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Past the two-hour mark: building barefoot trail time

September 15, 2013

Another milestone over the weekend: I was out moving for almost three hours on the trails of Irvine Park/Barham Ridge/Santiago Oaks. With the recent hot weather, it’s been good to start before dawn–which makes  for more chances of seeing crepuscular critter action:

coyote

One of a pair of coyotes hanging out in a gully below Barham Ridge.

pre-dawn deer

Members of a mini-herd of deer grazing at Santiago Oaks Regional Park.

My goal was to keep a slow and steady pace as I increase my once-a-week “long run” on my way toward a shimmering goal of running a trail marathon with nothing on my feet. (I can’t write “barefoot” because there are some odd ideas about what constitutes “bare-foot-ed-ness” out there in the blog-o-sphere.)

To add to the fun, I wore my new/recycled running skirt for the first time.

Trail running skirt made of strips of wool from thrift store men's slacks.

Trail running skirt made of strips of wool from thrift store men’s slacks.

It was OK but not fabulous; the skirt itself was light and fluffy-fun to run in, but the base layer of short yoga tights were not ideal as they did not stay put but kind of creeped up my leg. Creepy.

I practiced eating-while-running with much success–a Trader Joe’s organic sucker on the long Coachwhip Trail uphill, and a handful/packet of Trader Joe’s Omega Trail mix (nuts, seeds, dried cranberries) while toodling along the Deer Trail.

IMG_6085 (480x640)

IMG_6086 (480x640)

I had not been on the Deer Trail for a while; it’s still a peaceful place with lots of deer tracks along the way.

The oaks along the Deer Trail are still attempting to recover from the Windy Ridge fire--almost 8 years later and some of the trees are still not looking too good.

The oaks along the Deer Trail are still attempting to recover from the Windy Ridge fire–almost 8 years later and some of the trees are still not looking too good.

IMG_6110

The zipper pouch on my Nathan hydration vest has become a dedicated trash receptacle. It can hold a lot of crap, and I sure stuffed it full this time.

Unpacked trail crap. I've said it before and I'll say it again: please aim to "leave no trace."

Unpacked trail crap. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: please aim to “leave no trace.”

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