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Hiking, Mountain Biking, Outdoors, Running

Various Hikes & Runs – Q2 2021

The usual personal diary of nonsense.

Table of Contents

June 30 / Bend Bommer Syc Loop (5+)

Not a bad hike / jog, in usual time (1:07), but also the usual energy crash on the last few miles. Not sure what to do about it, but…that’s the end of the quarter. See you in Q3! Where I’ll deal with new knee pain (boo), try more Vit B (hope), struggle with energy (no!) and generally flounder around southern California.

June 29 / Stage – Serrano – Syc Loop MB (7)

Felt pretty good, for the most part. Vitamin B helping? No wonkiness until last climb. usual 0:53. Got stung in the head by a freakin’ bee or wasp or pterodactyl.

June 28 / Short Hike with John (5)

Put, put, put. Sweat, sweat, sweat.

June 27 / Black Star to Crest MB (9)

Hot ride, had more ambitions than energy, hung out and talked with Dave for a bit.

June 26 / Woodson with Kam (7+)

Hot morning but not too crowded, mellow pace.

June 26 / Woodson with Kam (7+)

Hot morning but not too crowded, mellow pace.

June 23 / Short Run on Stage Loop (4)

Okay in heat until I fell apart at end. Sad. Also, sweaty.

June 22 / Black Star to Crest (9)

Made it in about 0:43, not terrible, but not great and pretty tired…so…turned around. Saw biker Dave. Also saw a cute little fox almost walk into a rattler. The rattler was not pleased. Nice nature moment.

June 19 / Middle Pal Partial with John (10+)

Left at 9:30 pm, started hike from Big Pine Campground at 3:30 am, stopped at near the top of rockpile above Finger Lake at some point or another (John pooped), and got back to car around 12:30 (?). Back home after stopping for Pho by 7:30. Took a shortcut on trail to bypass Brainard Lake that was a fun scramble on way, less fun shortcut on way down kinda accidentally. Generally felt pretty good except for achy lower back. Surprisingly thirsty at end. Hard to drink enough water.

Jun 17 / No Name – No Dog Trail MB (8)

Same ride as Tuesday, little faster, and not nearly as hot. Still too sections I had to walk on the climb, but eventually doable.

Jun 16/ Short Walk (4)

Putted up some hill somewhere.

Jun 15 / No Name – No Dog Trail MB (8)

Down & Up No Dogs Trail or whatever it’s called in Laguna. Why is Ridge Park the hottest place in OC? Like freaking 95 out there today. So, yeah, not a terrible ride, but walked a few uphill bits where it was steep and I felt overheated. Not a bad ride otherwise. About 1,500′.

Jun 14 / Short Bike Ride (Old Bike) (4?)

On old bike b/c REI has new baby hostage. Tired and bleh. Also, hot. Also, bleh.

Jun 12 / Baldy with John (7?)

Mellow hike up Baldy via Ski Hut trail with 500 of our closest friends. Nice days despite people playing music, drones, painted arrows on rocks, crowds and other signs of human silliness. Down register ridge. Felt pretty good. Next day, right plantar fascia seems a bit tweaked.

Jun 10 / Bend Sycamore Loop Jog (5+)

Up Bend and sown the pretty trail, about the same as usual time, no real body or energy issues (a little lackluster, a little slow, but not terrible).

Jun 9 / Short Hikey Thing (3)

Bah. Tired. Saw cute snake.

Jun 8 / Black Star to Beek’s MB (16)

Huh, so, yeah. 1:23 to Beek’s. Wiped out. I think I’m aging in dog years. Tracking.

Jun 6 / Bend Sycamore Hike with John (5)

Very pleasant. Taking it easy on foot, quad, groin and god knows what else. Nothing broke.

Jun 4 / Black Star to Beek’s MB (16)

Pretty total cluster on climb. Sweating out of control. Bonk starting before crest. 1:20 to top, which is pretty damn slow. Tracking.

Jun 2 / Manker to Lodge Jog (6.5)

Random jog from Manker Flat to ski lodge on access road. About 6.5 miles and 1,500′ starting over 6k’. Went pretty well, oddly. Definitely some iffy foot moments and quad tightness, but still not bad at all. Up in 0:57, which is not great, but not bad, and cruised downhill. This despite being 90+ degrees at the start.

Jun 1 / Hike & Bike Ish

Lackluster low-energy jog in AM, followed by complete bike energy crash in afternoon. Had to quit bike ride 1/2 way through. That’s  a first. So…yeah.

