Reflection On Summer Training, So Far

On July 11, 2008, in Uncategorized, by Meghan

Two posts in 2 days, this must be a record of sorts! I’ll be really busy for the next 9 days, though, due to my real job and about 30 hours of peak training for the Burning River 100, so hopefully these entries will tide you over. Fortunately, among other things, the next 9 days contain some really sweet backcountry running plans, and I promise to carry a camera. Stay tuned, then, for some picture-filled entries when my taper begins.

Due to the way things sometimes go, I did life in the wrong order today. I relaxed and played with friends at some hot springs first, and left a hard running workout for later. I was initially remorseful of the fact that the dog and I were alone on a forest service trail on a Friday night. Then, I took all that remorse back as I realized just how lucky I was to be in this exact position. These thoughts then led me to further reflect on this summer’s training.

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” Greg Anderson

Essentially, the idea expressed by the above quote is what my mind settled upon when thinking about what I have been up to lately. Simply said, while it’s important for me to focus upon the goal of racing 100 miles, it’s equally important to acknowledge of the process of training for this 100 mile race.

So, I came home from my hill workout this evening, sat down at the computer with Ultragen and dinner, and wrote down some observations from my summer training to celebrate the process. Please enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed experiencing.

-Sun, heat, and absolutely no humidity
-The intoxicating smell of wildflowers
-Miles of listening to nothing but my own footsteps
-Numb, reddened legs from after-run soaks in snow-melt streams
-Pick-up trucks bouncing down dirt roads in swirls of gray dust
-Dirty, waning snow fields that my dog licks without regret
-Bucking young bison in green meadows
-Chatty tourists eating beef jerky and turkey sandwiches on the trail
-Black bear cubs frolicking at a pond’s edge
-Switchbacking trails that make mountains run-able
-Surprising myself by completing 20 big-girl pull-ups in the gym during one workout
-Marmots and their warning call chirps
-Cottonwood tree cotton floating on the wind like a snowstorm
-The hilarious sight of me flailing through a 5k race amidst heavy training for a 100 miler
-Horses trotting alongside me in their pastures
-Mountain lion footprints fossilized in dry mud
-Coyotes with their yipping conversations
-Butterflies caught in strong breezes
-Speed workouts on a treadmill in the hot and humid gym
-The fresh, fly-covered pile of bear poop that wasn’t on the trail when I was there 3 hours before
-Dousing myself in the irrigation sprinklers of hay fields and the torrents of water falling from the high country
-Scree tumbling beneath the feet of bighorn sheep
-Turning the iPod Shuffle up loud to almost any song on Beck’s Guero album or James McMurtry’s Choctaw Bingo song for hill repeats on forest service roads
-Reading Trail Runner Magazine during post-workout ice baths
-Twin pronghorn babies fighting with each other for their mother’s milk
-Hours of thinking about absolutely nothing and everything
-Getting bit by way too many horse and deer flies
-Trains of trail ride horses adorned with tourists that smell like equal parts sunscreen and fast food
-The ironic mix of navigating Yellowstone’s busy summer roads to get to the park’s almost empty backcountry
-A raging waterfall that precluded speaking because it was just too loud


11 Responses to “Reflection On Summer Training, So Far”

  1. rick says:

    Words invoking many, many, many, images and smells. Makes me reflect on my spring and summer as well. If I had a list what would be in it? Way to go on the posts. I’m empty of words at the moment. I just had a dozen conversations compressed into one. Maybe the words will come back after a large mocha and some oatmeal.

  2. Holly says:

    Nice post, Meghan. I treated myself to some numb, reddened legs just this afternoon. How does anyone recover when they don’t love in areas that are filled with freezing rivers and lakes?

    Thank you for the well wishes on my race…today was my first marathon ever and it was a tough one. Leslie had an amazing run – but I will leave that for her to describe. I am just thrilled to be finished. Who knew that my first marathon finish would occur in conjunction with my first DFL? LOL.

    Please feel free to link to my blog if you like!


  3. A says:

    ohhhh, so lovely. Thanks for letting us experience it vicariously! Beautifully captured, as always. I absolutely love it! What a magnificent journey! 🙂


  4. Danni says:

    Thanks for sharing – how incredibly lucky to experience all those things. Well, most of them anyhow. :p

  5. JeffO says:

    Nice, Meghan! These things are why we run. Races are excuses to be out there all the time!

  6. Bob Gentile says:

    -Speed workouts on a treadmill in the hot and humid gym
    so we have one thing in common 🙂

    Reflect on my friend! Glad ur trainings are going well.

  7. Hart says:

    any chance you are free to give ty draney and myself a yellowstone trail runner tour mon/tues? we are thinking wind river range, but we could be persuaded if you have the time and inclination.

  8. olga says:

    Summers are wonderful, aren’t they?

  9. Journey to a Centum says:

    Each observation should be written into a chapter of a novel called “Summer of 2008”.

    Does it get any better than this? WooHoo!


  10. sea legs girl says:

    “Miles of listening to nothing but my own footsteps”

    Gorgeous! Thanks, Meghan.

  11. Meghan says:

    Happy Friday, all! I hope you all have great running weekends!

    Rick- You, speechless? I can hardly imagine. 🙂

    Holly- We are so lucky to have our natural ice baths, aren’t we? So glad to hear you had a successful, albeit challenging, first marathon! Congrats!

    Anne- Thank you so much!

    Danni- I would gladly give back the fresh bear poop in particular. Aside from that, I’ll take it all! 🙂

    JeffO- You’re right, for us, these are our reasons for running and racing.

    Bob- I bet my version of a hot gym is much cooler than a Florida version of a hot gym. Besides, we have many more things in common. 😉

    Matt- Perhaps I’ll see you around Yellowstone someday!

    Olga- Agreed!

    Eric- It’s the summer I don’t want to end! We have it so good, don’t we?

    Sealegs- Thanks!

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