TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

I’m Tired

I have been so flipping tired lately, it’s really rather absurd. I mean, there’s people who have ten years on me who put in many more hours of work than I do. And I really don’t work that hard -- in fact, I have the best job ever. I think that I just can’t handle this whole split-shift thing, not to mention that the distance between the classes that I teach is about 25 miles. If I could sleep in, that would be one thing. But I am a mother (in or ways than one Winking smile ) so, I am up at 6AM to make breakfast for those who want it, pack lunches, and drop boys off at three different schools. On good days, the oldest wakes early enough to walk to school. But lately, those have been few and far between.

After getting the boys off to school I feel like I’ve made a major accomplishment. Everyone’s been fed, they all have lunches for later, and I didn’t kill anyone! But now it’s time for chores -- laundry and such, as well as, getting ready for my first class of the day. Usually, that doesn’t take much – showering, dressing, drying my hair, then printing up rosters for sign-in (other class prep if needed, I usually do the night before.) And then I make a quick breakfast for myself, usually two cups of coffee, an egg and two pieces of toast, or a turkey sandwich, or my favorite if I have time, a smoothie from Jamba Juice on the way to work for $5.20 (but always the coffee – MUST have the coffee).

Anyway, I need to be on the freeway no later than 10:15AM, hopefully a little earlier. But by now, I’ve been awake for more than four hours. My classes Monday through Thursday start at 11AM (on Friday it’s 9AM). It’s really not that bad, and I’m not really feeling fatigued by this point. The worst of it in the morning is not finding a parking spot in the faculty lots at the community college that I work, because if there’s none in the faculty lots, I’ve got to park a mile away from class in the over-flow student parking. A mile away isn’t so terrible; I welcome the walk. But I usually don’t arrive early enough to walk a whole mile to class and get there on time. And so, in those cases, I’m late.

It’s when I get home after the first shift that I feel utterly fatigued. I pull into my driveway around 3PM. I am so sleepy, I can barely stand. Crazy. If there is some groceries to be had or some other chores, I try to do them during this off-time. If not, I take a nap. Now, it would be great if I could take a power nap, for say just ten to fifteen minutes. Usually, I konk out for a good hour. This of course means, I wake like a dang zombie, barely able to move or think clearly.  Seriously, it’s rather annoying, so I shouldn’t even nap in the first place. At this point, the boys are arriving home, and I get to see one or two of them, three if I’m lucky, before heading off to my next classes, which is only about six miles away at “the adult school.”. I’m off to teach Algebra and G.E.D. test prep from about 4 or 5 PM until 9:30PM, which again isn’t that terrible – if I wasn’t so dang fatigued. But that’s how it is lately. Usually, I have a gym bag packed in the truck, just in case I get out early. And I do get out early on occasion. When I do, I am lucky to put in an hour at the gym on the way home. Lately, I drive straight home, and I am in bed by about 10PM, which is too early according to the other folks in my home. No one can understand why anyone in their right mind would go to bed at 10PM.

Now, on Wednesdays and Fridays, I have a slight break from the split-shift, as on both of those days I have evenings off. Usually, I plan to run, but I don’t. Instead, I go to the gym. The gym is always my “easy” way out, as I can put in the time without the driving long distances to trails, and I burn more calories.

ANYWAY, so, as I mentioned, I am tired. Super tired. Pathetically tired. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s this split-shift thing. Saturdays, I always have reserved for running. But about every fourth Saturday, I teach a “Crash Course.” A “Crash Course,” is a computer class that begins at 9AM and goes until 3:30PM. I used to have lofty notions of running after these crash courses. Now, I know there’s no way that’s gonna happen. Instead, I drive straight home, arriving around 4PM, and promptly begin my nap. Once in a great while, after my nap, I head out for a 5PM run somewhere close by.

I have on-line classes that I manage as well, which I squeeze in here and there at odd hours.. And believe me, I really, really welcome the opportunities I have. And I really love all the students that I meet. But, I am tired. Dang tired right now. Did I mention that I was tired?  

Lately, I feel very fortunate when I can hit the trails, and for me the last time was last Sunday (as the Saturday before, I taught a crash course). Now, with this level of inactivity that I have lately (as it relates to running) I really have no business putting in more than five miles on the trails. But this past Sunday, I said what the heck, and put in 12 miles running The Big Loop at Aliso/Wood Canyons.

What is The Big Loop? Well, it is this:  From the ranger station at Anwa Road in Aliso Viejo, up Aliso Canyon, right on Wood Canyon to the end of the canyon, then up Cholla Trail, left on West Ridge to Top of the World, down Meadows, right on Wood Canyon, left on Aliso Canyon back to the truck.

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The loop totaled 12.32 miles, and I ran a good 90% of it, hiking mainly the steepest slopes (which really weren’t all that steep).  I had some plantar fasciitis pain in the left heel that stretching the calves seemed to help. I saw (and smiled and talked with) a student on the trails, and lots of mountain bikers and hikers, mainly along West Ridge. The temperature was perfect, never overheating or chilling even once. And I loved it all for this brief moment in time, flittering along the dirt. I didn’t fall. And I enjoyed the trip so much that I came home and made a YouTube movie about it. That way I was able to relive it a few times before putting the experience to bed. I feel quite fortunate for my time on the trails Sunday. Looking forward to the next trip.

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