Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blazing Trails

Okay, so maybe I don't really "blaze" trails, but I do enjoy a good hike.  Today the family and I went out to Solstice Canyon in Malibu to see the Tropical Terrace, where a mid-century home once stood, but is now a ruin as a result of a fire in 1982.  Besides the ruins, there is the oldest stone house in Malibu, a single room cabin constructed in 1902.  The latest fire in 2007 claimed anything that was wooden on that structure.  Besides ruined buildings, we enjoyed a trickling creek, a small waterfall and admired the rebound that nature made from that fire three short years ago.


It was an amazingly beautiful day for late August: 73 degrees and sunny at the coast (even inland it was only 78 degrees).  The park was moderately busy, but it wasn't overcrowded.  I decided to leave my hiking boots at home and hike in my Vibrams as I've done before.  My big toes felt some fatigue at first as they aren't as strong as they were two months ago, but it wasn't a big deal.  We had some gentle elevation ascents and descents on the way there, but really experienced some elevation gain after we left the ruins.  Unfortunately for Dana and Gabriel, they had fallen at the site of the waterfall.  Dana was carrying Gabriel and lost his footing.  As I was following them, all I could do was watch in horror as they tumbled down some pretty gnarly rocks and yell, "Oh god, oh god, oh god!"  Luckily (and thank goodness), all that was experienced by Dana was a few abrasions on his face and knees, and Gabriel only has a couple of abrasions on his back and small bump on his head.  It could have been so much worse.  Also, a park ranger named James was right there and he washed out their wounds.

We persevered and followed a different path out of the canyon, and this one was an actual trail with dirt and rocks.  And what a climb!  The views were spectacular from the summit and it was amazing to see how far we actually ascended.

That ribbon way down there is the trail we hiked in on.
At the summit - no worse for wear...


The best part of the hike happened on our descent - Ian and I started to run. It was footloose and fancy free and we scared a guy with his dog as he had no idea what was closing in on him from up above - he thought we were mountain lions.  Ha!  The freedom to run like that is amazing - I had a huge smile on my face at the bottom.  After Ian and I got more water from the drinking fountains, we raced to the car.  Needless to say, Ian is fast and weighs much less than me, thus he won, but it was exhilarating.  I don't remember the last time I ran like that.  It reminds me of my niece's blog on the same subject, Lessons Learned from an Almost 3-Year-Old. My little great-niece is no dummy, it's all about having fun.  I think most of us adults need to remember that about life.  Yes, we must work hard and life is not always easy, but we all need to have fun as much as possible.  If we can have fun while running, then it's no chore.  Today's hike definitely reminded me of that.

Now I'm tired, but in a really good way.  It's time to wash the trail off my body, namely my feet...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fall Seven Times. Stand Up Eight.

The title of this blog post is a Japanese proverb.  I think it works well as I have taken a long hiatus from running these past four weeks (yikes) and feel somewhat after this first run like I'm standing up for the eighth time.  I guess this means no more falling off the proverbial wagon, either.

I made the decision over the weekend that I was going to pick up where I left off before I left for my Minnesota vacation today.  As circumstance would have it, NPR posted a story on Facebook about muscle memory this morning, No More Gym? Don't Worry, Your Muscles Remember.  Perfect timing. This study concludes that when you exercise, especially strength train, it doesn't take long for your muscles to get back into shape because they remember what it's like to be in shape.  Well, hallelujah and amen to that!

It was 100 degrees today, so I opted for the after sunset run.  Mind you, it was still pretty hot outside (at 90 degrees) and radiating heat was hitting me from the asphalt, but psychologically when the sun is not beating down on me, I feel more invincible.  As soon as my minimally adorned feet hit the ground, I felt it.  Oh, the electricity!  My feet went into auto-pilot.  I shot off pretty quickly and it felt so good.  Then the burn in my lungs set in...and the side stitch.  But I powered through.  I didn't go as far as I usually do and I walked about 1/4 of the route, but, hey, I got up the eighth time.  And that's all that matters.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Please Consider Following My New Food Blog

Hey Miniskirt followers!  I wanted to let you know that I am now also blogging at The Domestic Goddess here on Blogger.  I had the blog originally on, but it was getting crazy with all the spam there, so I moved it to Blogger where you're reading this now.  Anyway, it's getting quite a list of recipes for you to try, so mosey on over there and check it out.  You won't be sorry! Thanks!

P.S. I'll be back running soon - it's been an interesting couple of weeks to say the least.