May 31 / Black Star to Crest MB (9)

Was planning on longer ride and energy a bit better (0:42 to crest) but felt quad so turned around.

May 30 / Syc-Ser-Stage Loop Jog (4)

Walk to very low energy job. Quad healing up.

May 29 / Black Star to Crest with John MB (9)

Mellow ride to rest leg. So many people 🙂

May 27 / Jog (4)

Sycamore out and back. No energy, but still managed to tweak quad a bit. Not a big deal. A few days…

May 26 / Hike & Ride (?)

Pretty terrible walk up Bend, crazy tired, so quit. Then afternoon bike with Mike wasn’t too bad. Think I’m done trying the anti-depressant. Don’t like having my mind and body messed with this much.

May 24 / Black Star Tower (16+)

Bah. Slow. Tired. Maybe due to starting antidepressant? Not sure. Pretty awful.

May 22 / Skyline with Kam (9+)

XXX Fun hike up to the tram with great weather in 5:25 (5:30 ish start). Lots of people. Lots of trail destruction. Great breeze. Bonky at end (not enough water?), but otherwise not too bad. Nice Wisconsin ladies gave us a ride back to the cars (cab / uber situation there getting iffy).

May 20 / Syc-Stage-Serrano (4+)

Nice jog in coolish weather. Not my best time, but very little pain and reasonable energy.

May 19 / Failed Laps on Willow MB (4+)


May 18 / Stage-Ser-West Loop MB (7+)

Around 52 min, so not bad, but back to feeling tired the whole way. I’m getting in better aerobic shape despite energy issues, but the feeling still sucks.

May 17 / Bedford Peak Partial (3+)

Bleh. Low energy, headache, nausea, sweaty, freakin’ gross mess. Just went up about 950′. Didn’t even have energy to jog down.

May 13-15 / Hikes with Mom

Cruisin around on Telescope Peak trail, Big Pine NF and SF trails with Mom. Beautiful days and weather. Had a great run down on my own from 2nd lake on second day. Strange how low water was at the lake.

May 11 / Bend to Sycamore Loop (5+)

Fun run in nice weather (walked steepest parts of Bend), with reasonable energy and finish in 1:02:30, which is one of my best times. A few foot and hip twinges, but no pain or issue.

May 10 /  Lizard Emerald with Mike MB (10?)

Fun ride with Mike, including bonus survey for group trying figure out best practices for trail sharing (good luck!). Almost biffed it while thinking about how long it had been since I biffed it. Woot.

May 9 /  Peñasquitos MB with Kam (10?)

Rode with Kam on her new gravel bike, fun mellow morning, then lunch with Huy. So much curry in belly. Traffic back sucks as always.

May 8 /  Santiago Truck Trail (8)

First real run / full jog in about a year, so that was awesome. Started off rough, had that weird airhead thing for a while, then body seemed to wake up I cruised most of it (slowly, on tired legs, but still). So many mountain bikes, but most very polite. Have to admit the newly graded road is easier to run and on the foot, but do miss the single track. About 1:37 (0:54 out, 0:43 back).

May 6 /  Bend to Sycamore Loop (5+)

Walked up 60% / jogged 40% and then jogged the rest. Far better than last time, with more energy and no body issues. Definitely tired by the time I reached the flats, but mostly felt like the legs were just gassed.

May 5 / Black Star to Beek’s MB (16+)

Slept about 10 hours, so hopefully over vaccine issues. Went for ride during peak heat, 85-90+ and there was some sweat. Didn’t time it, but about 43:00 to crest and 1:12 to Beek’s. Not bad, and hopefully sign of better things to come. Didn’t really feel it until last climb, but legs definitely tired at end. Pushed a rattler and its dead rat off into the bushes at the beginning. Cute little snake. Sorry I interrupted its lunch, but didn’t want it to get smushed.

May 4 / Sycamore Stagger (3+)

Oof. Vaccine got me. Tired little walk…

May 3 / Stage-Serrano-West loop MB (7+)

Took my Vit D last night (1 day early, on accident), and of course today I magically feel better. Ride wasn’t 100% crazy energy, but my breath and stability were back, and I did my best time in about 51:45 despite falling on my butt in the rock garden (my apparent nemesis). Finished feeling fresh. Got 2nd vaccine today, so suspect I won’t feel so good tomorrow…

May 2 / Sycamore Walk (3+)

Just meandered in the sun b/c I’m supposed to. Nice day and breeze. No energy.

