You wake up to birds chirping, sunlight streaming through your window, a slight breeze playing with the curtains. The outdoors beckon. You scarf a quick breakfast, grab your gear, swing the door open to enjoy the glorious day, and in typical Bozeman style, it's started to rain. Now what? Don’t let the rain get you down.
As a whole, athletes are a superstitious bunch, and runners are no exception. Watch a runner as she stands at the starting line—stretch the neck to the left, then right; check the watch three times; double knot the laces, undo them, and double knot them again; a quick glance to the sky, wiggle the toes, and off she goes!
I have my own superstitious (compulsive) quirks during a race, but I also have a laundry list of routines and strange behaviors in the weeks leading up to the race for a solid mental workout. Many of the techniques I am employing for my marathon this Saturday I will also use in August as I (hopefully) prepare for the Ridge Run.
Keep Calm and Carry On
When I was in third grade, innocently running around the playground at recess, Justin Newman hauled off and kicked me in the shins as hard as he possibly could. If you have ever been kicked in the shins or stumbled into a coffee table, you too will remember the stabbing pain in your muscles and bone, causing you to bellow and keel over in pain. As a result of that incident, I have been carefully protecting my shins for the last twenty years, praying I would never again have to feel the pain induced by Justin Newman…but then I started running.
After a weeklong vacation, in which I may or may not have over-indulged on food-truck cuisine, fresh seafood, and mouth-watering maple-bacon doughnuts, my pants were feeling a little tight on the ride back to Bozeman from the coast. Despite my love for deep-fried pastries with meat, the date for the Bridger Ridge Run is looming nearer, and my training has reached a very low plateau. After my return to Bozeman/reality, I knew I needed something to kickstart my spring training. What better way to reignite the motivation than purchasing some new running shoes?
As spring surfaces and the weather warms up, my mind invariably turns to mountain biking. Don’t get me wrong—I love a good winter season of skiing and snowfall; but at some point, the need for riding some dirt takes over. We have some great early-season hiking trails in our area, but when it comes to biking we're a bit more limited. While waiting for Bozeman-area trails to dry up, you can enjoy some quality spring riding if you look a little further out of town.
Stopping for a photo before a climb at Lewis and Clark Caverns
“When it comes to the Big Hole and the Beaverhead, people ‘round here love these rivers,” Justin says, pulling fishing line into his mouth to tie another triple surgeon’s knot. “And they don’t just ‘love’ the rivers—they’ll get in fistfights over ‘em. That’s real love.” He fishes through a gear box the size of a microwave, hunting for the perfect fly.
When you hear the term “film awards,” visions of red carpets, fancy clothes, and grand media attention reminiscent of the Academy Awards may cross your mind. Not so with the Cold Smoke Awards, Bozeman's signature ski-film extravaganza. As I walked into the Emerson’s Crawford Theater Saturday night for the 8th annual Awards, I found a variety of excited ski fans ready to have a great time. The theater was packed with crowds lining the back walls and eagerly awaiting the awards.
On Training with Pringles and Powerade.
Up until a couple of years ago, I believed runners were a subspecies of some sort of mutant beast—half prehistoric animal, half futuristic robot. In my mind they ran all day and all night, consuming little food or water. They were engineered to run endlessly on nothing more than energy gel packets and protein shakes.
Thanks to this delusional mindset, I trained for and ran my first (and only) marathon two years ago with dozens of caffeinated gel packets, sucking back the glue-like goo with disgust, and suffering through hunger pangs and mental images of cheeseburgers and milkshakes. How did real runners do this day after day?
Sliding sideways on the iced-over interstate, I overcorrected and careened toward the median. With solid steel and cable fast approaching, I gripped the wheel and thought, "Okay, God, whatever you have for me, I'm ready." When it was all over I sat in my totaled car, shaken but okay. And then I wondered, what on earth was a 38-year-old father of five doing seven hours from home at 3:30 am in the middle of an ice storm?
Heading to Sparta, of course.
- O/B Store