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Me and Regina on the Mountain

It has been an ugly week.

I mean hideous.

I can’t really explain it beyond life is hard and my emotions were in full shut down mode. They just didn’t have time for me. I’m gonna go ahead and blame hormones. And single parenting. And the government. And what the hell, let’s go ahead and throw global warming into the mix.

Running Partner, bless his heart, worked his ass off to pull me out of the darkness. A challenge no one has really taken on before. Not one I’d recommend, either.

My emotions are straight b-words sometimes.

But he’s pretty determined.

And effective.

Because I hit my homicidal impulse peak yesterday at exactly 3:39 pm.

I won’t go into details. Because I still need all of my jobs for the moment.

But my urges were justified. And then amplified by my emotions that were already itching to throat punch someone. Anyone.

They found a target.

But Running Partner incentivized my restraint.

So everyone was ok. And I didn’t tell anyone about themselves.

Though they really should probably know.

And three beers and four Running Partner hours later, I was feeling significantly better.

Still, when I woke up this morning, there was still that mean little voice in my head telling me ugly things about me. She can be pretty vicious.

I call her Regina. On Wednesdays she wears pink.

And last week, some folks suggested doing the North Mountain Challenge today.

I didn’t want to. I didn’t figure I’d be missed and I certainly didn’t want to get out of the bed. I wanted to wallow a little while longer.

And I almost did. I spent my pre-run coffee time debating. And arguing with Regina. And trying to decide who I wanted to be.

So by the time I just absently pulled the blanket back and put my feet in my slippers, I only had time for one cup.


But I made my way to Dragon’s Tooth parking lot. Where there was only one other car.


And peaceful.

I messaged the others that I was heading out on my own so they wouldn’t see my car and assume I’d been abducted. But seriously, Regina me is not the one anyone would want to abduct, anyway. Give me a reason to cut someone. Please.

I spent the first mile and a half climb remembering how much this mountain sucks, and reminding myself that the worst was yet to come.

That was nice.

Managed to find my first turn without getting lost. And decided that I should try to pick up my pace, lest someone catch up to me.

Because Regina.

And because I can go pretty hard into fantasy world. And I read a lot of dystopian future. So it didn’t take much for a nice, peaceful run down Grouse to become a panicked race to get to the bottom before the zombies caught me.

Y’all know me.

Y’all know I’ve got no business running full out on any trail that is this close to the edge of the mountain.

How I didn’t just trip and roll on down that is beyond me.

But I made it safely to the bottom and turned successfully onto the fire road. Where I continued my desperate escape.

Until I heard the sounds of zombies up ahead of me. Or maybe aliens? Hunters. Those are definitely human voices. All talking at once. Plotting how they’re gonna kidnap the next victim that happens by. All alone. Are those banjos? Please. I wish a hunter would…




Those are definitely frogs.

A shit ton of frogs.

I won’t stab a frog.

They distracted me from the turn that I always spend two miles anxiously worrying I’ll miss. Because McKeown says that it’s easy to miss.

It’s really not…

Even I can see that sign.

But I still worry about it every damn time. And I still think I’ve run right past it every damn time.

I think probably I block it out.

Because it marks the beginning of the worst 1.6 miles in the world.

Because these bitches

I recognize that this looks innocent enough. But it’s not. It’s a level of evil that rivals my Regina emotions.

Freakin switchbacks from hell. And back to hell again. Back and forth.

Until this glorious vision

At which point I realized that I was on track to finish this freakin challenge in under 3 hours.

Initially, I was gonna allow myself to walk it out. Because I deserved to walk it out after damn Deer Trail.

But no way was I not gonna finish in under 3 if I had the opportunity.

I risked ankles and knees and quads and forced myself to run, mostly, the last 1.5.

Three loops of North Mountain Challenge done. Finally caught up with Endong.

Aaaaand then I get to my hair appointment and see Endong’s damn Facebook post. Showing him in the Dragon’s Tooth parking lot. In front of my car. Preparing to get his fourth loop done.


I have to do this challenge all over again. Tomorrow.

I don’t think Regina will be with me then. Seems I ran her back into hiding.

There goes my motivation. Except that I can’t let Endong maintain his lead.

Freakin runners.


Just reading and writing and running and looking for my happy place.


  1. martywinn says:

    I’ve done this loop once and I too thought for sure that I had and was going to miss the turn onto Deer Trail. Deer Trail is bad, especially when you are 6+ miles into the run already. If you like awful though, go try the Elevator Shaft on the back of Fort Lewis Mountain, off Bradshaw Road. You will long for those switchbacks that you were cussing at. It is just straight up. I did it for the first (and only?) time last weekend but I did it from the front side of the mountain so I was 5 or 6 miles in when I started climbing. So steep, slippery, and unrelenting. Switchbacks are a godsend.

    1. I tried to convince Regina of that. That switchbacks were better than straight up. Though, I’ve cut straight up, bypassing the switchbacks before. And it’s sucked for less time. But great. Now I obviously have to go do this awful elevator shaft. Once I find it. If I find it. Thanks for that.

  2. martywinn says:

    Your welcome. There can be no denying that mountain trail running is a serious form of mental illness. Oh, it’s awful, I guess I have to do it now. Multiple personalities. At night, in snow, through rivers, through injuries. Just insanity all around.

    1. We are just one big group of insanity running all over the mountains.

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