Mill Mountain Mayhem Virtual

This popped up on my Facebook memories today.

Reminding me that I hadn’t yet published my post about the Mountain Junkies Mill Mountain Mayhem 10k. Virtual. Trail Race. That I wrote weeks ago. Back when Rogue and I ran it. Virtually.

And since I’m currently mourning the loss of John Prine. And the addition of the word slipstream into my vernacular. I’m not in the mood to write about anything fun today.

So here ya go:

Virtual race season has started.

Rogue and I kicked it off with Mill Mountain Mayhem.

Ok. So, we’re all pretty clear that I have no idea how the trail systems work. Right?

Like, I can get you through North Fucking Mountain.

I won’t.

I don’t want to.

But I could. Because it’s pretty basic.

And it’s North Fucking Mountain.

It’s burned into my soul.

But any other trail system is basically just a bunch of squiggly lines on a computer screen to me.

We parked at Lew’s.

Because it’s closed. So parking is easy. And also the extra mileage.

Except the peeing thing.

I have to pee. Always.

And Lew’s is closed.

And there is no peeing on the side of the road in residential areas. In civilized society. And we’re still living in civilized society. Apparently.

I’m pretty sure that rule is gonna be thrown right out the window soon. The window that is open. To let the Rona out.

But for now, I’m still observing most rules of civilized society. Apparently.

So, when Rogue finally showed up. From the crazy that is her life right now. I announced my need to pee.

She looked around for a minute. Yeah. We’re gonna just have to find a spot on the side of the mountain, dude.

Meh. Whatevs.

You know the sign on Fishburn Parkway? Telling you Mill Mountain is coming?

Yep. That one.

It’s sufficient enough to block one direction of traffic.

Rogue felt sufficient enough to block the other direction.

Whatevs. I’m just trying not to get arrested. Yet.

As I’m squatting there. Trying not to pee on my shoes. Rogue’s brain starts wandering. And wondering.

Does poison ivy and poison oak stay alive during the winter? Or is that just a summer thing?

(Me looking around kind of panicky) I don’t know….

I’ll let y’all know in a few days…

So, about halfway up Fishburn Parkway, she says, here we are.

Me, kind of spinning slowly around. Confused. This? This is the start line? The start line is on Fishburn Parkway…?

I’ve run this race a few times before. Volunteered a few times.

I’m not unfamiliar with it.

But in all my years participating in this race, I have never. Ever. Realized that I was starting on Fishburn Parkway.

I don’t know where I thought I was starting. Just some random mysterious road somewhere, I guess. That I only ever thought about at the start of the race. Once a year. And never again. Until the next year.

I mean, in my defense. Master Mountain Junkie makes us park on a whole nother road. And walks us through dense forestry. To get to the start line.

I just know I climb up out of the woods onto a road. And that’s where we start.

I could never have found it on my own…

So that’s a pretty solid summary of how the entire “race” went for me.

I’d run to an intersection. And I’d stand there. Waiting for Rogue to tell me which way to go.

At one point, I even ran us in a complete circle. Almost twice. Before realizing that the trail just circles back onto itself.

A few times, even Rogue was uncertain. (I say “even” as though she always has a handle on trail direction. She doesn’t. But of the two of us, she is the more competent.)

We’d consult the directions. And map. That Master Mountain Junkie provided. For people who can follow such things. Not us. He didn’t provide those for us. I’m pretty sure he just expected us to go run some random route. That would end up being around 7.8 miles. Instead of 6.1. And then give us some sort of Certificate of Participation. And maybe a shirt.

He’s very tolerant of us.

But we found our way. Through the exact accurate route. I’m pretty sure.

It took a tad longer than it should have. Because confusion. But really. I don’t think I’d have run it much faster if there had been actual course tape and volunteers directing me. I’m mostly running a pretty lazy pace these days. And not really pushing myself. Especially not across rock-strewn trails. There’s no point in bloodying yourself up if there aren’t other people there to award you a best blood award.

And there’s a pandemic happening.

We need stamina. Not speed.

Because I’m banking on standard zombies. Not Brad Pitt zombies.

Also, I managed to place. In a race that I will never ever be able to place in in real life. I placed for now, at least. If y’all 45-49 year old females will stop sending your results in.

So, there it is. Probably exactly what y’all expected of Rogue and I running a race course by ourselves.

Back when the trails were still open.

And life was acceptable.


Now. If you need me. I’ll be over here belting out “Dear Abby” at the top of my lungs. And trying not to think about all of the slipstreams I’ve been running through for all these years.

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