Shoot for the Stars

As I was riding in the car back to the starting line after I dropped from my last race, I kept thinking about my favorite TED talk.

It’s with comedian Steve Mazan and he talks about chasing your dreams.

Seriously, watch it. Not only is it funny but it’s deep and inspirational as he shares his story.

I know I have shared quotes from this talk before but they are worth bringing back up.

Someday isn’t on the calendar. Friday, Saturday, Sunday are on there about four times a month. But when it comes to our dreams it’s probably the busiest day of the week.

If you’ve ever chased a dream, you know that it lights a fire in your heart, that whether you reach it or not, it warms everyone around you and everything around you.

We’re all dying. But if you are not chasing your dream, you’re already dead.

Steve talks about re-chasing his dream of getting to perform on Letterman. He gave himself 1 year to fulfill that dream.

Did that happen? Nope.

After 2 years? Nope. 3? No, it took him 5 years to reach his dream goal.

Another thing that stands out in this talk for me, is when he talks about changing the way we view our dreams. Instead of think of them as a noun, a singular point and final product, think of it as a verb, an action, something you do every day.

I was shooting for the stars with this last race. My place goal and time goal was a massive leap to the top. And I fell flat on my face.

Looking back I can see that I was in way over my head given my experience and my current abilities. But I have zero regrets in setting such lofty goals.

Yeah, I didn’t even come close to them and I even didn’t finish the race. But I am so much better off than I would have been if I didn’t have such goals. This has been the most valuable experience and I am only stronger from it.

It’s very easy to get discouraged and to give up on goals in the way society is today. We have become so reliant on instant gratification with all of the advancements in technology, that when we don’t get what we want, we think of our setbacks as failures and not learning lessons.

You only fail if you give up.

I’m not giving up on winning a major 100 mile race.

I was foolish to think that I was going to win this last race. I know that what I went through will only be a stepping stone towards my dream.

Like Steve Mazan, it may take me 5 years. It may even take me even longer. But I won’t give up on the idea of training to win and becoming the best I can be or even living in my dream of spending most of my time everyday running.

Instead of focusing on a single goal, or as my dream as a noun, I have lived in my dream the last half year or so. Instead of wishing I was running or wishing I was out in the mountains while sitting at a desk in a cubicle, I was out training and doing just what I wanted every day.

I am one step closer to my goals. Success is in making progress, and I have done just that.

So whatever your passion and dreams are, shoot for the stars. There will probably be a 99% percent chance you won’t reach your goal the first time around. You’ll just have to pick yourself up, dust off, take the lesson as a blessing in disguise and take on the challenge again.

You’ll be living in your dream if you do and there is no better way to live your life. Because “if you’re not chasing your dream, you’re already dead” right?

Bighorn 100- DNF

We all have our good days and our bad days. We have no idea which days those will be, which is what makes life interesting and unique. An adventure.

It’s how we are able to appreciate great things when they come because you need the good with the bad. And it’s in your personal perspective of how you handle the bad that allows for growth and development.

Bighorn was my first DNF.

From the very start, I wasn’t feeling great. The start was at 11 in the morning on Friday on a dirt road leading into a canyon. Clear skies left the sun all alone in the sky to beat down on us. I don’t know the official temperature at the start but I would say it was about 80 degrees.

After the gun went off, everyone took off down this road for about a mile before hitting a single track trail that lead us up the canyon. My strategy for this race was patience, patience and patience.

I knew the first part of the race was going to be grueling and I felt that if I could take it easy early, that I would be able to slowly pick off the group of people that went ahead of me from the start and ultimately have a solid race.

Within the first mile, I was raining sweat down my face. I knew the first few hours of the race were going to be hot so I decided to pop a salt pill earlier than my typical plan.

Once we hit the trail, it rolled for about a mile or mile and a half. On this small stretch I had a weird feeling that I needed to throw up. I just thought it was just pre-race nerves still lingering inside that just needed a few miles to get out of me.

Once we were a few miles in, the course took us on a massive un-runnable climb. About a six mile stretch of hiking with about 3,000 feet of elevation gain. If you looked up the trail, you could see a long line of runners marching up with their heads down and hands on their knees. And looking down was the same imagine of soldiers.

Some were trying to pass people here impatiently, maybe not knowing that this was going to take awhile to get up. All of this with the sun beating down had my shirt and shorts dripping with sweat and from water that I poured on my head from my water bottles. I could have wrung out my clothes they were so wet.

