Zen On Dirt

This running business

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We’ve been running more than riding for nearly a month now. We are still, knock on wood, injury free.

Statistics to date:

Crashes/bloody knees – 2

Runs that left me obscenely sore – 1

Number of mountains climbed – 1

Number of runs that have me wishing for my bike for the first 5 minutes – All (seriously, does the first 5 minutes ever get any better?)

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The last time I ran with any regularity was back circa 2008 when I decided to race cross for a season. I got to the point where I could run for an hour at a time and not hate life. Since then, it’s been pretty regular – Hey, it’s off season, I’m going to run – for two weeks, and then I’m back on the bike because running hurts.

But right now, I’m a little burnt on big bike rides. There. I said it. I’ve been loving going on little hour spins around the neighborhood, but the desire to go ride for hours and hours and hours on end hasn’t really been there. Nor has the desire to push my bike or deal with any bike related BS, including but not limited to: Flat tires, brakes the need to be bled, shifting that has stopped shifting, and squeaky chains.

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Big surprise, I know. I feel a little guilty about it, though. And then Scott reminds me that I don’t have to ride my bike 365 days a year. In fact, if I don’t want to ride a bike for an extended period of time, that’s okay too!

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There were a lot of times this summer that I wished I didn’t have a bike with me, namely across the entire Montana/Idaho border section of the CDT. I was walking more than riding, and we were cover the same distances as the hikers. Demoralizing. And then there were the areas closed to bikes…namely the Winds and Glacier National Park. The trails looked absolutely spectacular from the pictures we saw on the Facebooks, and as we rode by (or thru for Glacier), we pointed and said, we want to go there.

So I think that’s really where this mini running obsession has come from. A means to go see all those spots that we couldn’t go see on our bikes. As a way to go see all the places around Tucson that we can’t go see on our bikes.

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We’ve been ramping up our milages and elevation gains to the point that we consider ourselves advanced beginners on foot. We were able to run Wasson Peak, a nearby Wilderness area mountain, that entailed 2,000 feet of up and down.We weren’t sore the next morning, which was cause for major celebration.

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It was a bit of a breakthrough. Mountains were fair game. And mountains were what we starting this silly little venture for.

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And riding bikes has been great to break up the week, because I definitely don’t have the muscles to run 6 days a week and I don’t function well without exercise of some type. And riding bikes is fun. But so is running.

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