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.
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.
|Hey, I am wearing SHOES. That means, PROVIDE ME WITH SERVICE THANK YOU.|
|Let a wet girl buy some disgusting kombucha, will ya?|
BUT WHO CARES ABOUT THAT when your mind is quiet?
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.