I get why people run trails instead of roads or in addition to roads. It’s a different world in the woods; it’s pretty, it’s darker, it never feels the same (even on repeating loops); it’s a different pace. Time passes by….differently. It feels like the Twilight Zone.
For those who are not familiar with The Twilight Zone, Wikipedia describes it best as “a mixture of self-contained drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, suspense, or horror, often concluding with a macabre or unexpected twist". Yep, that about sums up an 18 mile trail run:
Drama – isn’t any scheduled 18 mile run that happens to fall during a typical hot/humid August day considered drama?
Psychological Thriller – describes the moment deep in the woods when Scott yelled, “OMG! Bear! Run!”. And he was kidding. Brat.
Fantasy – after 3 hours or so in the heat and humidity maintaining a decent pace, I swear I truly saw a bear (OK, it turned out to be a tree with shadows that growled and showed its teeth). Hello soaring heart rate.
Science Fiction – describes the hallucinations I would have experienced had I run one more mile today
Suspense – felt this twice after each of Scott’s falls today
Horror – when I thought Scott might be hurt; not just because I care but also because….how the hell would I find my way out of the woods?!?!?!
Unexpected Twist – is the fact that I LOVED today’s run!
Despite the humidity, the horseflies, the normal tired legs, and the challenge of the experimental eating-on-the-run, I’m really digging this training. Having Scott with me is the icing on the cake, the magic in the cap, the twilight in the zone….
Now off to prepare for tomorrow’s long run #2. Yes folks, the fun never ends when you’re getting it done on the run!