Friday, May 8, 2015

Mickelson Trail is Cool! Courteney and Jennifer Not Seen.

After teaching a Senior Real Estate Specialist Wednesday in Sturgis, South Dakota, I badly needed a run. Originally, I was headed to the Centennial Trail for some single tracking. Fortunately, or unfortunately, one of the agents in my class warned of the trail's total lack of traffic, rough terrain, and cougars. She suggested the George Mickelson trail in Deadwood.

I have to confess, I have little or no fear of running in remote areas (In fact, I like being the only one on the trail), and I don't mind a little technical trail running. But when it comes to cougars, I don't think so. The last people I want to see on the trail are Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston. Count me OUT! So I was off to Deadwood to grab the Mickelson Trail.

The George Mickelson Trail (no, not Phil) is roughly 109 miles long from Deadwood to Edgemont. From where I started in Deadwod, it is uphill for 19 miles. So the run was set, it would be uphill out, downhill back. Now I don't know about you but I prefer it that way. Let's get the trudging out of the way early.

It had rained most of the day, so the trail was wet, and it was also a little chilly. That was enough to kill any potential traffic. I was the only person I saw on the trail the entire time (even Courteney and Jenn didn't make it out). Because I had already run in the morning, the original plan was to run three up, three down and that would be it. What I didn't know was that I was going to feel pretty good so the six mile run was extended to nine.

The rain and wind were steady and kind of annoying, but the trail made up for it. Always at least six feet wide and nicely packed (that combo of well packed and a little soft), it made for nice easy running, even during the uphill half.

Every year, the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon is held from the burg of Rochford down the trail to Deadwood. Runner's World calls it the "Best kept secret in marathoning." I think it would be a blast. Check it out at http://www.deadwoodmickelsontrailmarathon.com/

The other thing that I think would be fun is taking a few days and doing the entire trail. Yeah, I know, there are people who would just blaze through the 109 miles in one awesome LONG run. I am not, however, one of them. But it might be something to do in 3-5 days according to fitness level.

All in all, a great trail (and from what I hear, I got nowhere close to the most scenic sections). Definitely, a wonderful addition to my Sturgis trip. More about the Mickelson Trail at https://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/mickelson-trail/

Run on.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Logging Miles, Dropping LBs

It is SO good to be logging some miles. This week I will end up around 45 after a couple of weeks in the 30's. Hamstring issue, while not completely vanished, very much a non-factor. It's also nice to be finally losing some pounds. Sunday (two more days) will be five weeks on the 21 Day Fix and with two days to go I have lost 16 pounds. Pretty psyched but a long way to go. My goal is that by my birthday on November 6, I will have lost 58 pounds and be sub-170 for the first time since 1984 (had a curly perm then too - probably won't revisit that). Not an easy goal, but the best ones usually are not.

The miles and the excitement have me pondering some racing both this and next year. I'm thinking a few half marathons in August, September and October before tacking a rematch with the Savannah Marathon. All tentative, of course, but pretty jazzed. Next year, bigger challenges.

On a separate topic, I have discovered Talk Ultra. TU is a podcast from Ian Corless with the best Ultra Marathoners and mountain runners in the world. My last listen was to Kilian Jornet and Marco De Gasperi. Very enlightening and makes me want to head to the hills this summer. Definitely a few 14ers in the plan. Putting two things together: weigh less, climb better!

Run on.