Friday, November 27, 2009

Rhetorical Questions & Useless Information

Mule Hill, Round II

On Wednesday I did it. I went back to Mule Hill and ran it. OK, OK... it turns out I mostly ran it. As I was (mostly) running, I was thinking up a way to blog my run. My Mule Hill Come-Back. I was trying to come up with a great one... one that would bring sponsors, test products, cool gear for give-aways...

I tried, but all I've got for you are the same questions I asked myself along the way.

Rhetorical Questions
Don't worry about answering these... unless you really want to.

My Running Thoughts...
  • Why are there so few people on the trail the day before Thanksgiving?
  • Why is it nearly 80 degrees out on the day before Thanksgiving?
  • Why can't I have one of those bodies that allows me to pull off running in just a cute little sports bra? With shorts, of course!
  • Why didn't I get up earlier to do this run?
  • How am I going to know how far I've run since there aren't any mile markers on this trail?
  • Why didn't I buy a Garmin when I had the money?
  • Would I feel safer running out in the middle of nowhere if I had a dog to run with?
  • Why aren't there more people on this darn trail?
  • Horses can read... who knew?!

Camera phone picture... put on your sunglasses, it helps

  • Will anyone hear me scream if I get attacked out here?
  • Why didn't I bring my pepper spray?
  • How did the firetrucks get out here during the big Firestorm of 2007?
  • Didn't that sign at the park entrance say something about mountain lions?
  • What the heck? Is that a lake?

This is what I saw as I crested the top of Mule Hill... a view of the San Pasqual Valley agriculture area.
Turns out the "lake" was a crop that was covered up with some sort of reflective white cloth.

  • How far have I run?
  • Why is it so stinkin' hot?
  • Why can't I move to Washington?
  • Would a Golden Retriever scare off a potential attacker?
  • Where should I turn around?
  • Should I ask Santa for a Garmin?
  • If I turn around at that funny tree, will I be able to identify it on the satellite map on Daily Mile?
  • Where are all those smart, literate horses?
  • How could I have mistaken that for a lake?
  • Who is that teenage boy? Who are all his friends? Where were they when I was all alone on the trail?
  • Do they think I'm some old lady about to keel over because I'm so red and sweaty?
  • Why is it so hot?
  • Is that man running shirtless?
  • Where was he when I was spooked on that back trail?
  • What if the shirtless guy is a serial killer?
  • Is that the end of the trail?
  • How far did I go?
Useless Information
  • They call it Mule Hill because during the Mexican-American War, much of which took place in this area, the American troops got low on food and had to eat their mules.
  • This is what a golf ball looks like after it's been through a California wildfire:

There is a driving range near Mule Hill. This area was hit hard by the 2007 Wild Fires. The brown thing on top of the white golf ball is a mostly-melted golf ball... a victim of the Wild Fires, I'm guessing.

Mule Hill Summary

In case you didn't notice, it was too warm for my comfort on Wednesday. I don't like to run when it's warm. I think the run would have been more enjoyable if it weren't so hot!

I like the trail but most of the trail is in the middle of nowhere. For much of the run, I had deserted farmland on one side and dense brush and trees on the other. Southern California is not known for its lack of crime so I got pretty spooked out there. My mind kept replaying old "America's Most Wanted" episodes.

In terms of scenery, the area has its own beauty. Right now, the area is extremely dry and brown, however. It will be gorgeous in the spring, when it is green and the wild flowers are in bloom. Here is how it looks right now:

Is it any wonder how a single spark can set off a county-wide wild fire?

I decided that I prefer to run along the trail that is west of the I-15. There is a pretty lake and the trail isn't so isolated. The photo at the top of my blog was taken along this trail. In addition, there are a few mile-markers along the route. On the down-side, it is more rocky and hilly... but I'll take that over the loneliness of the Mule Hill trail.

I think I was able to figure out my mileage using Daily Mile's satellite map. Based on recognizing the area's landmarks, I estimate I went almost 5 miles. I ended up walking more of it than I wanted because of the heat and my sore calf.

I was only supposed to go 3 miles but I figured I'd be happy if I ended up doing more since I missed Saturday's "long" run and Monday's short run. I was tired but it felt wonderful to get out there and work my muscles!

Tomorrow I hope to get in a trail run along the lake. It's supposed to rain, so we'll see. I don't want to run in mud. We need rain, so I'll gladly sacrifice my trail run for some of the wet stuff!


Sarah said...

Wow...looks like a beautiful place to run! I always get nervous when I run alone and other people aren't out. I think a dog would definitely help. :)

HEATHER @ runfastermommy! said...

hahah, "horses can't read!". That does look like a beautiful run!

Southbay Girl said...

ok...i laughed at your list! Have I finally met a fellow southern california runner who doesn't like running in the sun and heat as well? Woo hoo!!! YEAH!! I want to move to Oregon or Washington as well-where it is cooler! I was miserable running on Thanksgiving because it was sunny and hot and dry!

As for running on trails with a dog-yes you will feel a bit more comfortable! I run trails alot but always with Velcro!

Ask for a Garmin from Santa-you'll LOVE it!!

And if you want to run Mule Hill again-maybe when we get a cold spell, let me know!

Can Horses read? because all those signs were directed at the horses!

Anne said...

I'm still laughing over the horse sign and your comment! Yes, I have never run Mule Hill alone for all the reasons you've mentioned. And, yes, it was quite a shocker when I discovered there is no lakeview.

I've heard wonderful things about Daley Ranch. I may just take you up on your offer....

MCM Mama said...

It looks like a beautiful area, but I'm a city girl and I'd get totally wigged out running in such an isolated area. I can't stand the heat either. I'm loving the cooler running weather here now.