I'm not just talking about summer to fall. Summer racing season is all but over for me. I had thought it was over after Elkhorn the first weekend of August, and I guess it turns out it was thanks to my DNS at Lean Horse a few weeks ago. So, finally, after about 4 months of train, taper, race, recover, repeat, I can just go out and run for the hell of it with no specific goal in mind. I am still finishing up the 3rd annual Black Hills Trail Running Series, where I currently sit at 2nd place in the Men's open division standings. Just had a trail series races this past Sunday actually, the 8.1 mile Thunder Run where I took 5 minutes off my time from last year and finished 6th overall. That 5 minutes is probably a result of two factors: 1) I'm in better trail shape this year and 2) Last year the Thunder Run was my first race after the Lean Horse 100 and I was still somewhat feeling the effects. Only 3 more trail series races left, although I will definitely miss one of them and, hopefully, two (more on that later). The one I will definitely run is the 10-10-10K, which was actually on 10/10/10 last year but is now on 10/9/11....as the directors say, it still adds up the same (think about that one a bit).
Football season has also begun, which directly relates to my mention above that I'm hoping to miss two of the last three trail series races. My son is playing on and I am an assistant coach for the Belle Fourche Cardinals of the Black Hills Youth Football League, which consists of teams from Belle, Rapid City, Wall, Spearfish and Box Elder. It's full pads, full contact, 11 man football on full size fields (which is kind of odd for me since I played 8 man football on an 80 yard field back in my high school days in Montana). We had our first game last Saturday and scored our first win over the Wall Eagles 27-18. The one remaining trail series race I will definitely miss is the Sundance Trail Run on Sept. 24th because we play the Rapid City Steelers that day. As it turns out, the league championship game is on Nov. 5th, the same day as the "unofficial and unsanctioned" South Dakota Trail Championships, the final race of the trail series. The Cardinals still have 6 games of the regular season left to earn a top 4 seed and berth in the playoffs, and then would need to win a playoff game, but I would choose them playing in the championship over the trail race any day. Go Cardinals! (as a die-hard Seahawks fan, I honestly never thought I would ever under any circumstances utter those words)