Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Trail to the Holy Grail

I started running in September 2005 after the release of my last album. By then I had almost bottomed out on my mental and physical health and needed something to pull me out of the downward spiral. This came after years of proclaiming to everyone within earshot that I hated jogging and would never take up the sport. But I soon connected with Colorado’s thriving trailrunning culture, where the creative planner could run at least one trail race per week, if crazy enough (see Bernie Boettcher). Colorado claims thousands of miles of trails, and I’ve hiked many of these in the Front Range and beyond. I entered my first race as a competitor in February 2006, finishing in the 69th percentile on a 10-mile paved course. Crossing the finish line, the hook was set. I spent the rest of 2006 entering anything I could manage, with increasingly impressive results. I found that my hiking experience paid off in the uphill courses, as I posted strong finishes at the Mt. Evans Ascent (86th percentile), Pikes Peak Ascent (93rd percentile), and Imogene Pass Run (94th percentile). I still get beaten soundly by guys (and gals) who are 10+ years my senior. However, this is encouraging since it shows me that my best years of running lie ahead. I don’t fill my race calendar like I used to, only because it gets expensive, and I’d rather focus my training on the larger events. I have my first marathon in a couple weeks (more about that later), a ‘Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim’ run at the Grand Canyon (or, ‘R3’) planned for the last weekend of October, and my first ultra (The Kettle Moraine 100K) in June 2008. Hope to see you on the trails someday!

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