TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Lessons Learned

Can someone please remind me that I need to run every single day.  It screws my head on tight.  Otherwise, I go around with a loosely screwed on head, and I don’t know what the heck I’m doing.

Seriously!

Being a school holiday, I left the house with the boys still sleeping and hit the trails in Wood Canyon today at 9:30AM.  It felt like summer with a slight breeze.  (By the way winter – please do not skip us completely).  

Wood Canyon was crowded with hikers (twenty plus!) and mountain bikers as I headed up Cholla Trail on my way to the ridge (known as West Ridge).  As I suffered up that short trail, I passed two struggling mountain bikers – one guy laughed and said “Vamos!!”  He walked his bike up a super steep portion, while the other stood by his and rested a bit.  I thought to myself, I know that spot – don’t worry, there is someone you can pass.  There is always someone you can pass.  (Anyway, I had translated “Vamos” as the command, “Let’s Go,” however but wasn’t sure, because I had always thought “Vamonos,” was the word that meant “let’s go.”   At home, I researched the two words and found that Vamos is not so much “let’s go,” but instead, “we are going.” That’s the new thing I learned today, besides the new thing that I learn all the time, which is that I really should run every day. Smile)

Anyway, my run helped lift stress right off my shoulders.  Spring flowers littered the hillsides and the deep blue ocean stood out sharply against the pristine clear skies and the rocky outline of Catalina Island.  It felt like life was grand, and that all the things that weigh had vanished.

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I made my way to Top of the World, recalling once when the two guys I met earlier on mountain bikes passed me.  I paused here and there for a photo, and delighted in the fact that I had my legs moving beneath me up and down rolling hills once again. 

On my return, I passed my two mountain “Vamos” bikers – this time I headed down Cholla as they headed back up.  They stopped me and laughed, stating that every time they’d see me, I was up ahead of them and they would remark – “she passed us again!”  I had no recollection of passing them again, and remarked that it must have been during the times I took the side trails off of West Ridge.  These guys, by the way, were out for a tough route today with three (3!) trips to Top of the World. 

One of the side trails off of West Ridge on the way to Top of the World:SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Top of the World:SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I ended this run with slightly over 6.5 miles completed and about 1,000 feet of elevation gain.  I ended today’s run with this:  toward the bottom of Cholla I spotted a robust young lad (very young, as in elementary school) making his way up Cholla.  A man, who was probably his father, followed closely behind.  And then a little ways down, I ran past another young lad (about the same age as the first).  Red faced, and appearing like he might burst into tears, he struggled, trying to push down on those pedals in an attempt to traverse up the hill.  Passing I said to him, “this might be a good place to get off the bike and walk – it will be more worth your effort.”  It seemed like relief set in when he realized this was an option.  His face relaxed, his shoulders lowered.  Very quickly, he hopped off his bike and strained to push it up the toughest portion of Cholla.  Remember those times when you thought you had to run every second (or ride, in this case)?  It took me a long time to realize that when running was going to lay me out on the trail, it was wiser to go ahead and hike so that I could run later.   I hope this boy learned that lesson today. 

Lessons learned.  Winking smile

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