There seems to be a Thursday theme on the web this morning.  Maybe one of those giant thought bubbles and everyone is picking that fruit. 

 Best summed up in these two quotes: 

 “If you wait until you feel confident about a big venture (or adventure), you may never do it.” (chris guillebeau)

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”  (Teddy Roosevelt via run w/ jill)

 Meaningful because yesterday I had my tail officially kicked on Grand Ridge.  Finishing up my 5th week of training, I have had some pretty big highs.  Riding on those highs, I joyously signed up for a 5 mile trail run last week.  Even a few days after that initial excitement, I was ready to bag the whole thing.  I mean – who, but hardcore runners, runs trails?  On a Wednesday night?  So out of my league.  But that’s also how I felt with the beer run group and I managed to survive and not be laughed out of the bar. 

 On Sunday, I checked out a trail in Gig Harbor and ran .25 miles in 8 minutes (pitiful).  Naively, I believed trail runs would not be run on hiking trails.  (Great thought to have because I’m pretty sure I would have come up with a stellar excuse to get out of the race.) 

 There is so much excitement when you arrive at an event – tons of people milling around – people who LOVE what you love.  So, there I am on the gravel service road, running the first half mile – easy.  And that is where the fun begins.  Turning up the trailhead, I find myself battling switchbacks that rise what I assume is 750 feet up this ridge.  (750 ft is the elevation gain for the 5 mile race according to the event.)  750 feet is about an eighth of a mile – small distance – but when you go vertical, it amounts to something a little like torture.  A torture I paid for.  Eventually the trail flattens out and the running begins.  Even this proved to be cumbersome – mud, mud puddles, loose rocks – where you are supposed to step?  There is much about trail running I have to learn and learn I will. 

 For all the nuisance of being unprepared to run trails, there is something really magical about it too.  No itunes – just chirping birds.  Muddy calves.  Green canopy.  Meadows.  Possibility of running into bears (please) or cougars (no thank you).  I was so ready with my Sidney Poitier impersonation (a la “Shoot To Kill”). 

 Thankfully, I finished before sweeper George could herd me to the finish line.  Small win.