The groundhog predicts another six weeks of winter, but I have ran the last two days back home in Flagstaff sans shirt, so I am not sold on the Pennsylvania rodent’s attempt to take up meteorology.
Since Asia, my recovery and workouts have been going very well so on the biggest betting weekend of the year I decided to roll the dice on myself and gamble on my fitness in Texas.
I came away with a sore back but confidence that 2015 will be a comeback year for me as an athlete. The almost effortless and pain-free 20 mile loop at Joe & Joyce’s Rocky Raccoon I ran in 2:25 and change was head over heels an improvement from a year previous for me even if the weather was ideal. I didn’t have to tape my ankle! Although some NCAA Division One stud blew me up by dropping some sub 6 minute-hurdle over an armadillo-trail miles on me, I came away from the weekend pleasantly optimistic and very excited to race again.
The weekend before, Amy, her giant puppy, and I ventured down from the Ponderosa Pines and snow to help at Aravaipa Running‘s Coldwater Rumble. The drive to the Pedersen aid station under the sacred Maracopia Mountain in Esterlla Mountain Regional Park near Goodyear, Arizona was bumpy, sandy, and fun. We set up camp for the night to the sounds of coyotes and the company of ring cats. We didn’t sleep much; after a few hours of work, the cowbell employed by the graveyard shift to encourage the amazing runners grew ever louder. However, the Great Dane spent her first night ever in a tent.
That last Sunday morning in January, as the last handful of endurance athletes were approaching, I left the ladies to fend for themselves in the desert and got a nice hard run in on the same trails where I won the 50K in 2011, days after moving to the Grand Canyon State. In 2013 I also won the 50 miler. Someday soon I think it will be just fitting to win the Hundred. What was really cool is the same 65 year old runner ran both Coldwater and Rocky, and I got to work an aid station in Texas on an overnight shift with his wife this past Sunday morning.
This week, in Costa Rica, is also one of the events that molded my competitive racing career. While two consecutive wins in my last two attempts proved enough for me, I am happy some other elites are getting to experience the costal rain forest and mountains. You can follow Ian Corless from Talk Ultra as he covers the stage race. Speaking of Ians from England, Sharman’s win in Texas was very impressive to say the least!
As to what’s next for me, I have my eyes on the entrants list for the Montrail Ultra Cup‘s Black Canyon race as my next race back to health and fitness. I hope there will be a solid regional, if not national field, as before I travel abroad to race again I would like to get a solid run in under my belt close to home. A special thanks to Vitargo Nutrition for allowing me to spend a quick 36 hours in Texas at the USATF National Championship event I am proud to have won twice. Big shout out to Nicole and Paul, fellow RWB Eagles on their Championships!
It was amazing to see so many Team RWB folks running, crewing, & volunteering. We encourage everyone that reads this to give back in some way, shape, or form to this community. Thank you.