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While the rest of the country freezes, it’s another great day for a barefoot run here in So Cal

December 6, 2013

Fall rains bring new growth

The recent rains have summoned “spring” on the trails–the first blades of new growth are here,  after 8+ months of mostly dry days. Although the air temps have been chilly (sub-60s F), I decided I better not complain this week: much of the U.S. is dealing with below zero! And snow . . . something that just doesn’t happen here in coastal Southern California.  There is no way to state this without sounding like bragging (and one of my nephews who lived several years in Belgium was having fun on Facebook today taunting his friends there with tales of how it was “almost” too cold to wear shorts in So Cal today).

But we suffer in other ways, I guess. . .  only I just can’t think of any at the moment . . . what a day of cloud and sky and leaf color:

Sycamore showing fall colors.

Sycamore showing fall colors.

There’s even a few late-blooming flowers still livening up the trails near Irvine Park:

Goldenbush still in bloom in December.

Goldenbush still in bloom in December.

Others were out enjoying the day also:

Western kingbird

Western kingbird

Lady on horseback.

Lady on horseback.

A rare native plant that grows along Barham Ridge: Beargrass (Nolina parryii)

A rare native plant that grows along Barham Ridge: Beargrass (Nolina parryii). It looks a lot like the local yucca, but beargrass’s stalks are not as arrow-straight as yucca.

Of course there is always trash to pick up; this was a first---a floss pick in the middle of nowhere. Who flosses their teeth out hiking or mountain biking?

Of course there is always trash to pick up . . . but  this was a first—a floss pick in the middle of nowhere. Who flosses their teeth out hiking or mountain biking?!

The switchbacks heading up Barham Ridge.

The switchbacks heading up Barham Ridge.

Almost back to Irvine Park--there's some amazing leaf-changing going on right now...

Almost back to Irvine Park–there’s some amazing leaf-changing going on right now…

My barefoot running was a little less than fabulous today; recent knee pain (same knee, nine years of this) and a visit to the physical therapist this morning has me wondering when the heck I will ever
be able to run and run and run for more than an hour or so (my goal for 2014 is 50k; I’ve signed up for my first ultra-marathon in June, so the “injury clock” is ticking . . . )

But, a recent post by super-runner-blogger Patricia Bowmer helped put things in perspective. Her post-ultramarathon knee pain/swelling has her completely unable to run, and she writes eloquently about the angst this causes a runner. At least I can trot along for an hour or so before my knee starts complaining.  And it’s just so much fun to be ambling barefoot through our beautiful Orange County wildlands, that even if I’m not getting much of an endorphin rush, the birds and leaves and breeze make up for it.

Happy Barefoot Trails!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2013 2:35 pm

    Hi Thea – Going through all our recent posts, I had to put your in our December posts not to be missed. We are still waiting for a winter wonderland here, just dreary and wet. http://www.barefootbeginner.com/2013/12/28/5-barefoot-posts-from-december-that-you-shouldnt-miss/
    Chris

  2. December 8, 2013 1:12 am

    Hi Thea – I am just about to head out with a group of barefoot friends for a run here in the West Pennine Moors in the UK. It is cold, wet and miserable and rading your posts always make me think about next summer. Thankyou for the link to the post from your running friend, it always helps put things in perspective. You post is our barefoot post of the day over on Barefoot Beginner. http://www.barefootbeginner.com/barefoot-post-of-the-day/

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