First day of break.
So obviously my alarm was set for 4:30am.
We had a 20 mile run on tap. At a spot I’ve never been before.
I don’t think.
It’s actually hard to tell.
Anyway. 20 miles. At a new spot. So that A League and Dude With The Charming And Disarming Smile could finish Winner’s All Trails Challenge.
I made the 15 hour drive. To Fincastle.
Down some questionable roads.
Following the bear hunter convoy.
And met up with the RVTR group. Thereby facing one of my biggest current issues. Of social avoidance.
This run starts with a climb. An endless climb. Straight up. I think it was Patterson Mountain. That’s what the creek is called. On the event Nor’Lord created. So that’s what I’m gonna call the mountain.
So we climbed straight the fuck up Patterson Mountain.
Up to this view.
And I assume we were on trail most of the time.
That’s kinda hard to say.
I feel like, at some points, Nor’Lord was just improvising trail.
But around 5 miles in, as we were enjoying the view, A League looked at her Garmin. And announced. That we had gone 2.76 miles…
I’m not sure…
But how, though.
Because I don’t know about y’all, but I definitely just did at least 5.
But as I was trying to work out where my other 2.something miles went. They took off running again.
But I’m gonna count my missing miles when this is over.
And can someone explain to me how in fuck we’re still going up???
And every now and then, Beautiful Beastie would point out a mountain. Or landmass.
Sharp Top. Carvins Cove. West Virginia.
I’m not sure…
But how, though.
None of those places are beside each other.
I don’t think.
We eventually ran into the bear hunters…
No no. It was fine. I was fine. Everything was totally fine.
Because they didn’t appear to be finding a damn thing.
Except a bunch of trail runners.
Shortly after that, we passed a blue trail. To our right.
And Nor’Lord said we’d run that one later.
And my brain just laughed and laughed.
And we were finally on a really nice, runnable section of trail through here.
It didn’t stop my left ankle from literally folding in half 15 times.
But it was pretty.
And as we got to the last section of this trail. To head back down to the road. Nor’Lord collected a few hunting dogs.
And these hunting dogs were adorable. But also a little judgy. About my slow ass pace.
Because I was definitely sweeping this entire route.
And they kept nudging the backs of my legs.
Kind of herding me along.
Until they were finally like, “Damn. Move, bitch. Get out the way.”
(Apparently Redbones are Luda fans.)
But damn. I couldn’t go breakneck speed down this bitch.
It was like a Christmas Mountain leaf covered straight the fuck down descent.
What do you want from me???
And see? Now I fell. You pressured me. Into running too fast. And now I’ve fallen. On my hip.
Do you know what can happen to a hip at my age???
(Nothing. Nothing can happen. My hips are fine. Because I’m in my prime.)
And so we came out onto the road.
Where Well Armed Militia was waiting to lock his judgy little herder dogs into their tiny box.
All three of them.
Into one tiny little box.
And I stopped BB from stealing any of them.
Because I needed her to get me back to my car.
And apparently he was “well-armed.”
“How far is it back to the cars?”
“How long was that trail?”
And as I was about to guess 15 miles, A League comes with her Garmin bullshit.
“Not even 7 miles.”
Excuse me, what?
“So it should probably be around 6 miles back.”
I’m sorry, what now?
And I kind of just looked around. At everyone else.
Really? No one is questioning his math?
Whatever. We don’t have time for this. My stomach needs pancakes.
And so BB and I left the rest of them to run their remaining 50 miles of side trails.
And. Ok. This gravel fire road. This 6 mile long large gravel covered fire road.
Well, first. We decided that Nor’Lord had to be off on his calculations.
Because we’d climbed up for miles. And back down for miles. And if this road truly ran parallel to the mountain. Then no way it was 6 miles.
And so my brain settled on 4 1/2 miles.
And it was happy.
Until this happened.
So…we’re sure our cars are on the other side of that, huh?
And the temperature had never gotten above 30.
But fine. We’re badass trail runner bitches. This shit don’t faze us.
Not gonna lie. That shit fazed me. It was cold. And deep. And it absolutely fazed me.
But the running got the blood moving back into our toes.
There were 9 creek crossings. Between us and our cars.
So just about the time you started to get some feeling and circulation back in your lowers. It would all just refreeze in the next round of water.
Where in fuck were our cars??
Those bitches had to be moving further away from us.
And we were losing function in our lowers. To what I could only assume was massive frostbite.
And my stomach was actively consuming my body.
Like, we were having legit death scenarios playing through our heads.
It’s possible I shouted. In relieved glee. Way too loudly. About 2 miles prematurely. When we thought a bear hunter truck was one of our cars.
At one point. Part of the bear hunter convoy stopped us. And told us they’d given directions. To two other runners behind us. Who had just run over across Caldwell Mountain…
Were we on Caldwell Mountain?
Didn’t we…wasn’t that just Patterson Mountain??
This is why I can’t find my way around places, people!
These mountains just switch up identities. Whenever the mood hits them.
Like, they just be hyphenating names now?
Whatever, Caldwell-Patterson Mountain. And your bullshit mileage theft vortex.
We finally found our cars.
10 miles further down the road from where we left them.
I just don’t even understand.
And ok. Strava said it was 6 1/2 miles down the road.
But that bitch be lyin.
What happened to all of our mileage?
13 1/2 miles??
I’m not buying it, Caldwell-Patterson.
I’m claiming a 50k today.
A full on half marathon ultra.
I don’t care what y’all say.
So ready for my next ultra.
And to go back to this bullshit hyphenated mileage theft vortex mountain.
Because it was awful.
That perfect awesome kind of awful.
No, seriously. What does frostbite feel like?