Sunday, July 5, 2009
Trail Run: La Jolla Canyon + Pacing a Friend
If the state of California is serious about closing down all the parks in the Santa Monica Mountains, I would plead with them to leave this one alone (after of course, pleading not to close down any).
I was looking forward to this trail run with my group after an almost 2-week layoff that seemed longer. Unfortunately, I got off to a bit of a late start this morning after being a bit sleep deprived from the day before (more on that in a bit). When I showed up to the trailhead, it appeared that the main group had already started only I didn't know which way they had started (La Jolla Canyon fire road vs. Ray Miller trail). Thankfully, another member who usually marks the trail also showed up late so we started off via La Jolla first to complete the loop coming out of Ray Miller (much preferred).
The approximately 11 mile loop climbs La Jolla Canyon, back down, up Magu Peak, down through the vast and beautiful La Jolla Valley, passing through a fire road, before the final descent down the seriously scenic single track Ray Miller Trail which offers sweeping coastline views from high atop for miles on end.
Running solo the entire way, I was ear-to-ear grinning through most of the trek. The weather was sunny but not too warm since it ran along the coastline for nearly half of it. After completing the run in under 2 hours, I reconvened with the rest of the group at the trailhead, took up another member's offer on a cold sud, and also partook in the rest of the spread the group had laid out. Such a good way to cap a nice run.
It's sad to think there's even a remote possibility that this will be our last organized run here. But I maintain faith that it won't.
On another note, I spent a large part of late Saturday night pacing a friend through her 65-mile (!) journey to honor her late father on the anniversary of his passing. It was an experience I was grateful and honored to take part in and help in any way I could.
I started running with her at approximately 10:30pm at a designated spot down in Irvine (she started at 7pm) and ran with her until about 2:30am, covering approximately 17 miles. She was feeling nauseous when I started with her so we ran/walked based on her comfort level. Her awesome boyfriend served as her one man aid station as he drove around to meet her at certain points to provide food, hydration, the Stick...whatever she needed.
I won't share all the things we talked about on our run together, but let's just say I have a newfound respect for her and her incredible will, drive and passion.
Once my loop was done, I handed her off to our friend Sam, who would go on to pace her from mile 40 to the finish.
Well done Rachel. Your dad is very proud.