Friday, September 30, 2016

Happy Birthday Blog! Trail Running and a Goodbye

My blog turned a year old in September.  Happy Birthday, Run Which Way!

Let's talk about trail running.  For more than my first year as a runner I shied away from trail running and almost exclusively ran my miles on the road.  I love road running and I always will, but when I started training for The Rut, I had to make trail running a staple of my routine.  I learned some important things when I did this that I would like to share with you.  The pictures below are from my business trip to Helena, where I took a morning to explore Mount Helena City Park.

1.  At any given location where trails exist, the choices of where you can go from one trail head are virtually endless!

2.  Unless you want to face-plant, you better focus on your steps and not on what's going on at work or what you need to do later.  It's good for taking your mind off run-of-the-mill brain overload.

3.  Terrain is ever changing which causes you to use muscles you don't activate when road running.  While it may seem counter-intuitive, engaging so many muscle groups can help prevent injury.  It's been a much better year for me!

4.  You get to see things you never would have seen had you not ventured off the road!  This rock formation is huge! 

5.  On occassion you find the perfect, frame-worthy view and if you're lucky you brought your camera.

6.  There is almost always more than one way to get where you are going.

7.  Sunrises (and sunsets) are still the most beautiful celestial events.

8.  It might be a lot of hard work to get where you are going, but it's probably going to be worth it when you get there.  To get to the summit of Mount Helena, I hiked/ran 1,095 feet in 1.65 miles.

9.  Trail selfies are way cooler than road selfies!  By the way, the funny lines across my face are actually hair that was blowing in the breeze that caught the sunlight.  I have looked at this picture a dozen times wondering what those were from and just figured it out in time to post here.

10.  There is no better way to spend a day with a friend or your spouse than hiking or running through awesome new places.  Mitch wasn't with me when I ran Mount Helena, but I look forward to every opportunity we get to share these adventures together.


Today I had to do something I've not had to do before.....

I threw one of my beloved pairs of running shoes in the garbage!  I have many pairs, some even older than these.  I probably put more miles on them than any others and I haven't worn them to run in much since March.  I was very surprised to see the upper separating from the soles of both shoes.  It was a sad day. 


Registration for the Missoula Marathon opens tomorrow.  I'll be doing this one again as part of my preparation to get a Boston Qualifier.  This year I did the race in just under 5 hours.  In 2017 it is my plan to get a time between 4:30 - 4:40.

I doubt it will surprise anyone when I tell you that I will also be signing up to do The Rut again next year.  I need to finish what I set out to do - summit Lone Peak and bag a 50K.

Which do you prefer: roads or trails?

Ever climbed to the summit of a mountain?


  1. I prefer road if racing, but I Loveeeeeee trails if I can just run casually. I always worry about twisting an ankle or something on a trail!

    I am about to need to throw out a favorite pair of my running shoes!!! So many PRs and my first marathon in those shoes.... so hard to say "good-bye"... LOL!! :D

    1. I'm pretty impressed with PR! Nice job. You could always put those shoes in a shadown box! LOL

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