Tuesday, September 15, 2015

An Almost Wasatch 100 Race Report

I ran the Bighorn 100 back in June, and the further I distance myself from that event the more unimpressed I am with my run.  I finished in 8th place, which is pretty good, but I feel like it wasn't a committed performance.  I was too conservative, scared of the heat, and I copped out at the end; I didn't run like a man on a mission.

Wasatch 100 is a different beast of a race than Bighorn: it is much more elevation intensive, rugged, and dry.  Almost perfect. I was lucky to get into the race through the lottery and I was determined to make my chance count.  I didn't know where that would place me in the race, but I was going to find out.

My training leading up to Wasatch was good, even if it was a little disjointed by the birth of our second daughter.  The real hiccup was a bad ankle sprain 4-weeks before the race started.  It made for a more mellow taper, but after rehabbing hard I was ready to rock on race day.

My squad at the start

At 5 AM, we were off into the darkness at the base of the Wasatch mountains, just north of Salt Lake City.  I felt blind: it was a moonless night, I had no idea who was around me or where I was going.  I was watching the ground like a hawk making sure I didn't re-sprain my ankle in the first few miles before the climbing began.  I thought a few people zoomed way out ahead of me, but I knew I was somewhere near the front of the pack.  No worries: the plan was to start out relaxed, maybe tuck in behind some leaders, and see what I could do later.

Beautiful morning at The Chinscraper (Photo Credit: Lane Bird)
After a couple miles of plodding along in the dark, I passed a runner. Turns out it was Dominick Layfield, and he asked me "Are you going for the win?"  I was confused why he was asking me this.  I replied, "I'm just trying to have a good race."  We wished each other luck and and continued our 4,000 foot climb up to "The Chinscraper".  A little bit further on a runner caught up to me; it was Travis Macy, and we casually chatted as we hiked and ran up the climb.  As we went over The Chinscraper, the guys at the top said "I don't think anyone has ever gotten up here this fast before!"  I was confused again.  "What about the dudes ahead of me?"  A few miles later as Travis and I were cruising the ridge line, I asked him, "do you have any idea how many guys are ahead of us?" "Uh, I think its just us, man" he replied.  What?!  It was all starting to make sense now, but I had no idea that I had been leading out the race.  I almost didn't quite believe him.  I asked the race director at Grobben's Corner how many were ahead of us.  "Just you and the three pretty girls ahead of you," he said.  I promised him I would try to catch up to them.

Descending into Big Mountain Pass Aid Station, mile 39

Travis and I continued to run at a relaxed, conversation pace, through the rest of the morning.  We did a little leap frog now and then; Travis would spring out of an aid station ahead of me, but then I'd catch up and get a minute on him for awhile.  It made for a fun morning of Wasatch mountain running.

Leading at mile 39

I felt great coming into Big Mountain Pass at mile 39.  I had a couple minutes on Travis and I was excited to see my crew.  It was starting to warm up and I had stuffed ice into my pack, hat, and neck gaiter and I was delighted at how good that felt.  I fueled up and headed off into the dreaded 13 miles of trail until Lamb's Canyon at mile 52.  This section is notorious for being hot and uninspiring as you run beneath power lines and above buried gas pipelines.  It got really hot here, and I started to suffer a little as my ice melted away shockingly fast.  I was determined not to let the heat get me today, so I eased the pace, let Travis go a little bit, and tried to stay positive.

As I plodded along I was surprised to see Travis coming towards me.  Uh oh, I knew that meant we missed a turn.  We explored a little bit together, running all the way to I-80 before we knew we were way off.  We could see the Lamb's Canyon aid station, but had no idea how to get there.  We found a very obvious, but unmarked trail that went through an archery range.  It was a risk, but we took it.  We wandered around all over the place until we got onto what looked like old railroad grade trail.  We followed that until it finally dumped us back on track.  I figured we lost a lot of time, and I was nervous to see how much damage had been done.  "More miles, more smiles, right?" I said to Travis.  I'm not sure he agreed with me.  By the time we got to the aid station it was clear we weren't leading anymore.

Finally arriving at Lamb's Canyon, mile 52, after some exploring
More miles more smiles

Rather than getting down about losing 30 minutes (or so), I was just pissed.  All that hard work for the lead was erased while wandering around the Alexander Ridge inferno!  I left Lamb's Canyon with a fire lit underneath me and was determined to track down the new leaders.  Surprisingly, after going beneath I-80, almost instantly everything got better.  There was shade, tall trees, and lovely cold creeks flowing.  The air felt dramatically cooler and I was ready to rock.  I passed Dominick, Chris Schurk, and I think I regained the lead in about 5 minutes.  Awesome.

