One way to make the heat in my local hills seem like nothing, I mean absolutely nothing, is to run in Corona (Riverside county). This of course I did last weekend. Then, on Thursday, I hit the trails again. This time in my normal stomping grounds, Aliso/Wood Canyons. I took off for the trails during the afternoon precisely to get myself more accustomed to the heat. It felt like a cool spring day compared to the treacherous heat in Corona. It truly was a lovely summer day with blue skies, a hot sun and a semi-cool breeze.
I stepped over a gopher snake in Aliso Canyon. With its tail end sticking out of the brush, I could tell immediately he was not a rattler. Then I turned into an empty Wood Canyon, empty because few venture out into these canyons during the afternoon in the summertime. About two and a half miles in, I hopped over Wood Creek onto Mathis and made a quick turn onto Coyote Run. Coyote Run meanders in and out of deep shade, where I stopped to take in the beauty and fully cool down.
From Coyote Run, I opted for the rigorous trail called Rock-It, duly named for its white rock floor. Feeling stronger than I have in a long time, I took that trail to West Ridge. On Rock-It I encountered my first people on these trails today – two different groups of hikers, 5 people total.
Though it seemed relatively cool to me, I surmised that it was not so for others by the looks on their faces as I made my way up West Ridge to Top of the World. And then as I progressed, a fire truck with lights swirling drove down the ridge, and after that two more emergency vehicles. When I arrived to the Top of the World, I found a vantage point where I could see a rescue effort way down on Car Wreck Trail. My best guess was that heat exhaustion had overcome a hiker along that steep, exposed trail. I think this because there was no helicopter evacuation. It seems like when someone is physically injured, say a broken leg or such, a helicopter transports the victim out of the canyons. (I never heard what happened, but am hoping that no news means good news).
Anyway, I closed up my loop by running down Meadows Trail, totaling 11.41 miles with 1,329’ of elevation gain. I felt fine afterward. However, my foot was wasted back at home. I really am not sure what I am going to do about this. I limped around all night, and woke this morning still in pain. I skipped a run this morning, instead went for the gym membership. I am stumped and a little dismayed. Perhaps I will throw in the towel, get an MRI and take some months off. I really am at odds about this. Most of the time I am in denial and don’t think about what I should do. But now, a calm has come over me, as I realize that the time is ideal to slow down and try to get healed.