Yetis Chased Me Through The Woods

Recently I went running. Through the woods. By moonlight (and headlamp). Stalked by Yetis wearing Jason Vorhees hockey masks. I’m really not making this up and I wasn’t on psychadelics….. though I did have a few beers afterwards. Fortunately I was with about 200 other people who had all actually paid money to be part of this madness.

Outside of just sharing what my Saturday nights look like with the world over the internet, a MUCH better blogger told me that I need to find ways to relate my stories to my audience with meaningful insights to these stories. Okay….so here’s what yetis chasing me through the woods taught me:

  1. Get Weird — When you have people decked out in yeti costumes, full turkey hunting camo, and running 10 miles over dark trails…’s going to get weird. But it was the most fun race I’ve run in a long time. I’m trying to be a better runner but the monotony of training and racing on the same pavement over and over is becoming really tedious. This highly adventuresome venue was exactly what I needed. Miles flew by and the race was over before I knew it. I’m already scouting out my next “weird” race with excitement instead of dread. I recently heard the quote “Adventure may hurt you, but monotony will kill you”, which really resonated with me after this race. I wish I could say that my daily life was full of adventure, but like most of us, it’s not. Still, I’m convinced there are ways to stay weird, have fun, and look for adventure whether it be epic or minute….and I know I’ll be a ton happier for it.

2. Get Lost — I plan my routes in advance(long-trips and even daily driving) and use GPS constantly. So I hate not knowing where I am. Getting lost and being late are only a very few things that really stress me out….just ask my wife. Take a look at my data on Strava below. That highlighted area is me and a couple of other people completely missing a trail marker and adding about an extra mile to our race. The normal me would have lost my mind. But in this case, once we realized what had happened, all of us laughed and noted that the extra mileage at least earned us another beer. I wish…and need…to feel that way more often in my every day life instead of freaking out about taking one wrong turn and being 2 minutes off of my most optimized Waze route.

3. Get Wet — So in these crazy races you get pretty wet and muddy as there are lots of stream crossings and mud bogs. The very first body of water we hit had racers backed up tip-toeing across one small set of rocks. The air was cold and the water was very cold, so understandably no one wanted to get wet. My buddy, Chris Anderson, who’s a much more experienced trail runner leaned over to me and said “Just jump in and get wet. Everyone’s going to be running in wet shoes eventually so let’s get it out of the way early”. I was NOT a fan of Chris’ rationale as I preferred to stay as dry as possible for as long as possible. But I crumbled to peer pressure and plunged through the stream. And Chris was exactly right. Two squishy steps after coming out of the water I could have cared less about being wet. In fact I looked forward to some of the nastier spots on the trail where I knew I would pass others who were still trying to stay comfortable. It’s the Mark Twain “eat a frog” saying. Just get the nasty stuff out of the way early on and the rest is easy.

Get weird, people.

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