I got all charged up to go back to The Ridge of Ultimate Sanity and Nonsense Sorting after nearly five months running elsewhere where it's not so muther effing hot and again I found there to be a race going on.
How could this be, COASTAL TRAIL RUNS PEOPLE? Do you not hold races anywhere else? Is this Coastal Trail Runs HQ now?
Oh, because you have it published on your schedule which you also send me via email that I totally ignore because I'm not running races right now?
Either way, I showed up ready to run my favorite trail and seek out the illusive strings of my sanity and when I saw there to be a race on, I made a different decision than last time.
I decided to run My Trail anyway.
Because after the first time I ran this trail, which was during Coastal's Horseshoe Lake race a year ago, I decided that this trail was The One and Mine and EVERYONE GET OFF MY TRAIL IT'S MINE GO.
I realize that makes no sense and that I should be grateful, in some way, to the Coastal Trail Runs people for introducing this, My Favorite Trail, to me so that I could piece back together the patchwork quilt of my sanity, but no.
That's not really how I'm built.
Instead I just cling to this place and its (often) solitude with the GIMME GIMME enthusiasm of a 4 year old and when I see that the very same trail-introducing people are there putting on the same race for other people I get all NO.
Because I assume that in the cold, rainy, blustery days of winter, all 200 of these people will be back clogging up this trail when what I need is sanity and no people.
Except that makes no sense either since this race has been going on for a few years, even before I came across it, and there were approximately 2 people in the entire park last winter during the shittiest/best weather.
|Really, other Prius guy? BE ORIGINAL.|
So whatever - all that to say that I decided to not be a puss and slink off to solitude elsewhere for my run and, instead, to park Duchess in the main lot because the ranger said I could since I wasn't there to participate in the race.
BONUS #1 To running bandit(ish): You don't have to adhere to the race's parking restrictions. You're not a racer! You park where the normal people park!
And, when I did go to park Where The Normal Not Race People Park, there was only one other car, so good times.
BONUS #2 To running bandit(ish): Starting 25 minutes after everyone has left the building means the trail is wide open and you won't have anyone on your heels.
Which was good because those were the conditions I was after anyway, so I was at Mission Accomplished status even before leaving the parking lot.
As far as running bandit went, I think I can only call it bandit-ish, since I didn't start with the group, run their exact course or run with anyone who was actually running the race. I didn't have my photo taken or drink from the water stops (of which I didn't see any anyway) either. I was just there to go on my usual Saturday run and they happened to be there also having a race. Hello, friends!
But I did get to take advantage of the cheering crowd, pep-talking racers and fist-pumping mountain bikers as my fresh legs and I charged up the midway hill of the ultramarathon.
See, the beauty was that I was out for a five mile run, not a 50K, but nobody knew that so when I started my weeny five miles at the 50K 15 mile mark (or so - these things aren't too precise), I looked like "my first 15 miles" were nuthin' and that I was charging through the second 15 miles with my hair on fire.
Which I most certainly was not. If I'd already run 15 miles I would have been on a stretcher bound for the emergency room or at least lying prone in the parking lot having fluids fed intravenously and probably a lot of bandages around my ankles.
But again, nobody knew that, so I got a couple of "Attagirl!"s from a couple mountain bikers who probably thought I was running the "Saturday Ultramarathon" denoted on the trail markers with some amazing hidden endurance obscured by my "unique ultramarathon physique".
Yeah, I don't really look like I am capable of an ultramarathon, so these guys were probably shocked into cheering.
Again, WHATever - it was actually kind of fun.
And at the end of the trail, back where I'd parked Duchess Where The Normal People Park, I had to cross the race's finish line because that's the way out to the parking lot and LO I had a cheering squad.
Of course, I told them that I was just there running by myself and not racing (I'M VERY HONEST. REALLY.) and they cheered louder.
BONUS #3 To running bandit-ish: When you come clean and just tell people you're there running of your own accord, you get the same (or better) cheers without having to register for a race or park in the ditch somewhere.
So, yeah, it was still pretty great to go back to The Ridge of Ultimate Sanity and Nonsense Sorting even though there was a race on and even though there were people to dodge and even though I had to say words to people when I'd set out to remain in my own brains for the morning - still cool.
And it turns out that the last four months of running the Elevation Triangle Of Doom has done me right. Since I can now run the full course Of Doom without fail (yep, not just 3/4 of it anymore), The Ridge of Ultimate Sanity and Nonsense Sorting is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay easier.