Trail Running and Marathon Prep

I’ve gotten really comfortable with the feeling of being new at things over the past few years. My first real introduction to camping was in 2011, shortly after Will and I started dating. After that experience I promptly fell down the rabbit hole and have been collecting new outdoors sports ever since: including hiking, backpacking, climbing, mountain biking, and backcountry skiing. Just as I am finally getting to a point where I no longer feel like the new guy in most of those activities, I decided to add trail running to the mix.

Though it seems like trail running should fall in nicely with all of the others, it really doesn’t. Those were a totally blank slate, but I have a long, unpleasant history with running. Without getting into the details: me + running generally ends in tears. Into my 20’s.

When Will started to tell me about his new training program that might change my mind on running, I was not convinced. I hate running! Eventually my curiosity got the best of me and I agreed to give it one more try.

The afternoon of our run arrived a few days later. We were living in Fraser, CO – aka “America’s Icebox” – so we drove a few blocks over to the snow covered cross country skiing trails because the road was too icy. Using the guidelines from Will’s training book we took it slow, super slow. Hilde bopped along ahead of us, weaving in and out of the trees like a dolphin playing in the waves.

Hilde is the best trail partner. Her attitude is always awesome, she loves whatever trail we’re on, and she won’t let me quit. Plus, if (let’s be real, when) I get lost, she knows the way home.

One mile in, I didn’t want to turn around. Two miles in, no tears. Tired at five miles in, but still feeling good… what was this madness!? Just like that, I’d finished the longest run of my life.

With that, I was hooked. Apparently all I needed was a little affirmation that it was okay to not go 100% all the time – who would have thought! Of course, the beautiful scenery and a happy Hilde helped, too.

Since this mid-January revelation I’ve logged over 60 miles and have worked all the way up to running 8 miles at a time. Amazingly enough, at this point I’m actually looking forward to getting out on the trail at the end of the day. To keep me motivated, I signed up for the Taylor Mountain Trail Marathon in Washington later this summer. I have a long way to go before I get there, but working towards a goal is so much fun.

In addition to posting about the progress on the bus, I’m going to start posting some little updates on how marathon training is going. Tips and advice are always welcome, and you can friend me on Strava if you want. Happy running!

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