This was as close as I was getting to this cliff.
Sara and I were sitting next to the trail watching as other runners went past; I was a mile out from the turnaround aid station working way back up the mountain, she was on her way down.
We were both in rough shape.
We were fourteen hours into the Bryce Canyon 100 in Southern Utah, and it had been a struggle. It was more than 95 degrees, the sun was blazing hot, and we had spent much of the day climbing at an altitude between 8,000 and 9,000 feet.
While our training had been great, the combination of heat and altitude was defeating.
Bryce Canyon is beautiful, but it sure felt like an oven.
The Bryce 100 scared me for a lot of reasons.
Jared and I before the start, when it was dark and refreshingly chilly.
100 miles is really far, but this race in southern Utah also had the added challenge of running between 8,000 and 9,000 feet, something this sea-level dweller isn’t used to.
Another high … The weather forecast. Before we flew out I watched in horror as the forecasted temperature kept climbing … and climbing … and climbing.
Together the distance/altitude/heat sandwich had me lowering my race bar so far that by the time we toed the start line I just had to step over it.
[Goals – in this order: Don’t die, don’t get SAR’d out, don’t burn like toast, finish, finish sub-30]
These are all scary factors by themselves, but the scariest part for me was thinking about running 100 miles alone.
After finishing the UROC 100K in Virginia.
I have added a new weapon to my daily training.
This weapon is helping me in my personal relationships, at work, and has become a new tool to use when things get rough on the trail.
A year and a half ago, I discovered that my body had an interesting way of letting me know that I was feeling stressed out: My hair started falling out.
Jared running up front in the Seneca Creek 50K.
We’d talked about. He was going to leave me.
And that was ok.
It was a 20-degree March morning and Jared and I were lined up for the Seneca Creek 50K. The race hadn’t even started yet but I knew I was about to get dropped.
How? Because also lined up were Jared’s very fast friends: Shawn, Pete, Geoff, and Justin. I looked at those fast boys and then I looked ahead at the trail.
He was going to leave me.
And that was ok. Or at least that’s what I kept repeating to myself.