This past weekend marked an exciting one for horror film buffs in the Triangle in the form of the 14th annual Nevermore Film Festival, subtitled “A 3-day Feast of the Macabre.” NIIIIIIIIIIICE.

Lucky me, one of my friends from work – Wendy – is part of the steering committee and helped to choose the flicks included in this year’s festivities. She hooked me up with vouchers to check out festival flicks on the house!

Thanks to Wendy, I watched five horror flicks between Saturday and Sunday, including a little bit of everything from a beautiful weekend afternoon hike gone horribly wrong when curiosity kills the cat, so to speak, to a cannibalistic dinner party preying on an unsuspecting guest.

My personal favorite was Wisconsin-based Head Trauma Productions’ Dead Weight, a tale of ways that psychological and physical distress can take a turn for the ugly. I know what you’re thinking, and you’re exactly right. Something is horribly and terribly wrong with you, Melissa.

Hey, I never have and never will claim sanity as one of my strong points. On a regular basis, I voluntarily subject myself to physical distress in frigid temperatures merely to push my limits to the brink; and I LOVE it. I run, remember?

My first Nevermore Film Festival, and my first ever horror film festival, was awesome – I love scary movies! Needless to say, my amygdala had more than its share of activation over the weekend.

Still, all of the squinting in theater darkness in anticipation of someone – or something – attacking a story character, the head shaking while thinking, Don’t do it! just before something horrible happened, and even missing my exit heading back only to be lead by Google maps down narrow, winding roads through sparse signs of civilization and pitch black of the sticks of rural Durham at night – with the knowledge that two of the shorts I had just watched were filmed in North Carolina, mind you – weren’t the scariest part of the weekend.

Sunday afternoon right around 6:00 p.m., Melissa and I finished up our joint 12-miler, which included a BEAUTIFUL part of Umstead Park I had never seen that reminded me a lot of my favorite trails near Denver, a peaceful dusk view of countryside and a low lying full moon, and near-superb running weather.

The truly terrifying part of the weekend hit me within seconds of Melissa’s stopping her watch once the beep signaled her milage goal for the day back at our starting point. Friday is already going to be MARCH FIRST. I need to start training for Pikes Peak in APRIL.

That realization snapped me right out of my blissful post-run zen and into a momentary state of near shock much more intense than induced by any of the horror flicks that kept me crouched in my seat and wishing I had a cozy, warm blanket under which to hide.

I’ve been running with Melissa twice a week, sure; but my milage has been neither consistent nor substantial enough to constitute a good running base to start training in about six weeks.

And, I was only 2 1/2 weeks away from a HUGE running decision I had been pondering since mid-August: Do I register for my third Pikes Peak Ascent this year, or do I go for its double-length, doubly insane counterpart – the biggin’ - the full Pikes Peak Marathon? DUUUN DUUUN DUUUUUUUUUN!!!

475px-the_scream1The question made one flick from Nevermore - Found - which, according to Wendy, made the steering committee - people who have no trouble watching 70+ horror features and shorts every year - say, “That was brutal!” – sound like child’s play.

Since we’ve virtually met via the blog, I’ve told you a bit about who I am and why I love running; I’ve introduced you to a few of my workout peeps; and I’ve walked you through a bit of what’s going on in my life outside of my time in my new Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12s. I’ve tagged along for Melissa’s Boston training, I’ve dawdled, and I’ve listened to the little devil on one shoulder over the angel on the other and skipped a few workouts.

What I haven’t done is decide on a racing agenda for 2013, which I know will include some ambitious goals, and put my mind to preparing to meet those goals.

It’s about time I do. . .

Melissa Mincic, Ph.D., studies child development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a long-time road and trail runner. Follow Melissa on Twitter at @nerdinrunshoes.

2 thoughts on “EEEEEEK!

  1. We totally should have taken a pic of the dark, wet, chain-locked track we almost ran on when we were kicked off of UNC’s track (Lacrosse game). Not to mention the strange man in a pick-up I noticed after squeezing through the chains! Anyway, you should go big- you’ll kick ass for sure! I may be convinced to join you on one of your CO endeavors!

  2. I did take pics, remember? They didn’t come out all that well, though. Think I was too cold and impatient to wait for the camera to focus before snapping the pic.

    Thanks for the encouragement! Means a lot coming from a real-life Superwoman like yourself. And, be careful what you say. I can be VERY convincing when I want to. . .

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