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2022 in Review/Plans for 2023

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Strava says I ran 1,934 miles in 2022. I wanted to step down a bit from my 2,650 miles in 2021, but not by that much. I got about the same vert that I usually get (300K) without really focusing on it. I was pretty happy with my running for most of the year. I set a marathon PR in December 2021 but as usual I did not really convert that into trail speed. I ran these races in 2022: January: Calico 50K February: Sean O'Brien 100K February: Yucca Valley 5K April: Cherry Blossom 10-miler  June: San Diego 100-miler July: Standhope 100-miler September: Tor des Geants 220-miler November: Mountain Masochist 50K (50-miler DNF) I did fine but not great at June and July 100's, and then I did quite well at Tor. It was an amazing experience, but it took a lot out of me. So much so that I didn't run for a solid month, and then when I tried to start up again a few weeks after that, I had to downgrade from the 50-mile to the 50K at Mountain Masochist in November. (I slept very poorly the ni

Tor des Géants 2022

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I started this blog post on my futon in Washington, DC coughing uncontrollably with a bad cold. (Remember colds?) That night was the first night of non-disgusting, non-bedsheet-soaking levels of sweatiness. Why was this happening to me? The prior Thursday night just before midnight I finished the Tor des Géants Tor 330 race: a 356 Kilometer (220 mile) race through the Italian Alps starting and ending in Courmayeur circumnavigating the Aosta Valley, with 80,000 feet of vertical gain. Why is it called Tor 330 when it's clearly 350+ Kilometers, even on the race's own maps? That is just one of dozens of quirks of the Italian-run race, some of which come off as truly obnoxious, some of which instead come off as magical. I finished in 109:49:19, in 102nd place overall (of over 1,000 starters) , and 4th American (of not very many). It's the hardest race I've ever run, and one of my best performances. What does "hard" mean? I only finished one loop at Barkley, and I&#

Saint-Gervais-les-Bains

Hello from the slopes of Le Prarion above St. Gervais-les-Bains. I arrived in Geneva early this morning, stupidly having watched movies the whole flight rather than sleeping. A couple trains quickly got me to St. Gervais and then I hiked myself and my two backpacks full of race gear 2,700 vertical feet up the mountain to my cousin's husband's family chalet. (Thank you N & S!)  It's adorable and has terrific views of whatever mountains those are across the way (in the opposite direction of Mt. Blanc). I'll probably stay two nights then hike up over the rest of the mountain and down to Chamonix, and continue on my way to Courmayeur, where I'll be running Tor des Géants, a 330Km race with 80K+ feet of vertical gain. It's going to kick my butt for days. I had to go back down into the village to hit the ATM and get some food. It was a great run down, but then once I was there the weather was very threatening. I ate some quick pizza and asked if there was a taxi s

Standnope 100

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I just ran the inaugural Standhope 100 in Ketchum, Idaho. I was very excited for this race--it was billed as an "unforgettable single-loop trek completely circumnavigating the Pioneer Mountain Range of central Idaho" that is "NOT an easy course." I looked at the course map and elevation profile and expected gorgeous views , akin to the Hardrock of Idaho. Instead, I had a 90 degree F 6PM start along several miles of highway shoulder, subpar aid stations, subpar course markings, a lot of gravel road, pavement to the finish, one truly excellent high pass, and a lot of mixed feelings about the race. On the plus side, the race started and ended in downtown Ketchum, which was extremely convenient. I flew to Boise and rented a car, as I wanted to see extended family and visit gf's family inherited property on the trip. However, if you wanted, you could fly direct to Ketchum and you wouldn't even have to rent a car. On the negative side, this meant 4.5 miles of pav