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Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Trails

No work today.  But I spent the morning getting the children to their places.  Though summer break completely messes with my running, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  The boys need to do things during their break.  I wouldn’t want them sitting home every day.  Alas, this meant that I didn’t get to the trails until 10:30 AM.  Late morning is much better than mid afternoon.   Still, I started off today’s run in the heat.  Thus I suffered somewhat.  But that’s what this is kinda all about (kinda).  I’m just not used to running in 100f degree weather yet.  I will get there.  Some smart planning beforehand would help a tad.

For example, this morning I spent the first three miles running downhill, deep into Wood Canyon.  I even took a detour along the super shady, gorgeous Wood Creek Trail. 

A look into Wood Canyon from Wood Creek Trail:

Wood Creek Trail:

I would have faired better to run this loop in reverse, leaving this shadiest portion for last.  And why the heck did I choose Car Wreck Trail as my route out of the canyon????  This is why:  I must run through Oak Grove Trail which is lush, shady and fairy-tale like, in order to get to Car Wreck.

The beginning of Car Wreck (still shady and like a fairy-tale):

The car wreck on Car Wreck Trail was swarming with visitors – 5 or so hikers, 2 mountain bikers.  I took the opportunity to run down a hidden single-track for a bit, wondering where this wonder would lead.  I eventually turned back when the shade ended.  I didn’t want to take a trail in the sun that I didn’t know.  I will be back though – perhaps in the winter time.

Off the beaten path, looking back toward Car Wreck Trail:

Well, it was about high noon as I made my climb out of the canyon to Top of the World in Laguna Beach.  Frustrated by my slow pace, I remembered that my pace is always slower than usual in extreme heat, especially in the beginnings of heat training.  I let myself “off the hook,” and picked up my pace only when I felt that I could do it without fainting.  When I finally reached Top of the World, I refilled my handheld, then guzzled down at the drinking fountain.  Feeling rather overheated and now waterlogged from the water fountain guzzling, I rushed off to the public bathrooms to wash my face.  I only slightly watered my face because I didn’t want to wash away my sunscreen.  But then salt dripped down and stung my eyes.  I knew that would happen.  What was I thinking?  Then I thoroughly washed my face in cold water.  It felt so darn good, damn the sunscreen.  Afterward, I soaked my hat in a sink of cold water.  Then I headed back to my truck, running along West Ridge, all exposed trail, but completely bearable because the climbs are not so steep.

Climbing out of Car Wreck:

Top of the World:

Looking at Modjeska and Santiago Peaks (where my demons and angels reside):Running Up Car Wreck down Cholla (to tow) 6-28-2013, Elevation

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