Running with Mountain Lions

We hear stories about mountain lions at Cougar Mountain, but I’ve never seen one. Nevertheless, the stories are highly motivating.

Zilly (aka Cougar Snack) camouflaged in the snow

I’ve been running with a women’s trail running group early Saturday mornings at Cougar Mountain. It’s a bit far for me and my nearly bare feet – 8 miles up and down the cold, rocky trails of the mountain.

It’s the highlight of my week.

Cougar Mountain, Issaquah, WA

Desperately trying not to get left behind

I’ve been thinking about why I pull myself out of my warm bed, drive for half an hour, freeze my ass off, and run further than I really want to.

I love running in the woods. And I love running alone. The intractable problem is that I’m pretty scared of running alone in the woods. I sure don’t want to meet that mountain lion.

The other morning, the sun was just burning through the mist. I was running on a singletrack carpeted with soft, yellow leaves. I could hear the other trail runners talking ahead of me on the trail. My breath was steady, my arms and legs and core working together.

And nothing hurt.

In that moment, I was just… running.

 

Worth getting out of bed for

Worth getting out of bed for