May 1 / Black Star to Crest MB (9+)

Pretty terrible, 45:30, one of my slowest times. Took another seat and contemplated life. Saw a cool king snake and enormous Jerusalem cricket,  and heard a surprised rattler, so that was nice. Little walk the day before with token pull-ups and push-ups, but nothing epic.

Apr 29 / Bend to Sycamore Loop (5+)

Short run thing, okay on climb (not great, but okay), but total energy crash on downhill. Plus, it was like 90. Freakin’ spring. Feel like napping.

Generally, a bit concerned or maybe just confused about health. Energy issues are, well, consistent. Had pretty annoying headache and mild nausea since dental surgery on 16th, off and on but most on, which I think might be neck / jaw strain from surgery and computer position, so I’ll try working on that. Had weird spell of tinnitus at around 3 am (loud in left ear, then shallow in right ear, then gone), which freaked me out, so hopefully that’s not going to be a thing. I’ll lose my cheese. Might also be related to jaw strain from surgery, but who knows. If it’s related to past vertigo, then that’s a concern. Brain at like 50%, energy at 30%, motivation 10%, but still noticing fewer aches and pains since taking Vit D. So, hurrah for that.

Apr 28 / Black Star to Crest MB (9+)

A little better than yesterday, but still no energy. Just done at crest, and sat down for a while to contemplate a nap in the dirt. Pretty crappy tired.

Apr 27 / Failed MB (5+)

Went to Black Star but just couldn’t muster energy past start of hill. Went back and quit. Had headaches since surgery Apr 16, which I thought might be the antibiotic, but that now seems unlikely. Also low energy (very), nausea and general fatigue. Energy level crazy low, cognitively just crap, so…yeah. Not sure what to do. Any Vit D supplement benefits seem to have faded.

Apr 26 / Note

Took Vit D supplement #3.

Apr 24 / Random Hill Climbs with John

Up and down the hill, he says. So mean, he is.

Apr 23 / Notes on Health (Vit D)

I’ve now been on D supplements (prescription strength 50k) for 11 days, and noticed a big change immediately, but that trailed off after first week. Change was in energy level and sleep, mostly — more energy, deep all-night-sleep. This seems to have faded already, but some benefits remain (less achy hip / body muscles, less lower back pain, better aerobics riding / running), so as of today (green is better, red is worse, black is no change):

  • Slow healing infections, wounds and illness
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness
  • Cognitive and memory impairment
  • Depression
  • Bone and back pain
  • Hair Loss and weight gain
  • Muscle pain
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • And bonus excessive sweating

I’m hoping I’ll get energy and sleep back as D levels elevate over the next few weeks. Last week hard to tell b/c after dental surgery, I think amoxicillin has been giving me headaches. Not sure.  I was sweating enough yesterday for 2-3 people, so…

Apr 22-23 / Grand Canyon Stupidity (23+)


Was getting stir crazy so decided to see if I could drive to GC, do R2R2R untrained and generally unprepared, and then drive back, all without sleeping or staying anywhere. So…that was an awful idea.

Left 2:30 pm Apr 22, got to GC around 11 pm (traffic & time change), started down rim at 12:26 am Apr 23, got to river in exactly two hours, and felt more or less fine after Phantom until, suddenly, I just lost all interest, motivation and will. It’s like I was tired and out of shape or something. So, stopped at 5th bridge at end of box and headed back.

Felt pretty crap (tired, head nodding, bit nauseated) back and Phantom, so stupidly drank a 5-hour energy and munched on food. The 5 hour or something really jacked up my stomach, so the climb up SK turned into a deathly, nauseated slow trudge where I couldn’t eat. Also, the water from Phantom was heinous, so it was hard to drink w/o puking. Anyway, long slow climb (3:12 ?) with multiple stomach rests back to trailhead, nice sunny walk to car, then drive back to Irvine (arriving around 5 pm) with little traffic. I figure on healthy legs w/o nausea, a good fast-hiking time river-to-SK-trailhead is about 2:30-2:45. Drive back really would have been unsafe had I done full hike and headed back at night.

Stomach never recovered, so ate McD’s hash browns and diet coke along the way. REALLY tired driving, which was no good. All in all, a pretty terrible experience. But hey, now I can say I’ve done it (?).

Saw cute ringtail in both directions (starting as two tiny little eyes) between bridges two and three in The Box on NK. They’re adorable in profile (long bushy tails and little squirrel bodies). Lots of people on trail coming down from 6 am onward, and I mean LOTS. Many runners. I think they worked on the trail in the middle b/c they sections between Cedar Ridge and Skeleton point were much little rutted, much better for running (had I been).

