Sunday, I got out for my long run, currently at 12 miles. I didn't get in a long run last week, so I felt a little concerned whether I'd be able to do this. I didn't think that I wouldn't actually be able to traverse the 12 miles. I can probably cover 120 miles if needed, but I may need to crawl most of them. I guess that was my worry, that I'd have to crawl most of them, and I would not be home for hours upon hours (and there are dishes to wash and toilets to clean!)
I decided on what I used to call “The Big Loop” at Aliso/Wood Wilderness Park. It’s not actually the biggest loop one can derive, but just about the biggest loop. I started off at the ranger station pretty late in the morning -- around 11 o’ clock. The weather was cool enough though, that I even hit the dirt wearing a jacket. But, I had the jacket off and tied around my waist in about fifteen minutes. The long sleeved shirt that I wore however, did not prove to be too warm for this 12 mile loop.
I ran up Aliso Creek Trail and turned into Wood Canyon and ran that all the way to the end, where I took Cholla Trail up to the ridge (West Ridge). I ran West Ridge to Top of the World and then across the Laguna Beach neighborhoods to re-enter the park near Meadows Trail. From there, I ran down Meadows Trail back into Wood Canyon. But just before I got to the canyon, about a tenth of a mile away I came upon a field with four deer -- two bucks and two doe. I tried to tread quietly by, as I did not want to disturb the scene for the two bystanders taking it all in. Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw dirt spraying up from the grown. That's when I noticed that the two bucks had locked antlers and were fiercely grinding towards each other. They seemed to slam about recklessly, moving slightly in my direction. Awestruck myself, I didn't think to take out my camera quick enough. Instead, I grew concerned that the two bucks would stumble closer and one of the two would charge me.
And before I knew it, the fight was over. The larger buck commenced to eat grass from the ground, while the smaller one, stood by grazing too but jerked away when the other buck as much as raised his head from his eating position. It seemed clear to me which one had one the right to mate the doe.
In all, I handled the 12 miles better than I expected. I was not completely wiped out, didn't even nap when I arrived home. But, as the following days have been extremely busy, I have not been able to get in any runs. I suspect I may not handle the next run as well.
|Finishing up West Ridge here|
|Overlooking the Pacific Ocean @ The Top of the World|
|Approaching the top of Meadows Trail with a view of The Saddleback Mountains|
1,183' elevation gained