Trail Run of Death: A Beating by Mother Nature

Trail Run of Death: A Beating by Mother Nature

I write to you, dear reader, with trembling arms and the knowledge that I’m going to wake tomorrow feeling like someone took my body and twisted into a mini pretzel. Why? Because I decided I needed to get back to working out after a month-long gym hiatus. Despite the obvious reasons for wanting to work out and be in a shape other than round, the story I am about to tell you served as the real kick in the pants I needed to get back on the horse.

If you caught my tweet earlier, you might have an idea of what this story is going to include: Pain, suffering, and a serious helping of humble pie served up by one Mother Nature.

I’m a big fan of expressing myself through memes. So I’m going to employ the vast hilarity that is the internet and tell my story largely via the memes that sum up the rapid succession of emotions I felt on a ghastly trail run I took last week. Enjoy!

Last Tuesday I decided it would be a good idea to get out and crush a quick trail run. It was a beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest – the type that makes everyone with a soul wish that they lived here in the greater Seattle area – and my legs were feeling fresh. I mean they were all but rearing and whinnying like a young horse about to majestically run off into the sunset. Needless to say I was feeling pretty confident. Definitely going for hitting 3-4 miles of awesome mountain trail.


I slung my camelback onto my shoulders, did a few precursory stretches, and hit the trail. In order to bolster the general mood of my run I had selected a deliciously heart-pumping running mix called Run Track Mind – 166BPM (a sick track from Podrunner). With that blasting into my ear holes I was ready to kick Mother Nature’s ass.

stokedDue to the fact that I absolutely dominated the first two hundred yards of the run, when I came to a fork in the trail I choose the path that rose at a 10.2% grade. Obviously.


I’ll admit, I was slightly gassed at the top of the grade but I wasn’t worried. It was a 10.2% grade for Pete’s sake! Plus, what goes up must come down. After descending for a while however, I realized that the path ahead of me kept on descending for as far as I could see. I began to think this might mean trouble later on. I mean, this trail is a loop and what goes down must again come back up.


Finally however, it leveled out and I realized that downhill was good because it allowed me to set a blistering split pace. In fact, I wanted to see just how good of a pace was setting. I stopped briefly to take a swig from my camelback and check my status via Strava (seriously the best running/biking app around).


It was about this time that I began to think that things might not be going the way I had originally anticipated. I had been 200% sure that Strava was going to tell me 1.6miles @ 8:02/mi. Time for to buckle down and focus on tearing up the rest of this trail run.


One problem. Remember all that descending I told you about? Well it started again immediately after my time-check. What the hell? I picked the “up” trail to begin with so I could end on the downhill. By this time it was obvious I was welllll below the trail’s starting elevation.

It was about this time my running mix uttered the only vocals on the entire hour-long track: “You’re going to have to fight for your survival.”


The ominous voice on the running mix was absolutely correct because it wasn’t long before all that downhill running turned into uphill crying (to the tune of a 3/4 mile slug at 7.1% incline). At some point I began leaning so far into my run I was all but horizontal.


After what seemed like an eternity and a rather judgmental look for an overly happy Jack Russell Terrier and its owner (so I was huffing/weezing/crying a bit at that point SO WHAT?!) I made it back to the trailhead. Total distance ran? Only 2.2 miles. Half of what I’d set out to run.

Didn’t. Even. Care.

I could see my car. And that was all that mattered.

Powerful-Crying-Gif-From-Doctor-WhoBut alas, I am a responsible athlete and needed to stretch before I got in the car.

Actually I couldn’t even walk all the way to the car and needed a minute to sit down and re-solidify my legs. I middle schoolers practicing on the field next to the trailhead like:

I finally was able to make it back to the car and, after a small nod and acknowledgement to the trail’s dominance, home.  The funny thing about the whole thing was by the time I was able to get back to my fourth floor apartment and collapse in and out of the shower, I was feeling pretty good. Felt like I made some good progress.


Hope you all enjoyed this little blog. If anyone out there is looking for some gym motivation or someone to suffer along with hit me up on Twitter and commiserate with me!

Until next time, I’m going to go munch on a carrot stick have some whiskey and pretend it’s a brownie.




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