Sunday, June 10, 2007

Peters Canyon

Between the CA Cruisers, the 6:42 group and members of the Brea Boot Camp we were 21 happy runners on Saturday morning at Peters Canyon. True to the dependable June Gloom of southern California, it was a wonderfully cool, overcast morning for a run. Although this was my first time to run in Peters Canyon Park, others of the group had done this run many times before. The Cruisers are mostly Orange County residents of Brea, Yorba Linda and Orange. I'm a commuting member of the group driving 30 or so miles each way from my home in LA County.

Peters Canyon is a small suburban park in Orange, CA at the edge of civilization. The trails remind me of Bonelli, but more exposed. There is a small reservoir with a 2 mile looping trail and then a small finger like projection of land that is surrounded on all sides by fairly typical southern California subdivisions. The finger like part of the park is less than a quarter of a mile wide in most places and a little over a mile long.

Although I had committed myself to staying on flat land for a while, I had talked to Dr. John during the week and he assured me that the run was mostly flat. I had discussed the "hills" at Saddleback with his wife just a week or so ago. She felt that Saddleback was hilly. I would call it gently rolling. Based on that definition I thought it was safe to give Peters Canyon a try.

The conditions Saturday morning were ideal due to the June Gloom but I could imagine that during the summer the heat would be borderline intolerable. At the far south end is a small eucalyptus grove that offers a very brief respite from the sun. The trail here is also curvier with several easy switchbacks compared to the relatively straight sections elsewhere. The trail on the east side of the park, East Ridge Trail, has the parks major hill followed by a few rollers as it heads south. (Although I think any hill that you can clearly see the top from the bottom isn't really all that major. I'm also sure that it is less than a quarter of a mile long.) After the U-turn through Eucalyptus Trail the Peters Canyon Trail on the west side of the park is a long straight gradual up hill grade back to the reservoir loop.

As it turns out, the hills although small by most definitions and small to me under normal foot conditions, were bigger than I would have like to subject my foot to. I ran the gentle ones at a slower pace, but walked down the steeper ones as a precaution. I took the up hills as usual.

All told, I ran 7.5 miles and Peters Canyon is worth another visit. My right foot felt all right most of the way. About 5 miles into the run both my right and left arches began to hurt, almost a burning sensation. I'm now convinced that I've got myself a case of plantar fasciitis. Oh, joy of joys. This is not the turn of events I expected following my crash month. Celeste seems to think I should be refitted for shoes. I don't think there is going to be any quick fixes with whatever is going on with my feet.

After the run, we met up at a coffee shop/bakery. The muffins and cookies sure looked good, but I controlled myself and had a chai tea and a banana. One really bad side effect of my decreased running of late is the 6 pounds I've gained since the Eugene Marathon at the end of April. I am going to have to give bike riding some serious consideration this next week along with some frequent and consistent stretching exercise. Only 2 more weeks before MCM training is supposed to officially begin.

This last weekend and next some of the Cruisers are taking part in the World Famous Mud Runs at Camp Pendleton. These runs have been on my radar for awhile now. They fill quickly and I have missed out. Running and crawling through the mud looks like fun to me. How about you?

15 comments:

Danny said...

that sucks about the feet. hope they feel better soon.

Wes said...

LOL. I did that crawling through the mud thing in 20 degree weather in basic training. I'll pass :-) Sorry to hear that your feet are giving you problems. With all the marathons you have been doing they might just be under too much stress. I'll hold out hoping the best for you.

Jessica Deline said...

Yes Peter's can be unbearably hot on some summer days! Sorry about your foot. I feel you pain (literally)! Hope you get better soon.

OCRunnerGirl said...

What -- you are having foot pains!!! I feel your pain..literally! I wish you a speedy recovery. While you are recovering, you have time for this. You've been tagged!!!
See http://ocrunnergirl.blogspot.com/2007/06/misc-monday.html for all of the details. LOL...

OCRunnerGirl said...

If you come across anything for your foot pain...please, please let me know. My pain in pretty bad. I have not run in a week+ and the pain is just as bad. I went and had my feet massaged today thinking it may make it feel better but nope. I hope you have better luck then I am having. Again - let me know if you hear of any tips.
I am suppose to do the mud run this weekend. I have never done the mud run soo I was really looking forward to it...now I don't know if I should push it and run. Take care.

Donald said...

No thanks on the mud run, for me. They have one at Fort Ord every year, too - and I always manage to have other plans for that weekend.
However, everyone I know who has done one just loves it.

robtherunner said...

I know all about gaining weight due to lack of running. Hang in there. I hope the arches get better in the next two weeks.

David said...

Jank (and various medical advisories) told me to stretch my toes up towards my shins for the PF. I did and stroked my soles at the same time. I had skipped my calf and achillies stretches a few weeks ago after some hard runs and it caused my arches/soles to hurt. They do get better if you get them fast. Reduce the swelling. Stretch. Promote normal blood flow any way you can. Stretch some more.

Backofpack said...

Darrell,
Sorry to hear about your foot pain. I've been curious lately about those insoles that they heat-form to your foot - I think Montrail makes some. I've heard they can work wonders. Have you read up on them? Plus, the other thing is using one of those night-boots. Hope you find a cure!

Sarah said...

That's some serious mud! And with a 2:45 time limit for a 10k, its gotta be tough.

Sorry about the foot pain. I hope you can start your marathon training pain free!

Joe said...

Oh no...not PF. Wow, this is tough. David has seemed to have some relief from his regimine he noted above. I know you'll give it your best to follow some plan to bounce back.

Hang in there, Darrell...be wise.

Robb said...

Wow, you've been battling that pain for a while now. I wish it would let you go. I know it is frustrating for you Darrell but be brave.

Mud run looks like fun. Take care.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

PF, no fun :(

peters canyon sounds awesome!

mud runs - fun!

Ryan said...

That sounds like a nice group run thru Peters Canyon, great description of the area, so many differences from the trails here in the Northeast. Sorry to hear you’re still having some discomforts with the foot…hope this doesn’t slow you down for MCM training.

Go for the MUD….there’s no way to go around it you may as well just go thru it…..this looks like a fun event!

Anne said...

Hey, you changed your profile picture! Thanks for the great description of Peters Canyon, which sounds maybe worth me checking out next time I'm in that area. And, yes, I've been wanting to do a Mud Run for years and keep missing it. I've yet to hear of one participant who didn't love it.