Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our backyards are much larger than we think…

“In 2010 the population of the City of Orange, Calif. is estimated to be 150,315, and as I stand here looking over the City I wonder how many of them know that they're only a few miles and a good pair running or hiking shoes away from experiencing something wonderfully different.”

I woke up this morning to the sound of my 18 year old leaving the house on his way to a day of working with a friend at his dads business; I marvel at this moment because it won’t last; …my wife and I sleeping with the day off and our son going to work….a rarity to enjoy while it lasts.

But ..since I’m up now...thanks son... I creep out of bed careful to not wake anyone up, mornings like this are great because everyone is good, everyone is taken care of and its now my time to run, so with a smile I gather my gear.

Today is overcast and might even sprinkle a little so I’m

wearing both compression shorts and long sleeve shirt in addition to my standard running shorts and short sleeve shirt; this should keep me warm enough without overheating and keep the rain off me initially.

Many runners make the mistake and wear to much without layering, they overheat as the run progresses……..During a local 100 mile run the rain and cold were substantial and I saw many runners that were unprepared .. running in standard shorts and short sleeve shirt, protected only by a generic rain poncho or even trash bag.

Think layers, and put some planning into any run if you feel that weather might be a factor; especially if you run unsupported at distance.

I find myself running about 1.5 miles before I touch dirt….ahhhh….lovely dirt; I’ve reached the foothills of Orange. There are some trails here that run along the hills, this is a link that will take me to the start of my Santiago Oaks run and I hit it hard, It affords me beautiful views and it’s so local that if you’re looking toward the hills you might see me waving from far off. Here you will find your choice of comfortable trail running or some challenging hill climbs (I call it the stairway) and of course that is my choice this morning.

After a short time I’m running the ridges and coming close to the connection that will bring me to Santiago Oaks.

Santiago Oaks is a hidden gem of trails and beauty, recently ravenged by wild fires it is in its recovery stages and doing quite well from where I have ran. The trail head begins after a short series of trails that are maintained by the city. Once inside the park you are met by valleys, hills, trees and beauty that will relax you and charge you at the same time, it’s your choice from here and there are many choices; so make sure you plan your route. I’m running towards Irvine Park today and have chosen the high road which will carry me along the ridge line and into the back side of Irvine Park by the Boy Scouts new Outdoor Education grounds.

After a few mountain bikers, two runners and two Horses I’ve reached my destination and now have a choice……it’s raining now……take the street back down to Chapman Grade and home…..or……turn around and hit the trail again. Of course I turn around and hit the trail once more for my return!

And for 2.3 hours of running I’ve seen two runners and two horses…….out of 150,315 people in Orange; do they even know how big their backyard is I wonder.

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