Current Mile total: ??
Hehe, Sometime soon I'll start thinking about my mile total again. Right now it's not much of a concern. The concern is just getting out there. And I have been, to some degree, getting back out there but it's been slow going.
Saturday I met with Jim and Andy and we climbed Tiger Mountain. The conditions were pretty undesirable. Mid 40s and raining. I was grossly unprepared for the day. It wasn't raining on the west side and comparatively speaking it was warmer than it had been in days so I wore shorts. I doubled up on with a long tech shirt and a sleeveless one. I also had gloves but it would turn out to be not nearly enough.
We started at Andy and Malia's after a few minutes of hanging out. I got a tour of the new addition to the Bechtel house. And Penny decided to christen their beautiful wood floor with a pile of Penny poo. Aaaawwwwkward.
They live right at the base of Tiger Mountain and have the luxury of running right out their front door and up to the trails. So up we went. It started out fine, a little cold but running kept me warm. At up we went. And up. And up some more. Jim took an impressive lead up the climb and Andy wasn't too far behind him. The first leg of the climb I never stop which felt good even though I went really slow. If I learned anything from all the trail running a couple years ago it was that walking at any time up the hill will crush your spirit. It's always best to keep running no matter how slow. Well, at least that's what works for me. Andy was walking /running and still managed to be minutes ahead of me on the climb.
Then we hit snow. And it was really tough to climb. With little traction I was forced to hike and my spirit was crushed. For the rest of the climb it was walk/run. But then we finally got to the top and it was gorgeous. It was snowing and a foot of fresh snow covered the ground. Once my heart rate leveled out I was unsatisfied with being in the back. I politely asked Jim if he minded scooting aside so I might pass but Jim humorously decided this was smack talking. Once in front I was in my element. This is the type of running I live for.
I guess I'm just a weirdo but being in extreme conditions with two dogs running at my feet, snow covered branches whipping at my arms and legs turns me into something primal. I start running like I'm being chased. My adrenaline rushes and I run faster and harder than I should be. My feet land instinctively into the snow without the knowledge of what lies below. I keep a fast turnover rate so that I never put too much weight on either leg at any time. My legs take on crazy positions as I pivot into my next line. It is me running and being a good animal. And there's little in this world that makes me feel more alive.
After a while I am soaked from all the snow that I've run through. And now I need to keep running as fast as I can to keep my temperature up. We finally come to the descent and it's very technical. I've only done this route before going up and it's too steep to run. Rocks and roots. With today's conditions it is potentially a dangerous descent. SO what do I do. Throw caution to the wind and run it fast. I was grabbing on to trees as I went down. Once out of the rocky portion we entered a snowy section again and now it was like skiing. There were moments when I was sliding for six or seven feet at a time. I loved it. In a matter of no more than 10 minutes of descent I managed to gain five minutes on my fellow runners. I waited at an intersection for them and beagn to freeze. The dogs had come down with me and I got a little nervous because Maile wasn't sure what to do. She ran off back up the trail as I tried to get her to stay with me. Eventually the caught up and we continued down. Once we got down to the flats again it was back of the line for me. I may be a crazy guy who loves downhills but I'm still not in any shape to be running for more than a couple hours. And with all that crazy primal running I had nothing left for the remainder.
I really enjoyed this run. It probably wasn't a good run in the training sense but who cares. Why does there need to be a goal to running. Can't just enjoying the run itself be the goal? If it is, then I achieved my goal that day.