Monday, October 1, 2018

Bear Chase 2018 Crew/Pacing

The Bear Chase 2018 - Lakewood, CO - 9/29/2018

Arriving at Bear Lake park at around 5:30 AM Saturday morning to this view over the lake got all my outdoorsy ultra feels started. Matt, Rachel, Ella and I drove out to Colorado Friday afternoon. We got in to Lakewood and went to Runners Roost just before sundown. I'm really excited about the book I picked up here about how to prepare home made, real food fuel for long runs and backpacking trips. Rachel and Paul got their packets picked up and whatever other little things they needed before starting 50 miles of trail running.

Soon the sun was starting to peek up the horizon and they were both lined up ready to begin their journey of 50 miles of Colorado trail running. Temps were cool but expected to rise quickly to unseasonably hot. We saw them off then went and found coffee and a bagel nearby. We contemplated dropping me off to do some sections of the Colorado Trail but we couldn't really make the pick-up time work so we drove around Ken Caryl and saw about a thousand mule deer. Then we got back to the race start/finish to wait for Paul and Rachel to come in from their first loop. The Bear Chase is split into 4 12ish mile loops for the 50 miler. The Start/Finish is the only place that you can crew your runner though.We would spend most the rest of the day there at the start/finish crewing each one of them as they came in.

We did get a way from there when they were on loop 2 and hike up to the high point of the course. Ella in her berks, up the side of the hill was pretty impressive. We even saw a little bull snake as we hiked up. Here are the views we got from the top.

Paul came in the end of loop 2 in quite a bit of pain from his knee. I was so impressed he got back up to go back out there to fight through it and not let the knee pain stop him. Shortly after they both started loop 3 the gang drove me to a trail head near Morrison so I could get a nice little trail run in. The plan was to run up the top of this mountain and then back to the race headquarters. It was a really beautiful run.

Here is the Strava link to my run:

I ran back to the Start/Finish with plenty of time to rest up. Matt was out pacing Rachel and Amber out w/Paul. We got to see Cory Logsdon come in from crushing the 100K in a new CR time. and Jen Freeman winning the 50 miler. (forgot to grab a picture, sorry Jen) Nebraska came to play!


Then in a remarkable first 50 miler ever Rachel came in 5th!

So proud of this lady! She put in the work and had one heck of a race!

Shortly after getting her finishing food and pictures here came Paul and Amber!!

 So impressed that Paul fought through that knee pain all damn day to keep rolling through miles and getting 50 miles on a hot day in Colorado done. Congrats buddy!
Then they hiked a 14er the next day!!








Bear chase 2018 was a blast! 

I may be back some day; if not this race for sure this area and the trails around these parts of the state.

 Happy Trails!


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Hike your own hike, run your own ultra.

"Hike your own hike" is an ole long distance hiking slogan frequently used on treks across the Appalachian mountains or the Pacific Crest Trail. This slogan has always been something I've held near weather on the trail or just in life in general. Joe Hikes defines it real well on his site if you are interested in more details. Generally he defines it as these 4 points:

-Do things your own way; don’t copy someone else

-Don’t try to tell other hikers how to hike

-Feel free to set goals for yourself that feel like a good fit, even if they’re unusual
Don’t always change for the sake of the group; maintain your individual interests first"

"In general, living your life based on what other people tell you to do [or what you think people think] is not a satisfying way to live. You’re the only one who can figure out what brings fulfillment to your life. Once you find that thing, do it. "

I feel compelled to write some thoughts I've had on my own personal ultra-running mentality shift from when I first started this crazy hobby 5 years ago to now. The first race that I did that really felt like an ultra was the Hawk 50 miler in September of 2014.  I had never really run much on trails and never more than 30 miles before that. That experience was what hooked me on trail running and the community this sport has. I had one goal starting that race; to finish it. I used a plan that had me running with walking breaks here and there to conserve energy and ensure I had enough to finish the task at hand. Since then I've finished 18 ultras and 5 100-hundreds. I've also not finished 3 100's and a few other ultras, or dropped to shorter distances.

When I first started this ultra thing, the finish was everything. My running history had me progressing from 5k to 10k, to 13.1 to 26.2 to 50k, etc. Then I had finished all the distances that I wanted to do, but I wasn't having fun. I was suffering through 100's, power hiking a great deal of late miles, falling asleep as I hiked or shuffled, fighting my stomach's revolting with every bit of grit I had. So somewhere a long the way, my reason for doing these things shifted. I no longer wanted that, I still wanted to run until I couldn't run anymore; but not a whole hell of a lot longer. I feel like a good day on the trails, connected to everything around me is what I'm after. Finding the "zone" and running in it for as long as I can. That is what I crave; not the feeling of the finish. Maybe I could just start entering timed events and run until I get my fill, because of that whole stigma surrounding DNF's.  

