I did it. I completed my first ultra marathon, the Buckeye Trail 50K (31.64 miles/3800 ft. elevation gain). Going into the race, I had two goals for myself. One, finish under 5 hrs, and two, finish in the top 20. With a finish time of 5:18 I didn't make the 5hr mark, however I did manage to pull 16th place. 185 runners started the race and 156 finished it. I guess for my first ultra, 16 out of 185 isn't bad.......but of course, it's not good enough. Already I'm looking for another ultra before Colorado. I found one in PA, now I just have to find the time to fit it in.
Running 31 miles was killer prep for the Elk hunt this fall. During the race I found myself completely miserable, to the point where I wanted to give up. Which in my mind, makes this perfect preparation. Running for 5hours and covering 3800 ft. in elevation is something you have to really want to do. Just like DIY hunting. The Idaho trips alone told me there's nothing easy about chasing Elk in the mountains. I suppose that's what running and bowhunting DIY have in common. With both, everything starts and stops with me. If I fail, it's because of me. But if I succeed, it's also because of me. There is no one else to blame, no one else to point the finger at.
So now I find myself looking ahead and counting down the days (56 to be exact). I just hope I am putting myself through enough training and hardship to finally be successful. With 8 days of bowhunting and carrying everything I have on my back (food, water, shelter, and the trusty Pearson) I hope this is my year. It would be truly be a dream come true.