Even though we weren’t running, it was still a hard hike. The feeling of needing to throw up left me as we hiked on. I expected this intense climb but I was ready to get it over with to get back to running.

It took me and the group of people I was around about 1.5 hours to do this ascent. From there we had about a mile to get to the next aid station. By the time I got there, both of my water bottles were just about out. I refilled them and finished off my first Clif bar.

Leaving that station I felt good for about a mile before both of my hamstrings were beginning to twinge…I was only 9 miles into the race. I knew I was sweating a bunch but I didn’t think much of it. And even though I took my first salt pill earlier than normal I also didn’t think to up the doseage. I thought maybe it was the long climb that had my legs feeling off.

I kept to my own easy pace. People were starting to pass me and I began to notice my easy pace was getting slower and slower. Nothing was feeling good at this point and that weird feeling in my stomach was back.

On the other side though, I was right on pace and sticking to my patience plan. At mile 13 was the first major aid station and also the first crew stop of the race. Because of the remoteness of the course there were only 3 crew points from the start to the turn around point and a crew wouldn’t be able to go to all three becuase of how long it takes to just drive to each spot. So it was either your crew hits the first and third or just the second.

Luckily for me I had two crews. My parents drove all the way out from Georgia for the race and they were stationed at the second spot. I had recruited a friend, his wife and daughter to help with crewing me at the other spots.

I came into this first major aid station right on the money of when I said I would be there, 3 hours. I handed my bottles to my crew to be refilled and as they were doing this I told them I felt like shit and that nothing was feeling good. I popped 2 salt pills, took a few sips of chicken broth and a few sips of a sports drink. I grabbed a few GUs, Clif bar and a PB&J.

After I left them, I had to actually run into the aid station so the electronic sensors would record my time. Right when I turned back around to get back running, my calf cramped up and put me on the ground. A friend that was volunteering as medical aid at this stop was only a few feet away. She got down and offered to massage the cramp away. Gladly accepting the offer from her, my friend who was crewing ran over with The Stick and I rolled it out for a minute.

Once the cramp went away I jumped up and took off running. There was a nice long downhill and the next chunk of miles were looking to be runnable with minimal hiking.

I got about a mile away from the aid station and remembered that I needed to eat something. I grabbed the ziplock baggie with my sandwich and pulled it out. Before it even touched my mouth I was gagging. I held onto in for a minute longer and decided to put it back in my pack. I forced down a GU instead. That has hard to get down and probably within a minute my first dry heaving fit came. It was like a cough that faded into that sound of throwing up, only nothing came up. Seemed like this happened about every fine minutes all the way until the next aid station at mile 19ish. Sometimes these fits had me hunched over with my hands on my knees and saliva spitting out.

I debated making myself throw up to see if I would feel better.

When I got to the next station I felt like rest was much much needed. I grabbed a cup of sports drink and sat in the grass under a tent.

There, another runner who I had met last summer at a race, was sitting in a chair with a bowl of potato chips.

“How are you doing?” I asked him.

“Not too good. My stomach feels like crap and I feel like I need to throw up.”

“I’m having the same problems.”

“And I’ve felt like this the entire race so far” Nick said.

“Me too man! I wanted to throw up about a mile into the race. I think this heat is getting to me.”

An aid station volunteer came up and offered me watermelon with salt on it and I ate it up. Then another runner came and sat with us. He said he was experiencing the exact same things.

I’m not sure which one of us brought it up, but the idea of forcing ourselves to throw up came up.

The guy that came in after me stood up, went for a patch of bushes and stuck his finger down his throat.

When he came back he said he felt better. We all sat for a few more minutes. Throw up guy took off first and then Nick and I got moving again together. Maybe a minute after leaving, throw up guy was walking back, shaking his head and said “nope” as we went by. Not sure if he was calling it a day or not, but I never saw him again.

When Nick and I left, we were joined by about 4 ladies. We fell into a solid rhythm of running the flats and downs and hiking up the inclines. One of the ladies offered some nausea medicine. I declined it but Nick took it.

Not long after that, he was feeling better and ended up leaving us behind. I held up the caboose of this small pack.

I wasn’t having any dry heaves since getting to the last aid station, which was a great sign but I had a constant side cramp. I also remember around this point, a guy was close behind me and dry heaving himself. It sounded so disgusting and I felt for him too.

Slowly I began to fade from this group of women and my legs were threatening to cramp again on every little incline.

