There is no lack of adventure here in Colorado, and this was a run that had been on my radar for a while. Notorious for wildflowers, the 4 Pass Loop climbs four 12,000 ft passes in 28 miles with 8,000 ft of elevation gain in the Snowmass Wilderness area located just outside of Aspen. Checking this off my list, timing this as my last long adventure 2 weeks before lining up at the start of Leadville 100 seemed like a great idea to me, and I counted it as a triple victory for getting my friend and trail partner of the summer, Mike, to tag along with me.
You can block out as many things in your life as you want to. Eventually the right moment will find you when you aren’t looking for it, or the right person is going to ask the right question that’s going to bring it back. It trickles in, in bits and pieces. Maybe it’s a 5 second moment on the trail that you identify a certain feeling. You don’t process it, but acknowledge that it’s there. Then one day it hits you like a ton of bricks. How did I not see or remember that?
Standing at the start line of Silver Rush 50 I could feel nervousness vibrating throughout my entire body. That sensation had started well before the start line, and choking down my oatmeal at breakfast had been quite the chore. There may have been a struggle with a few dry heaves. Eventually I gave up on the oatmeal, and got the rest of my calories via Tailwind Nutrition.
Life became a little interesting after the Leadville Marathon. A trip to Dr. Barnes confirmed that I indeed had a broken rib. Small everyday tasks that we don’t normally think twice about were excruciating. Lucky for me I was able to stay at a friend’s place for a week after where I had some much needed help.
I’ve put off writing this post for so long, because as we all know, sometimes it’s hard to put crazy experiences into words. It’s no secret that home girl has some serious love for Leadville. The town itself has its own quaint little charm, and what surrounds it is truly majestic. My introduction to ultra running started here, and my interest in ultra running essentially grew here as well. There will always be a special place in my heart for Leadville!
The week of June 8th I was finally given the “OK, GO!” to start incorporating speed work back into my training at 50-60% percent effort depending on how things felt. Once I was finally cleared to gradually start running again after my ski injury, I was mainly running for distance and doing a bunch of hiking at a decent effort. What does one do when they get cleared for some speed work? Get stoked, and say “YES” when the topic of toeing a line comes up in conversation for that same weekend.. as you do.