Published Aug 28, 2019 (4 years ago)
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The last modifications of this post were around 4 years ago, some information may be outdated!

Some things take much longer than planned to come to fruition, but when they do, the joy tastes that much sweeter.

The view from the top...

A little over two years back, I hit probably the lowest point in my running career. I was tackling an immense challenge: the RAGNAR Trail Rainier Yellow Loop - 5 miles of nearly continuous uphill running on a trail that was treacherous at times covering a 2500 foot elevation climb. I lovingly refer to this as "aggressive trail hiking".

I didn't bother to bring anything to hydrate with. I might have had a small water bottle but that was quickly consumed. I had nothing to keep my nutrition levels up during this run. I started out with a pace that was more reminiscent of my road pace than anything.

It utterly destroyed me.

It also gave me a mission...

I wanted to come back and conquer this trail, and be a better runner. I used some birthday money and sold a couple things so I could by a proper hydration pack. I talked to some friends and family who do a lot of triathlon and other events. I did a lot of reading. I developed a better nutrition routine for before/during/after my runs. I learned to listen to my body even more while running and made sure not to start out at my college race pace. I continued to put in the miles and the hills.

Two years later I was brought back to the hill that had defeated me, with renewed determination. There was a little bit of fear. I did not want to revisit that level of pain and draining, but I wanted to push past it too.

I ran. I saw the points approaching where I had previously met obstacles and I pushed through them. I felt my body wanting to push hard but I reminded it we have further to go and settled back in to pace. I kept hydrated, I had my Gu shots at the proper times. I never gave up.


Nearly to the top. I had to document this.

The top never felt more sweet and glorious. I was exhausted, but I was triumphant. I felt like a wall had been broken down and new horizons had opened up. It was gruelingly glorious.


I leave this as a milestone to myself and a note of encouragement to anybody who stumbles across this. Keep fighting. Keep training. It may take 2 years (or more!) to reach that goal but it IS achievable in small steps. When you get there, when you break through, it will all be worth it.