TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

click on any picture in a post for a larger view

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring Equinox 2017

After a short hiatus, one that seemed too long, I hit the trails on Monday (3/20) in late morning. How, you might wonder, was I able to run trails during the morning on a week day? Well, I teach at three schools, and it is spring break this week for one of those schools. (Yes, I have 3 different spring breaks.) That meant, this week, the first week of spring, I am wide open, schedule-wise, until 6 pm, Monday through Thursday.

Wow, whatever am I going to do with myself?

Well, first off, I woke with a sore throat, and I know from experience, that of all things, I cannot run with a sore throat – it ALWAYS makes my sickness worse. But I did it anyway. To hell with it. I was ready, I was willing, and I was semi-able.

I chose a 10.7 mile loop through Laguna Wilderness (a county park) and Crystal Cove (a state park). And for some odd reason, though I recalled vividly the hell I encountered last time I “ran” this loop on the climb out, I somehow either didn’t think it would be as bad, or I flat out ignored reality. Not sure which. I was just so happy to get out there for a few hours, just me and the trails.

To begin, it was beautiful. Lots and lots of green, and lots and lots of spring flowers.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The first six miles were a joy. The weather was cool, almost cold. The terrain was extremely unstressful, not very technical at all, and mostly gradually downhill. I took Bommer Ridge to El Moro Ridge, which I ran to the coast. From there it was a significant downhill (on BFI – “Big Friggin’ Incline”),  and then a side trail to the Pacific Ocean. Cannot make this trip without a quick detour to the ocean.

The side trail off of BFI:SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I felt peaceful after that detour. The sound of the waves rumbling in does wonders for my soul. But, that peace came with a price. I cannot tell you how wretched that climb out up No-Dogs and No-Name was back to my truck. Well, maybe I’ll try. First off all, the marine layer burned off, and the sun came through strong. And the trip was overall uphill – lots and lots of uphill. Yes, it was beautiful, and I took any excuse I had to stop and click a photo. But I felt light headed, and at times like I wanted to vomit. I just am not in shape for this. Stupidly, I think that I can do anything, but I can’t. I’m not in shape to do this kind of stuff. But I guess it wasn’t such stupid thinking, because I did get through it eventually. It was just miserable, utterly. I basically behaved like a zombie (except for the eating human flesh part), I mindlessly, joylessly, placed one foot in front of the other, over and over and over again.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I counted steps. I stooped over, with my hands on my knees to try and gain more strength. I played with my garmin. I even browsed the internet during some of those hills – anything to get my mind off the hell I was enduring. Eventually, with about 1.5 miles left (I think!), I remembered the tank top I had stashed in my pack. Thank God for a reason to sit and rest!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

So, anyway, after that change of clothing, and rest in the dirt, it was all a little more bearable. Perhaps what made it even more bearable was that I could see the trees where my truck was parked.

Yikes. I really don’t think that I will do that loop again.

I was sick in bed that night after work. And sick the next day, napping as much as I could for a speedy recovery. Because hell . . . I can’t wait to hit the trails again.

3 20 17a3 20 17

No comments:

Post a Comment