I FINALLY tried trail running.
Before I was ever a runner, I was a hiker. I lived in SoCal alone for months when I got a great job, and my kids were finishing out the school year in Florida. I had a lot of time on my hands, so I hiked. A lot. I loved the trails, I love the beauty of the hills and the way the land changes with the seasons (it's true!).
I even got The H to hike a few times, and it was grand.
And then I ran, and the hiking took a back seat. Such a bummer, because I really miss it. But between work, kids, cooking, life, I just can't squeeze in everything I want to do all the time. It's truly unfair, that there are only 24 hours in a day.
I've been following Lauren On the Run's blog for a few months now, and am always super jealous of her - all galavanting about on the trails, running, happy, shiny. But I have been pretty well focused on training for Long Beach for months...
So here I am. Between races. I'm not in SUPER hard core training mode right now. The weather is pretty much perfect for being out on the trails. Why not?
I wanted to start small, and with a trail I'm familiar with - I always have this fear that I'm going to get lost in the (vast) Orange County wilderness. I'm a moron, because obviously I won't. But it terrifies me anyway. So after much waffling, I decided to try Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, and the Laurel and Willow Canyon Trails.
Obviously, fate was on my side...
I'm also a sucker for cool geology, and took a hike on this trail once led by a geologist, who pointed out some interesting (if you're a geek like me) features...
The first part of the trail is fairly flat and sandy, through fields, before you head up into Laurel Canyon... then it climbs up to the ridge. I was pretty slow once I got into the canyon, because, let's be honest, I am grateful every time I move that I don't end up on my ass. There's this....
I sometimes get the impression The H doesn't care for hiking with me, because I have a ridiculous obsession with taking pictures of flowers. It's a sickness, really. I can't be stopped.
Anyway, through these narrow paths, between trees, and giant rocks, and hillsides, and then.
And then it goes UP.
I did the hike again about a 1.5 years ago with The H, and the hills were still HARD. There were breaks taken. It was still ugly.
But this time... I ran, probably 2/3 of the hill. And then I hiked the rest, but that hiking was SO EASY. I reached the top and was ready to run.
That was rad.
The views from the ridge are pretty nice. It was a really foggy morning, but I'm not complaining.
Not a bad day, my friends. Not a bad day at all.