OK, maybe veteran trail runners would scoff at our claim that we logged an "epic adventure" trail workout this morning, but hey...everything's relative.
Sattler, O'Toole and I hit the Meshomasic Forest trails at a little past 5 this morning, and we were doing fine until we left the dirt road. We ended up hopping onto a trail that I don't recall ever running on, which is surprising since I've been running in the Mesh for years now. Although this turned out to be a bad sign of things to come, we trekked on.
I guess things started going wrong when I took that spill about halfway through the run. For whatever reason, Sattler started retelling a Discovery Channel show in which the host ended up having little gel-like worms swimming up his urethra while he urinated in an African river. It was at that point that I executed the worst trail wipeout in the team's recorded history. I essentially landed flat on my face with serious scraping and bruising to both forearms, my right shin and my left quad, so no appendage was left unscathed. Luckily, my legs, joints and tendons were fine, so although I was shaken up I was able to keep running without a problem and the wounds didn't really hurt much until the hot shower later...MUCH later, as it turns out.
Shortly after that, we came upon the realization that none of us had the slightest clue as to where we were, including O'Toole with his extensive Boy Scouting background. Nothing looked even vaguely familiar and we had taken so many turns at so many intersections that successful backtracking was literally impossible. I'm still baffled that after so much trail running together we managed to get SO lost, SO quickly. Then the cold downpour started (emphasis on the word "cold").
A real panic settled in then. Sattler and I had to be back at our respective homes by certain times for specific, relatively serious reasons. But we were completely lost, deep in the woods (as far as we could tell), it was pouring cold rain and one of us was pretty bruised up. All the carefree banter came to a halt and we started randomly shouting F-bombs through the forest as we picked up the pace and followed the blue trail, although we weren't 100% sure of where the trail would ultimately lead. As O'Toole optimistically pointed out, we were making excellent progress, except we had no idea where exactly we were progressing to.
Eventually we started hearing fast-moving cars far off in the distance. At first I thought that the stress was simply triggering auditory hallucinations or that the wind was playing tricks on us. But sure enough, as we continued forward the sounds grew louder which inspired a 6:30 pace despite the rocks, roots, hills and mini-ponds on the trail.
Suddenly, we found ourselves in the breakdown lane of Route 2 East, near the sign for the Marlborough Business District! So we had found civilization, but running to the cars from there would have taken at least another hour-and-a-half if we went at full-throttle pace, and none of us were physically or mentally capable of covering that distance at that point. So we took advantage of civilization and waved down a car. A good samaratin in an SUV was on his way to Granby to judge a horse show and he had left home 15 minutes early, so he said he was happy to deliver us all the way back to our cars. See? All is not lost for the human race.
So the adventure started at 5am and we were all back in our warm houses by 7:30. I thought this was fantatsic since my estimate while we were sprinting though the woods in a panic-induced state was that we wouldn't get back home before lunchtime.