I just recently had a terrific day running 65 miles of really technical terrain in just over 12 hours, problem it was a 100 mile race. I felt in the zone all day long; running happy and having fun. My stomach never gave me serious issues, my legs were happy as they felt more and more worked on the trail.  The tides turned on me at 65 with a nerve issue in my foot. I had absolutely no want to "hike" it out. The idea honestly didn't even cross my mind. I was so happy with the run I had; I did not want to turn it into a shit show with 10-12 hours of hiking. I did not want to ruin the happiness I felt and the run that I had. I just felt I needed to stop there and be happy with what I had done. 

I understand that their is a a ton of ultra-runners who will not be able to grasp what I'm feeling here about ultras and 100s. I absolutley do not want to take anything away from any ultra-runner or be disrespectful to the sport of ultra-running in any way.  But I've always thought we all do this thing for our own reasons, just like "hike your own hike." As long as you show up and get out of it what you want/need; then who is anyone to say you are doing it wrong. I know that I want to continue to run ultras, and run until my body and mind are done for that day, untill I can no longer hold my heart-rate high and my mind focused. Once that is gone, I'm not pushing myself the way I did before. I don't even think I have what it takes to push myself that way anymore. I may turn out a tremendous 100k or 100-miler one of these days, staying in zone, running the entire event with uninterrupted pure-flow. But if I don't and I DNF a whole handful of them from now until I leave this sport; don't feel bad for me, I probably had an incredible time out on the trails; doing it my way. 

happy trails - xx

- I'm interested in hearing your thoughts so leave a comment below if you have some-  

Monday, September 10, 2018

Hawk100 - 2018

Running with pure-flow is one of my absolute favorite things. Pure-flow is when the rhythm of my stride, my breathing, the momentum of the trail, and everything around me all comes in sync. I'm listening to my feet strike the ground, the air fill in to my lungs and then back out; the wind through the trees, the life all around us. Everything is synced up and propelling me through every step, every little moment is new, fresh and alive. The Hawk 100(k) of 2018 provided me with more great miles of this than any race I can remember.

The morning started out with the perfect temperature for a run. I remember thinking to myself in the pre-race start area; shouldn't you be nervous right now? Shouldn't you be feeling something? Those questions really define a lot of what running has become for me, moment based, mindful of what’s around me at that moment; not of what is in front of me the next minute, hour, or day. Its my mind escape, my vacation in the middle of a day; it's my way of leaving this world for a little while and going into my own. Nothing else has ever provided me that same feeling. Standing there in the dark in just my running shoes and shorts with a little waste pack and a handheld water bottle; I avoided the nerves because I wasn't thinking about everything that was about to unfold. I was in the moment, talking to friends, taking photos, being present. That would be the theme of the entire day, being present in every moment in nature.

 "3, 2, 1.. and go" and we all started our 100-mile journey onto the North Shore Trails of Clinton Lake. Immediately into the tress and back on those trails I could feel what a connected day this was going to be. Everything was wet from the rainfall the night before and my headlamps would catch the fog when I looked up to check the rocks on the trail in front of me. I knew 60 seconds in to the day that I was back in my element, doing my thing, about to embark on one of those magical days.  The sun coming up on Red Shore trail was about as breath-taking as any view I've ever seen anywhere in this country. The way the lake appeared to sit still and watch us roll by as the first signs of morning light appeared. If you are ever in the area, go hike the Red Shore Trail miles; you will not regret it.

I did a great job of staying mentally in each mile throughout the day. I did this because going into the race I had a good race strategy My goal was to run 75% of the miles out on these technical trails under 13 minutes each. The remaining miles; each under 20 minutes (mostly aid-station miles). This worked really well for me to stay in the flow, stay focused on the mile I was in, and keep me focused on one small goal that was always obtainable but having it a part of a bigger goal. I did the math and with this pacing strategy I'd be done around 22 hours. This worked well for me and I will keep it as a part of my ultra-strategy in races ahead.

