I really enjoy running trails. I don’t claim to be fast or have fantastic form but I do thoroughly enjoy a winding single track trail through the woods. On the other end of the spectrum, if the surface becomes concrete and flattens out so does my enthusiasm. There are exceptions since I love running with others and Pope “family runs” regardless of the terrain. Any time I travel someplace new I really enjoy going for a run to get a different perspective of the buildings, people and slow speed goings-on.
The early years:
With few exceptions, my first ~30 years I focused primarily on team sports with running being a means to an end. In high school I’d run short sprints to tackle someone on the football field or vault over the bar in track. After that my fitness at UW Madison centered around the marching band and the weight room with very few runs over five miles. The following “Australian Rules Football” years did require a focus on foot speed and endurance but I didn’t separate out the endurance piece to run anything over a half marathon.
Over time I started to do more sports, activities and events that called for longer distances. The first challenge of this sort was in August of 2006 when I did a 45 mile run / hike combo called Rim to Rim to Rim (R2R2R) through the Grand Canyon.
While it was a great experience, with a wedding, new job and a move to Arkansas I backed off of distance running for a spell. It wasn’t until October of 2009 when I ran my first Marathon in Chicago with Jay Mueller. Even though we trained on other sides of the world we ran the whole thing together and hit our time goal – a great experience.
For the next few years I focused on distance triathlons which require a fair amount of road running to do them well. In August of 2016 I took to the trails again and ran a 120 mile trail stage race across the Rocky Mountains! It was an amazing experience that tested my limits both in training and during the event itself. Read about my TransRockies run experience here!