Never thought I'd run under an interstate highway!  Pissed off and charging up the road.

As I climbed up the Lamb's Canyon trail Chris tucked in behind me.  He's a strong climber.  I was thrilled to find some lovely smoothish and steep downhill after Bare Ass Pass so I decided to push a little.  It was cool out, I felt great, we were in the second half of the race, why not?  I was quickly out of sight from Chris and I took a more relaxed approach up the road to Upper Big Water.  Chris caught up with me on the road and we ran together and had a great time chatting.  Turns out he's a Wyoming boy too.  Yeehaw! We arrived at Upper Big Water aid station together, mile 61, and I still felt great.

"The race starts at Upper Big Water" my coach Ty had told me.  I was stoked, time to push on and see if Chris would come with me.  We both climbed well, and I maintained about a minute lead on him.  After passing a "Dog Lake", there was a relatively short but steep section of downhill.  I licked my chops and dropped in like a skier into a couloir.  My feet were moving brilliantly fast until I was suddenly stopped dead in my tracks.  It was that knife sharp pain in the back of my hamstring that, I thought, could only be a cramp.  No worries, stay calm, I thought, I can deal with a cramp.  I popped some electrolyte pills, drank some water, and ate some potato chips.  As I was taking care of my leg Chris came scampering by.  I wasn't worried, yet.

I tried to start running again, but I couldn't.  I walked down the rest of the descent, and then gingerly started the next climb.  I was itching to run, but my hamstring was just too tight feeling.  Once I thought about it, my hamstrings had been tight for a little while, but what isn't tight after 65 miles of running?  I stretched a little, took some ibuprofen, clenched my teeth, and soldiered on.  I purposefully did not have a headlamp with me; I needed to get to Brighton, mile 75, before dark.

That cheese stick is about to get stuffed down my throat. Brighton Lodge Aid Station, mile 75

I didn't move well, but I did move.  The descent into Brighton on the road was extremely challenging. I felt like my hamstring could go on me at any minute, but I did run the whole thing.  I made into town right at dark, but I couldn't figure out where to go. After wandering around Brighton in the dark for 5 minutes I eventually made it to the aid station, happy to see me crew one more time and still be in second place.  I was also glad to pick up my pacer, Maggie Heller, for the nighttime running.  25 miles to go didn't sound bad at all.  However, I was nervous; I knew this was the critical section of the race.  Chris was only 10 minutes ahead of me, and I was totally confident that if my hamstring held on I could chase him down and maybe even win.  I also knew with the ridiculous amount of descent left that if my hamstring did not work, I was utterly screwed.  Ella literally shoved a string cheese in my mouth and Maggie and I headed off into the night.

Make it or break it time

Maggie and I began the rocky 1,600' climb up to Catherine's Pass and I can only describe it as one of the low spots of the day for me.  I think one of the toughest parts of running 100 miles is the lack of sleep, and I sure got sleepy.  My eye lids felt like lead weights and I just wanted to close them so badly.  I tried talking Maggie into letting me close my eyes for 45 seconds, but we agreed on 30.  So, I sat down and covered my eyes for 30 seconds while Maggie timed me.  She did a 5 second count down and I hopped back up, and I actually felt a bit better.  The descent down Catherine's Pass is loose, rocky, and pretty fun.  However, I think this was the last downhill I was able to run.  I made it to Ant Knolls Aid Station, mile 79, in one piece, but I could tell I was being hunted down, as I could see headlamps in the distance behind me.

Maggie and I heading off into the night

I marched up "The Grunt" after Ant Knolls at a tolerable pace, but the stabbing pain was really getting to me now.  It finally occurred to me that this was not a multi-hour cramp (duh), but that I had really hurt my muscle.  We were finally into the easiest part of the course and I just could not move efficiently.  I'd try to run and would last only a minute before the pain was too much.  I'd rally, tell myself I came here to suffer, and I'd start again.  I'd only last 45 seconds.  Then 30.  Next only a handful of steps.  The utterly runnable trail down to Pole Line Pass Aid Station, mile 82, just about killed me; the pain was excruciating as I hobbled down.  Travis finally caught me and drifted by with a friendly "Good job, Gabe."  It was at about this point it really started to become real how screwed I was.  Since I couldn't run, I tried to fiercely hike as fast as I could.  That got slower and slower too, of course.  Maggie even tried to get me to skip down the trail to see if that helped.  Still no luck.  Another guy glided past me in the night.  Damn.  It was all just unraveling.

