You did this to yourself

You did this to yourself

A few years ago, before moving to a land with no water, my husband and I got into trail running. Or, I guess you could say, my husband got me into trail running, and I would run with him.

One weekend we went camping, and then decided to do a trail run in a glorious, glorious, glorious high meadow alpine zone. We had a friend's birthday party that night at seven, but we figured we had plenty of time.

So my husband who has a Master's in maps, although he prefers to tell people it's in GIS, but same same when you really boil it down, planned the route. He also had the map on his phone.

"The route I want is twenty-five miles, but we will do some cross country short cutting and take off some of the miles," he said.

Which I realize now is what people in the biz call foreshadowing.

So we did this run, and it was glorious, and only some of the sign milages were wrong. We cut through meadows and followed creeks, and hardly saw anyone in twenty-plus miles.

Then we reached the final push– miles and miles through a perfectly flat valley with a burbling river, and nothing but iconic high meadows and snow capped peaks towering above them.

At first it was fun, and then I realized I'd run out of any form of food other than energy blocks. We eat on a strict forty-five minute schedule. Every forty-five minutes we force down something, even if we aren't hungry. Or you bonk. And bonking is bad.

But this bucolic, world heritage site of a f'ing valley wouldn't end. I didn't want to eat any more energy blocks. I wanted the honey dew and prosciutto in the cooler in the car.

So I asked my husband, how much further?

And then General Ackbar screamed so loud the valley walls shook:


But he tried. He said not that much further. And then forty-five minutes passed, and we still weren't with my melon and cured meats.

"Not that much longer," he said again.

But it was a long time. And I cracked. Not quite a bonk, but not pretty either way.


I was severely calorie deficient, he was willing the milage to lessen, but we were stuck in the most idyllic canyon you've ever seen, me fantasizing about fruit, him fantasizing about running with someone else.

And then the bridge came into view. I knew that when we hit the bridge, we had one or two miles, tops.

I started to cry, but I knew that was a bad decision. I couldn't afford to lose the salt in my tears. Every electrolyte counted at this juncture in our lives.

When we made it to the deserted parking lot, I tore into the melon and prosciutto without regard to propriety or cleanliness.

I mashed food into me while my husband studied the map.

"Looks like we went twenty-five miles. Good thing we cut off some of it with those short cuts."

I didn't look up from my melon feeding frenzy to respond.

We made it back to our house just as the party was starting, and we made the executive decision to shower after the party. I'd say that was poor form, particularly because we'd been camping prior to our run, but we lived in Foo, and frankly, everyone stinks there.

At the party, I told my friends of the run, recounting the depths of my misery in the final push, and our friend, who was turning thirty-four that night, looked at me and said,

"You married him. You did this to yourself. Pass the cake, please."