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Saturday, August 11, 2012


Went through it all again this morning when my phone alarm rang out at 4:00 AM.  I rose from bed, walked to the living room and lay on the couch.  Before I fell back asleep, the bargaining began.  It’s hard to bargain with just today and tomorrow left of the week and a specific number of miles to run.  A LOT OF MILES. 

I thought, “Well, I can run coastal hills and do two big loops at Aliso for 24 miles today, then run my ten tomorrow.  That saves at least an hour and a half of driving time, not to mention, it’s an easier run than a mountain adventure.  I could sleep for at least two more hours!!”  I chewed on that for a couple minutes.  “Or . . . OR, I could flip Saturday and Sunday’s schedule and run ten miles today, getting even more time to sleep in”  That is what I chose.  Sunday turned into long run (yikes – talk about putting it off to the last minute!)

I arrived to Aliso/Wood Canyons Park alarmed by how many people were already there.  The dirt lot was full (it’s NEVER full).  The church’s huge lots across the street were full with park-goers as well.  I found a small spot along the street curb to back into.  People were packing bikes up, bringing bikes out.  Groups were gathering with their hiking poles.  I thought, “Who are these stupid people?”  It was so DANG HOT.  Mind you, I knew very well that I was among these stupid people.  In fact, many of them were smarter than me, because they were finishing up, not just starting.

An entire high school cross country team cooled down in the church lot.  Another high school boys’ cross country team made their way into the park’s lot.  As I ran through Aliso Canyon I saw dozens of poor, poor teen-aged girls, grinding in the wicked heat, carrying NO WATER.  They ran from a school that I teach vocational education to adults at night during the school year.  I’ll tell you something, there’s be NO WAY a coach could tell me not to carry a bottle of water.  By 9:15 AM, temperatures were approaching 90 F and rising. 

I knew once I turned off onto Meadows Trail I’d lose the runners.  Hardly anyone ever runs up Meadows.  And I did lose the runners.  But what I gained was about fifty mountain bikers (at different times) flying down that trail.  None of them yielded to the runner (that’s me).  In the mountains, cyclists always yield to the runners.  Anyway, I knew that the bikers weren’t going to yield to me, so I jumped out of the way and ran in the brush, again and again up that mile long switch-back.

Welcome to Meadows Trail:

I made it to the top of Meadows in pretty good time, drenched in sweat and salt.  Several bikers and hikers rested in the shade at the kiosk.  A ranger truck pulled up and parked, then one of the ranger guys got out and handed everyone sitting in the shade some bottled water. 

Plenty of hikers made their way along the top of Meadows.  Even more bikers flew down the hillside.  But I didn’t see any runners.

Top of Meadows:

There’s not much more to tell of this trail tale, except that the weather was flippin’ hot and grew hotter.  Every kiosk was crowded with people resting in the shade.  I saw the ranger truck a few more times, again handing water to people.  I took in minimal calories and lots of fluids.  Good news, though chaffed miserably, and crusted in salt, my energy stayed with me all the way back to the truck.

When I arrived home, we all washed the trucks in this heat.  While resting in the house after the first truck, my husband asked, “How do you do it?  How do you run for hours in this heat.?”

“I just do it,” I said.  “I don’t really think about it.”

Top of the World:

Shade at last in Wood Canyon:

Miles run today:  12.01


  1. OMG it has been sooooo hot. I didn't even attempt to hit the trails this weekend but I should have. Heat can be uncomfortable but it can also give ya a good sweat...clean out the toxins or something like that. Ok, I'll head out in the heat too. No more excuses. :)

    1. Thanks for reading Scott! I have been miserable in this heat, and I thought that I could handle heat. I hear it's going to cool down a bit this week. Yay!!

  2. Hi Lauren, I have been reading your blog for several years and today I read your post about you liking comments so I am commenting. :) I am not a runner, but I used to be a jogger and hope to start again someday. I do hike a lot, though, and live local in SJC. You do a super job telling your running stories even though they take place in many of the same locations. My sister and I hiked in Aliso this same morning and I mentioned to her, "I wonder if I will see that blogger Lauren on the trails." LOL! It was a hot morning and there were people heading in when we left at 11:30. Ugh. Keep up the good work. ;)

    1. Thanks so much for reading Traci. I'm really glad you like my posts. I love to hike too. I try to often with my family, but don't blog about the hikes. I've run a lot of trails in SJC too. My favorite local trails though are definitely Aliso. You never know, we very well may have passed each other. I look different in person on the trails -- like a sweaty, dirty mess. : ) Thanks again!