On to the data of the race; the course is is 4-25mile loops. I came in loop 1 in 4:20. Which was perfect for me. Not too fast, 3:50 was my time last year coming in loop 1. It should be noted I was doing the 50 last year not the 100 in 2017.  I felt terrific at the end of 25 miles and got great support at the Start Finish area. The volunteers at the Hawk are all simply amazing. I got such great support every time I came into any Aid Station. When I signed up for the Hawk100, I decided to tackle this challenge solo, so no crew or pacers. I've never really done that for a 100-miler and I wanted to really feel everything that doing it this way provided. I do not regret that decision one bit.

The 2nd loop took me right at 5 hours; putting me half way through the race in 9.5 hours. Which I felt great about, I had in my head to turnout this 3rd loop faster than the 2nd one. I headed out of 50 eating and hiking until I got all the food in my hands down then I started running again. I hit quite a few of my miles in under my goal time as I crushed the blue trail towards Cactus Ridge. Those ones up there though I struggled to keep the miles under 13 as they are a bit more technical with some climbs; so, I fought and worked through them and would make some and would miss some. That was the beauty of this strategy. Every mile was a new challenge, every mile effected the overall percent. On the day I was still averaging almost 80% of my miles under that 13min mark and none over 20min (including Aid Station miles). Which allowed me for some slower miles on loop 4 to still hit my 75% overall. I know; that is a lot of numbers and math.

That brings me to my other thought about ultra-distance running. Pure flow and mindful of the moment running works so great but without something like this race strategy; I can loose it too quick. The way these 2 things meshed together fueled one another. If all I had were the mile goals ; my demeanour could easily go to upset or bitter with the passing miles. Or if all I had was the mindful running skills; it's very easy to get nonchalant about the whole thing, those "Why am i even doing this" feelings can start to creep in. But with the 2 meshing together how they did; I never had any of that.

I hit the West Park Aid station at mile 60 and didn’t really grab anything as I would be hitting it again at 63. I went and got those 3 miles done, each one under goal. I got back into West Park Aid and got some food in me, got my headlamps on and filled up my bottles. I was feeling great leaving here. I wanted to see if I could get the last 10 miles of this loop done in 2 hours. I remember having this feeling here when I was on the blue trail sometime between mile 50 and; 60. This feels as if this Hawk 2018 run is going to be my masterpiece of ultra-running, my Jurek's AT run, my Kaci @ States, my best for a sustained period of time, uninterrupted by any of the forces around me.

I wasn't 5 minutes out of this Aid when a regular ole foot strike on the dirt path felt like fire on the middle of my right foot. I tried to come down on it again and the second strike hurt so bad I immediately went to just hopping on the one foot. I sat down in the grass, which got me some nasty oak mite bites, ripped off my shoe and sock and inspected it. There was nothing there, but if I touched it with my finger it felt like fire. I put by sock and shoe on and tried again; same damn thing. If anything touched this part of my foot; fire. I figured out how to walk on the heal of that foot and fought with that until the next AS, 5 miles away. I laughed at the ultra-god’s a bit during this. I'm like you're not going to get to me, this isn't going to be it for me. I'll get it back at Lands’ End. But after 3 phone calls and chatting it through with my people I made the decision to call it at mile 70. I don’t feel like this was a super hard decision as there wasn't really a feasible alternative. I've DNF'd some races in my time in this sport; and believe me they have stung. I even had one this past year that put me in a serious funk for quite a few months. This one is not doing that. I had quite possibly the best 60 miles of my trail running life. I don’t feel I’ve ever sustained pure flow for that long at a race before. Uninterrupted, mindful, 100% engaged with everything around me, trail-running for 12 hours and 65 miles is what I will remember. Over the next 6 months I am going to crave the way I felt during those 65 miles way more than I am going to woe calling it a day at mile 70.      x

xx - happy trails Strava Link




Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Sheep Mountain 50

Sheep Mountain 50 Race Recap
August 6th 2018.
by Jeff Gregg

There is something really different about a 50 miler in Colorado at high elevation. It's not so much about your ability to run like a mid-western ultra is. Its more about your ability to fight, to overcome, to not give in. To take on adversity. To take what the trail is giving you and respond in direct proportion to your fitness level. Ultra-running has become my thing mainly because its an extension of long distance hiking, an excuse to spend long periods of time outside, connected to nature instead of on phones and pavement. Colorado ultras do a phenomenal job of hitting all of the reasons I am an ultra runner. 

