To Know Or Not To Know – That Is The Question

This weekend I have a trail marathon up in the San Francisco Bay area.  I keep trying to do trail runs now and again as they’re an entirely different type of adventure as compared to a city run.  My biggest complaint with trails is that they’re all kinda the same no matter how beautiful the scenery.  That’s because I always seem to be staring at my feet, trying to avoid tree roots and rocks and don’t get to really appreciate the space I’m running through.

That isn’t always the case I guess — sometimes I take my eyes off the road and that’s usually when I trip and stumble and maybe completely wipe out, scraping arms, legs, my sides.  Blood and dirt commingle.  This is somebody’s idea of fun… and I guess sometimes it’s mine.  Not the blood and mud part.  But the adventure.

This weekend’s race is the Crystal Springs Trail Marathon in Woodside, CA.  On a whim, this morning I clicked on the elevation profile to give myself an idea of what I was getting into.  I’ve long since paid the registration fee and booked my hotel so I know I’m going to run the thing.  It’s not like this elevation chart was going to change my mind.  I was just curious.  But we all know what curiosity did to the feline.

Here then is the elevation chart.


Gulp.  Looks like it’s another race where I’ll be running up a mountain incline for the first half.  The elevation gain is apparently 3790 feet.  I’ve done worse but not many.

Ignorance is sometimes bliss but I’m trying to tell myself it’s ok that I know this beforehand.  Perhaps mentally I can prepare myself for the climb from mile 2 to 9-ish with a bit more before the turnaround.  Still, there are some things I wish I could unsee.

Be prepared?  Fly blind?  I’m never sure which is the better strategy.  On any given day, I would probably advocate one over the other.

Today, I’m thinking I’d rather have remained blissfully unaware so as not to be fretting over this for the next few days.  Perhaps tomorrow clarity will prevail and I’ll remember that come what may, I’ll tackle the course as I should tackle life: one step at a time, one mile at a time.

What’s the old phrase?

Cowards die many times before their deaths.
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.

Julius Caesar, Act II, scene 2.  When in doubt, go with a Shakespeare quote.  That guy could really write, huh?