This is not a tale of a romantic weekend, or how a lovely prince swept the princess off her feet. Instead it’s a tale of how grown adults can experience feats of grandeur yet crumble with child-like tendencies spurred by the often joked about, yet very serious, “hanger.”
This past weekend, Chicken Face came to visit for the first time since I moved to Portland. (For those new to the blog, Chicken Face is my husband. I know, the nickname makes zero sense and there is no amazing story. We’ll just have to deal with it.) I wanted to make sure that the weekend gave him a hint of the amazingness that Portland is, especially its outdoor splendor.
I ideated a few hiking options, but reconsidered when I was informed that my initial choices might be plagued by too many people. Instead, a friend referred a hiking spot called Dog Mountain. With minimal investigation, we decided that Dog Mountain it was! (I would later learn that my friend described the hike as “tough”; which I apparently glossed over.) We were eager to explore, catch up and take in the scenery on your less than average hike.
After a morning walk, coffee and muffin, we trekked out to the trailhead entrance full of zeal and conversation topics. Fully aware that the start of the climb would be steep, I honed in on my poison oak scanning eyes, hoofed it up the trail, and we still found ourselves chatting and enjoying the moment. YES! THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I HAD ENVISIONED!
While the trail isn’t too long (~3.5 miles to the top), you must remember, I’ve been training for an Ironman for the last two years. My hill training was frequent, but mostly with the power of two wheels underneath me. I can’t say that I have the glute strength of all of you amazing trail runners out there, because it didn’t take long until we realized that this trail was 3.5 miles, yet 2,800 feet of up-ness.
We huffed and puffed, yet enjoyed our climb to the top. Hurrah! It was a beautiful, fun, gorgeous day that I got to spend with my man. Perfection!
But soon my little fantasy was over as I learned that the climb up wasn’t the hard part. Nor was the way down. In fact, all of it paled in comparison to the rage that was growing in my belly and slowly taking over every part of my being.
My chai and muffin weren’t enough, we idiotically failed to pack any snacks, water wasn’t cutting it for me anymore and it wasn’t long before I became hangry. Chicken Face joked at first and said something along the lines of, “Man up. You can survive three weeks without food.” I don’t think he knew the wrath that my hanger could bring. If you don’t know what hangry is, please learn it now:
Hangry: When you are so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both.
Sure some people joke that they love food and get upset when they are hungry, but I kid you not, this was a full-steam hangry attack that took a turn for the worse. Time seemed to pass slowly, any fun that we were having was quickly evaporated, we grunted about the never-ending steepness of the trail, and soon I would easily fight a tiger for a bite of anything. (I keep hearing that, “Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb” SouthPark song in my head.) And yes, I am well aware that this may be a more serious issue with myself and I need to be very conscious to always keep my caloric intake at a certain level, this IS why I kept Costco-sized tubs of nuts in my locker in high school.
All joking aside, it then got pretty serious as I became really dizzy and needed to balance myself on Chicken Face on the way down. Apparently my husband is a super trooper because he wasn’t phased by his hunger outside of the norm. As soon as we got in the car, my eyes closed and I got quite nauseous on our drive to find food, not able to talk or think about anything other than food. We stopped at the first place we found, where I chugged an orange juice and quickly devoured my sandwich.
So as you reach the end of this blog post, you may be questioning yourself and asking, “Did I just read an entire post about someone who got dangerously pissy and hungry?” You better bet you ass you did. BUT! STAY WITH ME! I have to have my final Jerry Springer closing/PSA: this applies to life, to running, to cycling, to training: FUEL DAMMIT.
I don’t quite understand those who refuse to fuel while training then wonder why they bonked, and this hiking experience was the friendly reminder that this doesn’t just apply to serious training. Tough love and a good reminder for myself: fueling is a biological necessity that increases with exertion. And if you’re still upset with the nature of this blog post, well it’s just that, a blog post, not a WSJ article. Roll with it.
So where was I?
Oh yes, tell me I’m not the only one who has ever had a complete hangry meltdown?