Day Creek Downpour

100% chance of rain. In the 50’s.

That is absolutely sleeping in drinking coffee reading books weather.

I should not have to go run in it.

“Yes. You have to. I need to live vicariously through you. You sleep in on Wednesday.”

Fuck.

Fine.

And so I woke my lazy ass up at 5:00 am. A time I haven’t had to see since this pandemic started. And prepared to experience pure misery.

It was only lightly raining when we all got there.

Maybe this won’t be awful.

As we headed out what I now know is called Doty Ridge. I think. It’s called something like that. So that’s what I’m gonna call it. Beautiful Beastie asked if we were on the right wrong trail.

I already didn’t remember any of it. None of it looked familiar. So I said maybe not.

But they all know not to listen to me anyway. And agreed that we were.

Which…

Yeah, we were.

Spent all of that climb hop scotching around teeny tiny orange and brown lizard things and listening to Tiny Brazilian chatter away to Track Star.

Also, Track Star.

So, how many 16 year old girls do you know would willingly wake up at 5am to go run 20 miles on a mountain in the freezing rain with her mom’s friends?

I mean, I hope a lot. I hope even a lot more since this pandemic. I hope this pandemic is creating more badass young women.

But seriously. That’s definition of high school badass.

(She’s super freakin smart, too.)

So, K-Rob would call back and ask her if she was ok.

And Track Star would happily say yep!

And my mind would kind of raise its hand and ask, ok, but what if the answer is no? What happens then? Do you let us turn back?

Except I didn’t say it out loud.

I didn’t want to be a pansy in front of Track Star.

Also, I couldn’t actually breath easy enough to talk.

I just refocused my brain on the really intense fantasies I was having about hot coffee and hot shower and sweat pants.

Now, Doty Ridge or whatever it’s actually called is a beautiful climb. When it’s not pure fog and rain. But also when it is.

The trail is lined with flowers and even in the rain. Or especially in the rain. It feels kind of magical.

But also, it’s a shorter climb when it’s not 5,000 degrees.

Like, significantly shorter.

When we hit the Parkway at the top, I was surprised.

I was expecting at least another half mile of climbing.

And it wasn’t just me.

K-Rob remembered it being longer, too.

I don’t know where the top of the mountain went.

But cool. I’m good with this.

The run along the Parkway is also beautiful. The views from that particular stretch are gorgeous.

When they’re not covered in fog.

Track Star seemed impressed anyway.

Now, I agreed to this run initially because when BB threw it out there, she pointed out that the beauty of Day Creek is that everyone can do their own mileage.

So, I hadn’t planned to do more than 10, maybe 13.

Twenty was never on my radar for this particular day.

My sweatpants and coffee were too important to me to leave unattended that long.

But as we ran along the Parkway. Rain pouring more and more heavily. Wind whistling in my ears. Soaked absolutely completely through. And completely inappropriately dressed. Because I do not have rain gear. I made a decision.

“So, how much are y’all gonna judge me when I turn right up here and head back to the cars?”

And there was some conversation.

And a few minutes later, K-Rob asked, “You really think you might just head back down?”

No no. I don’t think it. I definitely said when, not if. I’m dipping out at Blackhorse Gap.

And everyone seemed happy with this plan. And we all agreed to cut this run short.

All of us…

Except BB.

Her reasoning was strong. “I’m already wet. I’m gonna get the rest of this done.”

We tried to talk her out of it.

One of us debated if she needed to accompany BB.

That one of us was not me.

I felt badass enough with the 8 miles of mountain running in the rain. I don’t need to hit BB’s next level of badassery.

So, when we hit Blackhorse Gap, I was out. We all were. Except BB.

We watched BB take off down the next trail. And the rest of us took off back down the mountain.

And I actually couldn’t see for most of that descent. Because the rain was just pouring straight into my eyes. I was flying pretty blind. It’s actually pure miracle that a rock or root didn’t take me out.

But I’m not gonna lie.

It was fun.

It was a blast.

Splashing through all the mud puddles.

Just running down on pure faith. Or the force.

But also. When I saw my car. I was full on giddy.

The sweat pants fantasies were in full force by that point.

Even just peeling off that rain-soaked shirt and pulling a dry sweatshirt on in the parking lot was ecstasy.

As we were leaving, K-Rob said something about coming back tomorrow.

But…

But I did this today so that tomorrow could be my sleep in drink coffee read books day.

It’s cool.

She changed her mind later that day.

Also, BB eventually came to her senses, too. After the wind really started kicking up. And made it back to her car.

These chicks.

They absolutely keep me running.

But today I ain’t running shit.

You can’t make me.

(Please done make me.)

Just let me be here in my flannel pajamas all damn day.

I need this.

I kinda think we all do…

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