Saturday, April 17, 2010

On The Burnout Trail

There’s a trail off the Fragrance Lake Road called Burnout, and that’s how I felt today, so that’s where I went. The trail starts with a moderate incline, and gets steeper as you go. It didn’t really matter to me, because I was walking mostly, in the drizzle. It's really a terrific trail, not much traveled, with great views of the water and islands. I spent 3.5 hours in the hills today, but it was at least half hiking, with the other half being downhill running.

It was a long week. I was concerned about this and that, and running seemed more a job than a joy. I’ve been putting in miles, a lot though not as many as some, and I’m tired of thinking about what is enough. I came home on Friday night, a little late, and sat on my porch, thinking, I’ve been in this house five years. I had a moment earlier in the week where I thought, Do I really want to worry so much?  There are nights when I wake up thinking about my cases, and then I get angry at myself for waking up and thinking about my cases.

I think these sorts of things are usual, sort of, but I marvel at the emotional gypsies who worry not. Sometimes I wonder, do I want to be like that?  I picked up a book on a shelf the other day, called The Art of Choosing. It’s probably a good book--it was cited somewhere--but I know this--GREAT title.

I found a newt on my hike/run today. A fire bellied newt. Years ago I was running on Chuckanut, the road, with my friend Breean, and we saw a newt. When we came back, a half hour later, the newt had been run over. I could’ve saved that newt. This newt was alive, but not particularly active.

There were lots of frogs too. I stopped for a while at a little swamp to listen, trying to spy at least one, but I couldn’t. It was a huge chorus. Then, at one point, they all went silent for quite some time--it was sort of spooky, like a frog predator had entered the scene. It wasn't me, I was quiet.

Later, I ran into a group of four high school or college guys at the top of Chuckanut Mountain, who asked me--ironically--where Lost Lake was. They were at least a half hour off track, having missed their turn down by Fragrance, and having climbed all the way up to the parking lot above Chinscraper. After I explained to them where they were, one of them said to the guy holding the guidebook, "See, I TOLD you." Absolute classic.

So tomorrow I’ll do something. I have my good weeks and bad ones. I don’t like George Bush, the president, but there are some things I like about him as a person. He runs a lot, and he handles things like an ultrarunner, I think. One of his quotes, which I've always liked, is “Eighty percent of success is just showing up.” There’s a lot to be said for this I think. I know with my first ultra, that was pretty much my story, since I showed up despite a sprained ankle. And so it is with some weekend runs, like today's. 

However, I just now checked the quote, to confirm proper attribution. As it turns out, Bush did say it, but he was quoting Woody Allen.

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