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I finally ran to Barr Camp this past Friday. It was a lovely and cool morning, and the mountain was peaceful and as beautiful as ever. But goodness, that run tore me up. I thought I was in good shape, but as I zeroed in on my goal, by knee began to ache, my hamstrings burned, and my right calf began to have random charlie horse cramps.

And on top of everything, I ran out of water. Oh how I wish I had a water filter when I hit Barr Camp.

The run down was relatively painless, except for my aching knee that would much rather run uphill. But after 14+ miles, I felt old and tired. The rest of my day was tricky, as I slowly ascended and descended the stairs in my house and at work. And I won't deny that I drank more than my share of gin and tonics that evening.

I took Saturday off. Completely off. Today I ran 6 relatively flat miles and I still felt tired. But I also felt a sense of achievement that most people never experience. I will conquer that awesome mountain in August, along with my fellow teammates, and several thousand other brave and fit souls. We are dreamers. We are competitive. We are strong. I am now part of the Purple and Gold Nation, but I am also one of thousands of local trail runners, who runs up mountains for the sheer joy of breathing in the crisp air, watching the sun dapple through the trees, clomping through streams, and experiencing the awesome accomplishment of winning my own race.

Go team COS.

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Comment by Bill Beagle on June 30, 2014 at 9:01pm

Ah, one of only two teammates who is within a quarter century of me, I empathize with you. I take a modicum of comfort in knowing that I am not the only one dealing with a recalcitrant, well-worn skeletal structure. Training is challenging enough without all of the insidious little aches and pains that seem to appear out of nowhere without justification or provocation. Soldier on.

Comment by Jill Gaebler on June 30, 2014 at 11:01am

I would love to run with some crazy trail runners, Brianne.  Just let me know when you're running and thank you!

Comment by Brianne Pierson on June 30, 2014 at 9:49am

I know about a secret filter up there but you might have to do a Sunday long run with a crazy group of trail-runners.

Comment by Mary Baldwin on June 29, 2014 at 9:38pm

I did the same run on Saturday - I can totally relate to that unique mixture of agony and joy that is Barr Trail :-)  Nice work!!

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