Night Terrors: Trail Running Fears

Remember how I told you that I signed up for the McDowell Mountain Ragnar?  It’s an overnight desert trail relay race.  Sounds fun right?  Eight teammates, camping, running at crazy hours… what’s not to love?  I was in from the moment I heard about it– and excited to do it.  Until…

I was doing a little research the other day to learn a bit more about the camping aspect of this race. I have done the Del Sol, a Ragnar road race, a few time so I understand that micro-culture, but I’m not exactly sure what to expect with the trail race.  So, as I was reading up on the race something dawned on me.
I have to run on unfamiliar trails.
By myself.
In the middle of the night.

Now, I’ve run at night plenty of times, including in unfamiliar areas.  But always on roads, not trails.  And suddenly I can think of 100 scenarios where this ends badly and I’m terrified.
What if I get lost… and die?
What if I fall off a cliff in the dark… and die?
What if I get bit by a rattlesnake… and die?
What if a javelina chases me, which probably won’t kill me, but will scare me off course leading to me being lost in the dark and falling off a cliff and dying?

Rationally I realize that it is highly unlikely that I will have an actual problem, let alone die, but suddenly it seems like something I should factor in as I prepare. I tried to talk my husband into showing up to pace me so I would have someone to run with in the middle of the night.  But he didn’t seem too keen on the idea. I have notified several of my teammates, most of who agreed that it is actually a bit scary.  Luckily, my friend John has my back.  He seems pretty confident that if we time it right I won’t have to run in pitch dark.  He has been working on the numbers to guesstimate when each leg will be run so I’ll know which spot to snag.  Of course, this is true guesstimation at it’s guessiest.  So, I might just wind up running in the darkest of night on an unfamiliar trails-  a prospect which I find a little terrifying.

But don’t worry about me.  I have a secret weapon.  I’ve had my eye on a very cool running watch for a while now and a few weeks ago I finally placed my order.  I’m beyond excited. I’ll save the details for my next post where I will tell you all about Garmin’s Fenix 3 Sapphire.


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