After taking a couple easy weeks (and some PT) to heal up my ankle. I have finally been able to get back to some regular training. I would say my ankle is at about 90%, but it feels really good to be out and running every day. I've done a couple shorter, local races in the last couple weeks and have been pleased with my overall fitness level. I won a trail 10K and came in 5th place at the hot, hilly and humid Riley's Rumble half-marathon.
So this all leads to my next big race - the Trail Runner Ultra Race of Champions (UROC) on Sept. 24, 2011. After some debate about what to do in the Fall I finally decided that if I want to continue to improve I need to push myself against the best in the sport. The field at UROC is stacked with names like Roes, Mackey, Wardian, Sharman, and Meltzer; just to name a few. All of these runners are far more accomplished than I am. I am humbled to be given the opportunity to race against theses elites. My goal is simply to train hard, line-up and hold on for as long as I can without getting caught up in all the hype. Regardless of how I finish, this race should be an absolute blast. It is also in Virginia and I have had some pretty good races so far this year in Virginia. After UROC, I still plan on either running Oil Creek or keeping things in VA and running Grindstone. I'll probably decide on that in the next week or so (I like to push things off to the last minute anyway).
The next two weeks will also be interesting to watch with Pike's Peak Marathon, Leadville, Waldo 100k and, of course, UTMB coming up. I'll be pulling for local boy Neal Gorman out at Leadville; he's been having a great year so far - 2nd at MMT 100 and 1st at Old Dominion. At UTMB, I'm hoping that one of U.S. runners can pull out a victory, but I am not too optimistic. Either way it will be fun to follow from afar. That's it for now, time to go run!