one more last chance

Last year’s last chance rundown, penned by Deb, can be read here.

The Last Chance Run is an 8ish-mile trail run in Highland Forest. Last year, Deb and I managed to get lost but still have a somewhat cold, fun for the most part, run.

This year was a marked improvement to last year in some respects, and a complete disaster in others.

Improvements:

1. No snow. Last year we ran in calf-deep unpacked powder, so we did more shuffling and wading than running. Also, the snow caked onto the bottoms of our shoes and yak trax, making our feet weigh 20 lbs each and the shuffle more difficult. This year the trails were clear of snow which made for much easier navigation.

2. 40 degrees. Last year it was cold as shit, and windy if I recall. This year the air was crisp and calm and perfect. It snowed while we ran, but that simply added to the beauty.

3. They held the pancake breakfast afterwards in the lodge with the huge windows and gorgeous view and raging fire in the fireplace. Last year the breakfast was in a smaller cabin building that was quaint and rustic, but I don’t think there was a fireplace and it was awfully dark inside.

Disasters:

1. The warm temps and recently melted snow created great deep swamps of mud. Most times we could navigate around the huge ponds, but we each had a few missteps that resulted in soaked feet. When we got back we found we had slung mud nearly to our thighs. The mud also made for slippery going, especially on the downhills.

2. Lack of snow also meant that we had to negotiate the rough terrain in a way we didn’t have to last year. The layer of snow had essentially evened out the roots and rocks and etc, so while we bitched and complained about the snow last year, we actually missed it this year because we kept almost-turning our ankles. I found that I had to zone in on the three or four feet ahead of me and constantly plan my next foot placement. I joked that it must be like playing DDR without the constant painful near-ankle-turning.

3. At mile 6, I realized that I might have to draw on my great knowledge and experience with survival sans conventional plumbing. This after Deb and I had JUST had an excited discussion about how our lower intestines seem to have become accustomed to our more lengthy runs. I pressed on, trying to ignore what became increasingly unbearable cramps. Luckily I was able to avoid digging a hole. But just barely.

In all, a decent run. The lines for pancakes and sausage were slow at times, but we learned the trick is to hang out at your table at the end and the volunteers bring around what’s left as they’re working to clean up.

After standing in the kitchen last night for a few hours making a failed saag (it’s what happens when you misread the recipe and put 2 TBs of salt instead of 2 TPs), my ankles FELT as though I had sprained them both horribly, and I had to ice them and sit on the couch and watch TV for the rest of the night. Today my ankles don’t ache like they did last night, but they feel fragile and weak.

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