So, last week I was feeling pretty insane.
Like my brains were a big jumble of all the cray-cray that Bubba and I are dealing with right now (so much more of that to come in future posts)(don't worry, WE are fine - we're just doing crazy things) and I could barely think but for the whizzing about of Crazy in my head.
It was exhausting. I needed peace. In my head.
So, you know that I immediately made a date with The Ridge of Ultimate Sanity and Nonsense Sorting so that I could untangle the mess in my brains.
I even woke up early (unintentionally - damn you M-F 6am alarm that trains my body into inhumane sleep patterns) to sunshine instead of torrential rains and gushing downspouts, so didn't have to fight through the whole Is This Really A Good Idea train of thought that comes about during times of considering a run in torrential rains and gushing downspouts.
My drive out to the ridge was even really pleasant - I had a little protein bar action, some caffeine, some good tunes on Sirius that weren't recycled garbage from overplayed A-sides of too-popular bands and as I was taking the peek-a-boo turn on the approaching ridge, I saw that the coastal fog was still making its way back out to sea, so I knew it'd still be cool on the exposed parts of the trail.
AH PERFECT! I SHALL BE HEALED IN THE BRAINS!
When I crested the hill before the turn into the parking area, I saw the sight that no person seeking solitary refuge on a mountain trail wants to see.
Hundreds of shiny windshields on endless rows of cars parked all the way up from the overflow parking that you never even notice is there until they have an event and OH MY GOD ARE THOSE ORANGE TRIANGLE BANNERS.
There was a race on.
A race was happening in my Place of Sanity and Brain Fixing and, therefore, no Sanity and Brain Fixing was going to occur. For me. There.
I require solitude and zero bullhorns to recapture the many loose threads of my sanity, which as you probably imagine, does not exist even in a trail race.
Though, I will admit that, since I've been running this ridge nearly weekly since I ran the exact race a year ago, I considered *for an extremely brief moment* seeking out a same day registration or running bandit, but then realized that my crazy brains had maxed out and were taking me to a new level of Crazy which I could not abide.
Must maintain socially acceptable levels of sanity.
Must not go off the deep end.
MUST FIND SOMEWHERE ELSE TO RUN.
So, I turned around and drove back down the hill to the sight of my virgin trail run and also the place where the triangle shaped elevation chart lives on in infamy.
|If Pain = Sanity, this is where they should set up a running camp for the criminally insane.|
This place...well, I wasn't sure if I was ready to trade in my perfectly balanced Pain : Reward trail run on the ridge for the EXTREME PAIN : EXTREME REWARD balance of the switchbacks. Even if they are tree-covered and therefore a lot cooler than the exposed ridge.
But, I didn't have a choice in the matter according to the hundreds of bibbed racers bouncing around in preparation for the descent up the ridge, so I gave up and headed for the switchbacks.
I even renewed my annual pass at this park so that I could go back and re-punish myself some more, AND if all went to plan, have another place in which to re-stack the sanity blocks of my mind.
Thankfully, things went to plan.
In addition to Crazy Healing, which I got, I also kicked the crap out of this trail - compared to my runs here in the past.
I mean, compared to normal trail runners who can maintain an admirable running pace on an incline like this for sustained period, no - no, I probably did not "kick the crap out of this trail" - BUT, for me - girl who used to run ferociously up the first few hundred yards of the trail before having to resort to hiking and huffing and then doing that aggravating hike > run > hike > almost barf thing that I've been doing here for a good long time - I totally kicked the crap out of it.
I ran - at my barely surviving but still running pace - 3/4 of the way up the hill.
|I mean, that trail goes STRAIGHT UP. Or, in this case, straight down.|
That is good.
And then my quads were sore for two days. Because apparently charging up switchbacks for a mile and a half is hard on the old quads.
|Much happier on the way down.|
|Though, sadly, no ocean to see out there.|
So, yeah, I've found a new place to regain my sanity and I ran up a hill.
Slow news day, I guess.