If I’m porch sittin’ that means it must be spring time!
Just to clarify, porch sittin’ means it’s seven A.M. and I am sitting on my porch swing in the mountain sunshine, drinking a latte, wearing my bathrobe (hood up, uni bomber style) and talking to my cats.
Oh yeah, I’m that scary neighbor you talk about.
In this neighborhood, it’s nice to fit in. Hell, at least I don’t have a tractor or a monster truck on blocks in my front yard like SOME of my neighbors.
I just started running again this past week. My lungs are finally starting to feel normal again and the coughing and wheezing is down to a minimal. It snowed a few days ago, and even though it’s been hella warm, there is still a foot of snow left on the trails I usually run, so I’m stuck with two choices.
Run in the lower elevations, where it is down right hot!
Or run the paved streets of my neighborhood and take in all the beauty, red necks and cute 1920’s mountain cabins my neighborhood has to offer.
Two day’s ago I took the lower elevation route and went for a run at two thousand feet. I left for work two hours early, Figured I would drive half way down the mountain, run four miles at Manzanita Flats, change in my car, and drive my sweaty ass to work for a eight hour shift.
That kind of happened.
I knew the weather was going to warm up to spring time temperatures this week, but I had no idea how warm it would get. If I had been thinking clearly, and okay, checking the weather before hand online, I would have gone for a run at eight A.M. when it was a bit cooler.
I parked my car at the locked gate at Manzanita Flat’s and took off running down the deserted dirt road. This road is usually open year round, there is a popular shooting range two miles in, but for some reason, the Forest Service closed the road this year. That works out great for runners or people who are looking for a quiet place to walk their dogs with out, ya know, dirt bike’s loud gun’s, partiers and lifted pick up truck’s tearing up the dusty road. Usually when I run here I am all alone. It’s great.
Today I was running down hill through a pristine if a little desert like forest. There were mountain streams every where, and yes, that meant a ton of bugs flying in my face and trying to get in my mouth. Luckily, they were not really biting. I’m just always paranoid I’m going to swallow one. I guess you are not a real runner until you swallow a few bugs, right? I’ve already given up on stepping daintily over the rocks at creek crossings; now I wade right in. So what if my shoes get soaked for a few miles. It’s a pain in the ass to slow my stride, try to find the safest route over the little rocks and probably fall into the creek with a splash anyways. I feel like that is how I will break and ankle one of these days; falling off a slippery rock into a creek bed. One more step down the long road of running; splashing through the creeks, my New Balance running shoes a wet squishy mess for a few miles. Swallowing a bug is the next step in my renaissance to be the mountain running queen!
As I approached the first creek crossing, I heard men’s voices up ahead and I could see the orange jumpsuit of a fire fighter ahead of me. Damn, a hot fire fighter; is there another variety available, really?
As I rounded the corner, I realized there were about ten hot fire fighters all standing at attention, and staring straight at me.
“Runner!” One of them announced, and all twenty eyes were on me. Good thing I was wearing my nice yoga pants that made my ass look great, and not my usual outfit of torn baggy stained sweat pants. I felt kind of bad interrupting the training experience these guys were trying to have on this hot day; but they did get to stare at my ass as I continued on down the trail, so I guess they probably didn’t mind that much. Just past the fire fighters was the first creek crossing and I took a break to splash creek water all over myself. It was getting hot, and this was the mostly down hill part of my run! I continued down past the shooting range before I turned around. The run back was hard. It was about 75 degrees at this point and I was dying.
Every creek I came across, no matter how muddy, I had to stop and splash cool water on my shoulders and on my face. I felt like such a wuss. It was only 75 degrees! How was I having such a hard time? It was so gorgeous at this low elevation, the purple, pink and yellow prim rose and scotch brush flowers were in bloom every where I looked. The sad thing is, unless a cold front moves through, I won’t be able to do this run again until the fall. It was just to hot. I barely made it back.
When I returned to my car, There was a Cal Tran worker peeing in the turn out…. I think I scared the crap out of him! Poor guy was a little embarrassed to have encountered a runner out here in the forest! I had plans to change into my work clothes in the back seat of my car (The windows are tinted) but there was a whole crew of Cal Tran’s workers swarming the turn out.
I grabbed my extra ice water I had waiting for me in an ice chest ( That sweet H20 nectar was so refreshing!) cranked up the country music and flew out of that parking lot, cool breeze finally rushing through the windows of my black Subaru. Yes, I was very sweaty and wearing my work out clothes still, but I would just change in our work bathroom.
As I sat in the break room before my shift, inhaling a spinach salad, I checked out the BBC News Ap on my smart phone and came across an article online about the Boston Marathon.
According to the BBC 4,300 runners had quit the Boston Marathon when temperatures soared to nearly 80 degrees.
That right there made me feel so much better about myself. Okay, maybe being a wuss, not being able to take the 75 degree heat wasn’t that bad. One thing is for sure. In about a month it’s going to hit eighty most days in my little mountain town. Even though I work until midnight some nights, that means I will be getting up at five A.M. most days to get in my run before it’s, to me, sweltering out.
That kind of life style is actually perfectly fine with me. I like the idea of completing my work out before most people are rolling out of bed. Than I have the rest of my morning to actually accomplish a few things around the house. I need to take down that god awful wall paper, paint the outside trim, and go to Lowe’s and drool over plants I can’t quite buy yet. It may feel like spring, but in these mountains, you really can’t start to plant until after Mother’s Day and the last snow of the season.
This is week one of my return to running. I took over a month off for this flu I had and all the coughing that came with it. I now have four months to train for the highlight of my season, the twelve mile Mt Baldy race.
I have some bad news for myself. When I run Mt Baldy, which is eight miles up hill, and another four back down to the ski lifts, I will be really lucky if it is only 75 degrees. At the bottom of the mountain, where the race starts, it could be in the nineties.
One month ago I was in much better shape. I was up to running ten miles a day. Now it is an effort to eke out five miles. Plus, my body is sore the next day. I ran three miles yesterday, after the five I did the day before, and man, my ankles were so sore on yesterdays run! I had to really power through. It did not help that yesterday I had to run on the pavement, though.
I’m so excited to get out there and enjoy this gorgeous spring weather and start training again! Instead of sitting on my couch, watching horse racing and spending hours in the kitchen baking new deserts!
A Sweaty Mess
If I’m porch sittin’ that means it must be spring time!