Goals & Resolutions

“After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again.” ― C.S. Lewis

 

Failure/not completing what one’s started – it’s a tough pill to swallow.  Some spout excuses, I’ve never been one to jump on board. Running’s a solo sport.  Body failure, mental weakness, weather conditions – doesn’t matter.  It’s you, the trail & a pair of shoes.

Started the weekend early like most (of my) race adventures.  Booked a bus ticket, not a lotta options to northwest Wyoming 🙂  Boulder to Denver, Denver to Buffalo (Wyoming, not New York).  9 hours.  Then ride-shared with a buddy to Dayton (Wyoming, not Ohio).

Bib pick-up Friday afternoon in Sheridan.  2 drop bags packed for Saturday’s 52 mile run.

2-mile taper runs all week.  Half-month watching Bighorn videos [on YouTube].  Hot temps, their principle complaint.  Tomorrow’s forecast?  Light rain & mud, remnants from last week’s snow.  PERFECT conditions.  Summer’s come late to Wyoming.

Reviewed the map, reread the manual, talked with one of the race’s first 100 mile finishers.

Every T crossed, nothing left undone.

 

Should you drive into the Footbridge Aid Station, be aware that there are 2 creek fords to drive through. The second is quite deep at this time. Do not attempt to drive to Footbridge without a high clearance vehicle.

 

Our aid stations are well stocked with GU products, GU hydration, water, and a full supply of a variety of foods to help you in your endeavor for the distance you have registered and chosen to run. Please remember that the aid station volunteers who hike to their stations are limited in supplies, but are still well-stocked to assist you.

 

…you should yield to any runner that is catching you from behind, let them pass by stepping to the upside of the trail so that they may continue at their pace. The faster runner does have the right of way, and would be appreciative of your yielding this to them. This is true for horses as well, and others that may be on the trails.

 

We are expecting fairly average course conditions for 2017, but remember we are famous for the Bighorn shoe sucking mud. There will be snow, mud, rocks, roots, elk and their calves, moose and their calves, bear and their cubs, grouse, snakes, and other wildlife as well as challenges along the way, but we are in WYOMING and just consider this part of the adventure.

 

Welcome, and safe travels to our wild and scenic Bighorn Mountains!

 

Thank you,
Bighorn Race Officials

 

Saturday.  Race morning.  5am race start, 45 minute drive from my overnight cabin.

Bed at 8:30, didn’t drop off ‘til after midnight, up again at 3.  Mentally sapped.

Not the lack of sleep – FEAR.  I can’t do this.  It’s too many miles.  All trail.  I’m at elevation.

Pitch dark, in the car by 4.  One deer.  Two moose.  Then…heavy fog.  Large patches of snow [on] both sides of State Highway 14.  Only 10 minutes to Start.  Where is the turnoff?  No cell signal, map left in the cabin.

Must have missed a turn.  Back over the pass, back into the fog.

Never ever located the Start.  HUGE fail.  Have never missed a race – and this my goal race, my first 50.

Tough miss.  Just wasn’t meant to be.  Loss.

Showered at the cabin, retreated home – left a day early.  Prepaid my stay, sunk cost.  Home.  I’ll figure it out at home.

 

UPDATE: 3 days later, still Bighorn-wounded but back at it.  Reconnecting the dots.  Have created a path for 100.  All flights booked, all races registered.  Ready, ready to run.  Looking to Ireland: October 29th.  Marathon #100.  Focused.

Bighorn 2018?  Yep, I’ll be back.  Count on it.  I’ve never run FROM anything.

 

 

 

2 ½ months ‘til my 2017 challenge – BIGHORN.

100+ consecutive run days, 100 miles+ ahead for the year.  Kicked it up another notch – just added swimming.  Not a fan of early morning water, but pulling out all stops this year…no excuses, nothing undone.

10K morning – 6 mile run, quarter-mile swim.  Increasing lung capacity, lengthening my stride, strengthening mind & body.  Marathoning 5 of the next 6 weekends (Colorado, Oklahoma, Canada & New Hampshire).

