A couple weeks back, my mind actually entertained the idea of stepping away from trail running, or all running for that matter. It’s true. And I can’t believe it myself. Can’t believe that I let the thought even enter my mind. But it was a relief really to contemplate the notion. I have been suffering physically and mentally for quite some time now concerning this hobby that has defined me. I felt anxious and confused about what to do about it. When the thought crossed my mind, I was in the middle of coordinating Old Goat 50, and I was busy with work. And then spring break hit for one of the schools I teach at. I told myself, just run until you have time to think about this new notion of actually stepping away. And so I ran this week, and without realizing it, broke a 30 mile week. The last time I broke 30 miles was the 3rd week of January this year. (The first 3 months of 2014 I broke 30 miles seven times.)
Maybe, just maybe (& perhaps this is just wishful thinking), I can run myself right through this mini-crises and come out on the other side in shape.
Monday’s run: 7.4 miles (11.91 km), 1,006’ (307 m) elevation gain, Laguna Wilderness and Crystal Cove State Park. Bommer Ridge to Old Emerald Trail into Emerald Canyon, up Old Emerald Falls (which was a nice hot climb in the sun), Moro Ridge back to Bommer, back to my truck.
I felt good in spite of the heat and the elevation climbs that I have grown unaccustomed to. The views were spectacular. The skies were blue with giant wispy clouds. Coming up out of Old Emerald Falls a helicopter circled an area above Moro Ridge. Upon reaching the ridge, I witnessed a rescue worker lowered to the ground, where a mountain biker lay, victim of a fall. (I passed the mountain biker later on Bommer Ridge; he was conscious, hooked into a stretcher with a neck brace, and i.v.)
Wednesday’s Run: 11.78 miles (18.96 km), 787’ (240 m) elevation gain, Tijeras Creek Trail to Arroyo Trabuco and back.
With more time to spare than usual on Wednesday, I headed out for a shady trail with a little less elevation gain that the run prior. Thank goodness for the shade. It was a hot one for sure. These trails are several miles inland, alongside two creeks, so it can get quite muggy without an ocean breeze. I relished the shade when I got it. Even the rattler I came up on was digging the shade. My first rattler sighting of 2015.
Sunday’s Run (today): 15.21 miles (24.48 km) , 2,641’ (805 m) elevation gain, San Juan Trail (from the Lazy W trail head) up several miles and back.
Today was my big run, and I had three other lovely ladies to accompany me. We took off early this morning to head up a giant climb called San Juan Trail. We could see for miles and miles, with the Pacific Ocean at first covered with a blanket of clouds. It was a dang difficult run or me, and the downhill wasn’t much relief. It was slippery, steep, and narrow, and much of the trail was riddled with ruts. I needed something like this. And I needed the company.