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Friday, March 16, 2012

cloud mountain run

It’s cloudy and dark and forecast to rain through the weekend. I wanted to get up into the mountains before the storm arrived so that I could hole up back at home for the rest of the weekend, cooking pancakes and doing laundry.

It wasn’t easy getting out the door. I never know what to wear anymore. I think I’m developing some kind of phobia – fear of wearing the wrong outfit and/or having to tie a sweater around my waist.

Eventually I got out and rode Mindful Mule up the road and locked up in the center of the neighboring foothill town. Various layers of synthetic and wool kept me comfortable on the ride. I kept a lot of it on for the run up the mountain, too.

I tried to run as far as I could up the trail before being forced to walk. I guess I’ve fallen into a bit of a rut – walking certain sections every time – and I wanted to see if I could break away from my habits. It worked out well. I ran further than I ever have. I thought for a moment I might even make it the whole way – hope to, someday. But that route is crushing – the mountain always wins.

Little victories can be had, though. And today, the victory the mountain provided for me, enhanced by my somewhat delirious state of stubborn exertion, was to look out across the deep, thickly clouded valley to see nothing but grey surrounding an ancient giant, a silhouetted evergreen tree, just floating there, soaking in the mist.

I felt like a little Han Shan of my mountains, removed from time and geography, soaking, too, in that eternal moment…


JustinM said...

I can't run like you but I walked 4.5 miles today. It felt like it could rain at any moment but it never did. Quite enjoyable weather for walking.

Now I think I will open a Lagunitas Pils on my patio and wait for the rains to actually start.

Kristina said...

The what-to-wear dilemma - I thought that I was the only one suffering from that these days!
Good for you for running more than usual, but perhaps it is good to experience that humbled feeling.
Sounds like it was a beautiful morning.
Enjoy holing up today!

mindful mule said...

Justin: being out in the almost-but-not-quite rain is always nice as long as there’s no anxiety about impending downpours. At this very moment as I write this I would not want to be out on a walk – now that’s a downpour!

Kristina: Humbling is good to experience. It’s why I named one of my bikes Humble Horse. It’s good to know that we will never beat the mountain. The mountain knows this yet still acts the humble sportsman, cheering/encouraging us in our attempts.