A really hard double has peaked my interest for years and this year I dabbled with the idea months before UTMB. I thought it would be interesting and a fun experiment to see what I can handle both mentally and physically. I have dreams to partake in journeys that last much more than a 100 miles, this double was an opportunity to see how I would respond running on tired legs and already feeling mentally and physically defeated just 13 days prior. To say the least, this was a lot of fun and I’m glad I did it.
Run Rabbit Run was pretty much not going to happen. UTMB beat me up, leaving me mentally exhausted and with a battered gastrocnemius disabling my running. Then I went to the Dolomites with the super-friendly and fun North Face Europe team and my family to relax and do a photo shoot with my talented global teammate Fernanda Maciel. The Dolomites are breath taking! Being in these inspiring mountains, taking care of my body with the perfect dose of healthy food, Natura Health products and the added bonus of some amazing physio/bodywork on my legs, rejuvenated my running spirit and enabled my legs to heal allowing me to ponder the idea of Run Rabbit Run.
Photo by Krista Olson
Awesome TNF employee Alessia and Global athlete Fernada along with my family and I all traveled to Cortina and made our way to the Refugio Gli Scoiattoli sitting adjacent to the iconic Cinque Torri walls. I had an incredible time running back n forth – once my leg was healed – with Fernada, hanging out with Chiara and the TNF Europe team and relaxing with the family while continuously being blown away by the beauty of the Italian Dolomites. Pretty much one of the best places on earth.
Photo by Damiano Levati
After a couple nights in Venezia with my family we made the long-painful trip back to the states and eventually landed in Denver. My wife and son made one more flight to join Krista’s family in Kansas for a wedding. I however continued on with a really good friend from high-school, Britt Dick who rescued me from the airport, driving us to Steamboat Springs where I foolishly was going to run another 100 and she was going to crush her first 50 miler. It was great to catch up with her and eventually make it to Steamboat. After being up for 26 straight hours I was ready to crawl into bed after a really long day.
After a few hours of sleep I woke up and after a few hours of restlessly rolling around I got a few more zzzz’s, but not even close to enough to recover from the jet lag. This next day I spent good and dizzy, got in an hour run, ate some yummy food, jumped in a sauna for 20 minutes and checked in for another 100 mile adventure. I was excited to be apart of this great event again and catch up with so many good friends. After eating a little chicken and sweet potatoes I had a new friend Jay OHare who lives in Steamboat stop by so I could give him a few items to help crew the next day; we got that dialed in and talked for a bit before another nights rest. I got to bed that night at a reasonable hour and did get a little more sleep than the previous days, so figured I would be somewhat ready to try another 100 out.
I shared a hotel with JB and Jen Benna, so when we got up the next morning we were able to catch up and talk about our adventures and the fun race that we would be off and running at the high-noon start. We went over details with Roch Horton and eventually made our way down to the start. Jen was super focused, had a hard run, but persevered to probably one of her proudest runs to date. I was ecstatic to watch her cross the finish and complete her long day.
Fun start. Photo: irunfar
The start was just a tad more relaxed than the emotion and excitement of UTMB, both starts were equally fun, however this one was a little more chill. I hopped out front with Jason who showed he belonged out front all day. I let him go about a mile up the course not to be seen again until he was showered and shaved and 10k’s richer; so happy for this guy and his amazing run! I however wanted to play it conservatively, so I hiked up the first big climb at a pretty casual pace.
By the time we reached the top of Mt Warner and onto scenic single track at 10k, I settled into a nice groove with some runners and played it mellow as to hopefully have the body warm up and shake out the jet lag. It took somewhere around 50 miles for the dizziness to stop, but somewhat expected after UTMB and the travels home. I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen once I started, I felt like I was on a boat and the waves were tittering me back n forth; a little unsettling since I was on somewhat dry land and to the best of my knowledge at the time, not on a boat as well.
Crusing with a view. Photo: Matt Trapp
My goal for the race was to finish and have a blast doing it, this didn’t prepare me well for racing but I really enjoyed my run and time spent in Steamboat Springs. The miles clicked off pretty effortlessly, the legs felt somewhat strong; a little wobbly but not as sore as I imagined. We flew down Fish Creek Falls – which to me is the highlight of the course – enjoying the technical sections, crashing water falls and the calming sound of the creek floating by.
(Two weeks later…I’m finally continuing this race report. I’ve spent the last couple weeks putting on the Enchanted Forest Wine Run and then traveling again to Southern California camping with the family and spending time with good SoCal friends! Sorry for the delay.)
After the beautiful trip down Fish Creek falls we all run a few road miles through town in route to the rolling Emerald mountains. Last year I suffered much through this section, this time I took it easy and really enjoyed my run. Thinking back on this race, I recall my mantra for the day was “peace like a river”, I wanted to float, peacefully and enjoy the trails. I knew I shouldn’t/couldn’t run this race all out; I wanted to test myself, but I also really wanted to relax through a long run and let in unfold in its own momentum. I’m very happy and content with my run. I might have taken it too easy, but I came in with the mindset to have fun and not worry about racing.
Olympian Hall 2nd time. Photo: Chris Vargo
I could go on and on about this run, but to be honest I’m done with this post and am moving on to what is next; I went for a run today and it was equally satisfying. The more I do different forms of motion the more I’m internally grateful to move and be free. Some-days it’s in beautiful mountains on rugged terrain, some days it’s on smooth trail with not much vertical and even some days I find myself pushing my son in his BOB stroller at a casual pace; they are all good and I appreciate each day I get up and enjoy life in whatever form it’s presented to me on that day. I don’t always feel this way and struggle with being present, I’m happy to be aware of all my moods and emotions, not labeling them but learning, growing and being grateful in each moment.
To continue on with the run, I ran it, I felt relatively good and have recovered nicely afterwards. My energy levels have been super low and I have tried to take time and let the body reset. Honestly these last three weeks have been really hard. I didn’t run almost anything, for me this has been difficult; running everyday is just what I do and when I took it away from myself I had a difficult time adjusting and embracing life. It’s been a long year of running and all the things that come with that have worn me down, but that is apart of my life and I embrace the struggles that come with balancing a running career and family life. I’m moving forward stronger with intent to be the best I am in everything I do, I will fail, but I’ll keep coming back for more.
The finish with RD bunny Fred! Photo: Run Rabbit Run FB