This morning I thought it was about that time again – time again for hill repeats. The San Juan 50k is just about 3 weeks off and I’m ALMOST freaking out. That race climbs more than 6,400 feet in 50 kilometers (Aren’t we Americans funny, mixing measuring systems – that’s about 1,950 meters in around 31 miles ).
I chose Meadows Trail in Aliso Canyon today to run my repeats because it’s close to the home and it’s steep. The portion of the trail that I repeat is about 1 mile and climbs more than 700 feet (that’s more than 213 meters of a climb over 1.6 kilometers.)
I met a lovely woman (Lorraine) at Wood Canyon. She wanted a nice walk and asked me for suggestions. Well, Wood Canyon is okay, a nice walk because it’s relatively flat. BUT it gets boring, and for a while there the trail is quite exposed. I told her this and that if she really wanted a “nice” walk and didn’t mind a tough climb, she should take Meadows Trail. She was sold when I told her she’d be able to see the ocean once she reached the top. After I showed her the trailhead, I headed off for my crazy repeats. Then I worried that the woman I suggested Meadows to would hate me for directing her this way. But as I looked around at the view, I felt satisfied that she too would enjoy the beauty, even if it was difficult. I mean, great things rarely come easy, right? RIGHT?
I met Lorraine again as I ran back down Meadows to finish off my first trip. She thanked me profusely for telling her about the trail. She found it gorgeous. Imagine how thrilled I was! AND she was climbing that monster like a champ. I don’t know if she realized, but she closed the gap tremendously between her and the two hikers ahead of her.
On my way back down, I passed two mountain bikers making their way up. Then on my second trip up, I passed them near the top as one of the guys stood off to the side hunched over vomiting. His buddy chuckled and said something about pushing too hard. (This of course brought back memories of my first time up Meadows – I ran VERY little, practically none of it, and wanted to literally fall to the ground and cry. But I was with two other runners and didn’t want to make a spectacle).
Running up Meadows on repeat number two, I met Lorraine on her way down the trail. And she thanked me again for leading her to such lovely ocean views. She told me that she got great pictures and that she was the only one in her family crazy enough to do this. And I thought to myself, we are so much alike. I too am the only one crazy enough in my family to do this, and I too take lots of pictures on my adventures.
Running up repeat number three, I got to thinking about the chores I needed to do before heading off to work. (I really shouldn’t think). Plus, my left arch has been irritated lately, so I decided to make repeat number three my last. That gave me excuse to goof off at the top, which of course I did with the camera. You should see the ones I didn’t post. LOL.