The next stop wasn’t really a stop. There was a pipe coming out of the ground with spring water gushing out of it and everyone was taking this chance to refill on water.

I pulled one bottle from my pack and refilled it. I took a big gulp and immediately began heaving again. I chilled out for about a minute before moving on again. From the pipe, we had about 3 miles to the next aid station.

This was around when I started to feel faint. I just pushed away the temptation to sit off to the side of the trail.

This was also when I would drink some water and keeping that down was hard. When I started gagging on water, I began to think I was in trouble.

No doubt I was death marching now.

Finally getting to the next aid station, I completely laid out. Another runner was already laying down too.

I imagined I had this dazed look on my face as a few volunteers looked at me with concerned faces.

Laying there I had my first thoughts of DNFing. I was thinking about where I was in the race, only about 27 miles in and how much further I had to go. I wasn’t feeling better, my body was starting to reject even water and I honestly was having zero fun.

I felt miserable.

I think I was laying for about 10 or 15 minutes before I decided to get up. Before leaving I thought the beef jerky on the table spread looked awesome, so I grabbed a handful.

Surprisingly it tasted great and went down well….for about a minute. Then it about came back up.

From here, the trail steeply declined and even had stretches with thick mud, about ankle deep in spots.  All of this was not mixing well with how I was already feeling.

Everything together just destroyed me mentally and physically.

Somewhere along this stretch, I officially made my mind up to call it a day. The next stop was at mile 30, which was where my parents would be. I had never felt this bad before in a race. And I didn’t have it in me to endure another 70 miles of it, especially if I was going to fell this way.

I always expect to feel that shitty late in a race, but to feel that way so early on I felt that the day was just not my day.

As I came into my last aid station, I said to my parents “I’m done.” That’s all and I sat down in the chair they had. My Dad asked if I was sure.

I was.

No one could have convinced me to keep going and nothing anyone would have said would have changed my mind.

When I made made my mind up about DNFing, I kept asking myself if I was sure and if I would regret the decision. The answers were always yes that I was sure and no I would not.

When I told the volunteer who was working the timing, she asked for my bib and I handed it over feeling good about my decision. As I was walking back towards my parents a guy came up to me asked if my number was 356. I said it was and he said that he was the medical guy for this station and that the last stop had radioed him to check on me when I came in.

I told him I’d be fine and that I have finished for the day.

It just wasn’t in the cards for me that day. And I had no problem accepting that mentally.

The day after a friend of mine posted this on my Facebook:

“One piece of advice from my assistant coach in college that I’ve never forgotten: ‘You have days where you don’t feel good running. Sometimes it’s an easy morning run. Sometimes it’s the Olympic finals.’ Running is a cruel mistress.”

Having reassurance felt great but it also reminded me of how I put runners down for giving up on race day. I’ve never understood when someone says that they just didn’t feel great that day. I definitely never understood it when an elite runner would say that. In hindsight, it’s easy to sit behind a computer screen and judge someone for giving in. In this sport, you almost need to have a finish or die mentality. But the only person that can justify a DNF is the runner. Sometimes the best thing a person can do is know when to push through or to call it a day.

I think the hardest part about this was disappointing my parents and the friends that were my other crew. It was hard to say sorry for failing. And I felt like I let all of them down.

But I know that the only way to think of this as a failure, would be if I didn’t learn anything from it. I am willing to say that since I dropped from the race, that I have learned more about myself, life and running than any 4 year degree could have given me. I feel enriched and that this a valuable experience I will never forget and something I will only grow from.

There will be tons of races to come for me and one race won’t bring me down, stop me or define me.

Running, for me and many others, can be a lifestyle that takes over your life. But running isn’t everything to life. And my first DNF brought me to that realization.

The day after, I went back to the finish area to cheer people on. There were other races going on including a 50 miler, 50k and 30k as well, so there were tons of people finishing up. I ended up running a friend in the last two miles of his first 50k and made sure to pump him with motivation and words of encouragement to get him across his finish line.

I met a bunch of amazing people and seeing everyone finish their race was inspirational. Getting back out was probably the best thing for me because I know I would have sat at home and let my thoughts eat me up.

It does suck that the race I was training for 6-7 months didn’t unfold how I expected. Now I am left with the wonder of what I should do next with the fitness I still have…

Thank you everyone for all of the support and encouragement along the way! The journey to get to this point has been nothing but amazing and reading every comment over the months has helped me continue on. Your words keep me going as much as I hope I am inspiring others to chase your dreams.

