My Pride Ran Out

It’s 4pm on a Friday. I’m in my jammies. Just brewed a fresh pot of coffee. Got my new library book waiting patiently beside me.

Running Partner and I had a plan.

I don’t remember exactly when this plan was established.

I think it was sometime last weekend after I managed back to back days of North Mountain Challenge.

We were eating pasta and feeling all badass and there may have been beer? I’m not sure.

But one of us said, “hey, let’s run two loops on the same day!”

It’s safe to say that the one of us who said that was not the one of us that has experienced running one loop of torture and then turning around and going back for a second. Because while Running the Blue Ridge Double is Like Getting Jumped Into a Gang, at least it has views. It shows you a good time as it beats the hell out of you. Plus there are, like, 5,000,000 people to peer pressure you back out for the second loop.

That’s not what happens on North Mountain.

And I might not have had to admit what I’m admitting here, except that Running Partner had told the Tiny Brazilian that we were running two loops today. So…

Fine.

I mean, we had good intentions.

We took it kind of easy going up to the ridge line. And I didn’t feel compelled to continue running on the rocky bottom section of Grouse. Until Running Partner said something about a possible PR. Which I didn’t. I didn’t PR down Grouse.

I did PR up Deer Trail.

The one with the switchbacks from hell. And back to hell. And out again. Back and forth. In and out of hell.

I spent a good portion of the loop anticipating Endong lapping us.

Running Partner: He won’t run it twice today after just running it yesterday.

Me: Um. Have you met Endong? That is exactly what he would do.

We got to the top of Deer and I finally asked Running Partner if he was really going to make me do that again.

Left Achilles: No. I don’t believe you will. You know this calf muscle I’ve been holding in place for the last 44 years? I can just let that bitch go. For real. Don’t test me.

Running Partner: I will if you want to. Totally up to you.

Stomach: Wait. What? I thought we were going to Mama Maria’s! Three hours! I’ve been waiting for Mama Maria’s for three hours! What kind of food provisions have we planned for, exactly? I know you don’t think you’re gonna just shove a candy bar down here and think it’s gonna be cool.

Me: But Endong is a loop ahead now and-

Stomach: If Endong’s stomach told you to jump off the side of this mountain, would you?

Me: Well, I don’t really know what that has to do-

Stomach: PASTA! Don’t play with me! I’ll eat my way out from inside here if I have to.

Me: Fine. Ok. Whatever.

Stomach: *grumbling* two loops of this bullshit on a candy bar. Bitch crazy.

And then coming down off the mountain we hear it. Endong’s mountain call.

We called back.

And the internal struggle between hunger and pride reared back up.

Because freakin Endong. He ran the challenge back to back days just to get back ahead of me. Because apparently that was my punishment for my pouty, sulky, socially isolating behavior this week. He was fully prepared to run that pain in the ass challenge every damn day until I come at him correct.

So, fine.

My pride has run out.

I’m good. We good. I would like to come back to the running family, please.

And since I’m back in, we gonna beast that challenge back to back. As a family. Pushing each other through. Because that’s the only damn way.

And somebody better bring pasta.

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