I am so glad the weekend has finally arrived. It was a hectic work week that ended with my entire department being frazzled by another department word-smithing our patient narratives & case comments. Somehow, we managed to escape early for a much needed 3-day weekend. I quickly changed into my run-wear and headed for the hills.
Once more, I ran solo but I was not alone in my travels. I love to see the wildlife on my runs — at least the wild but not dangerous type (deers, lizards, etc.)
It certainly was a perfect day for running. The sun was California spectacular — bright and warm — with a cool breeze blowing. I made my way straight to my favorite trail and, before long, was huffing and puffing.
There is nothing like a 2-mile steep ascent to remind you that you have not been running enough. Once again, I was humbled. Nonetheless, I stuck to it. With W picking up my son from school, I had nothing but time. Therefore, I had no excuse not to complete the run I had set out to do.
The steepest part of the climb is not as difficult as the hills I know that will have to conquer once I finally enter into my ultra-marathoning quest. For my current level of fitness, post time off following my treadmill fall, it was pretty hard. This part of the run is also very exposed to the sun. The long pants I am currently wearing, to protect my scar from the sun, has a way of heating things up even more. I allowed myself a minute of walking before resuming the climb, and tried to resist the urge to beat myself up mentally.
Before long, I could see a man sitting in the shade at the top of the 2-mile climb. Reaching this spot has always been a bit of a turning point on this trail for me. Although I know it is not the last of the hills, the trail takes on a more rolling-hill component from this point forward. Motivated by the shade and the prospect of a friendly hello, I focused on my form and triumphantly checked off this hill. I sipped some water from my camelbak and stretched for a couple of minutes in the shade before continuing onward.
This trail is one that my husband introduced me to back in 2002 when we were both training for our first marathon. We have nicknames for the various turnaround points and each mark a certain distance traveled. Today, I would run to a spot that Tom and I referred to as “four corners,” named for a point where four trails intersect.
It is always difficult to turn back towards the parking lot after reaching this part of the trail. It is where the wide trail turns to single-track and winds along a path that mostly shaded and oh so lovely. But 10 miles is more than pushing my current level of fitness, so I turned back towards home feeling accomplished, tired, and unfrazzled from a hard week at work.
Hurray for the weekend. I hope that I can find a lot more time to run in the coming days. It’s awesome!