2013 has been quite the busy year and subsequently the blog has suffered. I've run 3 races since I last posted about the TNF 50 Miler at Bear Mountain: Cayuga Trails 50, White River 50 and the Leadville 100. All three were great events with their own unique flavor. Cayuga Trails was the inaugural race and had a course that featured runners passing around 20 different waterfalls through amazing gorges and rock structures. White River was perhaps the most scenic race I've ever run, with inspiring views of Mount Rainier and although I lost my stomach several times heading up to Sun Top, I managed to PR. Leadville 100 was my main focus and all was going well until I was about a mile from the top of Hope Pass and felt a pressure on the bone on my right inner knee. As I crested the top of the pass, I started running down the backside and that pressure turned into shooting pain which left me unable to walk (let alone run) and I hobbled using my trekking poles as crutches all the way down to Winfield (50 mile mark) to drop out. It was my first DNF so it was a bit hard to swallow as I like to finish what I start, but so far it's been good to step back and contemplate how my running's gone this past year. I'm looking to get much faster so I don't have to worry about cut-offs, so I'm going to use training for the NYC Marathon as a way to improve my speed and then hopefully carry that fitness into next years ultra schedule. The knee feels much better (although not healed) so as soon as I'm good to run again you can bet I'll be mixing in more speedwork into my training.
Besides the races, I went on perhaps the roadtrip of my life this summer spending time in Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Washington, Utah and Colorado. I made it a priority to explore wherever I went, so I got in a lot of running and hiking on trails of all types, visited 7 National Parks (Theodore Roosevelt, Glacier, Mount Rainier, Arches, Canyonlands, Mesa Verde, Rocky Mountain), and got to see several sections of the Hardrock 100 course (probably the highlight of the whole summer). The San Juan's are the most spectacular mountain range I've ever been to and I'm excited for the next time I can go back to visit them. In the mean time I'll be back in NYC to start grad school for Playwriting at Brooklyn College. I've very excited about being back in school and hope to find a good balance between staying mentally creative and physically active.
Near the top of Kendall Mountain, 3,500 ft. above Silverton, CO