After something more than 1000km on the trails of Mount Cootha, I have found two new ones in the space of eight days.
The first one that I found skirts off the side of Powerful Owl, downhill into a gully and then uphill to the ring-road. I have decided to name it (if only in my training log) Barney's recovery, due to the fact that I found it on the day after that fateful night on the side of it's namesake's mountain.
This morning, my personal life had intruded into my running. I didn't feel like going outside. But, like always, I just closed the door behind me, and ended up flying down the single track (flying being a relative term).
I dunked my head in the cool trickle of water called, somewhat ironically, slaughter falls, and then continued around the Aboriginal Art Trail. I came to a fence which blocked access to what seemed to be a pearl of trail. I had seen it many times before, but had not dared to make a traverse.
For no apparent reason, I hesitated for a while before deciding to climb over the "no access" sign, and see what was there. I collected many spiderwebs as I climbed the big hill, running alongside a creek bed. It was an amazing trail, one of Cootha's best.
At the time, I debated calling it el sendero de la soledad (the trail of loneliness), and other more obvious and soppy names to match my current state of mind.
But as I got in the door, I knew exactly what it would be called; el sendero vacio, the empty trail. One interpretation; out there, I was able to empty my mind and just run, taking it all in.
Another, possibly more accurate, reading is that at the moment, I'm feeling pretty empty. This can be broken down further into a few possibilities; physically, I could be out of juice and in need of a rest. Aside from a few niggles (ankles, calf and hips on and off), I'm feeling pretty good.
Spiritually, I'm ok. I sense the presence of the mountains, the forest, the land. They nourish me.
That leaves my emotional and mental state. Well, I'll be try to be somewhat subtle here. Please ignore the massive cliches.
Like with everything, I don't hold back, I invest completely. I put the entirety of my inner-stability on the line, as I know nothing else.
The ebbs and flows of my mind become attached to the receival of off-handed agreements and the tone of a voice.
I am dangerously forward, eager, scaring even myself. Howabout tomorrow? Saturday? Monday?
I had fast-forwarded to the sharing of lives. In reality, it was five hours of conversation over two weeks.
I had been warned countless times. I told myself to recede, but it was too late, I was completely attached.
I am frustrated with indifference and ask a question. It's still alive!
A meeting, rejected advances. Still seems to like me.
Too early I push onwards again, because I need to know how far it can go.
At that point, hints of withdrawal had no effect.
So I force it out of her.
I have crushed a possible future. And now I feel a little bit empty.
Moral of the story: don't approach casual dating in the same way you approach ultrarunning.
Alright, there's my bit of self-indulgent wallowing for the day. It's time now to refocus, and look forward to a big weekend of running. Tomorrow is a 2km road race at Sherwood, which I am just trying to get through unscathed, and obviously do something under 8 minutes. Then Sunday is the Mount Glorious 30km race, that now has 880m of vertical (Note, ended up being 33km with 1000m vertical). Let's hit it.