OK, Leadville. How did you choose that race as your return?
I raced Leadville in 2014, and to this day it was the most challenging ultra of my life. It was the middle race of my own personal “triple crown” (after the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run and before the Run Rabbit Run 100). I might have trained a little too hard without enough rest. So, I felt awful only 20 miles into Leadville, and it was a slugfest for the remaining 80.
After that, I always wanted to return to have a friendlier experience with the course. This year seemed like the perfect year; Leadville suits my strengths and is not very technical, which felt ideal for my first 100-mile race after major knee surgery in 2017.
You were on course-record pace for a lot of the day. How were you feeling? You said this was the first time you weren’t dealing with any injuries leading up to the event.
In many ways, I was less prepared this year than I've ever been for any other 100-mile race. It was a calculated risk, but I felt confident enough I could move my body the distance.
Right off the line I felt great, relaxed and mindful of how fortunate I was to be racing again. By the 50-mile turnaround I knew I was having one of those magical race days you can never predict, but there was still a long way to go! I stayed in the moment, focused on the task at hand, and only when I saw the finish line from atop 6th Street did I allow myself to believe it was really happening.