Finally: the word taper appeared on my training calendar this week! It’s no secret that my body doesn’t like a long taper, so when we kept the volume high last week I was not too surprised. Maybe it’s because I generally don’t take long tapers that I feel like I’m in the minority of people who relishes in it. Time is a much valued commodity in my life, and I’ll take it any way I can get it!
My last big weekend was spent in one of my favorite locations on earth (or at least out of the places I have visited on earth): the Blue Ridge Mountains. Just about 40 minutes outside of Charlottesville, the Ultra Race of Champions was taking place at Wintergreen Resort. Formally the Great Eastern Endurance Run (which I ran both the 100k and 50k of in years past), this race is near and dear to my heart. So I was eager to have the chance to do the last of my big run/bike/swims in the mountains so I could help out at the race.
The race was no disappointment in the excitement factor. It truly lives up to its name and mission of bringing the best of the best of ultrarunning to one course on one day. I do have to say though, I hope the ladies can step up and be more of a presence there in the future – only a handful chose to start in the elite start! In a fun twist, Gill and Francesca (the RD’s) announced this year that UROC will move courses from year to year, similarly to how the Superbowl changes venues. UROC 2013 will take place in Vail, Colorado. Sign me up to work that event 🙂
But first we had to focus on this year. I had not one, but two moments of being starstruck before the race began. The first came on Friday when I realized I was going to be sharing a house with the one and only Ellie Greenwood. You may remember her as the woman who set the Western States course record this year, and became my inspiration during IM CDA. Yes, I am a nerd and yes I told her about this! She was so sweet and super cute and British, and explained how silly and how “American” she felt wearing the backwards hat – love it!
My second moment of “omg!” was during pre-race check in on Saturday morning, when who walked up to me to check in? Kelly B. from Survivor Nicaragua herself!
Kelly is no stranger to tough athletic feats – she currently holds world records for amputees in the 200m and 800m distances, has won gold at the 2008 New York Triathlon and ITU World Triathlon Championships in the amputee division, and was the second amputee to finish the IM World Championships in Kona in 2007, setting the current record for the course in the process. Kelly finished UROC in a time of 14:18:08 – truly amazing.
My final excursion of the weekend was a stop through Charlottesville where I was meeting the UVA tri team for the first time. Another post coming here about this soon, but I can say now that after meeting these athletes I am more excited than ever to be a part of their squad.
Now it’s time to pack my bags and get ready for a long flight to Kona this weekend!