Expect and Accept

I have heard many times before, and can completely agree with, that if you lower your expectations you will enjoy experiences more and your happiness will be lifted.

A great example of this, I am sure most of us have noticed, comes from watching movies. We have all seen a movie that we were in the least bit impressed with but everyone we know made it feel like we were about to watch the greatest movie in cinematic history. And have all seen a movie that we knew absolutely nothing about prior to watching it but it turned out being a movie you could place into your top 10 movies of all time.

I think that I need to take this approach with myself when it comes to running ultras. Go into them with an open mind. Not with an exact outcome in mind.

After my last race, as I mentioned in the race report, I was a little frustrated with my results. But I had zero reasons to feel that way.

During my drive home that day, I even screamed at the top of my lungs (like Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 50/50) hoping to rid myself of all of the unnecessary and negative emotions. And right when I did this I thought about what Ray Lewis said to during a pregame speech to the Stanford basketball team.

“If you ain’t pissed off for greatness, that means you’re okay with being mediocre.”

For some reason, that gave me personal reassurance my feelings were valid.

And in that moment I became at ease, at peace and had more of an acceptance for what was to come.

I think it is paramount that we expect greatness from ourselves with our goals and passions. From that expectation, we strive to become our best we can possibly be. And when you are your best, you can feel satisfaction.

I have been preparing and training myself to be my best self for my next big race. And with that, I can dissolve my expectations and just do the best I can do.

I’m not really sure that even makes sense.

By preparing to be your best and by expecting your best self, you can drop your overall expectations because you know that you did everything you can to be your best on a given day, race or whatever you do.

And with the elimination of expectations of a certain event, you accept how things will unfold for you.

You can accept everything with happiness, gratitude and an understanding from an open mind.

I feel that this is where my mind is right now. Even though I still have about 2 and a half weeks left of running to do before the Bighorn 100, I feel that the physical training is complete. I am not in taper mode just yet, but I think I am at the point where I am maintaining fitness. I have trained with high expectations of myself, now though, I can accept that what is done, is done.

With that, I can set my mind at ease knowing that no matter what the results may be on race day, I will feel nothing but satisfaction and happiness.

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Rocky Mountain 50K

Sitting at Sweet Melissa’s in downtown Laramie, an excellent vegetarian restaurant that was recommended to me by the guy in the bike shop a few doors down, I was reading an article online about how to race in high altitude, while I was shoveling the best sweet potato and black bean burrito I have ever had into my mouth.

One thing that popped out to me while reading it was that it said to lower your expectations, especailly if you haven’t been training at the altitude of the race.

I live just under 5,000 ft in Buffalo, WY and I run anywhere between that and 7,500 ft.

The race in Laramie began at 8,800 ft. and went to 8,000 ft by the time of the turn around point of the out and back race.

My fingers were crossed that I wasn’t gonna have any issues with the elevation but I had a feeling it would effect me.

Another thing that was in my mind about the race was the overall course profile. On paper it didn’t look too challenging. Since the entire race stayed within 800 ft from the start to turn around point it appeared to just be “small” rolling hills. I even read a runner’s race report from last year’s race and he talked about the same things that I had on my mind. The elevation made it a little hard to breathe and the course profile was harder than it looked on a chart.

Race morning everyone gathered around the start decked out in warm articles to shield from the crisp cold air. After a short speech from the race owner and race director, we set off down the dirt road.

We had about a 2 mile downhill before it leveled out for a mile. I made sure to take it easy right away because I didn’t want the hill to set a faster pace for myself than what I wanted and what I would be capable to maintain throughtout the race.

Just a couple of minutes into the race a guy next to me asked the typical question everyone asks in the first mile, “Where you from?”

“I’m from Georgia but I’ve been living in Buffalo Wyoming for most of the last year.” Then I returned the question.

“I’m from Denver.”

I took a deep breathe, feeling winded already and said “actually I’m not gonna be able to talk because I’m not use to this altitude.”

He said, “me too.” And that was the end of that conversation.

I was running downhill and at very easy clip and I was already feeling like I was out of breath. From that point on I knew I would need to take it a little easier than I had planned.

By the time we got to the flat stretch, I was feeling more settled.

I ended up talked for a few minutes with a few other runners. And come to find out they both are doing the Bighorn 50 miler. But after a few minutes, we each took to our own pace.

After the luxurious flat section, it was really a rollercoast of hills all the way to the halfway point.

