Sunday, May 13, 2012

Snakes on a trail - Mt. Wilson training run

I hope that someone picks up the obvious reference to a bad movie:

Other possible and perhaps better titles would be "One snake on a trail", "Margaritas - the perfect post-run recovery drink", or "Getting my running mo-jo back"!  Our third and final Mt. Wilson training run lifted my spirits and and restored my faith in running to no end.  What more could I ask for in a run and in a day? 

I did find some irony in the experience - after a rough run last Sunday, I dreaded setting out Saturday morning at 10:45 am - definitely on the later side.  For much of my spring running, I viewed the few Mt. Wilson training runs as good training for Wildflower.  Yesterday, I realized that Wildflower may have been good training for Mt. Wilson!  When we began the long ascent, I grumbled internally but soon found  myself enjoying the trail, despite the challenge of it.  I did not worry about my time or pace but just focused on footfall, how my body was responding to the trail, and passing hikers in a courteous way.  The only glitch came close to the turn-around point, Orchard Camp.  I had hit the part of the trail where it evens out and is nice and shady, so I started to pick up my pace a bit, and then a hiker, coming down trail, warned me about a rattlesnake on the trail.  YIKES!  Since our speedy running partner had already made it up, we couldn't let a snake deter us from making it to the turn-around point.  I ran back to Michael who was a bit behind, and then we ran/walked the rest of the way - I hoped that there would be strength in numbers!  No sight of the snake for us, nor did we hear a rattle, but Rob encountered him (or her?) on his way up - the snake separated the trail, creating a bit of a quandary for the people on the trail.  Obviously we all made it up and took a bit of a break by an impressive tree before beginning the downward run. 

Once we met up in the lovely town of Sierra Madre, we had to make a decision - what to do post-run.  We considered a cafe, a bar, and then we settled on Amigo's!  The afternoon unfolded as we shared good food, drink and conversation.  I felt mellow and happy, surrounded by great energy and enjoying the post-run euphoria that I usually associate with runs.  This wasn't, by any means, a fast run, but it was a good, hard run that allowed me to lose myself in the experience of running and then follow it up with a sense of a shared experience.
I'm not sure how I will "do" when it comes to the official Mt. Wilson trail race, but I'd like to hold on to this memory and to appreciate and respect the run, no matter what! 


ChezJulie said...

I got it immediately and I laughed out loud!

That sounds like a wonderful trail run and a wonderful day. I have noticed on your and Kim's blogs how often you have a good running experience when you are not expecting it and not stressing about your time. Must be something to that!

Ameena said...

Snakes freak me out...I am NOT a fan! SO I understand your need for strength in numbers. :)

I've never been to Sierra Madre! Sounds like a lovely afternoon. Hope you had a great weekend and are ready for another Monday!

mindful mule said...

The nice thing about snakes, however, is that they, too, like trail running itself, provide an immediate link to the present moment… oooh, it’s a snake!

Kristina said...

ChezJulie - I think the lack of expectations does come into play. Not that I don't like a good fast run, but to just enjoy the day while running is really a better experience!

Ameena - Sierra Madre is like Pleasantville. It's crazy how quaint it is.

Rob - Thanks for the link - very funny! And for the reminder that snakes, bears and mountain lions will keep our thoughts focused on the present!