This past Monday was the last opportunity for me to put in any miles before the Calico Ghost town race this upcoming weekend. So out of shape am I, I chose the relatively flat trail of Arroyo Trabuco for a little over twelve miles of out-and-back.
With all of our rain, the hills were green, and the creeks were flowing. What a delight to my senses! I made the first creek crossing dry, but ended up with wet feet at creek crossing number two. And I still had eleven miles to go! I cannot stress enough how difficult putting in the miles was on this big, old body. The beauty of it all, and the fact that I have the route mentally packaged into three distinct parts (x 2) helped to get me through it.
In a nutshell, Part I starts on Tijeras Creek Trail and meets up with Arroyo Trabuco about a mile in. This part runs a little over two miles with lots of shade, forests, meadows and two creek crossings. It ends with a climb up to Part II, which runs a little under two miles. Part II is not my favorite part. It’s void of shade, flat with a some-of-the-time a view of The Saddleback Mountains. It can be beautiful, but it’s so dang hot. Part III is a big welcome, as it begins with a down hill into more forest. There’s also more creek crossings, both wet and dry, and some street noise from the gigantic highway overpasses (two or three, can’t be sure right now). Part III ends in O’Neill park where I get clean restrooms with running water. It’s all very lovely, a great place to turn around and do it all again back to the truck.
Well, based on the fatigue factor for this run, Calico was surely going to kill me. Well, not literally kill me (hopefully anyway), but for sure beat the heck out of me. My game plan – just take it easy, enjoy the scenery, and hike all the inclines, running only the downhills and flats. That was my plan, and I was good with that, even rolling in last place. But then . . . the race was cancelled. CANCELLED. My tenth year at Calico was cancelled due to the expected rain.
The parts of Monday’s run: