holy Jim at the first sign of dawn.  Right away, gnats swarmed my face, and I thought that I’d name today’s blog “Die-Gnats-Die!”  The little devils managed to get behind my sunglasses.   This provided great motivation to pick up my pace and get out of the shaded forest area of Holy Jim. 

Before I could escape the gnats, I came upon a large fallen tree that made the trail impassable.  So, I hiked the slope up and around its yanked out roots.  About 2 miles up the trail, only one gnat remained hovering about my face. 

Even though I’m wasn’t “training,” I worked hard.  I’m not “training,” because that word simply stresses me out too much lately.  Why is it such a stressor?  Because I’m beginning to feel I don’t stand a chance in heck at finishing Twin Peaks within the time requirements.  And instead of trying, I gave up for about a week.  But I just can’t give up.  I’m one of those stupid people.  I simply don’t know when to quit! 

Reaching the top of Holy Jim Trail (Bear Springs):

Disappointed somewhat in my time getting to Bear Springs, I made that left onto The Main Divide and kept on running.  I usually hike quite a bit of that beginning truck trail.  Today, I ran and continued to run.  Eventually though, I grew so worn down, I had to stop.  Yes, that is STOP and rest.  I about lost my mind about there.  With the sun beating down and no one in sight, I yelled out a profanity and threw my empty handheld to the rocky ground.  I held back a huge urge to pick up the rocks and start heaving them off the mountain.  I ran a few more steps, water bottle in hand, and the anger welled up again.  This time I threw my handheld on the ground and stomped on it like a little child throwing a fit. 

Well, I pulled myself together and made it to Santiago Peak in a total of 3 hours.  I wanted at most 2:45. 

Santiago Peak:

After a mountain top view and a cool down from my mountain fit, I had an enjoyable 8 mile run back down to the canyon.  I tripped several times (without falling!)  The heat bared down on my legs so terribly, it felt like someone was holding torches near them.  And it was still fairly early.  I came across several hikers making their way up, all with miserable looks on their faces.  I thought to myself, “Why do they put themselves through that.”  And then I laughed. I put myself through that.  I get this in return:

My Activities Holy Jim Santiago Peak Upper Holy Jim & Back 8-18-2012, Elevation - Distance

Miles run this morning:  16.17


  1. Your comment about the hikers made me laugh and think Im not the only one! I sometimes see others runners out in the miserable heat and see them struggling and wonder what in the world possess them to do that But then I realize Im out there too.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Convert. I always find myself thinking that about other fellow runners/hikers. It gives me a good giggle. LOL.

  2. You know, the Boy Scouts have an award for hiking to the top of Saddleback via Holy Jim. It used to be that they wouldn't award the patch for any hikes done in June - September to avoid kids getting heatstroke. Lol.....

    1. Thanks for reading Glenn. I WANT THAT BADGE!!