Years pile on top of you and they are heavy. Work piles on top of you. Injuries pile on top. Sorrows, pain, money problems, heartbreak, depression, and fear. But you keep going. You keep moving forward. You keep running. Sometimes you don’t even know why, but you keep on. That’s what I’ve been doing—keeping going, day by day, week by week, run by run, and marathon by marathon. I look at the number of states I have left, and it looks like I’m probably not going to make it before fifty. But I’m going to keep trying. It may not make sense, but I’m not going to stop. Last time I ran Boston I saw someone holding a sign that read, “Your Reason Matters!” Of all the signs I’ve seen in all the races I’ve run, that is my favorite. That phrase echoes in my head when I get discouraged. Your reason matters.
I’ve run 8 marathons since my last post, and I’m one state away from being half-way done. I just turned 45 years old. I have five years to do 26 states. Considering that I started this 50 states quest 10 years ago, that means I’ve only averaged a little over 2 states per year. Ugh. At that pace, I’ll never make it. But I made a discovery last week that I think is going to help me.
First, let me sum up my races since my last post. I ran the Mowdy Mustang Run in Oklahoma with my buddy Clint from Dallas. It was a humid, hot, muddy, muggy trail race around the ranch, with wild mustangs running by here and there. It was fun to see Clint, and fun to see my son Isaac compete at the National Debate tournament in Dallas. I got 4th overall and 1st in my division with a 4:13 finish. The top three finishers were all females, which was cool. I’d never seen that happen before.
|Inaugural 2015 Race|
|Tarantula at the Mowdy Mustang Ranch Marathon|
After that, I didn’t run a marathon for a year. But Deb and I did enjoy a beautiful backpacking trip through the Green River Lakes in the Wind Rivers, and we summited Square Top (Sept. 2015).
|Hiking in, Green River Lakes trail.|
|Looking up at Square Top|
|Looking down from Square Top|
Also, for Deb’s 40th birthday, she wanted to hike the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim, so we did (Sept. 2015). It was awesome! Stunning views, great trail, challenging distance and elevation gain and loss. Add it to your bucket list.
|Descending into Grand Canyon from the North Rim|
|Approaching the South Rim, Bright Angel trail|
We also had our most successful hunting season yet: I got an antelope, Ed got a two-point (his first!), and I got a nice four-point.
|Nothing says "I love you" like heart-shaped horns|
|Eddie's first buck|
|Hanakapiai trail, Kauai|
|Napali Coast from helicopter|
|Finish line, Leadville trail marathon|
|Spooky Gulch, Escalante, UT.|
|Isaac at work in India|
|The marathon loops breathtaking Crater Lake|
|Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, OR|
|Sawtooth range, above Twin Lakes|
|Just sitting here, enjoying the view from Table mountain|
|I love hunting with my boys|
|My brother's first buck|
|Grand Ridge trail, Issaquah|
|Hilgard Basin trail, MT|
|Hiking buddies, Uintas|
|Deb in her happy place|
|Spread Eagle peak, Uintas|
|Thursday race, GAP marathon, Frostburg, MD|
|Friday race, GAP Trestles marathon, Meyersdale, PA|
|Saturday race, Barnum, WV|
|I visited the Flight 93 memorial. Inspiring place!|
|Stopped by Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water house|
So that's it for my recent marathon adventures. Not sure exactly when my next race will be, but I only need one more state to be halfway done. I haven't given up on my 3-hour goal quite yet either. I just signed up for my local Teton Dam marathon for 2018 to see if I might make it happen there, or at least get a PR. I've got six months, so I better hit the road. See ya!