“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.” – Dr. Suess. I take this quote from Dr. Suess as a personal challenge. Running single track mountain trails here in the Northern Rockies is nothing short of an absolute hoot. Up, down, dirt, rocks, streams, trees, wildlife – trails deliver training that no road, track or treadmill can provide. They can also be a source of just plain old fun.
Just one look at the local running store’s shelf of shoes and you realize just how popular trail running and racing has become. Recent articles in national magazines confirm this. Seems as though the trails themselves have been discovered.
In August I had the opportunity to be a guest speaker at the Rocky Mountain College Pre-Season XC Camp located outside Red Lodge, Montana. Upon receiving the invitation one of my first thoughts (albeit a bit selfish) was to run on my absolute favorite trail in Montana. Lake Fork Trail in the Absaroka – Beartooth Wilderness. This trail is located just a couple of miles from where camp was held. Obviously I accepted.
What I like about trail running is that you decide where, when, how fast and how far you are running. If you want to go hard – go hard. If you want to just cruise – then kick back and run at a leisurely pace. Even on an easy trail run there is a tremendous sense of accomplishment upon finishing.
In 2010 I ran 29 trail runs and multiple other days of combining a trail with a road. I even through in a trail race. I won’t challenge that number in 2011 due to a very painful injury (incurred while trail running!) but am going to make the best of fall trail runs. The air is crisp, the aspens are golden and the trails are typically free from traffic.
When you go – be safe. Tell someone where you are headed, how long you are running and when to expect you back.
So – find a trail and get out there! Winter is coming!
Up next – Long Runs and Pancakes – The Contest. Find out who the winner is. Until then – enjoy the run!