Well what can I say, I'm still in the denial stage that this all may actually be real. It seemed just yesterday that I was still a kid, a high schooler. And now, just like that, Im owning my own place, paying for my own food, washing my own clothes, paying for all my bills but this time its different, theres no going back to the way things "Used to be" after a month in Colorado like last summer.
Its nice, but different. Im back to climbing or at least scrambling the flatirons, daily, usually. Instead of my runs being 90% roads and 90% by myself, they're now 90% trails, and 90% of the time I have company. Ive been back to searching that "feeling" the feeling you don't get back in WI. That moment when you get scared, and your life flashes before your eyes, the moment in time when you know if your foot slips you're plummeting to a thousand feet below you, and joining the hundreds of others who were so called "foolish and naive" Its indescribable and most people never reach it or fear in discomfort when they do, but its a pure moment if you search for it. You don't appreciate your life more than when you are out for a route up a crag or a 14er and multiple times through out the route you need to focus as your life truly depends on it.
Its been a while since I have raced, since Kettle Moraine 100 actually. Although I've been going to quite a bit of races recently, crewing, pacing etc, I haven't raced one. Still don't know whether or not I will be racing in September or October, I'm defiantly craving a race, but we'll see. Although I am planning on running Ozark 100, and am pretty psyched to get back to training hard. Throughout the past couple of months Ive been coming up with the "perfect training runs" or basically just pretty epic runs id like to do leading up to Ozark. Although I highly, highly doubt Id do them although its still nice to create a list:
Triple Pikes peak Descent: 36 Miles, 23,000 ft of Descent
In reality Im guessing Ill just shoot for the triple pikes peak descent, because honestly how epic is that?! 36 miles with 23k of descent?!? Although for those who are unfamiliar with it, there would be a break between each descent for when I take the train back up. Which is why it interest me so much- The planning its taking is tremendous with having to link everything train ride up with the scheduled set times. So much could go wrong, I love it. And what better way to train for a Hundo than to absolutely trash your quads!
Boulder Skyline- From the House: 30 Miles, 16,000 ft of Verticle Change
I'm sure I'll also do the boulder skyline from my house- although its not nearly as hard as the others, its been my focus of linking up all the trails that start just a hundred feet from my apartment.
Rim to Rim to Rim: 41 Miles, 22,000 ft of Vertical Change
If I'm lucky enough I'll get to do R2R2R beginning of October, hopefully even with some runners from back in Wisco.
First Seven Peaks of Nolan's 14: 51 Miles, 47,000 ft of Verticle Change
This actually was my ultimate goal of the summer, but with not much weekends off, and the ones I do have usually ending up crewing/pacing at races made this pretty hard to attain. Im sure I could of squeezed it in if I really tried, hell I might even still try to squeeze it in, but what most people don't understand is Nolans isn't a normal run, or even FKT type event. Its route finding.
The finisher rate just keep on getting lower- in reality it will always be unknown but still.. Just 2 years ago there was 6 finishers, since then at least 4-10 people have tried it monthly basically every spring/summer month, and now there is only 9 finishers (Correct me if Im wrong)
The reason being? Of course it is physically hard, but just look at everyone's DNF report. Got lost. Got on the wrong ridge line. Got lost. Its simple- the DNFs happen due to route finding since most people don't realize how important it is to scout this route. It doesn't matter if you spend 24/7 online doing research about Nolans 14, there is only a limited amount of resources. Being on the route, and getting extremely familiar with the correct most efficient route is hugely important due to the fact its going to be extremely hard when your 40 hours sleep deprived. Thus why I wanted to do the first 7 of the 14 peaks, and get this route in my head, so next year I can focus primarily on the 2nd half.
Double Maroon Bells 4 Pass loop: 54 Miles, 32,000 ft of Vertical Change
I actually spent an amazingly ridiculous weekend in Aspen, primarily with Ashley, but got to spend some time with Cassie, Mik, and Yanick. To make a long story short, I was lucky enough to do the beautiful 4 pass loop on Sunday- August 24th (Which I hope to write about soon) but probably experienced the worst 27 miles of my life. Although I still had a ton of fun, but having this horrible experience made me want to do a "out and back" style of the course. Doing it clockwise, than turning around and doing it counter clockwise.
The reason why the loop really intrigues me is the "out there aspect" After the first 6 or 5- depending the direct you take, you are fully out there. This includes no clean water, no short cutting back, no cabins/shelters, no Starbucks shops. So once you commit you really commit, either you're completing it (and going over the next 3 passes) or turning back around and going over the pass/passes you already went over. And what better way to try and do it again after you're already 27 miles in and already went over 4 major passes? Did I mention with a high majority of afternoon storms?
Again its been a while since I've posted but I hope to start posting more often- Weekly/ Bi-Weekly especially since everything has kind of came together, and I guess you could say I am living "The Life"