Wednesday, October 1, 2008
another poorly planned eighteen
I went out for a long run last night. It got up to around 100 degrees during the day but had cooled off to about ninety by the time I started the run. I planned to run to the drinking fountain at the trailhead. It started getting dark by the time I was about half way there. The planning for this run was not excellent. I think I need to get a light. I saw several people running with lights. Light would be especially nice through the creepy parts of the trail like when you take the pedestrian tunnel through Devil’s Gate Damn. The run was going really well but I kept telling myself to turn around because I didn’t have a light and the terrain I was running over was pretty uneven – basically a trail/path through the Arroyo Seco. Just as it was getting totally dark I saw two coyotes out for an evening stroll. At that point I was still a couple miles short of my turnaround destination but I figured that it was already dark so there was no point in turning around anymore. But there’s dark and there’s dark. Running through the Arroyo it’s pretty easy to see because there are a lot of distant light sources (high school practice field, freeway, etc.) but as you enter the forest at the canyon bottom it gets dark-dark and there are hooting owls and scary lurking creatures around every corner. At that point it was very dark. I couldn’t even see the ground I was running on. That was actually a pretty interesting out of body sort of feeling to run/float through the forest night. I made it to the drinking fountain then turned around and remembered that I had to run through all that darkness again to make it home, but I still felt pretty good and strong so it was fine – that’s the way it goes on a long run. Then I saw some headlights approaching from behind. I figured it was a forest service truck but it turned out to be a guy on a mountain bike – wow, those were some incredibly bright lights. Then I saw two more bikers with big bright lights. I had no idea night biking was such a deal up there. And then there was more darkness and creepy tunnels and river bottoms. It was a bit of a relief to make it back to the Rose Bowl area where there were lots of people still walking/running/riding. It was probably at about this time that Hilary was starting to get really mad at me for not telling her what time I’d be back. It was probably about eight pm and I still had about six miles to get back home. But all I could do was keep on running. With about 2 miles to go I stated getting a little tired but focused on form and kept cruising along. At that point Hilary had decided to start the hunt for me by car. Someone pulled up next to me in a car and said Hi, Hi but I couldn’t stop to give them directions because I couldn’t stop and restart – the fatigue was setting in - physical and mental. Well, clearly the mental, it turned out that person in the car was Hilary who was out to rescue me but I was clueless. Eventually I stumbled home and even then things seems relatively okay… until they weren’t. Apparently I had gotten totally, totally dehydrated and I crashed hard. I’d never experienced anything like that before. I was nauseas and my legs were cramping and doing their haunted legs thing but the strangest part was the hands – it was like they were filled with moving/rolling marbles. It was crazy and cool at the same time but I was way too wrecked to appreciate it – I was sprawled out on the floor unable to do anything – I really needed an IV and was moments away from heading to the hospital… Thank you, Hilary, for caring for me. I just don’t seem to learn my lessons very well. It was the same story a year ago and I haven’t made food and water a priority on my runs. How am I going to make myself get on top of that? Finally by about 1am I was able to get some gummy energy snacks and fluids down. Surprisingly, (in Floyd’s defense) this morning I feel totally fine and kinda feel like going for a run.