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.
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 . 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.