Hello, and welcome to the August edition of Runfessions, a monthly post where running sins are shared, then forgiven. We emerge from our runfessions as pure as the driven snow.
Step into the runfessional, and let’s begin.
I Turned Not-Montour Four Into a Two
This runfession needs a little backstory.
For several years, I did a trail race in Danville, PA called Montour 24. You could run one of several versions of this race – either the six, 12, or 24-hour solo version or a 24-hour relay as part of a four-person team.
Some years I did the six-hour solo version, and once I ran as part of a 24-hour relay team.
This race was so much fun and so well-known that it sold out months in advance. It was one of those races where you had to wait with your finger over the “Register” button at the exact time when registration opened to get one of the coveted spots.
People from my running club who missed the registration began having their own version of the race – “The Not-Montour Four“.
In this race, you ran one-mile trail loops for four hours and recorded your mileage. There really were no official winners, but there was a cookout at the end of the four-hour time limit.
This year, Montour 24 was canceled due to COVID, but Not-Montour was held, observing social distancing measures, of course.
Attendance was light. There were never more than 10 – 12 runners making their way around a gravel and dirt trail at a local park, but there was no lack of camaraderie.
In previous years, I was able to run, albeit slowly, for the entire four hours. This year, with no big races on the horizon, my long runs have gradually become shorter and shorter.
I was ready to stop running after two hours.
The husband of the organizer was apparently ready to be done too. He asked me if I wanted him to begin grilling hot dogs, to which I replied, “Sure!“
Pretty soon, all of the runners were sitting down, eating watermelon and nibbling on snacks, chatting, and waiting for hot dogs to come off the grill. I runfess, I am a bad influence.
It’s Not the Elevation, It’s the Bees
Yellowjackets, to be precise.
Our running club organizes a rugged trail race every year in the River Hills of the Susquehanna called the Conestoga Trail Race, a 10-miler.
I runfess, I have never run the race.
This year, due to COVID restrictions, the number of runners allowed to enter the race is limited. My running friend Frank, a member of our club who I sometimes run with, is one of the registered runners.
Frank has had a hip replacement and heart surgery. He is in his late 70s. He has never missed the Conestoga Trail Race. Ever.
At our last running outing, it was announced that two spots remained for runners who wanted to register for the race. Frank told me I should sign up.
I have hiked the Conestoga Trail. Twice. Once was with an Environmental Education class I was taking and once with a group of friends from my husband’s workplace.
Both times, I got stung multiple times when a nest of yellowjackets near the trail was disturbed. There have been tales of runners in the Conestoga Trail Race getting stung by yellowjackets at the same location.
Even though the elevation profile of the race looks daunting, I runfess the real reason I don’t want to run it is that I am scared of getting stung again.
Frank may think I am a wimp.
And Now For a Something Serious…
As the cold weather approaches, I runfess, I am anxious about visiting restaurants (indoors) with our running club.
We have fun runs every Tuesday with a social “Part 2” afterward.
This summer, we have been bringing take-out food and eating at picnic tables after our runs. We have occasionally visited restaurants that have outdoor dining.
Although I will miss my running friends, I don’t feel comfortable eating indoors at a restaurant when the outdoor option disappears. Not now. Not yet.
I runfess, I am disappointed but resigned.
Thank you for hearing my runfessions this month. I am cleaner, lighter, and grateful for the chance to shed my burden of running sins.
You can find the places I link up here.