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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Weird Run

Yesterday, I planned for today’s run.  I planned a run to Santiago Peak, 24+ miles round trip (38.6 km).  So looking forward to this run, I “daydreamed” about it as I drifted off to sleep.  Then oddly, I began to worry about things – things like weather, mountain lions, human predators.  Still, I scooted off this morning happily, looking forward to this run (armed and with plenty supplies).  The last thing school moms said to me as I rushed away after dropping off the boys was, “Better hurry before the rain comes.”

Though the skies were gray, the sun nowhere to be seen, my foremost worry was fluids.  I knew I couldn’t carry enough to sustain the entire trip.  So in addition to the 70+ fluid ounces in my pack, I carried an additional 32 ounces to stash on my way up.  Fearing a storm (even though it’s not supposed to come in til Friday!), I also packed sleeves, head warmth and wore three shirts.  Three!  Not only that, I shoved the basketball sweats I wore to the trailhead into my pack.  I started off, uphill carrying a much heavier load that I’m used to.  This did not make for a good start.

A quick shot at the start:

Very quickly climbing up the canyon, I was above the clouds, and the sun shined brightly:

The trailhead gate was open, so as I made that first three mile pavement climb through a colorful valley, three cars passed me, one motorcycle and one dirt bike.  One of the cars (a small SUV) had a man and a young boy inside.  Then some time later, a small SUV passed me driving down.  There was only a man inside, no boy.  NOW, I have no idea if this was the same SUV, or even the same color of car.  Both men waved and smiled at me, and I didn’t have the slightest idea whether the two even resembled each other.  Still, I fretted over whether this was the same car, and if so, what happened to the boy!!!

Okay, I guess I was freaking out a little.  Fear and discomfort began to creep in even more.  When mankind vanished and I was alone, I felt a little less paranoid.  A bobcat ran the road just ahead of me, and running uphill I actually attempted to catch a photo.  But the cat was gone in an instant up the valley side.  Besides the squeal of the squirrels, I could hear woodpeckers banging against trees throughout the valley.  Tiny yellow flowers lined the trail edge.  And the water rushing over boulders was music to my ears since I didn’t wear earphones – I never wear earphones when running up this valley alone.   

Still bundled up at one of several stream crossings:

When my feet finally hit dirt, at about mile three, I scoured the land for a place to hide my extra fluids and sweats.  I didn’t find a good hiding place until about a half mile later.  Feeling more comfortable being lighter and cooler, I ran up Maple Springs toward the top.  I saw no other runners, though a few more cars and a couple motorcycles passed me.   I found an iphone practically buried in the dirt, picked it up and tried to phone the owner by going to “contacts” and phoning “Home.”  No service. 

Music helped relax me as I ran up the mountain.  Though I’m not sure I ever felt completely relaxed.  I think that I was so into my fear and discomfort that I only looked down or ahead.  Relief came once again when I looked around and saw an awesome sea of clouds.

Beauty above the clouds:

When I reached “Four Corners,” I stood in awe above that beautiful sea of white puffy clouds.  Then suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, but it had been lingering all along, the feeling of dread, no,  doom, completely overcame me.  I felt, not exactly thought, “What the hell am I doing spending so much time running when I should be home hugging my family, when I should be going door-to-door for fulltime employment so that we can give the boys what we used to be able to give them?  WHAT?  THE? HELL? AM? I DOING???”  And though I posed for the picture below with a smile on my face, I was not feeling that smile.  Afterward, I wept behind those dark glasses, over many things.  And suddenly, I thought, “Forget it,” and thwarted my trip to the peak.  Instead, I ran back down Maple Springs to my car. 

Everyone was surprised to see me so early back home. I hugged my boys, layed down on my bed and fell asleep for at least two hours. 

Tomorrow.  Though nothing terrible happened today, nothing even bad happened.  But, perhaps tomorrow still will bring a better day.

Four Corners:

One last view before running back to the truck:

Running down the mountain:

Back in the valley:

Yucca (Spanish Bayonet):

Elevation:My Activities Maples Springs Four Corners out and back 3-13-2012, Elevation - Distance

Satellite:My Activities Maples Springs Four Corners out and back 3-13-2012

Afterthought:  the guy who owns the iphone that I found stopped by our house tonight to pick it up.  He seemed like a nice kid (quite young, 17 – 21 is my guess).  He and his buddies hiked to Santiago Peak today.  Bravo.  Bravo!


  1. Sounds to me like it was a good day. Maybe a good day with a weird run but certainly not a bad day. Take every day and every run as it comes. Take care!

    1. In retrospect, it was a good day. I just get weird sometimes. Thanks for reading Johann!

  2. I can freak myself out over potential predators too - even though I've never had a reason to think I was in danger!

    I'm sorry you are having these weird emotions about your family and all. Hopefully the run was a little therapeutic?

    1. Thanks for stopping by Lindsay. When I get strange feelings about potential danger, I don't want to ignore them. I never have any reason to think I was in danger either (at least while I was running anyway).

  3. *hugs* Sometimes I wonder why I take so much time for myself and my workouts when its not benefiting me financially as it does the "elites".. This is a passion to me and sometimes I find myself questioning if its the right thing to do. I do take some time away from my family to run, but the majority of my runs (as I assume yours are) happen when my kiddos are not at home. Ive seen you mention so many times about running after your kids are at school and I think thats perfectly fine! Honestly though, it sounds like you balance it all fine to me.

    1. Thanks Khourt for your kind words. I do mainly run when the boys are in school. Sometimes, I get a little out of perspective (actually I do that a lot!). This particular day the boys were home with hubby, because it was "early-out-day" all week and I was really missing them : (

      Have a great week.