There have been so many times that I’ve found myself asking: “What the hell am I doing out here?”
The 5am alarm on a Saturday morning.
Pushing through thick, wet snow and icy cold wind, my beard turned into icicles.
Deep in the woods, swimming through the humidity and heat, sweat soaking my socks and shoes.
Trudging up yet another hill during an ultramarathon, the finish line somewhere in the distance.
Why am I even bothering? I’m literally going nowhere!
But invariably – invariably – the next day, those thoughts are gone. Instead, I’m remembering what it felt like to be on an adventure. Discovering new trails, new abilities, and being inspired with new ideas.
I’ve thought about it. You know, the big “IT.” Would I give this up? Would I stop pursuing these crazy miles? And I know, without a doubt, that I would absolutely not give it up. In his song “Every Time,” David Ford says “I’d choose this mother*****, and I’d choose it again.”
That’s why I’m currently planning to complete solo runs of Indiana’s two longest trails, the Tecumseh Trail and the Knobstone Trail. For no other reason than that I love adventure, and trail and ultrarunning has taken me to some of my greatest adventures.
I’ll start with Tecumseh, a 42-mile point-to-point trail in my own Hoosier State, only a few hours from my house. Tecumseh is pretty hilly, with 4,000 – 6,000 feet of vert (depending on who you ask), so this isn’t going to be a walk in the park, but I’ll be ready. I’m building on the stellar work I put in for Gnaw Bone, so I have a pretty good head start. I’ll do this sometime in August (date TBD).
After that, I’ll set my sites on Knobstone, an infamous Hoosier trail if ever there were one. Its 50 miles rolls through notoriously difficult terrain with steep climbs and descents and very few switchbacks. It’s also well-known for being pretty dry, with little-to-no access to water on the trail. Thankfully Ashley is going to crew me for both adventures.
There’s more to plan and sort out, but I’m so excited to hit the trails for a few solo adventures.