I’m trying to start writing semi-weekly, focusing on training logs. In these, I’d like to talk about my week’s training, and any interesting thoughts I had during said training. These are supposed to be far more raw than my usual writing, mere musings and emotions sans editing.

10 Days of Training in Between 100s

I finished San Diego 100 four weeks ago. I rested for 10 days after the race, then started running lightly for a few days, then getting back into recovery runs, then finally training again. Since my next race is the High Lonesome 100, which has 22,500ft of vert over it’s difficult 100 miles, my coach (Mark Marzen) thought it best to focus on hiking uphill and intentionally running downhills. Over the last 10 days, I’ve run Bear Peak twice and Green Mountain twice, with a good Niwot Ridge run today (see next section).

I felt pretty slow on most of those runs, breathing heavy climbing Green during RMR on Monday. Then, after the runs, I’ve been crashing hard at night, definitely indicating that recovery is still in progress. Finally, today, I felt really good on my run, and with 12 days until HL100, I’m ready for some tapering… Coach has me running another 2-hour high-vert run tomorrow, but I’ll see how I feel, whether I go on that, or drop down to start taper one day early.

Regardless of my run tomorrow, taper begins soon, and I’m very excited to run HiLo! I just have to finish all my Comms tasks…

Reliving trails from 100-mile runs

When you run a 100-miler (or similar giant effort), you create unique memories for every trail or road you run along the way. Today, I ran a nice group run around Niwot Ridge, Long Lake, and back along the Sourdough Trail between Brainard Lake and Rainbow Lakes Road.

While on the last few miles on Sourdough Trail, I started remembering the two times I ran the Hallowed Hundred, a group run from Boulder to Golden, via a very circuitous route. the Sourdough trail is mile 40-45 on that route. I remembered the first time, in 2019, when I felt awful along that section, really considering quitting. I remember how long every tiny climb felt and how long every descent lasted. The trail felt like it took forever. I remembered the second time, in 2020, when I knew it would take forever to run it all, so I was ready for the grind. I remembered grinding in the night, and reaching the summit of the trail (and the high point of the whole course), where the trees open up and the lights of Boulder visible in the night sky.

When you run a grand effort like that, you imprint your memories on the trails themselves. Being there again brings a rush of memories, not just of the time on that trail itself, but of the whole event. It’s like the smell of a childhood memory, brining a rush of emotion as soon as you smell it. Being on a trail that was part of an effort that brought great suffering and great effort to your life can only bring back the memories of those moments.

So next time you drive past a trailhead and someone says “I ran a race, and there was an aid station there.” remember that it’s not some simple “I was there”, but an emotional moment in their lives that they’re reliving again.

A Hard Year

As I was thinking about Hallowed Hundred, It occurred to me that back last year when Fred decided not to organize HH100 for the first time in years, I asked Fred Ecks if I could take over the event. I have since decided not to do that this year, and I’m reflecting on why. In this year, I’ve traveled to Atlanta three times to care for and spend time with my father, who was diagnosed with Leukemia late last year, and died one week after SD100, three weeks ago, with me at his bedside. Also, with Miranda and I trying to have a baby, we’ve experienced two miscarriages this year (side note: why is miscarriage spelled with an i before the a? after searching, apparently because of old french… “carrier”).

All that has brought a large amount of grief and intermittent depression to our lives, which is already full of things to do, from training and podcasting to work and community time. I’m doing my best to accept and deal with the grief as it comes, but at the same time, I want to execute my training and racing as best I can.

High Lonesome and Grief

My first High Lonesome completion was substantially motivated by and motivating toward my progress through grief of my brother’s death ten years prior. I encourage you to click the link to read my writing on the experience of that effort. With the recent death of my father, I’ve been thinking about how I can use my upcoming High Lonesome 100 effort to similarly parallel the processing of the grief of my fathers death. I don’t really know how that’s going to work, but it’s been on my mind recently.