TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Winter Solstice 2013

It’s been a while since I got out under darkness.  Finally did it on the Winter Solstice, the first day of winter.  Boy was it cold!  Southern California cold though, quite bearable indeed. 

As Christmas approaches, I am falling behind on keeping up my blog.  And it seems that all the profound things I wanted to write about this run have flittered away.  Onward nonetheless:  I drove that bumpy, muddy, rocky canyon rode to the Holy Jim lot as the sun began to peer above the horizon.  By the time I arrived, the lot was practically full with trucks like mine.  (The drive from my house takes one hour – thirty minutes of highways and streets, then the last five miles of off-road takes another 25 to 30 minutes)

When I set off on this run up Holy Jim Trail, my right foot felt perfectly fine.  In fact, both feet felt exactly the same, as if I had no injury.  Bliss.  I was able to really take in the trail’s beauty.  And I began to think that perhaps there was an upside to having this injury – I have really been missing the trails, and being away has made my heart grow fonder.

Holy Jim’s Beauty:

About 2 miles up, the beanie comes off!

After mile three, the pack comes off so that I can take off the long sleeves.  I’m warm enough!

My foot began to ache as I ran along The Main Divide.  Fortunately, I had chosen the “short loop” for this mountain run (14.5 miles).  The only really bad thing about my route was that it ended on a rocky, rocky downhill.  Did I ever pay!  Running down Horsethief was excruciating. Trabuco, though not as steep, was no better.  It was beautiful with leaf litter, but still rocky as heck.  At mile 11, I was truly amazed how much pain radiated from my foot after beginning this run with no pain whatsoever.  I wasn’t really angry about the pain.  I was more angry that I chose a downhill rocky route for the end of this Winter Solstice run.  I kept tell myself, “When you reach mile 13, you can hike.”  MILE 13 COULD NOT COME FAST ENOUGH.  But I continued running anyway, just to get there faster.  At mile 13, I walked the remaining distance in to my truck.  A group of mountain bikers offered me beer to ease my pain Winking smile.  I declined, stretched the heck out of my foot and took two ibuprofen in the truck. 

Again, despite the wretched injury returning, I still enjoyed the immense beauty on this trip.  And I am happy to report, that my foot feels much, much better today.

The Main Divide:

West Horsethief:

Trabuco Trail:

4 comments:

  1. Beautiful run again! I hope that foot knows that it is Christmas and that means no aches or pains.

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    1. Thanks Johann. With constant rehab, the foot is getting better. :)

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  2. I really enjoy following your blog. Your photos are wonderful! The
    landscape is so beautiful and inspiring...I want to find my running shoes and get back out on the trails!

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    1. Thanks for reading and your comment Stew Chef. I hope you found your running shoes are back on the trails. It's a difficult task, but well worth it. :)

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