I was aiming at my first barefoot (actually, first EVER) half marathon trail race last weekend. A twinge in my left heel/ankle prompted me to cancel my entry (but the nice folks at Into the Wild OC Trail Runs are allowing me to use my entry fee at one of their races later in the year).
So I didn’t run for three weeks . . . until my (already-scheduled) next visit to my amazing doctor of physical therapy two days ago. He checked things out, said it was just scar tissue acting up, treated my grateful limbs with his excellent hands-on work, and told me to get back to running . . . plus three sets of thirty calf raises every day.
Alrighty then. Thirty-mile trail race in June, here I come.
I’ve read enough books and blogs to know that I’m not the only one who gets a bit cranky during those dark days of non-running. Now all is bunnies and flowers and fragrant sage again.
Irvine Park has a few bloomers following late February’s brief deluge; here is a fabulous wild hyacinth (Dichelostema capitatum).
Now that there’s finally some green, the bunnies are out and nibbling.
Mmmmm . . . the smell of fresh-sprouting black sage along the trail . . . aroma therapy for the weary runner.
Poison oak is showing off fabulously shiny new growth as well.
Along yesterday’s running route: many white splotch reminders that I missed the half marathon over my favorite trails last weekend. Sigh. I did not want to be one of “those” runners who ignore what their body is telling them, run anyway, and end up with more problems. But it was still bitter-sweet to think I might have been able to run last weekend. All of this mental anguish is a good argument against entering races when my main running goal (and why I love barefoot running) is: To. Have. Fun.
How our coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia) grow: one red sprout at a time.
Nightshade blossoms liven up the path through The Willows at Irvine Park.
There’s some fine phacelia in bloom in The Willows as well.
Before the rain: all the coastal sage scrub community drops its leaves and goes drought-deciduous (photo from November 2013).
Some winter rain, and spring brings the fat leaves back to the white sage (Salvia apiana).
Even the California sagebrush (Artemisia californica) is looking fluffy again.
And don’t get me started on the beauty of mule fat (Baccharis salicifolia) in bloom. This bee agrees!
It’s Spring . . . time to celebrate the “real” new year . . . here’s a poem for the occasion (published in the January/February issue of the OC-CNPS newsletter)
New Year in the Santa Ana Mountains
Two weeks after late
what was long parched
now softens into life—
tight seed coats are shrugged off
in gold-green song.
This whisper of an overture
the bees and me; we buzz
with plans to dance in
the chaparralian Wild Flower New Year.