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Sunday, August 12, 2012

This Week’s Big Fail

The upper insides of my arms were raw from chaffing yesterday.  (Note to self: I’m never again going to wear a sleeveless shirt with side seams when I run).  Anyway, I rustled around in the bathroom cupboards for something to help the rawness.  And can you believe it – I actually found a couple tubes of baby rash ointment.  Wow.  Our youngest son is 7 years old. This stuff was old.  I thought I try some anyway, and sure enough, it helped sooth the pain of chaffing on my arms.

I left the house this morning in the dark, 4:30 AM, for an early start on my long run.  I drove through Trabuco Canyon unable to even see the outline of Santiago Peak.  I could see the taillights of another truck driving the gravel/dirt road.  On the side of this road, I noticed a parked truck.  A woman and young girl (about 8 years old, with long dark hair) stood outside the truck by themselves in the pitch-black dark. They seemed to be waiting for something.  They didn’t wave me down.  I didn’t stop. 

As I drove deeper into the canyon, the truck up ahead pulled over.  I passed him and noticed a mountain bike upright in the bed of his truck.  He had the light on in the cab and was looking down on something.

I passed him and drove on along this bumpy road, and passed another car parked at an angle along the road.  There were no lights.  It was apparently empty.

When I finally made it to the trailhead it was still dark.  And so I sat and waited for the sun.  I didn’t need it to “rise.”  I just wanted the sky to lighten a bit before I took off running up the mountain.  Then the truck I passed (the one with the mountain bike) pulled into the lot.  He parked a couple spaces away.  And we both sat in the dark . . . waiting.

I applied Glide to all the other places that normally chafe (waistband, the lines of my sportsbra, etc).  I applied sunscreen and turned on my garmin.  And I continued to sit.  Unlike yesterday when I didn’t think, and just ran, this morning, I sat there and thought. 

I had my 24 mile route all figured out.  I packed some plastic bags to clean up some of the empties at the “secret water stash.”  I was even wearing “short” shorts to get rid of that tan line half way up my thighs.  I was there baby! I was there!

And then a strange thing happened.  I started thinking about the heat.  I started thinking about all that time alone and not seeing my family until about 3PM, and I got LONELY.  Sad, kinda pathetic lonely.  Pity-party lonely. 

Now, I have run alone many times.  I have been alone many times.  I enjoy alone time.  I enjoy running alone.  But being alone, and being lonely are too separate things.  Being alone is joyful and peaceful.  Lonely is miserable. 

Looking up at the sky as it started to change color from black to grayish-blue, I thought about how I just couldn’t do it.  I could not run those 24 mountain miles alone.  Not today.  I was dang sick of the heat, and I would be lonely.  I HATE lonely. 

“But,” I thought to myself.  “It would be absolutely ludicrous to go home.”  That would mean two hours driving total, not to mention prepping for this run.  “LUDICROUS.”

“No it wouldn’t,” I answered back defiantly.  “I can do whatever I want!”

And so as the sky grew a little brighter, I turned the key in the ignition and began driving back out of Trabuco Canyon.  The time was about 6:00 AM when I drove past the car parked haphazardly that I saw in the dark on the way in.  It looked like two guys were sleeping in the two front seats.  I could clearly see one, the other was slumped down too far for me to see anything but the top of his head.  When I drove past, I looked into my rear-view mirror and saw that the passenger door was wide open.  The site was just too alarming to ignore. 

I backed up on the dirt road up next to the car and yelled “HEY!” 

No response.  Mind you, my car was idling right next to their’s.  “ARE YOU GUYS ALRIGHT?”

Neither of the men responded.   I could tell the guy in the passenger seat was breathing.  But I wasn’t going to get out of my car and look into their’s further to make sure they were okay.  So, I called the sheriff’s.  I really hoped I wasn’t getting them in trouble – the guys after all, may have been passed-out drunk.   I seriously worried over their condition.  After relaying their location, description, car type and license plate, I took off.  I didn’t want to wait around in case something terrible had occurred.  When I arrived to the canyon lot, I told the first sheriff arriving where to locate the car.  And then I drove home.

I’ve been in kind of a rut ever since.  But I will crawl out soon.  Very soon.

Next week’s running plan:  SKIP THE PLAN.  I’m going to run whatever I want to run.  It’s “Easy” week coming up, so I thought that’d be a good week to be on my own schedule.

Thanks for reading about my fail. Smile


  1. I have the same issue with chaffing in the upper insides of my arms. To avoid that, I put a lot of vaselline or bodyglide before my runs and I am fine.


    1. Thanks for reading Daniele. bodyglide does nothing the arm chaffing for me. I should try the vaseline.

  2. This sounds like a "fail" that needed to happen. I think overall it was more a gain than a fail for you. We have to do these as well sometimes. Keeping the balance... Have a great week Lauren!

    1. Thanks Johann. It sure makes for a funny thing that I did. And we all need those stories. : )

  3. I go backpacking every year. I'm always really happy to get on the trail but every time I get that lonely feeling. I start to feel guilty for being away from my family and I miss them so much. It usually happens about 3 days in. I think it has to do with physical exhaustion. Anyway, I'm glad you listened to your body and took it easy. If you had run you probably would have been putting yourself at risk for an injury.

    I hope the guys in the truck are ok. That's kind of scary.

    1. I can tell you definitely know Scott. I can totally relate to your comment. Thanks!

  4. Oddly enough, that's the same spot I got some race rash during my last 50k. But I've never gotten it there before. And I wasn't wearing a shirt. I think it was my body telling me I need to lose a few more pounds.

    1. Thanks for reading! Chaffing sucks. I've got permanent scars. And that Bodyglide is useless as far as reapplying.