TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cooler Temps–I can feel autumn approach

I completed my 23rd day of fitness streaking today – which requires doing an activity for a mile or more every day.  That activity of course wouldn’t be something like driving, or crawling (though I suppose crawling for a mile would be difficult enough to qualify).  I hit day one so many times during this endeavor, that 23 has been my highest number in this facebook group to date.  This of course, means the pressure is on.  At day 23, I don’t want to start over again at day 1.

After spending the first three days of my workouts at the gym this week, I knew I had one thing to do today (besides make breakfasts, pack lunches, get three boys off to school, wash dishes, do laundry).  And that one thing was to run.  And since my week begins on Monday, I needed to get in some good mileage since I was already behind (zero at the end of 3 days – I call that behind). 

Thankfully, the weather cooled for me today.  I didn’t hit the trails until after 10AM.  I started off slowly, and a little weak. And I finished slowly, and a little weaker.  But that’s okay.  Really.  I completed this 14.53 mile route in the same time it takes me to run 13.25 miles in the same park (Aliso/wood Canyons).  Regardless of any of this, it was all a-okay with me – I was running trails, and you can’t beat that!

To make a long, long, long, long story short, I made my way down to a nice size pool in Wood Creek, looking for signs of autumn. It seems that just when the summer rolls over into autumn for good, the bright orange crawdads make their appearance in the creek.  I didn’t see any crawdads, but I did notice a bobcat cross Wood Canyon not twenty-five feet away from me.  I caught her backend as she rushed off into the brush.  I ran back up to the trail, but I was too late.  I stood there for a bit, peering into the thick brush.  I saw nothing, but heard something heavier than a bird or squirrel moving about in the branches and dry leaves.

A View into Wood Creek from Wood Canyon:

I pushed hard on my way up to Top of the World.  I tired easily, and hiked a couple of the steep inclines.  In my defense, I did try to power hike them.  Still, I found myself with my hands on my hips.  I experienced delight hitting my turn around point in this out-and-back.  I stopped for a quick pose at Top of the World, phoned my husband and headed on back in slightly warmer temperatures.

I focused so hard on keeping my pace from falling too terribly, that I almost missed the two deer that bounced like bunnies alongside me on Wood Canyon Trail.  By the time I realized the two does’ presence, they darted off at a quicker pace.  As I reached for my camera, I told myself, “Forget it – you have hundreds of deer pictures.”  Besides that, I didn’t want to stop.  I wanted to finish up at a decent hour. 

Quick Stop at Top of the World:

Yes, today’s 14.5 miles were difficult.  But they were not terrible.  Misery factor was close to zero.  Yes, I ran rather slowly, but I was running trails, and that’s still the best!

Elevation Profile:Running_Wood_Cyn_Cholla_West_Ridge_TOW_&_back_9-19-2013,_Elevation

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