Cove Mountain Struggle

“Que haces hoy? Trabajando?”

That’s what the Mexican restaurant dude asked me. As he handed me my food. After glancing down at my feet.

Nope. Como se dice I’m just gross.

“Ok. You go have a nice day.”

I should note that this was the same restaurant where, a few years ago, I confused and disappointed the poor dude so much that he dismissed me in a fairly similar fashion.

The problem is my friends.

Because Beautiful Beastie planned today’s 20 mile run several days ago.

But did not ban me from engaging in other activities in the days before.

I can’t be trusted to make good choices.

So Wednesday, I did a morning leg workout at home. And, as we know, an afternoon PlayFITStayFIT workout.

And then Thursday, I ran the Chaos Loop. Where these mother fuckers sang happy birthday to me. As though I weren’t trying desperately to avoid calling any attention to myself this year.

I don’t need to be on 2020’s radar.

Keep your damn voices down.

That bitch will hear you.

And when I woke up Friday morning, I had pain just shooting down the back of my thigh. From right ass cheek to knee.

Tommy Carlos said I looked like a street walker. When I walked.

So I had to beg for ibuprofen. Just so I could leave my desk. Every now and then.

Anyway, that’s why. Or it’s what I’m saying is why. Today was such a fucking struggle.

I mean, it’s always a struggle.

But today was extra.

BB made us start at Bobblett’s Gap.

Which is a place that doesn’t exist outside of Day Creek in my brain.

But she said it would be an easy 3 miles over to Bear Wallow or wherever we are when we run our Cove Mountain loop.

And I don’t wanna call her a liar. But…

I just shouldn’t have been that exhausted after three freakin miles.

I run ultras, dammit.

But we made it over to the wallow spot.

And because those fucking bear hunters were lined up the entirety of the parkway on our way in. Because this is apparently the season when they drag their underfed and over-neglected dogs out of captivity. And take them to the woods to terrorize all the bears that are out there minding their own fucking business. BB decided we should run the loop backwards. To avoid them as long as possible.

I can’t imagine why she’d think we needed to avoid them…

We have such a solid history with them…

Now, I don’t actually know which direction is front ways and which direction is backwards.

I just know which direction is going to suck every last tiny bit of soul out of me. And that’s the direction I’m calling backwards.

I’m also calling it the fucking bullshit that I never wanna do again but dammit we all know I will. Fuck. Direction.

And I was ok getting through the first 6 1/2 miles of the loop. Because after the first mile, it’s almost entirely downhill. A nice gradual descent down the mountain. Totally runnable.

But then you wrap back around.

Past the invitation to be transported to cold ice beer and cheeseburgers.

And you’ve gotta reign Bropunzel back in. Because he’s venturing off down the road towards those things.

No, Bro. No.

Because dammit. If you’ve gotta suffer through this bullshit climb back up the fucking mountain. So does he.

He damn sure ain’t gonna spend that time enjoying cold ice beer and cheeseburgers while my soul is slowly making its way out of my body to escape the 1,400 feet of climbing stuffed into 2 1/2 miles.

GJB and K-Rob-D patiently coaxed me on.

And by the time we got back up to the AT. I was a solid mixture of dizzy and exhausted and nauseous.

So I pushed them on out in front of me and assured them I’d get there when I get there.

And slowly picked my way back down the mountain.

Because gravity can’t do but so much when it’s working with wasted legs.

Every now and then I’d catch a glimpse of Bropunzel. Out in front of me. Who had obviously taken over babysitting duty. To make sure I actually did make it down off the mountain.

Once a Marine…

And when I finally got back to the Wallow spot. They all already knew there was no way in hell I was crawling my ass back over those three miles of trail to get to my car.

Nope.

I was gonna walk my happy ass right on down the parkway.

For whatever reason, I thought it was only a mile-ish. To get from the Buchanan exit over to Bobblett’s Gap. Because that’s how my brain works.

It’s 2.2 miles. Of road. In trail shoes. On just really angry, useless legs.

So I made myself run most of it. To get it done.

I did stop for this pic.

To kinda make it feel like I chose this. Voluntarily. Because I wanted to. And not because I absolutely did not have the capability to make it back across the trail.

It’s ok.

Made it back to my car. Where I could finally pull off those fucking trail shoes. And slip on the definitely not dollar store flip flops K-Rob gave me for my birthday. The kind that could totally allow me to walk all over Knoxville without hurting my in betweensies.

Oh I’m definitely about to ruin those.

But it’s ok.

I’m at home now. On my couch. Surrounded by Mexican food. With ice on my bruised and plantar fasciitised feet.

It hurts to move.

So I probably just won’t.

Except to get more food.

Speaking of which. Will this particular brand of mushroom that I’m about to cook kill me?

I stopped to pick some on our run today.

Mostly because stopping felt better than running.

And not so much because I desperately wanted mushrooms.

But someone please let me know.

Because there are so many dumbass things I do. That could kill me.

I don’t want my one true love. Food. Be the thing that actually takes me out.

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