The Lookout
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - 4:19pm Chris McCarthy

Debriefing the Ridge Run.

It’s been over a month since I completed my third Bridger Ridge Run. As you can probably surmise from my not-so-quick final blog, I didn't reach my goal. I could roll out with a bunch of excuses, but, after a thorough self-evaluation, I know the reason why I failed. Here’s a quick rundown of my mistakes:

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Thursday, August 11, 2016 - 12:18pm Chris McCarthy

Q&A with Will Caton, owner of Swiss Fit Montana.

I’ll be the first to admit, when I talk with people about the workouts I’ve doing at Swiss Fit Montana, I struggle to explain the exercises, and, more importantly, how they tie in to training for the Ridge Run. So I asked Will Caton, the owner of Swiss Fit, to explain why he has me doing certain exercises. 

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Thursday, July 14, 2016 - 9:46am Chris McCarthy

Lessons from the Jim Bridger Run.

At the end of June, I raced in the Jim Bridger Trail Run. This was my second year in a row and a great test to see how my new Ridge Run training program with Swiss Fit Montana was working out. The run starts at the Sypes trailhead, runs across private land and up the Middle Cottonwood trail, and then back to Sypes. In all, it's 10 miles with over 2,000 feet of elevation gain—nothing to sneeze at.

As I prepared for the race, my goal was to improve on my 1:52 mark from the previous year. At the start, I was strong and felt I was hitting my stride as we got on the Middle Cottonwood trail. It was about three miles in when doubt started creeping in.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 12:15pm Chris McCarthy

Ridge Run training with Swiss Fit Montana.

This year, I wanted to incorporate some new training strategies to meet my goals of improving my time and getting stronger, so as not to break down physically after my third consecutive Ridge Run. To achieve these goals, I started working out with Will Caton at Swiss Fit Montana.

During my first session, I was introduced to the exercises I’d be using. But this wasn’t a polite introduction—it was a full-on workout. Will took note of key areas to target in future workouts, such as my slouch, as it takes more energy to run when you’re constantly lifting your body up and down. I also needed to work on the oft-discussed core, and my glutes, a muscle group that according to Will, I'd need to build for endurance, climbing, and descending.

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Thursday, May 19, 2016 - 11:17am Chris McCarthy

Ridge-Run training the third time around. 

“This is not what I envisioned,”  I thought, lying on my back with both legs cramped, unable to move. It was near the end of my second Bridger Ridge Run in as many years, and after tripping over a mouse-sized rock descending from Baldy, I was doing my best impression of a turtle on its back.

The year before, I’d learned a lot and finished in a time that I was proud of. This go around, I figured experience and some training tweaks would put me well on my way to a better time. But things don't always work out as planned.

Bridger Ridge Run, Bozeman, Montana
With terrain like this, you need a plan.

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Monday, May 11, 2015 - 11:06am Chris McCarthy

Lessons from a Bridger Ridge Run veteran.

Until recently, I despised the notion of running. It was merely a means to stay somewhat healthy, or penance for a weekend of overindulging. Nevertheless, I set goals, trained, and started running 5k and 10k races—begrudgingly.

This all shifted with trail running. Initially, I mixed trail runs with road training as a change of pace. Eventually, though, trail distances increased and I grew stronger. Once I started running 10ks and half-marathons, I was hooked.

As I started running longer distances, my mind wandered to the Bridger Ridge Run, so last May I put my name into the lottery. I don’t know if it was my compelling essay or simply luck of the draw, but I was one of the fortunate people picked to join the 30th anniversary run. And then it sank in: 19.65 miles and 6,800 feet of elevation gain. What was I thinking?

Bridger Ridge run, Bridge Ridge, trail running, distance running
This terrain is not for the faint of heart.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 1:02pm Chris McCarthy

“Do you think we do too much on the weekends?” I asked my 12-year-old son as we sat around the campfire during a late-summer backpacking trip to Deer Lake.

“Yeah, I really haven’t hung out with my friends much this summer.”

“So, do you still want to float with Grandma and Grandpa next weekend?”

“Yeah, I want to—that’s tradition.”

If there had been other people around, they would have seen the pride on my face. Not only were we up at this pristine alpine lake, next week we would be rafting the Missouri River—the fifth river of the summer.

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