"The Hay is in the Barn"

This expression is commonly used amongst runners when they have completed their training and are transitioning into the tapering period before a big race. Farmers used to sit back and admire the hard work they put forth stacking bails of hay into the barn for the winter knowing that the hard work is finished and now it is time to relax a little. I think it is a great analogy and that is my current status right now with Bighorn 100 right around the corner.

So with five months behind us this year I took a look back at my "bails of hay in the barn" and to be honest I feel quite pleased.

For the month of March I started feeling like I was getting some good fitness back, had a good race up at Chuckanut, and felt like I was honing some speed back as well. I only ran 285 miles for that month but felt like I really focused in on some quality rather than quantity.

April was a solid month for me and I trained right through a win at Peterson Ridge Rumble 60k, and had a solid 3rd place performance and pr at Capitol Peak 50-miler. I ended up running 346 miles for the month of April and felt like I was starting to reap some of the rewards of increased volume.

I really couldn't be more pleased with the month of May. I mixed things up a little this month and added a little spontaneity and spice into my training, and I feel that my body and mind responded well. I ran 401 miles for the month that included a course record 50k performance down in Reno, NV at the Silver State 50/50. We had a fun road trip down to Nevada and it was good to get to know the central Oregon crew better. I also headed up to Seattle on a whim this past weekend for some good training with Krissy, Justin, Gary, Tom, and Piper. I also wanted to get one last long night-run in before Bighorn so last night around 11pm I grabbed my new Petzel Myo headlamp (totally recommend this lamp) and hit the Wildwood Trail going over Pittock into Forest Park and back home for 20 miles. The quality of light illuminating from my headlamp left me feeling more confident as I head into Bighorn without a pacer or crew. Also, after running a solid 34-mile effort on Saturday with 10,000 feet of climbing, I really simulated what it would be like running through the muddy trails in Wyoming in the middle of the night. It was definitely surreal and at one point in the run I truly felt and heard a little voice say, "You're Ready". I got home scarfed down everything in sight, took a shower, and then stayed awake to drive my mother-in-law to the airport at 4am. Needless to say I spent the first half of Memorial Day in bed! ahhhhhhhhhhh!

(Justin Angle, Tom Ederer, Me, Krissy Moehl, and Piper on Tiger Mt.)

Feels good to "have the hay in the barn". These last five months have been so great getting transplanted into the ultra running scene out here in Oregon. I've been so lucky to have epic training grounds in The Columbia River Gorge and Forest Park, and feel that they have contributed to my improvement of strength and speed. I have met so many wonderful people too and am truly honored to be running with some of the great ultra runners I used to read about in magazines when I was relatively new to the sport back on the east coast.

Thank you Erica for putting up with me and supporting me when it probably seemed that I was running (or thinking about running) constantly!...and all the muddy shoes, sticky Gu packets, dirty car, obsessing about little minor injuries, etc. etc.! I was definitely getting some confused looks when I told Erica and her mom that I was heading up to Seattle for a 34-mile training run, and then I was going to run through the middle of the night when they were sleeping. Thanks for understanding :o) You're gonna be a great momma Erica and I'm excited to start this new "ultra-marathon" with you as we become parents.
(beautiful pregnant momma...with her momma!)

I know a lot of people are really looking forward to all the hype of Western States 100 this year, but I feel that Bighorn 100 (which takes place the weekend before) is going to be one of the most competitive years ever. It definitely feels good to know that the bulk of the training is finished and that all that I have to do is rest up (which can be difficult), and get myself to Wyoming in a good head space. In a couple weeks I will be ready for another amazing adventure into an absolutely scenic part of the country, and take another crack at the daunting distance of a 100-mile ultramarathon!


From the time I could stand upright I was chasing soccer balls around with older children at the fields where my father...

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