Several weeks ago I awoke to nearly three feet of fresh snow outside my sliding glass door. The snow had been hammering so hard the prior evening that I received the phone call universally coveted by students, and welcomed with even greater excitement by teachers. "It's a snow day..." said the automated message. In my hometown of Aspen, where I still work, that equates to a double win. Not only is school/work canceled, but it's a powder day on the ski mountain. In my "interim years," the decade between the culmination of collegiate running career and the commencement of my ultra running career, you surely would have found me, with along with every other Aspen local on a snow day, shredding the pow! It always makes me laugh how no one can make it to school or work, but the entire town is fighting for that first chair. What does this have to do with running you ask? Well, it's challenging training to run a fast 50K with 30" of pillowy white snow blanketing the ground.
|Jer and I on East Sopris Creek Road|
In 2008, I landed on the cover of Ultrarunning Magazine after only my second ultra, Moab's Red Hot 50K. Of course, the cover shot was merely circumstantial, as I had foolishly charged to the front of the pack, photo bombing a shot of Tony Krupika and Kyle Skaggs. I paid the price for my early effort and lack of training, running what I consider to be my worst race ever. This year I was determined to do two things at Red Hot, train more leading into the race and go out conservatively. I am happy to say that I did one of the two. I was disciplined enough throughout the winter to put together a fairly solid block of training, but I was not disciplined enough to run smart. Being a teacher, I turn everything into a grade. One out of two is a 50%! That's a firm "F". Luckily for me my fitness was sound enough to prevent an epic blowup!
|Chris Keleher Running Into the Sunset|