Sheep Mountain 50 defiantly did not disappoint. We began at 6:00 AM in Fairplay, CO. The first 7 mile stretch is mainly a gravel/dirt road until the first aid station. This section climbed some but with fresh legs was all runnable. I met up with Heidi and Nick in this section and we climbed up Sheep Mountain and came back down the other side of it together. This part was a blast as we just chatted and enjoyed the views. The trail was technical but mostly runnable on the way back down, well mostly because Heidi had serious rocky trail running skills and I could follow her foot placement. Her and I parted ways at the next AS because she was in the 50K (she would go on to win) and Nick and I headed out of there. We chatted about the NBA and general life stuff for the next few hours as we rolled through miles. 

Matty caught up to us on that next stretch and we shared some miles between here and the next few climbs. Mostly single track, some gravel roads, some garbage, etc. but hey - we got through it and saw Michelle at the AS before the monster of a climb.

We left here at around 30 miles in good spirits ready to tackle this climb then start making our way back up north to Fairplay. Matt and I had a good amount of time to chat and power hike this section until he left me in the dust after about an hour of climbing together. This one climb is non-stop ups for about 4 miles ( I believe). It was soul crushingly fricken awesome. I had to take breaks, that is what kept me from climbing at the speed of my fellow ultra-runners out there. I'm not sure why i had to, I just felt the need and would stop for 10-15 seconds and then go again. My mind was OK during this part, I wasn't hating it, just embracing the challenge. I think I did run out of positive self-talk about half way up though and went to more of a mental "omg does this thing ever end" mentality. I got up to the top of this climb and the next aid station feeling like I just climbed Everest, twice. 

I got some food and drink in me and only had 3 to the next AS from here. This was mostly all flat or down and I ran it well. I didn't catch Matt again the rest of the day but I liked knowing he was out there crushing this brutal course. I saw Michelle at the next AS and got some updates. She was so great to see out on course and joke around with as i shoved unbelievable amounts of watermelon in my face. the next section was 9 miles and a very long 2-3 hour section. I packed a bit of food and made sure I had water and headed out.

This 9 mile section was my low point of the day. I did good up till around mile 4 or 5 just running miles where I could and hiking the ones I couldn't. Then somewhere around 11,000 feet I got very confused. I hadn't seen anyone this whole time and I was convinced I messed up the course. I still had race flags but I thought i missed a turn at the campground and that i was taking the loop part back around and up Sheep Mountain again. I sat for a while on the trail and tried to get my head right; I actually did this twice up there. Once in a sort of meitative state; trying to feel what going on around me and understand everything. The other in more of a deflated state. Head between my legs, completely confused on which way to go. I ended up going turning back and for about a mile and then I saw 3 runners coming at me. I asked them: "Wait; was i going the right way before i turned around?".

"Yes, this is the right way to the road and then back to Fairplay" they responded confidently.

"Hmmm, OK Ty" 

They went on and I gave them space then followed behind them. I was happy to know where to go but completely deflated on wasting an hour or 2 sitting then going the wrong way for no reason. I was mentally defeated, very low on food and water and still a long ways to aid. I ended up running dry for the last hour; needing some calories bad and forced to hike way more because of it. I learned so much from it all though; it was a great lesson in high altitude running and complete calorie depletion.

I made the final Aid Station and saw Mary who was doing the 50k. She seemed to be doing good despite a pretty nasty fall. She would go on to win "Best Blood" award. I was way quieter than normal and she would later tell me she noticed that. My mind was still very down because of the events of the last 9. But at least I had food and water now and got myself back up out of there and on to the last 7.

These last 7 were suppose to be easy because they were road and more downhill than up. They did allow me to run more than i had in a long time and I started making better time through the miles. I came into the finish line so excited to be done and see the whole gang there! this was the best! I was so exhausted, and so damn happy to see these people. I proved to myself that my toughness is still there. That I can gut this tough shit out and feel damn good about a finish, regardless of place. That I can find so much joy in the endless struggle. 

So back in love with this sport and this community. Next up is the Hawk 100 in September. This will be my 5th time lining up for a race at the Hawk. It was my first 50 and my intro into what a trail family is and what a truly good trail run can feel like. Nothing will keep me from finishing this bad boy & getting buckle #6. 

Cant Wait for the next adventure!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Trail #89

Centennial Trail -#89

Top of Bear Butte Peak, starting at 5AM 6/22/2018

Let me begin by just stating how incredibly fun this adventure was. Thursday after work we headed out to the Black Hills to run the Centennial Trail. This trail is a 125-mile foot-path running south from Bear Butte Point to Wind Cave Park. It covers the beautiful Black Hills from the heart of them. Taking you up to gorgeous lookouts, across rapid creeks, through grassy valleys and about everything else you can imagine. I was constantly blown away by the pure beauty out here. 

