|Hiking with friends with a knack for capturing moments is nice.|
|Fitting some climbing skins to make Mike's old skis suitable for uphill travel. Also purchased these to keep using alpine bindings.|
|The only ski-worthy snow in the area is on the groomers at the Arizona Snowbowl. Beautiful views and some hard-earned vertical.|
The marathon is a distance I've revered more than others. I attribute this to it being more objectively measured than an ultra. With all of the variables like terrain, weather, nutrition, elevation gain/loss on trails, we're able to hide our relative performances from the masses. If you aren't on a particular trail ultra course on a particular day, saying whether a time is fast or slow involves an increased amount of bullshit. Road races are more standardized leave less to hide behind. For those of us that care, there are even qualifying times for races like Boston and New York to shoot for. Either way, runners know what a good marathon time is, and what isn't. Something about bearing myself for the world to see is intimidating, yet simultaneously liberating. I have an image or reputation as a runner, but I'm not really even that good. This will at least provide some semblance of accuracy in measure.
|Not a likely PR course, but I'm still looking.|
Clearly, these are some beautiful places to see on foot. I'll be doing at least two of their events this year, starting with the Antelope Canyon 50 miler on February 21. The others are up in the air as far as expenses and availability for travel go, but the Tushars 93k (maybe 100 mile?) looks so beautiful that I find myself fantasizing about it. The Grand Canyon race is another that is close to home and will be sure to provide a wonderful experience. I'm at the will of the nursing school and money gods for the time being, but time will tell and a man can dream.
I haven't forgotten about Zane Grey, and feel a great deal of excitement about getting back on the Highline Trail again. These events should get me back into a racing groove and feeling ready to take the technical, undulating mountain trails.
With a few gaps yet to be filled in, I could potentially have a race of some sort each month. That allows for plenty of recovery of my legs, academic life, and bank account. I haven't posted since Thanksgiving, so the disjointed nature of this post leaves a little to be desired. More reflection might be good for me, so I'll try a little more of my old habit of mulling things over in an unnecessarily verbose way.