My First Harney

Many of you already know that I am training for the Black Hills 100 next June in the Black Hills of South Dakota (and using the Lean Horse Hundred as a backup in case something should go wrong).  So, here is my first training update:

A few weeks ago I did an “as-far-as-possible” long run to see where I was at with my fitness.  I was pleased to discover that I was able to run 15 miles at about an 8:30 min/mile pace, despite having not run that far since probably 2003.  This past weekend I did what was probably a more substantial training run: my first real trail run in the Black Hills up Harney Peak.

At 7,244 feet, Harney Peak is the highest point between the Rocky Mountains and the Pyrenees.  I went in at the Sylvan Lake trailhead which puts the run at about 7miles with an elevation gain of about 1,100 feet.  Harney Peak is the site where the Lakota Holy man, Black Elk, recieved his “great vision” when he was only nine years old in 1872. He later returned as an old man with John Neihardt, to whom he told his autobiography: Black Elk Speaks in 1932:

I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.

Overall, the run went really well.  I had to walk a few times on the climb, and finished the 7 miles in about 75 minutes.   The one bummer is that about half a mile from the parking lot a rolled my left ankle running off trail to avoid a group of people.  I think it is probably only a first or second degree sprain, and the swelling has already gone down substantially.  My plan is to take the rest of this week off, and resume training this weekend… in Austin, TX.  Farewell for now Black Hills.


Weeks Training: 6

Total Miles: 94

Miles this past week: 22


~ by jdballard on August 17, 2011.

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