The marine layer burned off fairly early this morning. Probably by 6:00 AM. This meant the possibility of some heat training today by 9:00 AM when I finally took off. Oddly, I have some romantic notion about complete heat misery. Remember the time . . . we ran out of water . . . Remember the time . . . it felt like torches were burning our legs. Wow! Those were some good times.
Oh, the silly antics of a trail runner.
With less time to spend this morning on the trails, I decided for a “smaller” Aliso/Wood Canyons loop – almost the smallest loop I run in the park. Instead of going up the grueling Mentally Sensitive, I went up Meadows. Now the difference between the two is this: Mentally Sensitive is so steep that it’s unrunnable. I power hike most of it. Meadows, though ridiculously steep, is steep enough to run. Therefore, I run all of it. Insanely, wildly, yes, this is what I do.
The first gigantic ascent is the last mile or so of Meadows (from about 2 miles to 3.25, then there’s more climb toward Top of the World):
Well, the thing about Meadows, actually any climb, is to take one step at a time. I tried that this morning. I didn’t think about the end, or how many switchbacks I had left. Thing was, sweat was already pouring down my back by mile two. The heat bared down in vengeance. As if, I did anything to him.
I’ll tell you. It wasn’t pretty. I so very much wanted to stop, or even just hike. But I told myself, “No! You’ve run this before. Don’t be a wuss.” And despite all the misery in the scorching heat up this ridiculous climb, I made it. (I was delighted too, that the cyclist below didn’t pass me).
I made Top of the World in about my regular time. Not my regular quick time, but my regular slow time. That’s okay. My shirt was drenched. And all I really felt was relief – relief that the main uphill was over, and relief that this loop was less than ten miles. Yay!
I ran down Mathis Trail for my trip back into Wood Canyon. I met several hikers and cyclists struggling up in the heat. With no shade whatsoever on Mathis, I was surely glad my trip travelled downward.