I was tired and worked, of course, but the desire, motivation, and energy to run were all still there.  My legs felt pretty good, besides the one hamstring, but I was starting to feel helpless.  Maggie asked me what I was thinking and I told her I was thinking about pulling the plug.  At first she tried hard to talk me out of it.  She told me only to considering quitting if I might actually be hurting myself.  I told her I think the whole muscle was about to split in half.  As we slowly walked down to Staton North, mile 87, I knew I was done.  The aid station crew asked if I needed anything, I replied I just wanted to pout for awhile.

So that's it, that was my Wasatch "100".  Am I disappointed and frustrated? You bet.  I poured everything into this race, and I was close to having my dreams come true.  But let's be real, its a race; a totally arbitrary 100 mile run through the Wasatch mountains.  I signed up and paid money for this crap.  On the bright side, I accomplished every other goal for the day: I ran with full commitment that never faded, I "ran my own race", I managed heat and hydration the best I ever have, and I had a great time in some beautiful and new mountains.  Maybe best of all, I know I can do it: I can compete with some of the best in the business.  Its a brutal sport, and anything can always happen in 100 miles, but on a different day I know I can finish right up there at the front.  How exciting is that?  Next time I get a chance to run Wasatch it won't be about "revenge" or anything ridiculous like that; it will be another great opportunity to spend a day running in the mountains and see where my limits are.

I also had the pleasure of being surrounded by an amazing crew: my dedicated wife Jenny, my energetic girls Ella and Cora, my parents Bob and Ginny who took all the pictures and were instrumental in child care, my super pacer Maggie, and my super crew friend Lindsey Thalacker.  My gratitude for them is simply beyond words.  I also have to thank my coach Ty Draney who got me physically and mentally in bangin' shape for this race.  Thanks also to all the folks that followed the race online and sent good thoughts, your energy is powerful.

My oldest and youngest fans

Congratulations to Chris and Travis on awesome races.  They are definitely two good dudes who deserved to finish well.

What's next?  Time to get some firewood, some quality family time, and start dreaming big for next year.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wind River Peak FKT

The Casper Star Tribune and Billings Gazette did an interview with me about mountain running and FKT's:

Marathon not hard enough? Try running peaks, and setting records

Speaking of Fastest Know Times, I set a new one for Wind River Peak — 6:56.33

Check out the data from Strava

Chillin' at the top of the always lovely Wind River Peak

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

After Bighorn 100 I spent the next two weeks visiting family, traveling, and generally relaxing.  It was good.  But as we slipped into the heart (and heat) of summer, I started to have feelings of anxiety.  It was already July and I had not even been the high country yet!  Sometimes summer feels like a ticking time bomb;  minutes, hours, and days slip away and all of a sudden its over.  Its mountain running season; the most wonderful time of the year! Time to get down to business.

Often there is no better way to loosen up stiff legs than to run fast, and I did my best to do that at the Dolomite Dash, a local 21K on Limestone Mountain.  It has a couple thousand feet of climbing and descending on some truly awful trail, but the views are excellent.  The pace started blisteringly fast and I struggled to hang on.  It felt like it took me the first 10 miles to get warmed up.  In the end, I got my climbing legs going and was fortunate to take the top spot for the second time.

Blustery "podium" on Limestone Mountain for the 5K, 10K, and 21K

Once the Dolomite Dash was over it was time for the real fun to begin.  I headed over to Big Sandy to do run up East Temple Peak.  I got stormed off the pass last year, and I was wondering what its like up there all winter and spring.  One might say, it rocked.

At 12, 645', East Temple Peak is one of the more iconic peaks of the Wind River Range, with its huge north face and the detached pinnacle of Lost Temple Spire.  Scrambling up the southwest ridge is straightforward, and running down the steep loose rock of Temple Pass was a blast.

Stunning wildflowers and a view of East Temple Peak
Chillin' on the summit of East Temple with my partner, Tayo

Yo, Temple Peak

A little swimming hole above Clear Lake
Big country

Cirque of the Towers side trip

I was convinced the entire run my wife who is eight and half months pregnant must be in labor so I ran my socks off.  It felt like a race effort and I was totally wiped when it was all said and done.  Fortunately, nothing helps recovery like cinnamon rolls!  That's right, instead squeezing that watermelon looking thing out of her gut she was making cinnamon rolls.  Obviously a  much better reason to redline it home.