The view from Bear Butte.
Mike C was my co-adventurer on this trip, and we had such a great time going through all the trail details on the way up. We also got in lots of chats about his thru-hike of the A.T.  I made it no secret that I would try to set the "Fastest Known Time" out on this trail before we even left. I believe I did this for a few reasons. One, it is just simply hot in ultrarunning right now. Every day you keep hearing FKT chatter & the website is all updated. It seems to feed the adventurer in me to get out on the trails and get after it. Two, It made it seem more worthy of sharing with my ultra-friends. Like if I was just going up to run some miles on a trail it wouldn't be worthy of the same attention, I don't know why I felt that way. Three, I didn't think it through like a trail junkie, I thought about it like an ultra runner. It sounded fun and challenging and I didn't think about how it would make the hours on the trail feel to me. On to the actual day though, we will come back to that.

We started out at 4:00 AM on Friday hiking up to the top of Bear Butte point, the official start of the CT trail. We got up there at 5AM and took a few photos before making our way back down. We had to be careful not to trip on the loose rocks. I fell backwards once, and in my most graceful trial running moment ever caught my body behind me by throwing my arm down fast enough. This out and back was an absolutely gorgeous sunrise hike. This would be a terrific hike for anyone in the Sturgis or Rapid City area, or anyone passing through. 
Almost to the top of Bear Butte

The next section after Bear Butte took me around the lake that sits near the bottom of it. This section was mostly rolling green hills north of Sturgis. This was the kind of stuff I love running on. I tried to capture the beauty without wasting much time. The trail stays pretty open and exposed until it reaches Ft Meade trailhead just outside Sturgis. Here are some photos from that section to Ft Meade. The second one is the top of Bear Butte.
on CT89 making my way around Bear Butte Lake

Looking back at the start of the CT

getting close to Ft Meade

A quick capture of the trail winding down the hills between Ft Meade & Bear Butte Park.
I hit Ft Meade around mile 11. This section took me into the forest. The trail got more like the CT that I was familiar with here.  I was mostly doing whatever the trail gave me here. When it was steep I would hike but I would run the flats and downs. I started to have my first thoughts about the FKT here. And here those are; I decided on this run that the whole FKT thing is not for me. I don't think I thought it through much before actually getting out here. On paper & in my head, before the trip, it all sounds like ultra fun, and I bet it could be for most. But for me, it just started to seem too egotistical. Like saying "I can do this faster than anyone else" made it more worthy of doing? That didn't make sense to me out here & I didn't like how that made me feel about the trail and my time here. I'm not taking anything away from anyone who has an FKT or is chasing them, as an ultra runner I totally get it. But as a hiker and staying true to my thought that my passion for ultra running is an extension of my passion for long distance hiking, it just didn't capture my heart the way other things in this sport have. At the same time though, it didn't take anything away from the hike/run of the CT#89. I kept doing what I was doing out there. Run when I felt like running, hike when I felt like hiking, stopping to eat or take photos and take it all in. Push my limits on sections but then take it easy on other sections. All my running and all my training is for 1 thing, to help me discover, and move well in nature. Nothing more, nothing less. And that is what I did.

I took in the views from here and headed to Alkali. I hit that trailhead around mile 15 and chatted with some people who were in town for the race that weekend. That was fun to see other people out on the trails getting ready for the race. Mike would come out at each trailhead and find me and we'd run it in together. That was great. I always knew I'd have those shared miles as I made my way through each section. I really looked forward to those when I was out trying not to get trampled by wild bison. Which could have happened once, scared the crap out of me, but I had my little 2-inch knife in my hand so that would have done a whole lot, I'm sure. So each time I saw Mike any worries I had were just put to rest. I don't worry much about wild animals, but every once in a while one of them will just get my mind going. When you are all alone out there the mind goes where it will, you just ride it out. When I'm with my friends though, the outside world is minimized, we are engaged in chatter, flying down trails, taking in views, excited about what is around every bend.  

