Sunday, February 12, 2006

Gaaaaugh!!! Fucking Idiot!

I’ve stated previously that running is a meditative activity for me. That’s why you’ll rarely find me running along city streets; there’s too much traffic to worry about, too many stops at intersections, too many distractions. Growing up and going to college in small towns was ideal because I could escape all of that very easily. I didn’t even have to drive anywhere, just headed toward the edge of town and found plenty of nice, isolated country roads to run on. It was just me, the crops/cattle, and the big sky. Since moving to the “big” city, it’s been both harder and easier to find isolated places to run. Harder because I have to always drive somewhere and make the time to go out of my way for a good place to run. Easier because there are more trees and trails and spaces designed especially to provide that escape-the-city exercise experience. I divide my running between large parks (cross country style), the paved trail systems, and the hiking/bridal/mountain biking off-road trails I’ve discovered so far. The off-road trails are definitely my favorite, but they are also the hardest to work with—they are fewer in number, you need daylight to use them safely, tick and poison ivy seasons can be a problem, etc. They are the most isolated, though, and provide a different running experience than the other options. Running on pavement, and to an extent on grass, uses a very repetitive motion. Your body just does the same thing step after step and the muscles tighten up and fatigue in relation to that motion. On a trail, though, you go up and down hills, jumps logs and stumps, avoid rocks, twist and turn. Not only is it a better variety of scenery, it’s a better variety of movement. I’m usually less sore after a hard trail run than a comparable pavement run.

So last month when I went to Active.com to find events to compete in for the next while, I was excited to find the Psycho WyCo "Run Toto, Run" Trail Runs. Way back when I heard there was a dog off-leash area at Wyandotte County Lake, we went to check it out. Once there, we discovered the bridle trail that circles the entire lake, and have been periodically exploring it ever since. I thought we were the only people to run there, though, so it was nice discover kindred spirits. I explored their website and found they actually get together to train four times each week, but haven’t gotten around to joining them for that. But I decided to do the event, so I registered for it, gave them my money, and wrote it in my date book.

I don’t go into an event like that expecting to compete for top places, especially one as challenging and long as this (the ten-miler is plenty for me), but I still get geared up for it. It gives me a goal for the training and mixes a bit of camaraderie into the isolation I usually prefer. So I planned around it. I tapered my training this week so my legs would be fresh. I made myself unavailable for gaming for the weekend. I trimmed my toenails, laid out my clothes, stretched, and got psyched up for it last night. I stayed up late with pre-race jitters. I got up at 6:00 this morning and started stretching and warming up so my body would be fully awake by race time at 8:00. I had my PowerBar and banana. I was ready to go, and arrived at the lake at precisely 7:30 to pick up my packet and enjoy a good run.

Except no one was there. I pulled into the parking lot and pondered for a moment. I hadn’t printed out the directions because I knew exactly the parking lot they meant when I read them. There was nowhere else at the lake that would serve as well. It had to be the spot. I pulled out my phone and woke the wife up. “Would you mind jumping on the computer and double checking the directions for me? There’s no one here and I’m confused.” She did. I was at the right place. Hmm. Did I have the right time? “Let’s see, 8:00 a.m, February 11.” It’s 7:30 now, so I’m not too early . . . Wait! What did she say? “Today is not February 11. You missed it, dude.” No way. No freaking way! It was yesterday? Oh, come on. How did I mess that up? I missed it? This sucks big time. I’m such an idiot. We could have gamed last night after all. Wow. No way. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Etc, the whole drive home.

On the bright side: I worked yesterday and probably couldn’t have done it, anyway. Instead of leaving them caged up in the yard, I was able to run by the house and get the dogs to join me in my run. We only did five miles instead of ten so that: A) I won’t be so sore and in need of rest and recovery the next couple of days, and B) I was done in time to take the wife out for brunch before we had to go to our separate jobs for the day. Still, though, I feel really dumb and it sucks that I missed the event.

4 comments:

Kelly Sime said...

What about the fact that you got to go out for a beer and sing karaoke? Or was that not fun for you?

Gobula said...

You have to see this!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060212/ap_on_go_pr_wh/cheney_hunting_accident

Degolar said...

Very fun, Kelly. I don't regret that at all, except that I left earlier than I needed to.

Degolar said...

And you doubt the administration's ability to keep us safe, Gobula? Here we have an example of the vice president personally fighting terrorism in our defense.