Jenny is awesome

 A few days later my buddy Evan and I schemed to run up Fremont Peak in the northern end of the Wind River Range.  Fremont Peak is a beautiful mountain that dominates the skyline on the west side of the Winds.  For a long time I assumed there were only technical routes up the peak because its sides are so steep and covered in glaciers.  Its a big mountain; at 13,743', its only 66 feet lower than Gannett Peak and 33 feet shorter than the Grand Teton to be the third highest peak in the state.  I mean, its not a Colorado "fourteener", so its kind of lame, but somehow we make due in Wyoming.

We left Lander at 5AM to run in 17 miles to the summit.  We went up the southwest ridge and gully, which are steep, but well featured for 1700' of scrambling.  Some slabs were wet from a little bit of mid-summer snow that was just melting off.  The summit is very exposed, which probably got my heart rate up a little higher as well.

Fremont Peak is the broad beast in the middle of the this shot from "Photographer's Point"

Fremont Peak towering above Island Lake

Wind River Running

Evan's a crusher

So much stoke in Indian Basin
Indian Basin is alpine to the core

Clouds rolling in on top of Fremont Peak

Fremont Peak's summit ridge is gnarly

The sprawling Upper Fremont Glacier, and Gannett Peak in the background (the one with snow on top)

Recovery this time was aided by 25 pounds of Palisade Peaches!  Somebody from Grand Junction drove up to Lander to make a buck or two.  I left them my contact information and asked them to tell me when they are coming back with more.

Someday I'm going to quit everything and own a peach orchard in Palisade

A few days after bonding with Fremont Peak I made the quick trip up to Grand Teton National Park with the hopes of climbing the Middle and South Tetons with my coach Ty Draney.  It was pretty stormy in the Tetons the night before, and as I drove over Togwotee Pass just after sunrise, the Tetons were still engulfed in a thick grey cloud.  Thunderstorms were forecasted for the afternoon, so we decided to bail on the summits.  I've covered some ground in the Tetons, but I had actually never been to Hurricane Pass, so we decided that was a safer destination for the day.  Ty is getting ready for a John Muir Trail unsupported FKT attempt, so he was slogging a 20 pound pack up the pass.

On Hurricane Pass: Grand, Middle, and South Tetons (L to R)

Schoolroom Glacier and its cute little meltwater lake

Ty surrounded by wildflowers and heading towards the glacier

Online distance running coaching is somewhat of a recent phenomenon, but I've got nothing but positives to say about Ty's coaching.  I feel fitter than ever and I'm excited for Wasatch 100 in September.  My training is bound to get a little disjointed with the arrival of a new little one any day now, plus the start of the school year, but I'm sure I'll squeeze in a little bit more Wind River running.

Also, a few of those Palisade peaches turned into peach crisp.  Awesome.

Why won't Haagen-Dazs sponsor me?
She's a magician in the kitchen

Friday, June 26, 2015

2015 Bighorn 100 Race Report

"Please tell me you have at least have a few butterflies in your stomach" said my 67-year old Uncle Don, as I stood next to my truck putting sun screen on beneath the hot Tongue River Canyon sun.  Don is the leanest, strongest, and toughest looking "old" dude I've ever known.  I shook my head and smiled, "I'm going to try and not even think about racing until Jaws".  The Jaw's Trailhead is about 5,000 feet above us and 50ish miles away.  It's the turnaround spot for the out-and-back 100-mile race and it is the starting spot of the 50-mile race, which Don was doing for his very first 50-mile race.  You bet he was nervous.

11 AM, Mile 1: Stretching the legs out a bit at the start of the race

I was fairly relaxed at the start of this race, partly because of experience, but also because I was just happy to be at the starting line.  I'd spent the last three weeks fighting off patellar tendonitis (more on that later) and a re-aggravated sprained ankle.  It felt good to going out on a proper long day running in the mountains.  My personal expectations for the race had maybe relaxed a little bit as well, so I started off the first 4,000ish foot climb to the Dry Fork Ridge Aid station at a nice moderate pace.

