Mt. Disappointment Training Run

Bloody Hand at Westfork

Bloody Hand at Westfork

Mt. Disappointment Training Run. Down Mt. Wilson road, a turn onto some singletrack, down to Redbox Rincon Road to Westfork and then up Kenyon Devore to Mt. Wilson. 15.5 miles, 3,800′ of climbing. And pretty much a disaster…or at least that was my perception at the moment.

At about 3.5 miles in I did a faceplant. I almost pulled out of it, and in the process reinjured whatever it is that hasn’t healed in my ass. I also got good and bloody, and no way to clean the wounds.

The trail had not been cleared, and it was a poodle-dog-bush nightmare. A lot of runners had no idea what this stuff is and just plowed right through. They will be feeling it in a day or two, if not already. some of the rest of us did our best to avoid the stuff, but that all we could really do is minimize contact. That reduced those 3 miles or so to a crawl – my pace there is closer to 25 – 35 mpm.

The stretch down Redbox Rincon fireroad was back to a decent easy run, and then at Westfork the RD insisted on cleaning out my wound (which was black with dirt in the scab, and still kind is). By the time I got back on the climb, my ass was killing me, I was stiff and sore from having been seated while we worked on my hand, my ribs were aching bad, and not even a power walk felt possible.

I called my girlfriend with the news. I reckoned she would give me shit if I suggested withdrawing from Mt. Disappointment, and I was right. It was also what I wanted/needed to hear. In the main, her message was that I get too caught up with my speed/time, and that doing so will constantly set me up for frustration & failure, no matter how strongly I run. And she’s right.

My perception of this training run and my ability to run the race was formed almost solely in comparison to my expectations, with little reference to circumstances, mine or other runners. At no point, for example, did I consider that I did most of this run injured after the fall. Nor did I consider that 3 miles of it required bushwacking, more or less, and that the runners I was comparing myself to – the cross fit kids who have no idea what poodle dog bush is and charged through it gleefully – are likely to come down with brutal rashes in the next few days – much more brutal than the one I still half expect I’ll experience myself. The beauty of the trail registered and that went a good ways towards balancing my disappointment with my time and abilities, but instead of balancing my frustration of not meeting my unreasonable expectations, it should’ve been the primary experience.

Angeles Forest is beautiful. The sights, sounds and smells are amazing. I ran past the part of stream that she and I stopped and soaked our feet in during a run two weekends ago. That was a wonderful run on a glorious weekend. Running past that spot made me happy, but that happiness didn’t linger as much as perhaps it could’ve had I not been so focused on frustration, which was the essence of Kher message.

I finished the run with a tecnu bath in the parking lot. Let’s hope that will prove to stave off most of the poodle dog bush rash.

2 replies
  1. george P velasco
    george P velasco says:

    I was ready to just jump off the side of the mountain- I fell on my ass so many times and just reinjured myself and was reduced to a walk-Tried to avoid the purple mistress took a bath in the stream but so far every thing looks bleak-But I had sort of fun and it is a beautiful some what wild place.Just gotta keeping on smiling and trying……

    • Geoff
      Geoff says:

      I never bathed in the stream. Probably should have, since it’s a nice stream…

      That first stretch of trail was a bit, um, “rough”…like, maybe I will cover myself in saran wrap on race day…or coat myself with Pam cooking spray … yeah – that might work – – it’s like having a tiny woman with a pickaxe. Who doesn’t want that kind of protection?

      I’m hoping not to fall on race day, or at least not to fall until it’s near the end, and hopefully not off a cliff…


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