Nate Waggenspack: Running in Moffat County is no picnic

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Nate Waggenspack

— Ever since I got started with distance running, way back in first grade, it’s been an important part of my life.

Back then, the munchkin track team was huge in Kettering, Ohio, and being a part of it was a way just to be among a bunch of other kids. That’s all you really need at 6 and 7 years old.

Fast-forward to high school, and running on the cross-country team was how I developed my new group of friends and even helped me find my first girlfriend (believe it or not, I was pretty smooth back in the day). In short, running helped me grow up, and it was where many of my happiest memories could be traced.

Even after finishing my competitive running career, it’s been important. If I need time to think about something, a run early in the morning or late at night was the way to go. Everything else melts away when I’m on the road or a trail without distractions.

Basically, from age 6 to 22, running was what I was good at, it was my escape, it was where my friends were and it was how I stayed connected to my dad.

Among the countless challenges I’ve encountered since coming to Moffat County, running has been among the biggest. At first, that was because I was attempting to run 6,200 feet higher above the sea than I ever had before. Then, it was because everything was covered in snow or the weather was colder than I’d ever had to endure.

At these times, running became pretty easy to avoid. Oh, it’s negative 15 degrees outside? Guess I’ll pass on getting out there. TV seems all the more inviting.

Point is, what had felt like such an important part of my life and came so easily before wasn’t anymore. I had taken lengthy breaks in Ohio before but never had trouble getting back into it. Not so much in the first six months of my life here in Northwest Colorado.

There absolutely was a piece of me missing during that time. I found a way to get it back by forcing myself to get jogging again.

I signed up for a marathon at the beginning of the summer and now a half-marathon as the summer comes to an end. All of a sudden the options became: A) get outside and get running; B) don’t run, and get hurt trying to run these races; or C) chicken out.

Anyone who’s ever been competitive knows choices B and C aren’t really options at all. I completed the marathon (does not come highly recommended, by the way), and as of this writing, I am a couple of days away from starting the half-marathon.

I have no idea how the race will go, but the journey to get here has been a lot of fun, and I’m excited. During that time, some of you in the community have honked or hollered from your cars while you blew by me, or you’ve let me know you saw me running and asked how it was going or if I was doing it for any particular reason.

Breaking up the doldrums of a run feels almost as good as finishing it. Thanks for all your help.

Nate Waggenspack knows you don’t care about this, but he needed to jot down some thoughts. He can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com.

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