The race was on a dirt road with a few miles on a paved road.

Within a few miles of the start, it began to warm up, quickly. I wasn’t expecting any nice weather because my weather app said it would be cool with chances of rain throughout the day.

It ended up being sunny with clear blue skies.

My headband was the first thing to go, followed by the gloves and arm sleeves.

I stuck with my typical nutrition plan. 1 GU 30 minutes into an hour and half a Clif bar with a few S-caps at the end of the hour.

As the course rolled on, I noticed even the slightest incline had me sucking in air. I had to shorten my stride considerably and kept my focus on keeping my breathing steady and not let it get out of control.

I could get my GUs down no problem, but because I had to chew the Clif bars it was taking a lot of precious energy of breathing right. There were times when I would take a sip of water and would be out of breath just from the split second it took to take a mouthfull of water.

So by the time I ate my second half Clif bar, I decided to just stick with GU because it was taking too much energy to chomped away. And with getting that second half down, I felt full enough to be able to finish without feeling calorie deprived or feeling starving.

Runners were pretty well spaced out during the race so it was mostly running by yourself.

I wasn’t expecting a very scenic race but it ended up quite beautiful. Off in the distance was a range of snow capped mountains, which I believe were far enough away to be in Colorado. And in my immediate surrounding area were tons of rock formations that made me feel like I was in the Flintstones.

Not much excitement as far as the running was going. Just seemed like a typical long training run.

As I neared the turn around point, the leader passed me followed by three more runners.

When I got to the checkpoint for the 50Kers, a guy was changing out of his warm clothes and the lead female was leaving.

I let the volunteer mark my bib and then I headed back for the finish. Passing the guy still at the aid station and right away I passed the girl, put me in 5th place. And judging by the time I passed the people in front of me til the point I did pass them, they had a huge gap on me. I knew if I were to pass any of them that meant one of them completely fell apart.

Since the course began at a high elevation than the midpoint, the second half would be more uphill.

The first hill coming out of the turn around, I decided to power hiked for a good minute or two. My lungs just weren’t capable of running up such an incline and maintaining a steady breath. I made sure to keep my pace up as much as possible while hiking, hands of knees and still driving forward as to not lose too much time compared to just easy walking.

And suprisingly I never had trouble getting back into a running groove after hiking. I thought mentally and physically it would be a struggle but I guess my training has been paying off.

Slowly I began passing people that were doing the marathon and also the people doing the 50K still on their first part. We always swapped “good job”s and “keep it up”s.

I think that is why out and backs are my favorite, because you get to see more people than if you were doing a loop or point to point race. Breaks up the monotony.

Almost like the first half, nothing exciting to note happened on the second half. It became I little bit of a mental challenge but I just kept digging and kept grinding.

It was a great relief to make it to the flat stretch towards the end but at the same time I knew I had about a 2 mile up hill to get up to cross the finish line.

I had maintained my place for the entire second half. But just as about I was to start the uphill climb I slowed to a walk to gulped down my last GU. As I was doing that, the guy that was changing at the turn around aid station passed me.

I didn’t let that bother me. I kind of welcomed him in front so I would have motivation to keep running.

He kept pulling further and further away but I still kept chugging along.

I ended up having to take one power hike break up this last stretch lasting for about a minute before running into the finish.

I crossed the line in 4:40 and placed 6th.

My initial reaction was that the high altitude was no joke. In reality, the hills were not significant hills but throw in, or take away some oxygen, and it becomes more of a difficult race.

My goal going into the race was to run around a 4:30. Add a few long piss breaks and the higher altitude and I came out doing the best I could do.

But for some reason I was frustrated. I was frustrated because I feel that I put so much effort into training that I should be placing higher up. It’s frustrating and discouraging a little to not place where I feel I should place considering I train like it’s my job.

As I had four hours to think things over on my car ride home, I realized how stupid it is to feel and think that way. What if I ran the same time but ended up getting third place or even winning, would I feel happier about myself? And I guess the answer would have been yes, in that particular moment.

But that is a bad way to think about things. Placement is just a comparisson to others. Which is a great recipe down a road of unhappiness if you let it bother you.

Running is about being your absolute best possible self in a given moment, not about how you stack up against others. If you constantly compare yourself to others, you will never be good enough for yourself. There will always be someone better or someone with more than you.

My reason for running is the sense of accomplishment and purpose it gives me every day. Not to be better than anyone else.

