It is Saturday morning, and I am here at Steelhead Coffee working on dealing with the latest injury/insult to my body:-(.
My friend Kerry Ward flew in to LAX on Thursday morning, and one of his prime objectives was to go for a long run with World Champion swing dancer and proprietor of downtown LA’s Lindy Loft Dax Orion Hock . Kerry is mentoring Dax, who is preparing for his inaugural 100 mile ultramarathon next weekend in Big Bear. I picked up Kerry at the airport, we met up with Dax in Santa Monica, and then proceeded up the coast to the La Jolla Canyon trailhead in Point Mugu State Park.
That trailhead is the western terminus of the Backbone Trail, a 67.9 mile long trail that extends from Point Mugu to Will Rogers State Park off Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles. Kerry and Dax were planning on running about the first 30 miles of the trail. My plans were more modest. I was planning on doing an up-and-back hike of about 10 miles, after which I would pick up the lads at some road crossing to be determined later.
All went as planned for the first five miles. I even got ambitious and ran a couple of miles, but stopped running because the tendons in my right heel were starting to tighten up and bother me. At my turnaround point I saw that there was a trail that went down La Jolla Canyon to the trailhead. It was only 2.4 miles long, so I decided I would cut back on my expectations and take that shortcut. The trail was very narrow, overgrown, and looked like it got very little traffic, especially considering that it was the shortest route from the trailhead to the La Jolla Canyon walk-in campsite.
About a mile from the trailhead I found the reason for the light traffic–the trail was closed! It would have been great to have had that information at the start of the trail, and my only choice at this point was to turn around and go back the way I had come, meaning that my 10 mile trip, that had been reduced to a 7.5 mile trip, was now going to be on the order of 14 miles!
I had another problem to deal with. It was a very hot day, and the temperatures as I moved away from the beach had climbed to 100+. I had brought along 1.5 liters of water, and as I had descended the canyon trail I was thirsty and was drinking a lot as I thought I only had a couple of miles to go. By the time I reached my new turnaround point I probably had less than a half-liter of water left, and that had to get me through a very hot seven miles!
They say when it rains, it pours, and that was the case here. At about the 11 mile mark I took a bad step and my right foot began to hurt in earnest. Not such a happy occurrence as I still had about three miles and 1200 feet of descent ahead of me. By rationing my water I managed to make it last until I had about 1.5 miles left, and when I got to the bottom I rather quickly consumed 3/4 of a liter and was still thirsty!
About a mile from the end of my hike I got a text message from Kerry that they were approaching Yerba Buena Road, so I drove up to that trail crossing where I found Kerry waiting for me. He was suffering a bit from the heat and had only covered 16.3 miles at that point. Dax had continued on by himself to cover another 4.6 miles to the next intersection with Yerba Buena road, so we headed over there and waited for him to arrive. He arrived safely, and we headed for home.
In the immediate aftermath I was having great difficulty even walking, and that state persisted through yesterday. I laid pretty low, but did get out to see a steamy performance by my favorite girl group, Bedlam Lullaby, at Viento y Agua coffeshop. Even that was a problem as my parking spot was a painful two blocks from the event. Today is better, but I am still restricting my activity to just a Gyrotonic session today, and trying to stay off my feet as much as I can.