Wednesday morning, Brent and I finally got ourselves out of bed around 4:50am. We scrambled around to get ready for our run as we had already slept in for 20 minutes. We wanted to be out the door by 4:45am but had to settle for 5:00am. We rushed to fill our water bottle, grabbed a Vitamin Water, and lace up our shoes. Still waking up, we hopped into the car and headed for the college “M” trailhead. We have been trying to get up there for a morning run for a month or two. With the weather and business of life, we kept on sleeping in or doing a normal flat run around our neighborhood. I jumped out of the car and waited for Brent, but then decided that I am always slower on hills and took off. He caught up very quickly and then ran ahead. He kept me in his sights as we were running a trail in the mountains early in the morning. He would do is quick little jaunts and then slow down till I caught up enough. I want Brent to be able to do his best for two reasons. 1. To get in a good quality workout without him lagging behind because of me. 2. To be able to improve for racing instead of sticking back with me and not trying harder. This was his way of getting in a good workout. I love seeing Brent improve even if I am left in his dust. I am happy when he does good.
The trail winds up through the forest taking us up for about a mile and a half till we reach the college “M” on the side of the mountain. A mile and a half is not a hard amount of mileage, but what I haven’t told you is that you gain 750 ft. I forgot how hard this is on the lungs as I have not done this since September. The last part of the trail gives you two options. One is to go up this longer trail that is significantly less steep, or take the steep switchbacks that take it all out of you. Brent and I always choose the switchbacks. My lungs felt like they were about to burst, but I pressed on. Last year it took me about 3 or 4 times before I was able to run up the entire way without stopping. This year, I was going to do it on my first try. I did. I climbed up those switchbacks with everything that I had left. I made it through the 4 steep climbs and found myself out of the forest looking down on Bozeman. What a view! As the sun was still coming up over the mountain behind us, I sat down on the bench with Brent to catch my breath for a few moments and to take in the amazing scenery. This is the best reason to get up and do this run in the morning. Not only do you get a great workout in, you get to sit and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation without the noise of Bozeman waking up.
After gathering ourselves, we scurried down the trail being careful that we do not twist our ankles as the steepness and the unevenness of the trail will throw you off. We quickly made it down the trail passing a few people that woke up to hike in the early morning. I was glad that we had the top all to ourselves. We jumped into the car, guzzled down our vitamin water and hit the road to go get ready for the day. Even though we had been sleeping well, we were glad that we made it up to the trail. It is always a good feeling of accomplishment when we can start off our day with a good run.