I am sitting in the shade of the Silverton Library poaching Wifi and going a little stir crazy. I flew into Denver a week ago, borrowed my Mom's purple pickup truck and have been living out of it and a little blue tent for the last week. I love being at high altitude. I love my family. They are spending these two weeks at low altitude thus affording me the opportunity to do things like stand on a dusty street corner in Silverton and talk Hardrock with Scott Jaime and Matt Hart for a couple of hours.
I am a very busy person. I have an active family, run a small business, am starting another business and I train hard. Finding myself in a tent with no schedule and a limited run plan can be rather relaxing yet also somewhat maddening.
2010 I came to this race with the full family and a quaint hotel. It was an adventure but also a tough time for everyone. They grew tired of the town and I grew more and more uptight as the race got closer. The race was great and I finished 8th but the experience was not one to be repeated in the same way. Three long years later I got back in. Jane and I agreed, ultra running is a very selfish sport and to succeed the runner must concentrate on him/herself with as little distractions as possible. Now the tent comes into focus, perched in a meadow along South Mineral creek. Come Tuesday I move into a little rental house until the Sunday after the race. Once I'm in the house, shit gets real, drop bags get made, underwear gets washed.
To quote Matt Hart, "Hardrock doesn't care what your last two weeks of training have been like. It'll chew you up and spit you out no matter what you've done." Therefore I am trying my best to not run today. It is hard. Every day since I got to Colorado I have sought high places to traverse. Yesterday I climbed one of the steepest climbs of the race up to Kroger's at Virginias Pass. A vertigo inducing perch above 12,000 ft. I'll be there in the dark not accepting what Roch Horton and Scotty Mills offer me.
I seem to be ending each day here drinking beer and talking Hardrock with Hardrockers. It doesn't get old. The stories are as epic as the race. The people here all share the same genetic mutation which makes them see 50 miles as a short race and black toenails as normal. This is Hardrock. This is why I am here. This is the vacation I am lucky enough to have been chosen from the lottery to attend.
I gotta wrap this up because I'm going to attempt to nap. Wish me luck.
P.S.- My goal is to finish, break 29 hours and go top 5. My plan is to be efficient then race the last 30 miles.
So happy to be supported by my sponsors: Jane Hewey, 7hills Running shop, Drymax socks, Princeton Tec, Birthday boy Allen Skytta and Scott shoes. I hope to be kissing the rock for all of us.