11 AM, Mile 1: Just happy to be running

Dry Fork Ridge is way up there somewhere

The climb up to the Dry Fork Aid Station was hot, but uneventful.  The lead "pack" organized itself quickly, and there was very little passing.  I came into Dry Fork feeling hot, but very good in maybe 5th or 6th place.  I grabbed some more gel and a bag of Cheetos, high-fived my crew, and started off towards the Footbridge Aid Station, another 16ish miles away.

1:30 PM, Mile 13.5: Leaving Dry Fork Ridge

I knew the next section through the heat of the day to Footbridge would be tough, so I backed off on the pace even a little more, and I tried to eat and drink as much as I could.  The heat was tough and I could tell that I was starting to struggle.  I dumped cold water on my head, but soon I realized all of my clothes were soaked from sweat, not ice water.  I was relieved when I got to a section of the course called "The Wall".  Its down 2,400' in about 3 miles.  The upper section was so muddy I saw one guy step into the mud only to have his shoe disappear.  I ran ahead as he dug through the mud trying to find his shoe.  Further down the wall it was fairly technical and steep but I enjoyed making my way down to the Tongue River.

4:30 PM, Mile 30: Suffering from the heat and arriving at the Footbridge Aid Station

I told Jenny right away that I needed to sit in the shade for a minute to try and cool off.  She is about seven and half months pregnant but you'd never know it, besides that lump on her belly.  She had everything already to go for me and scurried around for anything else I needed.  My feet were getting shredded from my wet shoes and socks, so I made a change at this point too.  My feet and hands get pruney ridiculously fast, so I take extra precautions to keep them from getting too wet and taring off.  How fast? Like I can take a 10-minute shower and be totally pruned up—no joke.  Anyways, I saddled back up and felt somewhat refreshed as headed out for 4K of climbing and 18 miles to Jaws.

My stupid pruney feet

The shirt says it all.  I don't think she actually drank any of that Mountain Dew.

4:35 PM, Mile 30: Leaving Footbridge and chatting with my medical friend

Not too far into the climb, I can pinpoint my mistake in this race.  Only 3 miles after Footbridge there is already a small aid station.  I had only drank a little bit of my water, so I decided not to top my bottles off and just drink a cup at the aid station.  As I was about 50 yards out of the aid station I looked at the cool elevation tat on my arm and saw that it was almost 7 miles to the next chance to get water.  I almost turned around to go back and get more water, but who wants to back track even 50 yards in a 100-mile race?  I actually said out loud "I might regret this" and kept on moving forward.

Well, no big shocker, I ran out of water.  I did run out much earlier than I thought I would.  I hiked uphill for about an hour with nothing to drink, so in turn I didn't eat anything either.  It felt like a training run where I purposefully "bonk", and I actually kept on moving pretty well, but I could tell I was digging myself a hole.

As I got higher into the mountains the weather cooled and I felt better.  The scenery at the upper elevation of the Bighorns is stunning.  I was running blissfully through the meadows and and trees having a great time.  I even heard some elk bugling.  When I reached my pacers Nathan and Barb at the Jaws Aid Station I was psyched to keep running and head off into the night.  The medical staff asked if I'd been peeing before I left the aid station.  I lied and said "yes".  I knew I was dehydrated, and had been drinking hard to get back out of that hole I felt totally ready to rock at the moment so I was not worried about it.

Bighorn is an out and back course, so Nathan and I headed back down 4,000 feet to Footbridge.  I think I was in 7th or 8th place, and I was eager to hunt down the tired looking guys in front of me.  We started out great, chatting and having a great time.  I had run the first 50 miles basically alone all day so I was really glad to have company.  Finally, I had to pee.  I'm going to talk about peeing a lot now so if you aren't down with that you'd better skip ahead.  My pee looked like straight up Coca-Cola. Brown.  "Oh shit" I said.  "Yeah that's not good" said my doctor friend Nathan.  We kept moving and discussed if that was rhabdo, dehydration, or something else.  I drank as much water as I could and kept moving.  I started to have sharp pain in my bladder on every downhill (which was like, everything).  We would move along well until I couldn't take the bladder pain anymore, I would stop and try to pee, it would hurt like blazes, I'd get a little bit out and then we'd keep running.  We did this repeatedly until we got back to Footbridge, just before 1 am.

