It rained on Friday as I drove to Arroyo Trabuco Trail in Las Flores – enough that I had to use the windshield wipers. Normally, I might have turned around and spent the morning at the gym instead. But I couldn’t afford wasting time, as this was the first chance in a long time that I hoped to get in a double digit run. Good thing I kept on driving because the rain ceased by the time I exited the freeway close to ten miles later. (Though the skies remained dark and gray the remainder of the day, not another drop of rain fell).
We have had our fair share of rain the past couple of weeks which meant that Trabuco Creek was flowing good. So good that I couldn’t find a dry way to get to the other side at the first crossing. Knowing that I still had more than eleven miles ahead, I removed my shoes and socks and waded across the slippery rocks barefoot. Let me tell you, I was super paranoid about falling, here in the stream, or anywhere on Arroyo Trabuco. One of my worst falls came on this very same trail, and with my arm nearly healed, but not totally, I could not afford a fall, not even a small one. There’s no way I’d be able to catch myself, or probably even get in a proper roll.
Well, I made the remaining four stream crossings with dry feet. But on the return, I marched right through the last crossing drenching my shoes and socks. With only a mile remaining to my truck, I figured it was worth it – didn’t want to waste the time of removing my shoes and socks then putting them back on. Plus it was kinda fun.
In all, this trip encompassed running all the way to O’Neill Park. At the park, I turned around making it an out-and-back, this one totalling 12.3 miles. The trail was lonely, a lovely lonely, only coming upon two other runners, another two hikers and five or six cyclists during the entire twelve miles.
I am happy to report, that I did not fall once. Though I did trip once, and nearly had a heart attack over it. I found that if I kept my steps short and maintained a mid-foot strike, that I could keep tripping on the rocks and roots at bay. I am also happy to report that even though at the turn around point, I thought to myself, “Oh Lord, how am I ever going to run 6+ more miles?” I was able to pull it off, one mile at a time. One mile at a time! That’s my motto right now, just put one foot in front of the other and conquer one mile at a time.