My Favorite Runs of 2011 – #1 Life Is A Journey Not A Destination
My Favorite Runs of 2011 #1
The Tahoe Rim Trail
Life Is A Journey, Not A Destination
Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Life Is A Journey, Not A Destination,” and I think that is true in so many things. My running destination for last year was finishing the St George Marathon but so many of the highlights for my year in running came in the journey to get there. When thinking about all of the runs that I did during the year there was one run that stood out above the rest. In September of last year all of the adults on my wife’s side of the family took a great vacation to South Lake Tahoe. If you have never been to Lake Tahoe it is an amazing and beautiful place.
Our trip happened to fall exactly three weeks before the St George Marathon, which is usually my highest mileage week in my training plan so this meant that my brother-in-law JJ and I got to plan a long run in one of the most beautiful places in the country. I was so excited! In planning our route I got online and emailed back and forth with a nice lady from a local Lake Tahoe running club and then talked on Facebook with a local ultra running legend, Davy Crockett (I know what a great name for an ultra runner). Davy has finished 46 ultra 100 mile races and has ran the Lake Tahoe Rim Trail 100 miler several times. I met Davy one morning on a trail run up Mt Timpanogos when he was on his way down and I was on my way up. Both people that I talked to told me that if you run while at Lake Tahoe you have to run on the Tahoe Rim Trail because it is amazing, and they were absolutely right.
The route that we ended up settling on was between Kingsbury Grade and Spooner Summit on the Southeast side of Lake Tahoe. We put in about 23 total miles and gained 3,367 feet in elevation over the course of the run. It was a very tough run but probably the most beautiful run that I have ever done. The trail was in such great condition and most of the run was through beautiful tree cover and soft dirt. The weather was absolutely perfect with a temperature right around 50 degrees. We only encountered about 10-15 other hikers and bikers along the way and otherwise we were alone. Luckily we passed a nice hiker just as we hit the highest point with the best overlook of Lake Tahoe and so he snapped a picture of us. The smells, sounds and views were all brilliant. This run was such a good confidence builder for our upcoming marathon. When I run tough runs during the year I always say that I put those runs in my memory bank so that I can recall them in the later miles of the marathon when things get hard and remind myself that I can do it. By the time we finished the run our legs were burning and we were ready for a day of rest and relaxation. I had stopped the day before and loaded up on Gatorade and chocolate milk and had it ice cold in a cooler waiting for us. I don’t think chocolate milk has ever tasted so good.
This run reminded me to enjoy the journey in life no matter what I am doing. We had been training and so focused on the marathon but this run was the highlight of my year. In life sometimes we forget to take the time to look around and be grateful for each day that we have. If we only focus on the destination then many times we will miss out on the beauty of the journey and so many times that is the most beautiful part. I am so grateful for all the great runs that I had last year. Each of the individual runs from last year added up to make a fantastic year of running and I am praying for many more years of great runs to come. I am going to make an effort to focus on the beauty and challenge of each individual run and not take for granted all of the blessings that I have in my life.