And the funny thing is that no one cares how fast you did a race other than your own ego. The people that matter in your life are proud of your accomplisment and could care a less about what your time was. But for some reason runners are hard wired to immediately dissect their race seconds after finishing wondering where they could have made up time.

I had to remind myself that this race was just a training run for Bighorn 100. And that I should swim in the achievement of having completed 50K of running.

I actually had one of the most fun times at this race but it wasn’t until a few hours later or the next day that I realized that, unfortunately. I met some awesome people and ran in a wonderful part of the country. What more could I want?

When I got home, I was too lazy to go grocery shopping to cook dinner so I opted for take out Chinese.

My fortune said “Be content with your lot. One cannot be first in everything.”

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Home Sweet Home

A few weeks ago I made a quick trip back home to Georgia to visit friends and family. It was nice to get back home for the first time since early November to see familiar faces and familiar places.

I was looking forward to this trip for a few months now and was really excited to get out of Wyoming for a bit.

Living in such a small town right now, compared to where I am from, you quickly realize that you give up a lot to gain certain things. It doesn’t take long to start to miss good restaurants and a variety of restaurants to choose from. You miss big grocery stores with quality produce. You miss entertainment options like concerts, trivia nights and giant movie theatres.

But you do gain more peace of mind. Life is stress free and more relaxed. You have more of the natural world at your fingertips.

You find yourself in complete solitude on single-track trails compared to traffic jams.

Which is what I prefer and what I first noticed when I arrived back in Atlanta. After getting off the plane and then getting off the city’s train system, I emerged onto the streets of midtown Atlanta I was immediately taken back by all the traffic.

Horns were blaring and I saw a guy open his sunroof just to flick someone off.

The next day, I was with a friend and we were driving to his house from his work. It took us a little over an hour to get back. Traffic was insane and he does that daily. Twice. I’ve done that before and I hope to never return to that type of lifestyle.

Fuck that. Already I was wondering why people would even want to live like that? Crammed cities with traffic all throughout the day.

A few times during my trip, I often had thoughts like that. Is the availability and convenience worth the extra stress? Do people not realize all the stress factors that surround us? If life is short and meant to be lived, why do people subject themselves to unnecessary bullshit every day?

I think my mind was overwhelmed and flooded at the beginning of the trip.

But all of this paints a bad picture of my trip, that I actually wished lasted longer.

My time in Atlanta was very short. I did get to spend about 24 hours there with great friends. I enjoyed a few runs around town with my running buddies and one with the running group that my running store puts on every week.

From there I made my way to Charlotte, NC for a music festival with a group of friends and had the time of my life. Probably one of the greatest life gifts is to be able to see your favorite bands and sing their songs at the top of your lungs along with thousands of others. All weekend long it was band after band after band, that I was anxious to see live.

By the end of the weekend my voice was straight shot and it took a good 3 to 4 days for it to fully come back.

From Charlotte I went back to Georgia, then my parents drove a few hours to pick me up to take me to their new house in the mountains of north Georgia.

I was happy to get there and was even more happy that they moved out of the suburbs.

I knew as my plane was landing in Atlanta and I was looking at all of the traffic on the web of interstates from above, that I would much rather visit them now than if they lived a lot closer to the city.

It was great to see my parents and to finally have some southern food that I have been craving for so long! Boiled peanuts during the day and shrimp and grits for dinner. Can’t beat that for a homecoming.

Another sweet part about where they live is that I could run about a mile on a dirt road and I would be on a sweet trail that connects to the AT. Basically a few thousand miles of trails from the front door.

Unfortunately, everything went by quick. It seemed like I was going from one thing to the next and never getting a moment to chill.

But I think because of that and that I didn’t get to see all of my friends, I am hoping to return very soon.

As I did go running on my trip, it was a relief not to really think about running. It was a great break from the mental side of things. But that made it hard to get back into it when I returned.

A few days before I left for the east, we had perfect weather in Wyoming. Then the amazing weather continued on the trip. When I got off the plane back in Wyoming it was in the 30s, snowing with 30+mph winds.

Not something I wanting to come back to and made me wish I was still back home. It seemed to sap my running motivation for a few days.

I ended up cutting runs short the first few days just because I wasn’t in the mood to force myself to run.

I figured it would be more important to get rest than to be on the verge of over training and losing my overall mental focus. It took a few days but I got back into training hardcore and I’m feeling better than ever now.

I am now in the final countdown until Bighorn. Less than a month to go!

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