run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Confession

Over the course of the last couple of months... I think I've realized something about myself. And it's not something I'm particularly happy about, but I'm going to be honest and share it with all 4 of you readers who have been putting up with my lame once a week postings lately.

I love everything about trail running. I love being out in the middle of nature, away from cars, people, and pavement. I love the solitude and the singleness of the track, I love the fact that trail running is kind of like "anything goes" running. It's a community where no one gives a shit that I'm wearing a cotton tshirt to run in or that I'm carrying an extra 20 pounds on me. And no trail runners are standing around talking about what model Garmin they just bought. I love the rawness of it. It just feels so primitive and yet childlike at the same time... to be running through the woods amongst the wild animals. It's just a perfect community and running style for me. It's not about speed, pace, gadgets, or PRs, but about nature and yourself. It just really seems so bad-ass and hardcore... which is what I strive to be everyday of my life. (Not to mention the dudes are WAY hot).

I love it all. It's great.

Except... in actuality, I think I might kinda sorta hate it.

I know, I know. It's like Trail Running is the THING that I should be completely and utterly in love with. My dream existence in life is to travel around... camping, hiking and trail running. And the camping and hiking part I'm 100% on board with... but I just can't get amped about the running part. I love running, I love trails... why don't I love them together?

I'm a little heartbroken. It's like I want to be absolutely in love with trail running. But, to be 100% honest... I really don't like it. I don't like the interruptions of having to hike up a steep incline, I don't like fact that the trails are NEVER empty, so you've got to dodge people, dogs, etc which isn't easy to do on a single track. I don't like breaking a zillion spiderwebs with my face in the early mornings. I don't like the fact that I have to get in my car and DRIVE to a trailhead. I don't like how in the summer, you get shade from the trees, but you don't get any freaking breeze whatsoever.

But most of all, I hate how hard it is. I mean, seriously... it kicks my ass. The steep inclines, the steep downhills, the concentration required... it's effing exhausting!

It's one of those things for me, that on paper is so wonderful... but when I actually do it, it's not like I want it to be. I'm not all zen and loving life... I'm tired, grouchy, and dreaming of the sidewalk where I could have ran twice as far in the same amount of time. And... I SUCK at it. I fall a lot, I'm slow. I'm just not mentally tough enough to be a good trail runner. As much as I want to be hardcore and bad ass... at the core.. I'm just a pansy.

I'm not giving up though. I'm going to stick with the trail running (mainly because there are too many awesome ultras that I want to do that are on trails). I figure, with as much as I love hiking trails and being outdoors, that EVENTUALLY I'll come around. I think part of the issue is that I've ran Percy Warner Parks trails so much that I have them memorized and am kinda bored now. This late summer and fall I plan on getting out more to hike, camp, and run... so maybe a change of scenery will do me some good.

All I know is that I better start loving those trails. I'm officially signed up for this little gem of a race in October:

Stumpjump 50k. (at some point, I gotta learn how to read one of these crazy elevation charts. Or... maybe not).


Karen said...

Hmmm... Maybe I should have consulted the chart before I signed up.... Luckily I am not as hardcore as you and signed up for the 11 mile version which will kick my azz just plenty...

Sassy Molassy said...

I don't often comment, but do enjoy reading your posts. Keep up the good work. I love trails, but the hills are killer. And we don't have a ton of them that are easy to get to around here. There are some great trails about 1 hr away, but it just seems too far to drive on the weekend just to get a scenic run in.

JojaJogger said...

I just found your blog. Will Stump Jump be your first ultra? I too have a love/hate relationship with trails, I run them because all the cool races are on trails.

Danielle in Iowa in Seattle said...

Oh I can sympathize! I never got into trail running, even though I feel like I should like it. I think it is because while I am running, it is hard to enjoy the trails and the nature and all that shit. I am mostly focusing on not twisting an ankle and how out of breath I am...

Beth said...

I love trail running because it does kick my ass, but that's also why I hate it. So this now makes 2 things that I love, but I hate (Tony H).

The cool thing is that it makes you really appreciate those flat and fast in town 10Ks and halfs.

BTW, JojaJogger is a bad ass on trails. You should check out her blog if you haven't already.

lawmonkey13 said...

Amen, sista. However if you're going to stick with ultra's and trail running, it might be better if you don't learn to read the elevation chart! Personally, I check the elevation chart after I sign up for race, so I won't chicken out! LOL. Keep the faith!

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

I can totally relate. I love trail running - but I don't want to get my feet wet and I don't want to fall and hurt myself, so I stick with the roads.

Oh, I don't think you want to learn to read THAT elevation chart, especially the brutality of mile 26ish.

Bert said...

I dabble in trails every now and then, but just of the 'one night stand' variety, no serious long-term relationships... Did one 50K some years ago, and that was that. Stump Jump? I think there is an Aussie wine by that name - nothing fancy but quite drinkable at the price.