Anyhoo, that was something…

Apr 21 / Willow x 3 + Jim Loops MB (23+)

Random kinda tired, but not breathy. Really tired on Willow laps, then just leg fatigue with Jim. We did Old Emerald and then I nearly ate a tree on BVD.

Apr 19 or 20? / Sycamore – Stage Loop (4+)

Easy hike / jog to see how hip was doing. Not too shabby. Took Vit D #2 on 19th.

Apr 18 / Stage West Loop (7)

Hot cruiser to see if tooth okay with workout, seemed fine, but breathy / tired toward end. Still met or beat best time despite rock garden silliness. Cleared hard right corner for first time :). Also, hot.

Apr 17 / Black Star to Crest with John MB (9)

Total mosey.  Spent 30 min at crest just enjoying the wind. 😉 Lots of obstacles in road today. Need rocket launcher.

Apr 16 / Notes

Dental surgery, so out for a few days. But took some Vit D last night and feeling much better today despite surgery. Whee…

Apr 15 / Short MB (4)

I guess we’re back to having no energy. Bleh.

Apr 14 / Bend Out & Back (3+)

Just wanted to get a little exercise, so did Bend up and down. Was able to run (slow jog) most of the steepest parts, which was a surprise to myself. Three days ago, that wouldn’t have even occurred to me to try. 🙂

Apr 13 / J&M MB (12+)

Took first 50,000 IU vitamin D supplement last night (1 of 12, weekly) and slept like a baby. Not sure if related, but it’s a nice start. Fun ride with Jim and Mike.  For the first time in a while I didn’t feel like stabbing myself at any point, so, 4 stars.

Apr 12 / Notes on Blood Tests (Vit D)

Got the last of my blood tests back last night, trying to figure out this whole fatigue issue. In addition to my usual crap cholesterol results (boo), it turns out I’m pretty seriously deficient in Vitamin D. Which is weird, but also, kinda great. Now at least there’s one thing I can address that might make a difference. Possible side effects of Vit D deficiency include:

  • Slow healing infections, wounds and illness
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness
  • Cognitive and memory impairment
  • Depression
  • Bone and back pain
  • Hair Loss and weight gain
  • Muscle pain
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • And bonus excessive sweating

I doubt that all the correlations are that strong, but if supplements can at least get me over my energy / fatigue / muscle issues, that’ll be a huge help. Bonus if the brain fog lessens. We’ll see. Also quit coffee again last week to see if that helps anything.

Apr 11 / Black Star to Beek’s MB (16)

Some days are just so bad they’re kinda funny. No energy, no legs, but at least I sweat a lot. So…yeah. Tracking

Apr 10 / Bend 2x+ Loop with John (8)

Fun walk with John after parking fandango. Got to pass a runner on the hill, which is always nice :). Hip loosening up.

Apr 8 / Short MB with Jim (5)

Rattlesnake loop. Jim was dying. Kinda funny, but also, slow. 🙂

Apr 6 / Black Star to Beek’s MB (16)

Today was a box of chocolates. My doctor thinks my chest tightness might be some kind of asthma, so I picked up an inhaler today and tested it (never had one before), thus accidentally doing an experiment on this bike ride. Felt freakin’ amazing up to the crest, or close, with one of the usual tightness (inhaler? sleep? other?), matching my best time of 0:39 without really trying, then bonked like a mofo and nearly just quit in the little valley, had two gels, plowed by way up to Beek’s at 1:13 feeling wasted, and never really felt good all the way back down. Then, near the end, felt pain in groin and think I restrained my injury a bit. So, good, bad and ugly all accomplished. Have to test inhaler again under more controlled circumstances, figure out my freakin’ bonking, and…cut off my groin?

Apr 4 / Two Little Rides One wJohn (8+)

The second one on Willow / Bommer was fun.

Apr 3 / El Capitan with John, Kam & Michelle (11+)

Surprisingly pleasant, hike out in east county San Diego, great friends, nice weather, no major pain until hip tightened up at end. Nice day.

Apr 2 / Comments

Was supposed to do Skyline, but bailed due to logistics stuff. Ended up feeling pretty crap and having vertigo / nausea for the afternoon. Second time I think? Not a great feeling. No idea why.

Apr 1 / Willow 2x + Bend MB (8+)

Was planning more than this, but legs were just dead. So, two climbs up Willow and descent on Bend. 91 degrees, so kinda warm. Happy Q2

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