Trail Running Category Archive

A Training Plan For Writing

I have run a marathon.

Have you ever seen a professional marathoner run? Smooth, efficient, powerful…and cruising along at sub 5 minute miles. Watching them, it seems as if their bodies are designed to move that fast (and perhaps they are), that they’re barely working at all. That’s not at all how I look when I run. Not even close.

Saying I’ve run a marathon (and shorter distances) does not mean I have ever performed well. I merely completed them. Completing and doing well are two very different things.

This time around (I’m running another half-marathon just a few weeks from now), I decided to do things a bit differently. I turned to my boyfriend for support and for a training plan. He put together a  plan designed just for me, for what I can handle without getting burnt out, and what would prepare me for the race the very best. Today, 3 months into my training plan, I can honestly say I’ve never felt more prepared and I’ve never been in better shape.

Over the past months I have often thought about how my running training plan has helped me become a more confidant runner. Is it possible that this idea of ‘training’ can be applied to my writing also? Could I create a ‘training plan’ for my writing that would, over the course of three months, help me to become better, to produce more, to become more efficient at my passion?

Those professional runners? They work their butts off to become that good…literally. I suppose this is the same for writing. The more I work, the more I stick to my training plan, the better I will become.

Do you ‘train’ yourself for your passion?

W is for Wilderness

The Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness to be exact. Back in ’08 my dad took me backpacking in Montana. I honestly can’t say I’ve ever been to a more beautiful, inspiring place.

We hiked up to the old Independence mining site and climbed Monument Peak, which I’m standing on in the picture below. This area is just north of Yellowstone Park. From the top of Monument we had a clear sight line all the way to the Tetons, 120 miles South. We camped at the base of Monument beside Blue Lake. The icy water was delicious on our sore feet and knees after a day of backpacking.

I highly suggest this area to any hikers/backpackers out there.

I grew up going to Colorado to visit my grandparents which probably accounts for my undying love of the mountains and probably explains why so many of my book ideas are set in the mountains. I always say my muse likes to hang out in state parks. This trip to Montana only strengthened my mountain obsession 🙂

Heavy Legs are Better than Jelly Legs

I trail run.

Trail Running

Yup, that’s what I look like when I run trails, nice and smooth.  Totally kidding.  That’s Anton Krupicka – he is one of the better ultra runners out there.  Anton runs, on average, 14 miles in the morning and 6-8 at night, his week ranges from 180 miles to 200.  Crazy?  Yeah, I know.

And no, that’s not what I do, but do you want to know what the most crazy part is?  That’s what Cale wants to do.  Cale’s an ultra runner.

When I say I’m a trail runner, really, I just mean that I go to the trails with him and hike/run around while he’s doing his thing, putting in his miles.  I get some excersie and some awesome time to let my muse run around in my head, and he gets my support on the trails.  I figure it’s my way of saying thank you for putting up with the hours I spend writing.

If you’re interested in running trails, here are a few tips:

  1. Let your eyes fall a few feet in front of you and be prepared to put the brakes on.  It’s pretty typical for snakes to come slithering across the trail in front of you.
  2. Either know the trails really well, have a map or bring a compass.  Yes, it’s easy to get lost out there.
  3. Don’t expect running on trails to be like running on the road.  It is much, much more difficult, but oh so worth it.
  4. Have your hands ready for A) brushing away spider webs or B) for falling.
  5. Always leave a note or let someone know where you’re going.
  6. (This one is from Cale) Just do it.  The more you do it, the easier it will be.

Mostly, have fun, running trails and being around nature is incredible.  Yeah, you have to expect to walk up the hills, run the rest and yeah, sometimes you fall, or lose your shoes in mud puddles, but in the end, you feel like you’ve accomplished something, you feel free, apart of something much bigger, and that totally makes it worth it.