Because of the awesome coincidence of this race and my twin cousin's birthday happening the same weekend my family managed to get a reunion pulled together with my race as one of the attractions. I arrived Thursday night and got to hang out with my parents, uncle and aunt, my sister and her boyfriend. The pre-race meeting was delayed by over an hour because the bibs arrived late so I spent a ton of time waiting in line behind Jason Schlarb, Josh Arthur and Jacob Puzey while lots of people come over and took photos with them. After the meeting, in which colder than you would think temperatures were highlighted I headed back to the place our family was renting out. I chowed down on some penne and pesto, popped a couple of Melatonin gummies and passed out.
The Idaho Centennial Trail seems like a distant memory at this point and with school underway again I have settled back into my regular training regime. Some of the highlights of the last training block include mountain biking in Crested Butte, exploring trails in Ouray (Bridge of Heaven and Bear Creek), running the Desert Championship 10K put on by the Striders, taking 3rd at the Silverton Alpine 50K and seeing big improvements with my MAF/Maffetone training.
After spending a week or so training back at home and after a great weekend down in the San Juans with my conservation corps buddy Brad Knipper and Jess it was finally time for my first adventure in the Wasatch Mountains. I have spent months of my life guiding trips in the Uinta Mountains in Utah but had never been to the Wasatch so I wasn't sure what I was in for. The smooth granite cliffs, waterfalls and top-notch wildflowers blew me away and the two days before the race I enjoyed a little shake-out run to Cecret Lake where I found a spot away from the wedding photographers and crowds to just sit for hours enjoying the alpine, and getting a few more moments at altitude. My parents arrived on Friday and I headed to bed early in the hotel room while they went out for dinner. I don't know if it was pre-race jitters or the endless barrage of fireworks that went off until 2 am, but I only managed to get ~3 hours of sleep before I was up, eating oatmeal and donning my race kit. I drove to Snowbird early and checked in right at 5am. The race didn't start until 6:30 so I set up the back of my car and took a quick 45 minute nap to try and make up for the night before. By 6 am my parents were at the starting line, Karl had us chant that we would not trample any meadows and the countdown was on.
The Roadtripping: Wanting to waste no time, and to avoid the 100 degree heat in Grand Junction we were back in the car with running gear, climbing gear, mountain bikes and the mountaineering kit headed for Washington and the Cascade volcanoes one day after getting back from Idaho. The plan was to brush off our … Continue reading Roadtripping and Redemption
6:30 AM, June 14th (Day 18) - I am waist deep in Marble Creek, wading across just moments after packing up camp, and I am wearing every piece of clothing I have with me including my down jacket. Jess starts across behind me, almost goes down in the swift current and looks up. "What should I do?" Should we cross in tandem, look for a better place to cross, wait until it warms up a little more? "Go back." I say between strong breaths caused by the icy cold water rushing over my legs. I mean go back to the bank and we'll figure it out, but by the time I return to the muddy bank I realize I mean go back, go all the way back, home.
Going into the Grand Canyon Ultras 50 Mile race this weekend it appeared that my race goals and the imminent conditions were at odds with each other. I had initially chosen the Grand Canyon course after chatting with Ultra Adventures race director Matt Gunn after running Antelope Canyon about his other races and which ones he thought would be a little less sandy and less demanding of my stabilizers. Grand Canyon came highly recommended. Amazing views, point-to-point, gradual elevation and buttery smooth single track mixed in with dirt roads surrounded by ponderosa forest. The location also carries a host of great memories from my time working with the Coconino Rural Environment Corps where I was able to spend hundreds of hours building trail and chainsawing. It feels like coming home when I return to the Kaibab.
Ahhhh, spring is here, my IT band has been relaxed for a while now and the Grand Canyon Ultras 50 Miler is just two weeks away! After a series of injuries due to training too hard and too often over the winter I have been experimented with a different approach to training the last few … Continue reading Grand Canyon 50 Mile Preparation – Embracing my Max Aerobic Function