The first four and a half miles was an easy jog through an alpine forest. This part of the run, for me was typical, easy even. After that you cross the Devil’s Back Bone. The trail is just that, a single track trail on both sides with a severe drop off and you run, just run and don’t look down. Than the trail climbs up and up and your breath comes in short bursts you want to drink, water warm and room temperature at that point but your burning throat won’t let you. You keep putting one foot in front of the other because you must. Your fast blond friend is ten minutes ahead of you and even though your head tells you to pass out and puke you just keep putting one foot ahead of the other. Your head feels numb, your fingers tense, you want to eat the cooked salted potato in your pack but you just can’t seem to swallow. You know, on that steep trail ahead, your best friend is waiting at the finish line so you keep trudging along, one foot step at a time up this fucking mountain. Those are the bad thoughts.