Missoula Is For Runners

Posted: Monday, May 20th, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Missoula Is For Runners Image

Missoula is a running town, there is no way around it. I used to say the only way I would run is if I were being chased. I come from a heavy cycling background, it started shortly out of high school, I headed south to Colorado for a 3 week course to become a professional bicycle mechanic. I worked as a head mechanic for a local shop turning wrenches for 6+ years. I raced for a season but enjoyed my own pace more, plus packs of cyclists tend to foster large egos, for me the bike was a great way to crawl into my psyche for a couple hours of active meditation. Winters of extreme part-time employment eventually forced me out of the bike shop.

Working at The Trail Head has afforded me the opportunity to branch out into a more diverse menu of outdoor activities. With two kids trying to get that endorphin fueled exercise high tends to take a couple hour ride on the bike. That doesn’t really dovetail into our schedule. Weekend warrior hikes gave me a long grind but still lacked the feelings associated with a great work out.

Last month my 10 year old son came home from school with an entry form for the Riverbank Run and asked if we could do it. I immediately responded that we could do the 1 mile run/walk. “But dad, all the kids in my class are doing the 5k.” He countered. So reluctantly I gave in. I had 2 and a half weeks to get ready for the run. I could have walked the 3.11 miles but I wanted to run the whole thing. I consulted a friend on the best way to jump in and not injure myself. I ran every other day starting out with a half hour run/walk combo increasing run times as I went. The day of the run arrived, never having run in an organized race I didn’t know what to expect. Lining up was similar to the cycling races (minus the ego) my son was more nervous than me. The shot came signaling the beginning and we were off. We ran the whole thing at a good pace for us and had fun weaving through the sea of people. When the finish line came into view we even had a little “kick” left. And guess what? That little exercise high was back, this time with less time invested.

At this point I could hang up the shoes and relax, I’d achieved my goal, I ran my first 5k. But I haven’t hung up the shoes, I’m still out there, and so is my son. Now I find ourselves considering a 10k, what the heck at 41 this seems like a much healthier mid-life crisis!