1 AM, Mile 66: Jenny masterfully navigating the Footbridge Aid Station

I had lost a lot of time with all the peeing.  It sucked.  When I got to the aid station I was pretty worked.  I talked briefly with the medical guy about my bladder, and he thought I had probably just irritated it when I was really dehydrated.  I seemed alright otherwise so it wasn't too big of a deal.  Jenny gave me some mac n' cheese, and I was about to get going.  I started to get light headed and really tired when the medical guy came and talked to me.  "You look a whole lot worse than you did three minutes ago" he said.  I couldn't lie about this one: I felt like crap.  I just wanted to go to sleep.  Jenny was awesome and tried to rally me with a motivational speech "I've been waiting here for you all night so you'd better get going".  The medical guy got ice cold and said, "I'm the chief medic, and you aren't going anywhere until you check out with me."  I've never seen my wife shut down like that!  We all had a good laugh about it after the race.  I took another 15-20 minutes until the medic approved me to go, which was probably a good thing, since I did feel a lot better after taking a break.  Still, the time lost was frustrating, especially since a couple guys passed me while I was sitting on my butt.

Dry Fork Ridge sunrise

Nathan and I trudged back up "The Wall" at a decent clip, and actually moved quite well in the darkness.  Med-School grads make great pacers; they can teach you all kinds of human body stuff!  Our headlamps dimmed and started to die just as the sun was coming up.  The birds started to chirp and there was light and life in the mountains again.  We passed one poor dude and another guy dropped at Dry Fork, so that left me in 8th place after my half hour hiatus at Footbridge.  We arrived at Dry Fork Ridge again, about mile 82, feeling much better and maybe even a little bit accomplished.

5:45AM, Mile 82: Nathan and I were maybe a little bit worked

 5:45 AM, Mile 82: Jenny probably being very patient with me at Dry Fork Ridge

The next section of the course was very important to me.  When I ran the Bighorn 50 a few years ago as my first ultra, I walked almost the entire last 15 miles.  Even all the downhills.  It was depressing and horrible, and I did not want that again.  So, Barb and I took off from Footbridge and moved along at a moderate pace.  Everything hurt, but I didn't care too much.  We tackled the steep Tongue River Canyon through the early morning heat and made it down to the infamous 5 mile dirt road to the finish.  I have to admit, I let my motivation slip away; a sub-22 hour finish was not realistic; 7th place was about 20 minutes ahead of me; 9th place was no where in sight.  I kind of stopped caring in my sleepiness and exhaustion.  It felt like formality just to finish.

Barb and I making our way back to Dayton

I went slow.  Very slow.  The sun was hot and bright.  I had forgotten to get my sunglasses back after the night section.  I wasn't very happy about it, but I just couldn't bring myself to move forward very quickly.  As Barb and I neared Dayton, I looked back and 9th place was right behind me.  "Oh shit!" I said, again, "This is what we call going to the well."  I took off running like a pronghorn being chased by a coyote.  I was convinced he was on my tail chasing me down.  I was tempted to look and find out, but decided just to use this crazy adrenaline surge and sprint to the finish.  I came into Scott Park in Dayton thrilled to see Jenny, Ella, my parents, and the rest of my crew.  I was so ready to be done and to lay down.  As it turns out, I ran a 6:40/mi (according to my Suunto Watch) to escape the guy in 9th place, but he never even gave me chase.  Oh well.  We had a good laugh about that one at the finish.

9:34 AM, Mile 100: So good to be done

Maybe even better just to lay down

My Uncle Don finished his first 50-miler in style as well later that day.  His daughter Tina came all the way out from Washington D.C. just to make sure he didn't hurt himself.  They did awesome and it was fun and inspiring to see him finish!

Don and Tina cruising the road

In the end, I finished in 22 hours and 34 minutes, which was good enough for 8th place overall and first in my age group.  I'm content with my time, but I know it could have been faster without the peeing issues.  Its tough to acclimate for heat in Wyoming during the spring, and I just wasn't ready for that much warmth.  Most of my long runs were in snow, not sunshine.  Oh well, I can't complain about a good day in the mountains.

Bighorn 100 Team

I would have been toast in this race without Jenny, Nathan, Barb, my parents Bob and Ginny, or Don and Tina's support.  I might not have made it to the start of the race without the guidance of my coach Ty Draney, or without the help of Courtney and Tom at Fremont Therapy, Sylvia and Gina and Ananda Yoga, and Jagoe Warren.  All of these people rock my world.

Rusty Spur Club (Sub-24 hour) induction ceremony: YEEEHAAAW!

Next up?  Summer Wind River Range mountain running, a second addition to the family, the start of the 2015-16 school year, and the Wasatch 100 in September.

Photo Credits: Bob Joyes