It always feels like a big milestone to put in the last long training day before a race. Yesterday, with exactly one month to go before Leadville 100, I ran 10 miles before breakfast and another 25 in the afternoon. I spent the time reflecting on the many months and miles leading up to now, starting a year ago here at the lake when I was able to really ramp up my miles for the first time since I broke my leg. I didn’t have plans to run an ultra, I was just so happy to be out on the trails again feeling strong. But little by little I began to see how it might be possible to run ultra distances again. It was a gradual, natural progression, from a trail marathon and the Grand Canyon R2R2R (with the flu) last fall, to a 50k pilgrimage run with a friend at Easter to a fast and hot 5O miler in the canyons near Los Alamos in May to a wet 100k and an amazing training camp in the mountains in June. Not every day or even every week felt easy or good. There was the day in March when I had to lie down on the ground in the dirt 5 or 6 times to try to feel the earth spin, when after a long snow-less non-winter I wondered for the first time if I had the mental stamina and the fire to run home. But there have been magic days too. Making a pizza run down the mtn to pick up dinner to bring bring back to the yurt near Taos after a long hike up Wheeler. Running fast around Turquoise Lake Outside of Leadville beneath a nearly full moon with new running friends when the night was so deep it seemed to swallow us. The walks to and from school, the cruisy neighborhood bike rides, moving all day til long after dark. These are the days that matter most, that make us who we are...all the steps along on the way, good and bad and everything in between, feeling proud AND unsure, excited and nervous, running alone and with friends and kiddos. Life is the best training plan. Now the miles are in the bank it’s time to look forward and get pumped. So grateful to everyone’s who helped along the way!