Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sometimes, our pursuits get the best of us. David Horton, a well-known ultrarunner, and someone I find interesting, was planning to run a speed attempt of the Continential Divide Trail this summer. Conditions were so bad, life-threatening in fact, that he had to bag it after day one. You can read more about it here. I'm sure it was a hard and disappointing decision to make, but a good example of when it should be ok to quit.

This weekend, I experienced my own ups and downs. Saturday, a small group of us set out to search for the real route to Blacktail. We started with a 13 mile out and back which didn't give us what we were looking for, so Danni and I went back up for another 16 miles. All of us were annoyed at the mess the logging business makes of trails. Even the usual route was torn up, making it difficult to run in places, much less ever take a bike up there. We weren't much more successful finding a direct route to Blacktail due to the general destruction of the area. We caught glimpses of trail and old ribbons, but finally turned around when we got too cold and were running out of water.

It was also cold and windy along the west side ridge. I felt like a popsicle up there, and had a moment of panic thinking of Chris's Ironman hindsight on the correlation between the frequent need to urinate and hypothermia. I'm sure that wasn't the problem, but I was so cold my mind had me convinced. It was a good (read warm) feeling to start back to the car. My total mileage for Saturday was 29, Danni - 32, which seems like a lot, but hiking the uphills, eating/drinking regularly and the s-caps helped enough that we could run most of the 7 miles back to the car.

Sunday morning, I planned to get up at 6 am to meet the running group for a short trail run. As I got out of bed, my whole body initially rejected the idea. I snuggled back in with Steve, but then got guilty feelings. Ruth and Deb usually drive in to town for our Sunday runs, and they had found a great new trail somewhere along Hwy 35. Since they make the effort each week, I felt better doing so as well. My legs finally loosened up and we all met for a 5 miler. It was tough going. Nothing really hurt, I was just tired. And so hungry. And then irritable.

I don't need to go into detail, but there are moments in time when I realize that it's best for me not to be in the company of others. This morning, post run, was one of them. I've started to enjoy running with others so much, that I haven't noticed my recent lack of solitude. But, the truth is, sometimes, I just need quiet and to be quiet. That shouldn't be up to others to understand, interpret or regulate. So, I apologize to the group for taking off abruptly post run. I think I had reached some personal limits, and hunger was making the monster come out. I'll try to gauge this better in the future, and hopefully, I didn't offend anyone.


Leanne said...

No worries, Iris!!! I can relate 120%. Don't ever feel like you have to apologize to the group. To me, running with our group is the most refreshing and rewarding experience for the simple fact that we have an opportunity for exposure...exposure of the truest and most real of all our emotions and feelings. Sometimes that encompasses all those wonderful highs associated with running and other times it means our lows are revealed - the physical pains and the mental struggles. Regardless of what we encounter that day, it's comforting to know that we've all been there before and can respect the place you're coming from. It's that raw, uninhibited opportunity we have to share the most basic human functions (peeing in the woods, the running toots, etc.) and then the most complex human emotions and thoughts (careers, politics, interactions with our spouses, etc.) all in one outing that makes running so amazing to me. I feel so fortunate that I have such an AWESOME group of women to run with. The bond is tight. And when the bond it tight...there's no need to apologize. We know. We understand. Hope you're feeling better today.

Iris said...

Thanks Leanne. I most definitely feel supported by this group and very thankful I've met you all. I'm still mulling over what exactly it is I'm currently experiencing - and hoping it will just pass.

Danni said...

This cracks me up because I didn't notice you were cranky. When I'm cranky, EVERYONE KNOWS!

Iris said...

Danni - I'm so glad that you didn't notice. It would be a shame if I wasn't able to "self-regulate emotions" as I preach to all my clients! When I told my friend Cassi about this, she immediately said: Had you eaten? We all know what happens when you get hungry!
She knows me too well.