Friday, May 29, 2009

Over the hills and far away...

(Beautiful day for a run. Trail to Temescal Ridge.)

I truly am obsessed with the high I get while running and that high is magnifide when I run trails. There are days, however, when I dread getting out of bed, lacing up my shoes, and going out for a run. Today was not one of those days. When I woke up this morning at 7:30 a.m, the 'May Gray' was in full swing. Living less than a mile from the beach has many perks and one of them is the phenomenon known as 'May Gray' and 'June Gloom.' The marine layer often gets so thick that it takes a few hours if not the entire day to 'burn off' the low-lying clouds that hover over the beaches and up to 10 miles inland. When I got to the trail the 'May Gray' was so thick that it was actually misting and it felt almost like a light rain. The cool temperatures and misty conditions are not only perfect for running but also for keeping the trails relatively free from hikers and mountain bikers. I loaded up the Zeppelin on my iPod and set out for my run.

Today was one of the best runs I've had in a long time. I felt strong. I felt energized. I felt HAPPY! The misty weather was so invigorating for some reason! The wild flowers are in full bloom right now and everything is so green and fresh. I saw a lot of lizards and rabbits on the trail and I managed to convince myself that I was going to see a mountain lion which, thankfully, I didn't. It's funny how when I'm out in the middle of nowhere I sometimes feel more scared than I do when walking down a seedy street in Los Angeles. I don't know what it is about being completely isolated out on the trails that is so scary and yet so awesome all at the same time. A few parts of the single-track trail had waist-high grass that was bending over the trail because of the dew that had accumulated on the stalks. As I ran through the grass the dew soaked my shirt and my tights and dripped down my legs, making my shoes squishy with water. If someone would have seen me at that moment, they would've seen one of the biggest smiles I could muster... trail running truly makes my insides burst with happiness.

While I was out on the trail today I thought about the things I will miss about living in Southern California and year-round trail running is definitely at the top of the list. I have grown to know these trails like the back of my hand... for seven years I've tromped up and down and over and around all the trails I have been able to get my feet on in the Santa Monica mountains. People who have lived in Los Angeles their entire lives often ask me where to go for hikes or trail runs. What a shame that they don't know what is essentially in their backyard!! On the other hand, it's good that everyone doesn't know about the beauty of the area because it would take away some of the pristine nature and magic of the trails.

I only have a few more months to enjoy running on the trails in the Santa Monica 'hills' before I leave them for the trails of the Rocky 'mountains' in Salt Lake City. I know I will fall in love again with the trails I ran when I lived in Salt Lake and that they will be just as special, if not more so, than the ones I love so much here. I am planning on starting a trail running group when I move back to Salt Lake City because I want to experience the cathartic and energizing experience with friends. I don't care how fast you are or how far you can (or can't) run... I just want to be out there experiencing the beauty and awe of the trails in Utah. Please join me and don't think you are 'too slow' or 'too out-of-shape' to run with me. I enjoy running for the sake of it and would be happy to have a friend along for the journey. Any takers?

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