14 September 2011
Thoughts on Steamboat
L to R: McHenry's and Arrowhead
L to R: Longs, Pagoda, Chiefs Head, Spearhead (center)
Looking down on the Arrowhead Arete
Steamboat is a special race for me in many ways. Back in 2008 it was the site of my first ultra win. It was a well earned W as Clark, Trapp, and myself went through the AS shoulder to shoulder at mile 37. Clark surged around 39- I thought he was gone- but he came back to me and I leapfrogged him around mile 42, grunted up the last climb, bombed the final 3000 foot descent and finished with a smile and some aching legs.
Steamboat is also a time to remember. During the inaugural run in 2007 I met Matt Morrill and Jenna Gruben. Jenna and I were the back to back winners in 2008 and 2009. I can vivdly remember the picture of Matt embracing Jenna at the finish line which made the paper the following morning celebrating her win and the couples upcoming trip to Nepal. Tragically, Jenna was not able to run in the physical form last year. It is her spirit which now resides over the course and reminds us to enjoy these beautiful trails and remember what is truly important.
I love Colorado trail running in the fall. It's a time to embrace the beauty of the high country before the snow drops and creates another majestic setting. This season is Colorado Soul Running time for me. All I want to do is run peaks, watch the leaves change, hear natures song, and feel the crisp air on my face. Despite the engaged senses I still forget how special the Colorado mountains are. Last Sunday all I wanted to do was stay on the summit and let the views speak to me about life. I've been up Glacier Gorge a half dozen times or so and it still continues to impress me.
Since Leadville my body has been needing major rest. I had a left knee and hamstring issue that eventually worked itself out. At one point I seriously considered not starting this one. I've gone back and forth with myself about smelling the wildflowers on this one and racing/grinding it out. I needed a test run to gauge my confidence to start. McHenry's gave me the confidence to start- how fast I run will be the big question. This one will be on base fitness. Since Leadville I've logged 59.4 miles in 10 runs. My long run was 12.2 miles. I've gone on 6 bike rides ranging from :50-1:40. I went on 2 hikes adding up to 14 miles. This is where I'm at. Saturday will be fun despite the outcome. This post may affect the odds :)