Unbreakable: Scaredy Cats, Wimps and Whiners Need Not Apply

by Carilyn on November 7, 2012

I finally broke down and started watching Unbreakable, the new movie about Western States 100. I had gotten a copy before the race in June, but after screwing up my feet and not being able to run it (after years of dying to get in), I couldn’t bring myself to even open the box.  But, yesterday I decided it was time to bite the bullet, and loaded it into my kids’ XBox 360 (apparently it’s also a DVD player. Who knew?). After a few false starts, and an accidental game of Halo with some kid named Voldemort88, I finally figured out which buttons to press to watch a movie.

And let me tell you, I WANT TO BE A TRAIL RUNNER! Oh, and be able to jump off mountains like Killian Jornet. And have zero body fat like Anton Krupicka. And be as funny and nice as Geoff Roes and Hal Koerner. Am I being unrealistic?

Of course not. Except for these small inconveniences:

1. I fall down A LOT. Like once per run, even on a flat track.

2. I get lost A LOT. Okay, maybe not on a track, but I have gotten lost on looped courses. Where I’d already run the loop 5 times!

3. I’m deathly afraid of heights. This makes running on mountains a little iffy.

4. I can’t really run downhill (see #1 above).

5. I’m a big scaredy cat, especially of other big cats. Unfortunately, there aren’t many trail runs in my area that don’t involve a real risk of encountering a carnivore.

6. I can’t see in the dark. I had a botched eye surgery 10 years ago, and I have very little depth perception. In the dark, even with a headlamp, everything looks flat. This is a bad thing for trail running because there are rocks and stuff, you know?

7. I like a lot of attention. In trail running, you don’t get to see anyone who loves you for a LOOOOOOOOOOONG time. In looped running, you get to see your peeps every mile. I’m high maintenance that way.

8. I like to eat. Because you only get to visit an aid station every 6 miles, or so, in a trail race, you have to ration what you eat. You can’t walk around carrying a plate of food. This leads you to eat a bunch of icky stuff, like gels just because they’re portable. In looped running, you get to have a nice little “real” snack every 10 or 15 minutes. How cool is that?

9. I like to travel light. Expanding on number #8, since you have to carry your food (and drink) with you to run trails, you are like a beast of burden. Not so for looped running. Just leave everything on a table and pay a visit whenever you feel like it.

10. I’m not cool enough to be a good trail runner. Let’s face it, trail runners are badasses. Watching Unbreakable just reaffirmed for me that I would probably spend a lot of my time whining and complaining, and thus, would get left on a mountain by the “cool kids”. And frankly, I wouldn’t even blame them.

Seriously, this movie will make you crave trail running. Then, it’s up to you to decide if you have what it takes. Scaredy cats, wimps and whiners need not apply.


Happy Running!



Patrick November 7, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I like trail running but you have made a compelling case for Fruit Loops. Sunday I will be attempting a 12hour training run on a 2mile loop so I will let you know how I like it. I’m so not ready but I thought it would be fun to invite a bunch of folks. The only way this can go wrong is, immediately.

Patrick November 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Your blog ate my previous comment, as though it were laid out on a table for a loopy running to ingest! Hope you are happy!

Patrick November 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Oops, there it is. My bad, IE6, what can I say?

Carilyn November 7, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Sorry, Patrick – I got all your comments at once. And as always, you crack me up! 🙂

Char November 7, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Dean Karnazes has the whole eating on the run thing down. I’ve heard he orders pizza to be delivered as he’s running along. That was you only need to carry your phone and your credit card. Not sure how that would work on the trails letting the delivery boy know the exact location (third tree from the rock shaped like a sleeping bison) but where there’s a will there’s a way. Although this might fall apart if any local wild cats are tempted by the smell of warm pepperoni and Clearasil.

Joe Fejes November 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm

I meet most of your 1-10 reasons with #11 being I simply suck as a trail runner. Hope all is great with you and your wonderful family. See y’all soon.

Carilyn November 7, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Hey Joe! Great to hear from you! And I guess that’s why we like those loopy courses! 🙂

Carilyn November 7, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Clearasil! You are too funny, Char!

Marcia November 8, 2012 at 4:53 am

Maybe there’s a DVD out there that will convince me I want to be a stellar housekeeper. Maybe if I can carry a plate of food around while doing it…

Juan November 8, 2012 at 9:40 am

Agree, great movie and an awesome race, would love to participate one day. Interesting read on why you don’t feel you could do it. On the plus side, how about it would take you less than 24 hrs. And the faster you go, the sooner you finish.

Carilyn November 8, 2012 at 9:57 am

Very true, Juan! When I have done fixed distance trail races, I loved finishing early and not having to keep going for 24 hours 🙂

Carilyn November 8, 2012 at 9:58 am

If you find it, Marcia, let me know! 🙂

Kent November 8, 2012 at 10:20 am

Perhaps just going for it is really what you need, despite all your excuses (they are hillarious however). A new challenge – and I do mean CHALLENGE – may be just what the doctor ordered and who knows; it could be the start of a whole new passion, and a way to learn not to fall down! 🙂

Carilyn November 8, 2012 at 10:25 am

You make a very good point, Kent! Maybe I do need a new challenge 🙂

Kirstin C (@ultrarunnergirl) November 8, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Shoot, I think it’s easy running in the woods – if you don’t know where you are or where you are going exactly, it’s harder to quit than when you’re running by your car every few miles!

One of these days I will have to try these loops of which you speak.

Carilyn November 8, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Oddly, running in loops is very meditative, as well. I think with both, you have to sort of stay in the moment while detaching a bit. Plain road running is my least favorite because I always feel most exhausted at the end.

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