Against my better judgement, I went out for one of the VR trail wolves trail runs on Thursday night. I always feel funny running with this group--have had bad experiences being "lost" on the trails while they blazed ahead. They claim they are running slow, but their slow run is my speed work. Bob went out with them last week and hung with them, but Bob can keep on the shorter distances. Bob said that Bill B. and Jim Christ were very good to wait for the back of the pack at dubious splits in the trail, allow the stragglers to catch up before going ahead.
I still hate evening running, too, and I was in a solemn grumpy mood. I had too much drama at work and had an overwhelming desire to sit home on my bum, be totally antisocial and watch something like, "Dr. G. Medical Examiner" as she filleted up a body in the morgue figuring out how the poor stiff died. It was a huge group that showed up, maybe 30 people, well known fast "wolves" everywhere. My place at the back of the pack was secured. Bill W. and Tara, whom I haven't seen in ages were there. Jim C. appears to be in charge of this group. We were going to run the Plateau trail after a short stint on the Tow Path accessing the Plateau Trail via the Valley link. I have run the Plateau trail a few times in winter and early spring but never accessed from this section. Jim said this trail is notorious for losing people so he handed out little maps. Oh great. He said we'll be just fine if we just keep veering to the right. Still, he encouraged us to not run alone. I was getting grumpier by the second. Gosh, I didn't feel like running, but knew I needed it.
The group started out; sheesh--these people don't even carry water. They must have figured out a way to recycle their sweat. My legs felt like logs. Bill W. passed me and said something about finally slowing down to a respectable pace. What the heck was he talking about? I wanted to rip his head off. I was settling in to being dead last. We walked up an obnoxiously long hill to get to the Plateau Trail. The trail wolves were already out of sight. Bob was hanging with me, but I knew I wasn't being very good company, in one of my redheaded oozing lava kind of moods, waiting for me to either erupt in an explosive Mt. Vesuvius or wait for the good running endorphin magic to kick in and make me more pleasant. Gosh, I felt like crap.
I didn't feel like carrying on a conversation with anyone, happy to run with Bob and listen to him talk about his day. Finally, we were catching up to the group. My legs were losing their dead weight. This trail is absolutely gorgeous in summer, lots of pine alleys, valley visas, wildflowers, lakes and meadows--something different at every turn. Bob and I caught up to nice lady named Nancy and ran with her for awhile, then we caught up to Wild Bill and Tara and Wild Bill's wife, Celeste, whom I've always wanted to meet. I was starting to feel very very good, the magic was finally kicking in!! It takes even longer for the magic to kick in on trails, especially in the evening, but it was kicking in! Bob took up behind me--I told him it's a much better view anyway.
I can't believe I did 8 miles of trails on a Thursday night with esteemed Trail Wolves of Vertical Runner. I didn't even come in last, which shouldn't matter, but did tonight, grumpier than all get out as I was. Now, the wolves clean up best they can, change clothes, and head out for food and beer. I didn't think I'd be going out afterward, couldn't imagine that I'd be social enough, so I didn't bring a change of clothes. So, I took out the ponytail, fluffed up the red tresses, put on a little lipstick, and made a note to keep my arms down so I don't gass anyone out. I was good to go--I needed to make up to Bob for being such bad company on the first part of our run. We sat around a table at the Winking Lizard and had a great time. I can't believe how nice Celeste is. I had a Dortmunder and a buffalo chicken wrap--all was well. I haven't been out to dinner in eons so this was a real treat to combine running and eating all in the same evening.
I didn't get home till 11 p.m.--way passed my bedtime. I didn't have the energy to take a shower, but didn't feel too bad about taking my runner funk to bed. First thing this morning, as I stood in the harsh bathroom light, I looked down and smiled--my feet were filthy. I had a flash back to when I was seven years old and my mother yelled at me for going to bed with dirty feet and I mean, dirt sock filthy feet. I was a dirty girl. I felt like a trail wolf.