TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Friday, October 28, 2016

Always An Adventure

Last Saturday was the Twin Peaks Ultra (actually two Saturdays ago now Sad smile ), and though I didn’t run it, I was there (in more than just spirit). Right from the start, before I even arrived, I was on an adventure. I was so close to destination, but found myself diverted onto the 15 Northbound, when I unexpectedly came upon a closed onramp to the 15 Southbound. Finally, I was able to exit the freeway and turn around, entering the 15 Northbound, only to find myself diverted back onto the 91 Westbound, back toward home! Humph! I was about ten miles from the Start Line, my ride up the mountain was probably waiting to take off up Indian Truck Trail, and I couldn’t get there!  Frustrating. But in my old age, I am able to handle these type of things now without screaming out profanities.

6:20 AM I finally arrived at Indian Truck Trail after following the blue dot on my iPhone GPS (fighting against every urge not to drive in the opposite direction, as somehow I got turned around in my mind and being dark out still, couldn’t quite tell where I was). It was probably 7:30 by the time we were all set up at the top of W. Horsethief, where we’d meet the runners at about mile ten and thirty-four. (We includes: Chase who worked the aid station with me, and HAM operators Mark and Adam).

The next adventure was the bee situation, with hundreds (hell, perhaps thousands)  swarming around us and the goodies laid out on the table for runners. At the suggestion of a lady runner from Virginia, we set up several traps around camp to catch the bees. Turns out, bees will fly into a large bottle with a tiny bit of Coca Cola at the bottom, but they can’t figure out how to fly back out. I don’t want to post of a picture of the trap, lest I anger bee lovers. But we did release the survivors after the race.

Other adventures included runners sobbing, vomiting, and several not making the cut-off. We searched out the runner we had reports of laying on the ground somewhere on the switchbacks up to mile 34 (we found him).  And we fought off more bees. There were a couple of missing runners, dropped runners who needed rides back, and logistics problems (which is always the case in ultras) getting everyone back where they needed to be.

And then, I fucked up my foot. In all my dilly-dallying along the trail (because I just could not resist the beauty of W. Horsethief), I fell when the dry sand slipped beneath my feet. My body twisted, and only the bottom half of my foot followed when I hit. It hurt so badly, I thought for sure I had broken my foot. But I kept my shoe on, and continued on the day, even running some to locate a runner.

When I finally arrived back at home, about 9PM, I took off my shoe, and my foot looked God-Awful. It was puffy, and purple, and mis-figured some. I didn’t get to the doctor until Monday (because I refuse to pay the out-of-pocket costs of emergency care for my $900 a month health insurance plan). Turns out, all is good, just sprained ligaments. It looked so bad, my doctor said, because I stayed on my feet for so long after the injury.

So, there! Always an adventure. But sadly, now, there’s no adventure, because I’m still limping two weeks later. Damn it! (And this is the reason you have not seen any blogposts in a while, and why I have not enjoyed the peace of nature in a while, and why I have worn tennis shoes to work every day).

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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Feels Like Fall (Sorta)

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESTrying to catch up, so here’s the quickest recap ever (well, maybe not ever!): Ran a nine plus mile loop (9.4 mi) on October 2 in Aliso / Wood Canyons. My route: Wood Canyon, Meadows, Top of the World, West Ridge, Wood Canyon. I haven’t been up Meadows in a long time – and it showed with my frequent rests. Also, took off in the late afternoon, and amazingly, I didn’t nearly die. Felt like fall (sorta), with a less than normal searing sun, and occasional sea breezes. So, so ready for fall.

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