Trail Running = Lost = Failure

Yesterday I went for a run to de-stress from preparing for a big test we took this morning (this explains my long absence, by the way). I ran my customary route to the opposite side of campus, but then decided I should run a bit of trail seeing as I’m supposed to be training for a Tough Mudder run in October.

So I set off, full of ambition and energy, into the woods. As many of you know, I have a sense of direction that rivals Mr. Magoo’s level of blindness. I decided to run only straight, then turn around when I got tired to avoid getting lost.

Well. Failure. As soon as I got out of sight of civilization, my trail went downhill.

And downhill.

And downhill. For twenty minutes I ran down a steep or shallow decline without a break. At the bottom, I decided there was no way I would make it back up a hill like that, so I would try to loop around. I forgot two basic rules:

1)   Any time I think I know where I’m going, I’m wrong;

2)   What goes down on a hill must come back up.

I ended up running back up a similarly-sloped hill AND getting horribly lost. I’m already four miles in to this run – and I’m nowhere near enough in shape to run effectively for 4 miles uphill – and have no idea where I am. At this point, the only thing keeping me going is the adrenaline from the fear of being eaten in the woods by some horrific creature out of the SyFy channel.

I have a vivid imagination.

After about thirty minutes of random meandering around trails that ALL LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME I found… a road! Granted, it was a dilapidated gravel road that had no obvious tire marks, which means it’s poorly traveled, but I figured if I followed it far enough I’d eventually find civilization again. For all I knew, I was in the middle of a Bolivian jungle.

After just five minutes of labored death-jogging, the gravel road turned to pavement. Hallelujah. Unfortunately, up ahead the road took a steep uphill turn. Shit.

I couldn’t do it. I started walking, feeling the blood pounding in my ears and looking like I’d just been run over by heatstroke. (I forgot to mention it was 95 degrees outside. This ranks among my stupidest ideas ever.)

After a few minutes, a car came along. Just too exhausted to do anything else, I stood in the road to prevent the driver from going by. Irritated, he rolled down his window. I asked him where I could get back to a main road. Any main road.

“Oh, just up around to the stop sign and take a left – it’ll take you back down to where they’re building the new dorms.”

I don’t know where they’re building new dorms, but that sounds college-y enough to try it out. I thanked him and asked about how far it was.

“Probably around a mile and a half, two miles.”


Today, I’m crippled. Just biking to class was an exercise in pain management; I suppose if I’m going to be a doctor, I’ll get to learn all about that. Hooray.

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