Grizzly Bear Mine
As I lay here noshing on my final pre-race calories before Hardrock tomorrow, I look back on my year of blog posts leading me up to this point. There are many reasons for blogs as a runner, but one of the most beneficial to me right now is to help me remember how far I've come this year to get to this point.
Am I ready?
Yes. I've torn a calf, bruised my back, climbed 30K+ weeks, raced, surged, puked, rallied, lost and found hope, climbed big mountains, hiked for hours and hours and bombed huge downhills all in hopes of dedicated myself enough to this race to enjoy it as much as possible. I remember the feeling of sheer exhaustion running my first 30,000ft week in January and wondering how I would ever make it at Hardrock. I also remember the following tear in my calf and attempting to race on it (so dumb). The intense pain of slipping on ice and falling on my back in April made me realize all the dangerous things I was doing. A great high mileage week over Memorial Day Weekend allowing for a 31,50 ft./94 mile 7 day total made me believe my dream still had a chance. I've had plenty of high quality runs since then and improved my splits on a number of steep, tough, hard runs. I've definitely done some work.
Along the way I've had a lot of fun too. I savor the memory of flying down Maple Springs in the dark, high on endorphins from a strong climb up the Silverado goat Trail. I chuckle at all the "fun" Jorge and I had on long runs in the San Gabes where he dragged me faster than I thought I could go. I look out at my Hardrock friends here in Silverton and all the great memories of this trip thus far and wonder what the next 72 hours could have in store..
Rachel, Renn, and Peach Cobbler
Do my legs feel ready right now? No, but the memories of this year provide a powerful counter argument to the pre-race taper crazies. Tomorrow I will run 102 miles through the San Juans and climb 33,000 ft in the process. I am incredibly grateful for the honor of being able to attempt this with the greatest support in the world. I look forward to telling the rest of my story on the other side.
Though I've received tons of great heartfelt messages, this one from Erik Wickland pretty much sums them up:
There once was a unicorn
Who Ran so wild and free
He Fluttered his tiny wings
to run the Colorado mountain scree
Rainbows may shoot from his mouth
Pacing hard up an early climb
But rest assured he will rebound
For there is still plenty of time
This pony has put in the work
with hours at Baldy, Sierras and the Crest
the Wolfpack watches on the sidelines
knowing their nature friend will throw down his best
about the origin of this rogue white stallion,
for the sake of this poem's rhymes
he is American Jewish Italian?...
22,300ft, 73 miles
Perhaps a little bit high for a taper, but that number is a bit front loaded on Mondays Grouse to Maggie Gulch (27mi, 8,500ft, 6:55). The last 8 days before the race have mostly been under 90 minutes, and the last couple days just 30 minutes.
All the race coverage you need is through www.hardrock100.com , #HR100 and @irunfar on twitter, and my handle of @youngunultrarun .
Appropriate. Good Old War - We've Come A Long Way