June 17th: BIGHORN TRAIL RUN.  52 miles of trail – at altitude, north on the Wyoming/Montana border.  Won’t be physically strong enough by mid-June, counting on mental strength to gut thru the day.

Nutrition.  Have yet to solve the riddle, [expecting a] 15 hour run day.  Must learn to eat while running – or I’m doomed.

 

Bighorn Trail Run 52m

 

Course Elevation at the Start: 8800 feet

 

 

The 52 mile course begins at Jaws Trailhead and proceeds easterly on trail approximately 1.5 miles where it crosses Forest Service Road #14 (Devils Canyon Road).  At this point, the trail joins trail #50 (Little Horn Trail) and starts to descend into the Little Horn drainage. Here is where you start your adventure on the original Little Horn Trail #50. The trail crosses several small creeks as you drop into Willow Creek then Duncum Creek drainage. Panoramic views and splendid seas of wildflowers greet you as the trail descends into the Wagon Box drainage.

 

After dropping about 1000 feet in 8 miles SPRING MARSH Aid Station #1 awaits your arrival. The supplies are limited there as it is accessible only by foot, so all supplies have been packed in. As the trail descends the Little Bighorn Canyon to Leaky Mountain Creek you might notice a sign about 150 yards after crossing Leaky Creek. At this sign turn and look to your left and you’ll see why it was appropriately named Leaky Mountain. As you descend deeper into the canyon excellent views are afforded of the lower parts of the Little Bighorn Canyon and the confluence of the Dry Fork Canyon coming in from the south. Another limited aid station called THE NARROWS Aid Station #2 at 5500 feet and 15 miles into the course is awaiting your arrival.

 

Continuing down to the FOOT BRIDGE Aid Station #3 at 18 miles and 4200 feet you’ll find your drop bag at the fully equipped aid station. It is advisable to have dry socks and shoes in your drop bag here. After crossing the Foot Bridge, you begin a major climb up the Dry Fork reaching BEAR HUNTING CAMP Aid Station #4, a limited aid station at mile 21 1/2 and approximately 6300 feet. The course then levels off slightly to the KERNS COW CAMP Aid Station #5 at 28 miles and approx. 6800 feet. This is the course junction where you join the 50 Km course. You’ll continue on together climbing up to the HEAD OF THE DRY FORK Aid Station #6 at mile 34 and approx. 7650 feet. This is your second and final drop bag cache.

 

After leaving the aid station the course proceeds up the Freeze Out road, following trails and a gravel road cresting on Camp Creek Ridge at 8,100 feet. It then descends down Sheep Creek drainage to 7,300 feet on a four-wheel drive road. After running about 5.5 miles from the Dry Fork station you will reach the fully supplied UPPER SHEEP CREEK aid station (39 Mile Checkpoint). Next is the summit of Horse Creek Ridge at 8,000 feet, following trails and primitive four-wheel drive roads, which will then drop you into Tongue River Canyon. Take a moment to view the canyon and the distant plains before you descend the trail through seas of wildflowers.

 

LOWER SHEEP CREEK aid station at mile 44 1/2 and 5025 feet, is a good place to fill your bottles before entering the sometimes hot canyon below. Continuing on to the TONGUE RIVER aid station at mile 46 1/2 and approximately 4225 feet you will leave the trail and run on a relatively flat gravel road for the remainder of the distance. At about mile 49 is the final aid station, HOMESTRETCH aid station. Continue on and just as you are entering Dayton you will cross the Tongue River on a rustic footbridge. Runners then cross Highway 14 and proceed into town making a left onto 3rd street. Go one block and make a left onto Broadway and into Scott Park where the FINISH and picnic gala await you.

