RVTR Into The Darkness Reunion

Yesterday, during my home visits, the father of one of my probationers told me I can’t go out on the mountains today.

I mean, he didn’t exactly say it as an order. He was wearing a pink shirt. You can only be taken but so seriously while wearing a pink shirt.

Except on Wednesdays. That’s the day we wear pink. And still act serious.

But my feminist brain heard it as an order. Like, a challenge.

“But I’m gonna.”

He just kind of stared back in response.

Then his son just kinda shrugged and said, “I guess just don’t slip and fall off the mountain.”

Good tip.

I should probably point out that this man knows I have a tendency to run mountains on the weekends because of the state I am usually in when I do probation visits.

Muddy. Sweaty. Smelly. Gross.

And this particular one cared to ask once. Why I looked like I just came out of the wilderness.

“Because I just came out of the wilderness.”

And so I guess that stuck with him.

I also sometimes tell my probationers to save their stupid for after I get down off of whatever mountain I’m running that day.

And sometimes they do.

They were excellent last night. For the RVTR Family Reunion. Or as Mountain Junkies like to call it. Into the Darkness.

SCT showed up. Wearing uncomfortably tight Hawaiian swim trunks. That he sweated in. And then returned to the store on his way home.

GJB showed up. With his shirt on backwards. And since Lil T was off Fireballing her way through the crowd of family members, North Mountain Overlord and I had to mama him through fixing his shirt without getting naked. It was a struggle.

CorkWalker showed up. Far less bloodied than normal. And claimed her standard 1st female masters award. Which is good. Because that means she’s never a threat in my age group.

Mama Grider took 1st overall female. And so her children, not wanting to embarrass the family, felt compelled to find their way onto the podium, as well.

OT, in his first race appearance since IMTR, rolled into the parking lot in the world’s creepiest mask. And then proceeded to destroy the course with a top ten overall and a 1st place AG finish. Because apparently some people have that good good insurance that allows them to run an eight minute trail mile. Plus, he’s just really fast. Whatevs.

And NMO and Coop and Jefferson and basically the whole of RVTR dominated the race last night.

And since my kids were unusually good yesterday, I even managed a podium stand. At a race where I’ve never even seen the podium before.

Second place. That’s cool.

Only one phone call mid-race.

I’m not saying that one phone call cost me a first place AG finish…

Because it didn’t. Because I didn’t stop to answer it.

I did, however, spend the entire four miles wishing we were running 30. Because then I could justify walking.

Because J-Gilbert is an evil genius. And he changed the course this year. And he finished the last mile with this bullshit.

Y’all think we run ultras because we love running?

Psht.

We run ultras because we don’t feel bad about walking our happy asses up mountains like that.

But this is one of my favorite races. Despite the pain.

Because as much as I hate horror movies, I love being out in the woods in the middle of the night all by myself. With creepy automated voices moaning and crying out for help. And not in a good way.

But not, like, totally alone. Because most of the family is out there somewhere, too.

Some of them volunteering. Some of them beasting the course wayyyy ahead of you. (A few of them off in DC because they think running with Marines is better than running with Family. But that’s ok. Because I think Rogue’s gonna bring me back one. Just to play with.)

And if you pace yourself just right, you can have a solid half mile or so where you feel completely alone. And your inner introvert is super content. While still knowing you’re not alone. And your inner ex-prison worker feels just safe enough not to start looking for weapons to protect herself with.

Which is good. I should never have a weapon while running.

And just about the time you’ve decided to just walk your way into the finish, there’s Goatfinder. And Skratch. And Tiny Brazilian. Cheering for you. So you grab the closest one you can. And hug. And go. Hug and go.

Because the sound of your people cheering your name has a magical effect.

So I managed this.

Those other two chicks? Those are Jennifers. Not quite Heathers. But Jennifers. And they got real excited. For about a second.

“Yay! It’s the Jennifers taking the podium!”

And then Pfister glances at me.

And in her most disapproving voice, “Oh. And you, Sunshine.”

Well, damn.

I mean, it’s not like I haven’t experienced someone being disappointed at the sight of me before. It’s actually far more common than I’m entirely comfortable with. But I don’t think my name has ever garnered that level of displeasure before.

So, we all agreed to just call me Jennifer. But just for last night.

Or maybe if the hot Marine Rogue brings me back wants to call me that.

So, anyway. It’s raining now. Pretty heavily. And I was told I can’t go out on a mountain in this. So I’m gonna. And my kids have been pretty good so far this weekend.

But today, in particular, I need them to not be stupid.

Because it’s Christmas. A special Christmas.

A K-Rob Birthday Christmas.

It’s totally fine that I didn’t get Christmas on my birthday. She can have this one. Because she didn’t run Into the Darkness last night. And steal my second place AG from me. I mean, if she had been there, she might have pushed me to a first place. Because that’s what she does. And then I wouldn’t have had that whole Jennifers situation. Because you don’t question the 1st place AG chick. But whatevs.

As long as I get a Sunday night sunset beer on the mountain, I won’t be salty.

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