Thursday, March 28, 2013

"I'd Hate to See One of You Killed..."

Seriously!  That came out of some bozo's mouth who didn't like it that a few of us were apparently traveling on a private road.  (One of my teammates has confirmed that we were never on private property, so I really haven't any idea where this guy got off with the attitude.)  It was all I could do to not take it to the next level and insist that he tell me exactly what he was threatening.  But, I restrained myself, knowing that we would likely cross his path again some day and it would probably be better to not become a memorable enemy.  Here's the back story...

BASTARDS! Tonight's 6:30pm practice will commence at Monrovia's Library Park by the Fountain...there will be a little tactical insertion, escape, and evasion tonight...dress appropriately. AS WELL...there will be NO follow-on meeting this evening. You are more than encouraged to gather still at your favorite watering hole and partake in a few adult beverages; however, there is no meeting. Enjoy your evening...

I was seriously considering not going tonight; it's been a hard week and my head was in a pretty crappy place all afternoon.  Then I overheard Eric giving the route information to one of the back up leaders... We were going to be starting at the fountain, running up Clamshell and out Cloverleaf and it would take 6-7 miles. (I mapped it at 6 miles exactly)

Knowing what was in store almost cinched my bailout.  I knew from the last time we were on Clamshell that it was going to be a Roadkill Nightmare, with me pulling the rear and my teammates having to wait for me.  I knew it was going to be long and that I was still not fully recovered from last weekend.  (On a side note, today was also the first day I've trained all week, first attending a CrossFit Z1 class, then tonight's run)

BUT, I also knew that trail running is my favorite way to get out of myself, and that if any of our red team members showed up, they might actually be grateful to have Roadkill on the run, since it makes for an easier run on everyone but RK.  So, at 5:30 I made the decision to just show up and give it my best shot.

My best shot was pretty damn weak tonight.  I walked a good percentage of the second and third miles which were all climbs.  Since I was teamed with Kathy, our only other red member there tonight, it meant she needed to hold back and stay with me.  The rest of the teams took off and we didn't see any of them again until Mark stopped and waited for us at the entry gate to Clamshell.  Mark was waiting because his team wasn't sure Kathy and I would know how to access the connector.  So, his whole team slowly jogged and walked Clamshell giving me enough time to not get left too far behind.

Between my bad attitude and my crappy performance so far, I was seriously considering breaking the cardinal rule and turning back at the connector.  Then I finally rounded the corner and saw the connector path and all my friend's smiling faces and heard all their encouraging words.  Something shifted and I let go of all the baggage I'd been carrying so far. Off fell the negativity, off fell the burdens of the day and thankfully off fell all desire to quit.

I'm so grateful for the shift in perspective, because the rest of the run was an absolute blast.  The "connector" is really just a single track, overgrown goat path that is crazy steep in most areas.  Erik and Dawn led the way, with Rocky showing us an alternate mode of travel... bootie scooting, then came Kathy, RK and Mark brought up the rear.  Good thing their team had stayed with us, because Kathy and I probably wouldn't have braved such a maniac trail.  Once we were on it and committed, I realized it actually looked a lot worse than it really was and turned out to be a ton of fun to traverse!

Once we got to the bottom, we dropped on to Cloverleaf and just ran the dirt road to the end... which was where we encountered Mr. Vigilante with the serious anti-social tendencies.   No doubt he was making idle threats, but it made for good running banter as we made out way back in to civilization... Just how was he planning to kill us anyway?  Shot gun?  Landmine?  Ooohhh... maybe an ambush and he and his wife and daughter would push us all off a cliff????  Bizarre, and while laughable it's also something to remember if we ever find ourselves in the area again.

One last comment on my hysterical team...  As we were running downhill heading toward Foothill, we passed a house with a very angry sounding dog, and the next thing I know one of our guys is sprinting right by me... WTH?  Oh right, he doesn't need to outrun a mad dog, he just needs to outrun Roadkill! Welcome to yet one more peril of being the Arrogant Bastards Slowest Team Member...  Mad Dog Fodder.  (sigh, lol)

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