I ran my favorite wilderness park between school drop offs and pick ups. Ran 9.32 miles, up and down the following trails: Aliso Creek, Wood Canyon, Meadows, to Top of the World, West Ridge, Mathis to Car Wreck, Oak Grove back to Mathis, Dripping Cave to Wood Canyon, Cave Rock back to Wood Canyon and Aliso Creek all the way in. I felt fantastic afterward. I was soaking wet and salty from sweat. This is how I went to pick up our youngest boy from school.
While waiting to pick up my son, my non-running friend kinda joked with me, “How many miles did you run today?” I told her and then answered that I ran more than sixteen on Sunday.
Her smile turned to a concerned look. She said something to the affect that I was amazing, and of course, I laughed. Then she further inquired, “Why?”
I commenced to tell my friend the races I was training for, and mentioned a 50k. She asked how many miles 50k equaled, and when I told her it was about 31 miles, her concerned look turned to more of a sad look.
“Lauren . . . Lauren, WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO RUN 31 MILES?” She reached out, as to take my hands and shook her head with a frown. It was as if she realized that I was a heroin addict, or perhaps insane and needed immediate psychiatric care. She was truly concerned.
Silly me, I was dumbfounded. How do I answer that question in about two seconds? There are so, so many reasons why. The first thing that came to my mind, and of course it travelled down to my lips as I ran off to the car with my boy was, “I do it for the out-of-body experience.” That was stupid, I know. An answer like that needs explanation. But I didn’t have the time.
I haven’t been asked “Why?” in a long, long time. My circle of family and friends either understand, or they think I’m crazy (or both). A good friend, non-running friend, a writer friend actually, said to me about a year ago, “I get it Lauren. I mean I really get it.” And I knew that she did. I could tell by the conviction in her voice. Perhaps she could explain to my other friend.
Instead of answering today’s question “Why?” in a multitude of paragraphs. I’ll answer it with these pictures from today’s glorious, glorious run.
Running Meadows Trail before the treacherous, I mean beautiful and exhilarating climb begins (Notice Top of the World neighborhood covered by mist).