The adventure got a whole lot more interesting after around mile 30. About 1 mile into my 12-mile section big thunderclouds moved in. This was some of the loudest thunder I had ever heard in my life. I was in a dense forest that climbed to the top of two of the highest peaks of the trail. There were absolutely no signs of shelter on this section so far. I decided to just try my luck and keep going as it was just some thunder and a little lightning. I ran as it started to thunder and lightning harder and harder.  Then the rain started, then the hail, and boy did it hail. What seemed like forever little pieces of ice kept pelting my head and arms. I was looking for shelter around every bend. After about 30 minutes of it, I saw to North bound hikers coming:

"Any shelter ahead?" I asked?
 "Nope," they said. "How about for us" 
We were both about 6 miles in with 6 miles to go. I started running as fast as my legs would take me. 
This was definatley the biggest storm I had ever ran through, or even been outside through. I loved it when I saw Mike running up the trail towards me. It would have been so easy for him to sit in the van and wait for me at the trailhead but he didnt, he got out, in the storm and ran towards me. Why? Because that is who Mike is. 

We ran it in together, moving well in nature and what it was giving us. Almost laughing at how silly it was that it was still hailing and raining this much. 
When we made the van all I wanted to do was sit and relax. It was shelter, it was warm, it was sane. 
But that FKT thing? wait is that still a thing. No, not really, but I knew I needed to get out and get moving again even if I didnt care about that FKT anymore. This next setion to Box Elder campground was 8.5 more miles and my legs had about 42 on them already. If I sat too long they were going to get tight. I changed shrits and grabbed my rain jacket and hiked out of Dalton up the trail in the rain. I started trying to run in what had about the same exact texture as butter. This butter like mud lasted until about 1 mile left of this secion. Every time I tried to run I'd either faceplant or have some wierd dance like thing happen with my legs as I tried to gain my balance. So I just hiked, pretty much all of it until the runnable section. In the pictures below you can see the amount of water there was. That is the trail, not a creek. 
One thing that kept me going through this next secion was that I knew there was a little cafe near Box Elder. A gal that we talked to at the trail head around mile 27 said that it was open yesterday so she assumed it would be today. I would hit that next trail head at about mile 50 and hour 10 of the day. The perfect time for a sit and some food, and that is exactly what we did. When i got to the trailhead we grabbed all of our chargers and headed over to the cafe. With watches & phones plugged in, we chatted and pigged out. I believe this was the 1st time I mentioned to Mike that I was no longer looking at it like a FKT attempt and was more just trying to enjoy miles and have some fun in the hills. We ate and paid the check and got back to the trail head. I headed out here feeling good and the trail allowed for some running. I met a gal on this section that I would run/hike with for the few hours as we chatted about all kinds of things in life. This is trail magic to me, the unplanned moments where something like that happens. I get how setting coolers out for thru hikers or cooking up some burgers is trail magic, and very much appriciated by all thru hikers alike, but there is also trail magic like this. the kind this is not planned by either party but is a total blessing through a struggle part of the day. I wasn't necessarily on the struggle bus but I was coming up over 60 miles at this section so I was definatly feeling it. Plus all that rain and mud made for some gnarly chaffing. 

My day1 ended at that trailhead, we called it a day and headed to get some service and some rest and get back out in the morning. I ate some ice cream here, pigged out on salty foods, cleaned up and tried to drink up. My body felt good though, I mean it felt like it had worked all day but I was never red lining it so it felt ok. Sleep was what I needed most. I had only been getting around 4-5 hours each night this week and getting up at 3:30 to start Friday I knew my body needed it. I also found out that night that my Suunto watch had lost the entire run that I did that first day. No data! I have a call into Suunto now but this was just a big wind out of my sail. A 60 mile training run w/out a data file, what!! 

We made it back to the trail the next morning and headed out early. I didnt take very many pictures on day 2 but I will try and explain it the best I can. The first miles were beautiful as can be. We went up a big climb and overlooked a few different lakes. Those views were gorgeous. The trail crossed a very fast moving trout fishing creek a few times (with bridges). It got very overgrown in spots and shoulder high vegitation made it hard to always keep track of where it was. I continued to deal with mud as well, but not as bad here as day 1. Day 2 was not the big day that I thought it would be, but that was ok. I got some more miles in and I also left some miles for another weekend. I believe I have around 40 miles of the trail left to cover some weekend that my mom, Kiera or whoever wants to can come out and mess around with me in the Blackhills. And we can cover those miles however we see fit. 

I enjoy running in the mountains about as much as anything in the world. Being able to escape the real world with the people I  am fortunate enough to have in my life is such a blessing. I can't wait to get back out there and do more things like this. So happy that my body rolled through the miles as well as it did, I ended the trip happy that I could ask as much out of it as I did and roll off that many miles without any pain or struggles. 

 until next time... Happy Trails!