I drove to the trailhead under darkness. The last five miles is off road and took 30 minutes to drive. I waited for the sky to lighten before venturing out of the truck. I was ready. I was ready to run up the mountain. A ranger drove up just as I made my first steps. He told me that they had a dozen rescues over the weekend. I’m so glad one of those wasn’t for me.
A half mile into my run up Holy Jim gnats swarmed my face. “Embrace the gnats,” I told myself. That’s what I always tell myself. And it works.
As the forest thickened, the gnats doubled, tripled. I breathed them up my nose. They flew into my ears. And they flew behind my glasses and into my eyes. I swiped at them just so that I could breathe freely. Then I changed my plan. I’d just run up to the top of Holy Jim and come back (as opposed to running to the peak).
Those tiny flies were relentless! They followed me even when I ran higher up the trail. Soon, my ability to embrace the gnats disappeared.
At about mile two a bee stung my head. I must have taken off my hat at one point, then put it back on over a bee. Well, I didn’t know for sure if the sting came from a bee or a hornet. A bee only stings once, a hornet can sting again and again. You can understand why I wanted that thing off my head in a hurry. I tore my hat off and grasped at the flying insect that was tangled in my hair. I pulled at it again and again until I finally loosened the thing. And I flung it to the ground. (I couldn’t find it, but I think it was a bee). Well, I had enough of this. I turned around and ran back to the truck for a total of a 4.12 mile run.
About 3:30 PM I took off in my truck headed for trails in San Juan Capistrano that run alongside Trabuco Creek. I do believe, can’t be sure, but I’m pretty positive that when I ran this trail last June or July, I said that I would NEVER run this trail in the summer again.
For good reason! Arroyo Trabuco trail was hot as hell today.
Though a tiny portion of the trail looked like this --
I managed to run 8.28 miles in the afternoon with a split shift total of 12.40 miles. The best thing about today’s runs was that I was running (oh, and that I didn’t die). Other than that, they pretty much sucked (excuse my language). I’m ready for summer to end.