Today’s blog comes from Craig Lloyd -whose love for ultrarunning runs deep (or should I say far). The man is hooked on his sport and he can’t help but share that enthusiasm with those around him. Craig writes a blog, refuse2quit, which is filled with his musings and adventures -It’s a pretty damn decent read. What we love most about Craig is that he isn’t afraid to get Gnarly.
For 15 years, I knew myself as nothing other than a rock climber. Even when I would climb the occasional mountain with friends I always considered it an extension of my true passion: climbing technical rock faces. Outside of my full-time job in the telecom industry and my family, all I did was push my limits of roped sport climbs or steep boulder faces. But in 2008 my wife pushed me to start running for better cardio. It wasn’t something, in the previous 20 years, I had enjoyed in any way. It always felt forced and I had no idea what I was doing, so it tended to be uncomfortable.
There was a point when I found trails and, specifically, trails that went to the tops of mountains. In January of 2009 my focus on running became quite serious. I set goals for races and adventure runs. Not long into the year, I realized that my passion for running in the mountains was beginning to outweigh my desire to climb. By the end of the year, my transformation was complete. I had become an ultra runner. For a while I was like a drug addict; unable to admit to my ‘problem’. But I eventually came to terms with it and, more importantly, was ok sharing it with my climber friends.
Since then, I’ve had difficulty finding a balance between the two activities I love most. I’m a runner now, first and foremost. I’ve been able to find a few rare moments to climb with friends, but the skills are diminished –and what I relish most is the interaction with those I’m with.
Recently, however, I’ve found a small way to balance the two. Combing trail running with more technical routes up mountains offers both the endurance and technical challenge that drives my passions. Living in the Wasatch Mountains of Salt Lake City, UT offers some of the best peak scrambling around. And with well maintained approach trails I’ve got endless opportunities to fuel my addiction. And now, thanks to Gnarly Nutrition, my recovery is faster and better, allowing me to push harder, farther, and faster. My peak numbers are up and my PRs are going down. Needless to say, I’ve ‘gone Gnarly’.