After a long and tough decline in health, my 88-year-old dad passed away this week. Today, as I went for a run on my usual Irvine Park trails, I thought about why I enjoy being outdoors, soaking up sunshine, reveling in rain, delighted by dust and mud and rocks and plants and all God’s creatures.
It’s because our dad (and mom) went through a lot of trouble to regularly pack up our station wagon and drive us all over the West in the 1960s and early 70s. Here we are just outside of Bishop, CA.
So there I was waxing nostalgic on my trail run today, after spending the morning finalizing Dad’s obituary and working on other details for the services later this week. I hardly ever run in the middle of the day; here’s one reason why: the Eastern U.S. may be getting pounded by more winter storms, but here in Southern California it was almost 80 F, way too hot to go shoeless at noon, even if it is February.
About a half hour in, my feet began to feel semi-fried. An hour later, my soles were tenderized, much more sensitive than they’ve been for years, and I worried I might have blistered them.
I didn’t want to know if they were starting to bubble, so I waited until I got back to the car to check them. Whew. No blisters, but a bit sore.
Note to self: don’t run in the middle of the day when it’s 80F.
Here’s some photos from my 90-minute “lollipop” along Roadrunner, then up the Chutes trail to Barham Ridge, back down Cactus Canyon, up Coachwhip, and then down Barham Ridge/Chutes/Roadrunner to Irvine Park.
Same trails, a week ago, after a brief rain:
Barefoot trail running: always a good stress remedy. “He has made all things beautiful in his time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11.