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Don't forget to have fun! Posted on November 19, 2014


This morning, like most Sunday mornings, I went out for a long run. My long runs tend to be a little different sometimes, now that I live in Denver. Today I drove into the mountains and headed out on a trail called the Bear Creek Trail. The first mile was relatively easy, aside from dodging all the people. See, it was a beautiful fall day here in Colorado, and the parking lot at the trail head was completely full.

Pro tip: A good way to tell how far you are from the trail head is to notice how many people are on the trail with you. Can’t hardly run due to all the people, kids, dogs, etc.? You’re very close to the trail head, probably less than a mile. See a few hikers and mountain bikers around? You’re anywhere from 2-3 miles from the trail head. See only the occasional mountain biker or bearded trail runner? You’re at least 4 miles or more from the trail head. But I digress

As I was saying, the first mile of the trail was relatively easy. It was as wide as a lane of traffic, only slightly uphill, and perfectly smooth and manicured. The Bear Creek was bubbling right next to the trail, and it was a pleasant, sunny 60 degree day, as seen in the picture above. Just after a mile in the trail turns suddenly to the left, narrows to single track, and turns sharply uphill. For the next 5 miles I would be running roughly uphill, which is never an easy task, but is made even harder when the trail starts at 6,465 feet.

The average angle of ascent for this trail is seven degrees, so it should come as no surprise that 3 miles into the climb I stopped at a false summit where the trail flattened out for a bit, to gasp for air and drink some water. It was then, out of breath and dripping with sweat, that I noticed the view, as seen in the picture below. I couldn’t help but think of the Vonnegut quote, “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’”

It reminded me that running isn’t always easy and, in fact, if you’re training for a specific goal, it’s rarely easy. It’s usually hard work, like running uphill on this trail for 5 miles. But, I was out there because I wanted to be, and I couldn’t think of a better place to have to suffer. I continued up the trail with a little bit more bounce in my step. Once I reached the end of the trail, I turned around and was practically skipping down the mountain. I was “ramping” off of dirt mounds and rocks, gaining speed and just generally having a good time on the way back down.

Sure, it was easier to enjoy the second half of the run, since I was running mostly downhill, and that takes a good chunk of the effort out of it. However, if you don’t enjoy running with your friends, the sunrises and sunsets, running in the rain, making fresh tracks in the snow in the early morning quiet of a winter day, or any of the other pleasurable experiences that come with being a runner, I suggest you find yourself a different sport. See, we only have so much time here, and there’s no need to waste it doing something you hate and making yourself miserable. There is no shortage of ways to stay active. Get out there, try something new, and God damn it, have fun while you’re doing it. More miles, more smiles!


*Eric Mellow is a freelance blogger for the More Miles More Smiles team!*


by Mark Spewak

1 Comment

Bodrexclalu on On 06/05 at 05:12 AM

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