Initially, I was worried these trails were over my head, but I gained confidence two weekends ago hiking twenty-six miles in ten hours on the CDT. I’ll have no trouble meeting the cut off times for the trailfest half marathons. I’m looking forward to this now as an awesome three-day workout.
At 12 and 13 miles, the courses will be triple the distance of what I generally run. But with views like these two photos above and below in Bryce, looking out at hoodoos, I imagine wanting the miles to continue.
I almost don’t feel worthy of such spectacular trails, not being in better shape. So what. This will be killer training ground. Running 37 miles across the best trails the western high-altitude desert has to offer is the best antidote I can think of for my current running malaise. And spending all this time to myself might be good to recharge my introverted mental capacitors.
Runners who rent tents will reside in the apparent orderliness of a monochromatic color scheme. I’ll pitch my one-man tent in the more discordant array in the center of the photo, expecting to meet like-minded people.
I’ve studied the course elevation profiles and I’m not overly concerned. Bryce Canyon will be the toughest with nearly 5000 feet of elevation variance, but Zion and the Grande Canyon are almost flat by comparison with less than 2000 feet of variance each. Not to say each course won’t have challenging sections. I am happy to see ladders, as I consider myself, certainly while in my current state of fitness, to be a gentleman trail runner.
I’ve run some great trails in my day, but next week will be like dreams come true. I’ll be living life, as runners were meant to live it. When I come back, I’ll be a runner again.