 

Brian Morrison, Western States 100 – ‘bucket list’ endurance race

 

 

Good morning son.  The new year will soon be here and I am so thankful I have been able to have had a visit with all my children to end this old year.  I have been so blessed this whole year way beyond my expectations!  Last night we went to Lulu’s Bistro and all enjoyed a very high class dining experience.  Came home and played Mexican Train Dominos with Collette, Maddie, Tori and Tammy while Paul, Jack and James watched a fight they rented on pay per view. Praying you will have a blessed day today and are feeling good.  Love you Mom ❤️

 

Sent from my iPhone

 

New Year’s Eve – great time to reflect.  Easy to get caught up with an ‘out with the old, in with the new’ attitude.  Easy to provide excuses:   I would have, had xxx not happened.  No judgment zone here – I reflect because I want to remember.  We all have a limited time span, a   life journey, a finite # of days.  How did I spend MY days?  Did I dream?  Did I live with regret?  Did I inspire?

 

Family

  • Ash & Tom · road travelled to Yellowstone & Grand Teton Nat’l Park(s).  geyser toured, Old Faithful watched, horseback   trod.  Colorado ⇨Wyoming ⇨Idaho ⇨Montana   HUGE memories.  Thanks Ash, thanks Tom.
  • Michaela & David · shared space in the one place on Earth they love most – DisneyWorld.  Many thanks Jill.
  • St Louis Reunion · ping pong, fireworks, Grant’s Farm, Fitz’, Purina.  siblings, spouses, [grown] children & Mom – EVERYONE travelled to St Louis.  Sharing laughs & creating new memories with Family, nothing better.  Thanks Sis.
  • Stephen · whale watched, kayaked, beached oceanside, caught 4 shows (including Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald), feasted on tea-smoked duck birthday nite…Cape Cod on my 50th.  Biggest thanks Stephen.

 

Travel

  • Hawaii · Snorkeled Molokini Crater, drove the road to Hāna & experienced the waves of Pāʻia, attended a traditional Polynesian luau & hiked Haleakalā Nat’l Park.
  • Canada · Marathon’d 42.2K twice (2 different provinces: Alberta & New Brunswick), then brought Canada home to Colorado. After tea-house hiking in Banff Nat’l Park with my friend Sarah (bucket list destination), ballooned high over ‘our’ Rockies 3 months later with the same great gal.
  • Russia · Single biggest life-altering change in my adult life – living in Moscow, May ‘96/Sept ‘99.  Never really said ‘goodbye’ when I completed my expat assignment.  Red Square, the Kremlin, St Basil’s Cathedral, Gum Department Store, multiple Orthodox cathedrals, the Metro ‘Circle Line’ – AND reconnected with former workmate Dima (& wife Natasha).  Fast forward 17 years: literally ran down the streets of Moscow, completing a ‘dream come true’ marathon adventure.
  • Death Valley Nat’l Park · Trekked the salt flats of Badwater Basin (another bucket list destination), watched a sand dune sunset, hiked Dante’s View, then missed my flight home touring Hoover Dam.

 

50 States Finish

 

Marathoning

Completed my 50 State journey on May 1st in Fort Collins, Colorado – finished a full marathon in all 50 States plus DC.  Four months later, was recognized by my 50 State running peers in Santa Rosa CA.  BUT my 2016 tally didn’t end there.  Completed 29 marathons this year (including 3 ultras) – upping my FULL stats from 49 to 78 finishes.  Haven’t missed a month marathoning since December 2013.  37 consecutive months marathoning, 1900 miles+ logged in 2016.  Thanks Sis for the initial inspiration.  Thanks Carolyn (my Indiana-based running pal) for your daily texts & holding me accountable all year.  I owe you.

After travelling (& marathoning) all 50 States…my proud take-away?  We’re all the same.  Alaska to Maine, Texas to California, Alabama to New York City.  Divisive election, yes.  But when it matters, when it really matters – when our country is attacked (9/11), in time of natural disaster (Hurricane Sandy) – we Americans come together like no nation on Earth.  Super proud to be an American.

 

Other

Oh…and I got cancer.  While a significant life event, I was not defined by illness.  I continued to work.  I continued to run full marathons.  I got up every day & continued to LIVE.

 

 

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller

 

So while I’m super eager, anticipating what lies ahead in 2017 – I am grateful for a life well lived.

I am grateful for the past 366 days.  I left nothing undone 🙂

 

 

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