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Training in the Tetons. Photo: Luke Nelson

Several months of very focused training and preparation, weeks spent preparing the body, thousands of miles of running, and now I find myself in the midst of it; race season. I started working towards these events in October, but the preparation is made up of years of training. I have been working with my coach, Scott Johnston of Uphill Athlete, to do all I could, to be as ready as possible, to perform my best.

After a season of mostly adventure running last year, I felt a strong desire to compete and to see how much more potential I could tap into. I reached out to Scott to help and we have been doing the work.

I raced the Whiteface Skyrace in July as a check-in race. I raced well, but found some areas in which I could improve. We adjusted training, focusing on weakness. I find that most of us tend to focus on what we are good at, and there are certainly gains that can be made with that type of focus, but they are limited. The fastest way to progress is to work on what we suck at, and that is hard, because we aren’t good at it.

I raced in Tromso, Norway a few weeks ago. It was one of my “A” focus races. It went well, not perfect, but well. I had an amazing experience there, and learned more about myself as a runner. I was also humbled by the competition and the terrain. I found more that I could improve on as I develop my craft as a mountain runner.

In less than 24 hours I will toe the line at my first Vertical Kilometer race. I have wanted to do one for a long time. I like running uphill, and am psyched to compete with some of the best in the world at The Rut. The day after the VK I will be racing the 28k skyrace. While it may be a shorter race than I have focused on in the past, I know how difficult the terrain will be and know that I am ready to have a great race.

A few weeks later I will head to Scotland to race the Glen Coe Skyline race, the next stop in the Skyrunning World Extreme Series. It will be a test of physical and mental strength.  A Few weeks after Scotland I will head to Flagstaff for the Flagstaff Skyrace. I can’t say what the exact outcome will be, nor can the other incredible athletes that I will be competing with. I can say for sure that I will be having a ton of fun running in some of the purest mountain races on the planet and I hope the other runners are doing their work. I want a good fight.