I woke up the morning of Dec 24th and felt ready to conquer the trail. I had rested for three full days, birthday and all. It was a very cold morning with a little drizzle in the air. I also had a bit of stomach upset from too much celebration and decided to wait it out until I felt better. Eventually, I was off to Las Llajas for a good run.
Getting to Llajas, there was barely anyone on the trail. I figured it must be wet on the actual trail so I decided on the road path for my training. It didn’t dawn on me that the path I started on had more sand than road at the middle point. By the time I got there, I figured the little wetness and softness couldn’t be that bad, I was wrong.
I had never experienced a muddy trail prior and this was a blast. The first step left me with a heavier foot than when I stepped in, and so was the other. I realized quickly that I needed to look around and calculate properly, to avoid soaking all of my feet in mud… I was only a mile into this run and had about three more to go. I looked around and saw traces of footsteps, someone else had already gone through this. I hopped my way to the steps and followed accordingly until I saw the slippage, I wasn’t about to repeat the same. I looked to my right and saw the possibility of hopping up through the soft trail, hopping past the muddy slippage, and then hopping my way down to the moderate mud. It was basically a hopper doo doo moment on the trail and I giggled my way through it all. My calculation was a success.
Making a slipping climb uphill, I came to my favorite empty space reserve, now covered in water. I took advantage of the opportunity to get some mud off my feet. It felt nice to touch the water as well, I missed the rain dearly.
I did my two-circle run and on the third, ran off into the empty road ahead. The chilling wind made it all so memorable as the tears rolled down my cheeks, with a huge smile on my face. By the time I got to the trailhead, I still had a mile left. I decided to run back and forth on a nice incline. I came across a lovely lady who educated me on the beauties of the Simi trails, the beauty of solo traveling, and the wonderful experience of escaping into nature. I was intrigued and craved more. I informed her about my race, which I am yet to write about, and informed her of the possibility of doing another on New Year’s Day. We talked some more and said our goodbyes, it was refreshing. I came home and decided to make once a pondering thought a reality, I am writing a prayer request for Christmas and I am going to deliver it to the cross on Christmas morning. I am hiking Mount McCoy’s Cross on Christmas day.
I woke up with a goal in mind. I listened to Christmas Eve summon the night before, it was actually fun. I hadn’t prayed in a while and decided to have a one on one with the big guy. Christmas morning here and I whipped out a pen and paper to write away, this request of mine. It’s something that has been bothering me and I needed the thoughts out of my head, mind, heart, soul, for good. It wasn’t worth holding onto anymore, and my unnecessary mind-wandering visualizations were impacting my ability to focus on my reality. I completed my one-page letter, got dressed, and headed off for the trail. A part of me had a nice flashback to the scrubbing of my sneakers the night before…I dreaded the mud to come.
The trail was beautiful and smelt heavenly. I started with no mud in sight, smiling to myself that this may just go smoothly but the thoughts went away as the real mud walk began. This was a full-time job with an extra pound of muddy shit. I thought I had experienced a mud run prior, this took the cake. Luckily, I didn’t fall but almost did once and got my right hand covered, good times. I hadn’t kicked so hard in a while but learned the trick was to keep on kicking into the air and rocks, to get those thick, hefty muds off your shoes. Thanks to the other lady encountered on the trail, this was truly a workout.
By the time I made it to the cross, some touristy family decided to jump around and run up to the cross, ignoring the presence already there, and surrounding the whole place doing touristy stuff. Thanks for your manners, I quietly excused myself to a bench across, took out my binoculars, and appreciated my surroundings from afar. They eventually wrapped up and hopped off to their new touristy destination. I casually walked my way back to the cross, taking in the view, said my prayers, and buried my prayer request in the rocks. I took a picture up there, said Merry Christmas to the rocks, cross, birds, and plants, and had my mud battle down. By the time I got home, I was ready for my Christmas meal, drinks, movies, and overall memories.
It is officially boxing day and looking back, I can happily say that this has truly been a very productive December. A memorable one with a lot of positive changes. As I work on my writing experience of my 10k, I shall continue sipping my mulled wine as I reminisce about the experience and the perfect skinny jeans to get from the Express sale going on.