Monday, April 16, 2012

I run to be NOT CRAZY, apparently.

You know how I've been running for a while? Road and trail and multisport races and such?

Yeah. So, know why I was doing all that?

Yeah. I didn't either - until a few months ago when it was early on a Saturday morning and I was charging out to the Santa Cruz mountains desperate to put my Brookses to trail even though it was raining like a sonuvabitch and 43 degrees with gale force winds pounding against the ridge line.

Which is when I realized that I certainly wasn't doing all of this running for fitness.

Fitness doesn't get you out of bed on a cold and rainy Saturday morning, into head-to-toe spandex and into the car for a 30 minute drive through bleak conditions just so that you can step out into a giant puddle to charge up a slippery mud trail even though two mountain bikers carefully descending the same trail tell you that you're out of your mind and get back in the car.

Ooh. Cozy.

So, as I fought my way up this trail (you didn't think that I was going to get back in the car just because two mountain bikers warned me through muddy faces, did you?) and became soaked to the core and nearly drowned in the rain splashing against my face and being shoved up my nose by the wind blasting over the ridge, I had a hard think on why the fuck I was doing this.

And not in the Oh Woe Is Me Why The Fuck Am I Doing This To Myself kind of way either. But like a real introspective I Think There's A Deep Down Reason For This kind of way.

Because I used to think I ran to get in shape. To BE in shape. I mean, if we're going to be truly honest here, I was entertaining the absurd notion that one day, if I ran enough, I might slide back into my size 4 shorts without tearing off a butt cheek in the process. 

But wanting to be "in shape" doesn't motivate me to abandon my warm bed in exchange for a wet, cold and muddy trail. Size 4 shorts don't even have that much power.

But sanity does.

And, I'd managed to discover serendipitously that this trail way up on the ridge line where the wind races up one side and blasts over the other causing unsuspecting runners to WHOA with surprise when rounding an exposed bend in the trail, was where my sanity lives.

Forgive the wonky doodle arrow. Picnik is no longer and the Creative Kit in Google+ blows and doesn't have arrows so I had to draw one like a kindergartner.

I can start a run on this trail with brains full of nonsense and, by the end of my run (which is short - only 4-6 miles depending on the day and how my hip and knee feel) I have actual coherence.

I have meaningful thoughts. I have answers to questions. I have clarity.

I have sanity.

I also have, depending on the time of year, numb fingers, a frozen face, wet EVERYTHING, muddy EVERYTHING, a slight case of hypothermia and a few horrified stares from people in Whole Foods who don't understand why my sanity has to live out on a muddy ridge and why I feel the need to do a bit of light shopping after seeking it out.


Let a wet girl buy some disgusting kombucha, will ya?

BUT WHO CARES ABOUT THAT when your mind is quiet?

I don't.

And that's what I came here to tell you, my friends, is that what you see before you is me being NOT CRAZY (as hard as that may be to believe) and that is a result of running.

Apparently black Prius drivers use the same coping mechanisms.

Of course, I'd love to be here showing you photos of my six pack abs and telling you that THAT was a result of all this running, but alas, I just have the one ab and it does not have five other firm shapely friends.

Which I'm convinced is actually OK as long as my brains are sane and, when they are feeling insane, I know where to go to rectify the problem.

Regardless of weather.

And that is my long-winded way of telling you that I'm still running even though I haven't talked about it in...oh let me check the labels on the sidebar...November 2011.

Because I didn't think anyone would be interested in all the nonsense above that I just put you through.

You're welcome and I'm sorry.

Come back tomorrow when I shall discuss lighter subjects like why dogs make excellent backcountry skiers and how mashed potatoes are my medium of choice in the world of the culinary arts.


  1. crazy crazy girl :)

    I tried running once. It seems so peaceful. Painful is a better description! I'm hoping once I get down a bit more I will be able to do it without hurting myself so much.

    1. Not to be all Zen, but the pain is peace.

  2. There's a science-y explanation for that, I bet. Endorphins, or something equally important-sounding. But Not Crazy sounds as good as anything to me.

    1. I am fresh off reading Born to Run, so it's possible that I'm easily influenced...

    2. Wasn't that a fabulous book?

  3. I kind of hate running? At what point will I enjoy it???

    Speaking of, perhaps I should start running again. Maybe today. Hmm..

  4. I actually like your posts about running although I absolutely DESPISE running. However, I do love my Brooks trail shoes (kinda like yours) for hiking and totally understand why you are out in crazy weather. I have found that exercise is my sanity and hiking or biking outside is so much more calming than riding my exercise bike in my living room.

  5. I relate to your running posts alot...especially yesturday on my run that I was thinking would not happen but it did- it all comes out clear- I always know which way is up after.

    P.S. you crazy queen bee has been located in the Stockon area at one of my buildings in a tree along with a massive following of bees. I need help....

  6. I completely agree, running is definitely a way to get your head back on straight. I love runnning in those mad conditions too. It definitely adds something. Did you carry a lime and a handful of chia seeds just to see if it was actually going to work??
    Kombucha is totally easy to brew and tastes better than the store bought stuff. You just need a SCOBY to get started. Then you brew it about every one to two weeks.

  7. I know what you mean. Running makes me sane and calm. I don't even listen to music, just sort of go all zen on the rhythm of my feet hitting the ground. And as for rain (and even snow), that's when I most enjoy running. The long, slow drizzle always puts me in the mood to run.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.