TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Breaking Forty

Well, I did it.  This week I finally broke forty miles.  There was a time when that was common place.  Not anymore.  Imagine, I even contemplated throwing in the towel again – reminding myself that I don’t have to run.   At any time, I can chose to NOT run.  I find it healthy to remember this.  Well, it took me four runs to get in 44.4 miles, and I am glad for it (not to mention a tiny bit optimistic).

Monday (April 13), I drove up the coast through Laguna Beach then up Newport Coast for a run out of Ridge Park.  I took the long way because I didn’t want to pay the $6.50 toll.  I ran 11.78 miles (18.96 km) in total, taking off from Bommer Ridge, then El Moro Ridge where I stopped off at a World War II bunker and headed down B.F.I. (Big Friggin’ Incline).

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I couldn’t resist running beneath the highway (Pacific Coast Highway) for a close-up look at the ocean.  After some relaxing time listening to the waves roll in and out, I headed up through the campground to check it out for a possible family outing.  Nice campgrounds, but no campfires allowed.  No campfires!  Can you imagine camping without a fire? 

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After the campgrounds, I made the difficult three mile uphill trek back to the car.  So worn out was I that I didn’t care about a stinkin’ $6.50 toll and drove the toll road back home. 

Thursday (April 16), I ran out the front door for a run down at the beach.  I saw a woman pulling her huge luggage on wheels behind her up Pacific Coast Highway.  She asked directions as I passed her on the road and I could tell even behind her dark glasses that she was bawling her eyes out.  I helped pull her luggage back up the highway, and used her phone to call the bank she was trying to locate.  Turns out the bank was much too far for this woman to walk, especially with all her heavy luggage.  I contemplated walking her back to my house so that I could drive her, but I didn’t need to, because while I phone, the bank manager said that he’d drive out to pick her up.  I walked the recently widowed woman up the highway further and waited with her until the bank manager showed.  When he arrived, he appeared like a knight-in-shining-armor – tall, dark and handsome.  (I did get the details on this woman’s situation, as we had a lot of time to talk.  The details are so sad and too complicated to relay here, and though, I feared “handing” her off to a stranger, I got his name and make of car, and felt overall confident that he was safe).  This small adventure derailed my running plans, but I was able to get in 5.30 miles (8.53 km) along the California Coast. 

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESFriday (April 17), I planned for a long run, setting out in Aliso Canyon around ten AM.  The skies were blue and the tall brown grass sang in the wind. From Wood Canyon, I quickly turned onto Meadows Trail (my old-time favorite) and ran along the overgrown single-track to Mentally Sensitive Trail.  The trek up that steep trail was excruciating.  It took me about twenty minutes longer than usual.  That was a good thing, because before I had a chance to commit to my long loop, I received a text from my husband stating that his car didn’t start.  This meant that I had make a smaller loop, heading back down Meadows for a nice long switchback down into Wood Canyon.  I got 7.69 miles in (12.38 km) and made it to my youngest son’s school just in time for his pick-up. 

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSaturday (April 18), I was back at Aliso/Wood Canyons (this time at 12:30 PM)  for a long run up Wood Canyon, Cholla and West Ridge to Top of the World.  That was about 7.25 miles of hot uphill running.  On the ridge I ran through a swarm of bees, which startled me at first.  But then the scene brought back lovely memories of running through swarms of bees on trails in years past.  At The Top of the World, I took in the view and then turned around and headed back the same way for a total of 14.53 miles (23.38 km).  This run kicked my butt.  But when I calculated my week’s totals back at home, I came in a little over 39 miles.  This meant of course, I needed to get out one more day this week. 

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Sunday – today! (April 19), I ran straight out the front door at about 3 PM and ran 5.10 miles (8.21 km) along the beach.  It was a tough run, but easy terrain-wise.  I kept up a decent pace, but felt still slightly sluggish. And that was it – my forty miles done – happily struggling along, “embracing the suck,” every last mile of it.  Winking smile

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