Looking back on 2013 and what a year. Training and racing didn't really start until May when I went to Kintyre(and it hurt) but from then on I never looked back and I loved ever second I was out running. Obviously the biggest highlight and one I will never forget is the Leadville 100. I think everyone is aware of my feelings about that race so I will not bore you more with the same old story and if you don't know the story already then flick back through this blog to August. Looking ahead to 2014 and I am super excited to get started all over again and try and get as trail fit as possible. Last year I actually think I was at my fittest when I came back from Colorado and not before I went. Yeah I was in great running shape but I felt like 2 weeks after Leadville I was in the best shape I have ever been in for running and I just hope I can grow on that this year. Notable little runs during summer 2013 must be the beauty of the Mont Blanc 80km , the Loriaz trail being a highlight as well as THAT can of Red Bull(cheers guys). Also definitely my 30km loop from home to Mont Buet. The hail shower I got caught in one time on that run and the other when Sandy met me on the descent and we were flying back down the trail in the middle of the night and it was sweltering hot. I will sorely miss that run this coming season. Not to forget a few little jaunts I went on back in Scotland on my own in Arrochar and a brilliant Run/Jog/Walk/Hike thing I did at the end of the season in Cham with Ally , Sandy and Woody. That days sticks in my head as it was just so good to go out running with friends and have a laugh and I was feeling so so fit at that time. Massive shout out to everyone who helped me on all my races last year and all the amazing words sent to me after Leadville. Mum , Dad , Rob , Graham , Sandy , Dawn , Kim , Ben , Anna , Matt , Diana , Ally , Lorne and obviously Woody. The list could go on and on....
|I don't think this could ever be topped|
|Hail time on Mont Buet|
|Great times , great friends.|
|Ecstatic at the end of the Mont Blanc 80km|
|Another awesome training day|
The festive period is well out of the way and my focus has now turned to getting out running and ski touring. It was not a ridiculously crazy time over Christmas but yeah I did have some interesting nights out!
There is so much for me to look forward to this coming year and top of this list is Colorado. I am all booked up and will be leaving Scotland on July 3rd to spent almost 3 months training and racing over there. I have never done anything like this before in my life. Pack in my job and just go and train. Now don't think I am made of money , my entire months wage went on flights and race entries so now I must scrape together the cash to survive out there. I have signed up for my races over there. Leadville 50 miler , Leadville 10km and Run Rabbit Run 100 miler in Steamboat Springs. I am also pacing Kim on the LT 100 and I must admit that is what I am most excited to be doing this summer. I cannot wait to go back and experience that race again and help out someone who helped me so much last year. The biggest challenge is obviously Steamboat and I am not pushing this to one side and thinking that just because I have done one 100 miler then this next one will be easy. Yeah right! It is going to be so so hard but I am ready for the challenge. It is a very small race with just 200 runners and has slightly more climbing involved than Leadville but it is not at quite the same altitude. As usual I am just wanting to finish and have a good time running with my awesome team again. I plan on exploring all over Colorado as much as possible and just discovering new trails hopefully without coming across any Mountain Lions or Rattlesnakes! I feel like I have done my time running awesome very technical trails with steep climbs here in Cham so now is the time to go and get better at long winding mellow trails in a very very hot place. Although I will be trying to find some cool little ridge runs to spice things up out there.
|Heading Up Les Houches|
I went for a little skin up Les Houches with Graham on lunch the other day and it was good to get out and work the legs after the Christmas and New Year shenanigans. I think we were both feeling it in our legs a little on the 900m climb. I went out again today and did the same little climb and felt really really good. Once down I went home and quickly changed to the running gear and went out for a couple of hours and managed to find some almost snow clear trails. Beautiful sunny day and really not cold at all. It felt great to be back out running but my legs were pretty heavy and my heart rate was pretty high(177bpm) and I just couldn't find my usual pace but this will come back in time. The Chamonix cross country ski track is great for running on(if you don't get caught) and you can take it all the way to Les Tines and then cross the road and hit the Balcon Sud trail back and there are plenty more trails to play around on. I am back running on the New Balance Leadvilles now and giving the Salomons a rest. Pretty sure I will be using the Leadvilles for my big races this year. Just need to save the pennies to buy about 2 or 3 more pairs! Super comfy trainers with great grip and I never needed my yaktraks once today.
|Well it is winter so here is the obligatory ski picture|
of Graham enjoying some bluebird Pow
Finally a big shout out to Alex at Athlete Store (https://www.facebook.com/AthleteStore) who will be helping me out with some sweet deals on For Goodness Shakes and Nectar Sports Fuel this forthcoming season. I used For Goodness Shakes protein drinks all last summer and felt they worked a treat and actually tasted good. I must admit I haven't tried Nectar yet but I will be using their Gels and Fuel so will have an honest update on them once I get my first batch.
So now it's training time and my sights firmly set on the Hoka Highland Fling in April.