I realize what goes up must come down. However I don't consider running downhill to be easier than running uphill. And mountains are another matter entirely.

I went for a couple of training runs while on vacation in Colorado this summer. I don't mind running uphill. I just put my head down and lean into it, putting one foot in front of the other. Running downhill I feel like I am working against myself. I don't want to get going too fast and mess up my pace or get winded too quickly.

While I wasn't surprised to see snow in the mountains, I was a bit stunned to be nearly attacked by a polar bear. Actually, it was a rather large white dog that aggressively approached me while I was focused on running and jamming to some AC/DC. My only weapon was a half-empty water bottle. Fortunately the beast was all bark and no bite. That certainly got my heart rate going though. I was running downhill at the time.

Going for a couple of jogs was a little easier than some of the tourist things we did. The Great Sand Dunes are an amazing work of nature. Immense mountains of sand have formed on the west side of a strip of mountains. Nature-goers can climb the dunes and slide down on sleds. If you think it's tricky to climb a snow hill during the winter, try climbing a slippery mountain of sand.

Our mountain hike this year was on a trail large enough for vehicles to use. We saw a Jeep near the tree line. It was stopped where a large snowbank blocked its progress. We hoofed it up and down and enjoyed some great views, good exercise and some quality time with our relatives and in-laws. Again I will point out that going down the mountain is bit more grueling than hiking up, as my knees can attest to. As usual, the teenage contingent, consisting of my son Aaron and his friends Kyle and Noah, seem to show no slowdown no matter the elevation.

If you are looking for a run without hills or mountains, registration is open for the Strive Wellness Run to be held during the Steele County Fair. After some mountain training I will feel like I am flying during that event.