I have had the opportunity to represent the United States of America in international competition 5 times since 2004. January 8, 2011, will mark the 6th as I have been selected to be a member of the US squad competing at the BUPA Great Ediinburgh cross country challenge against teams from the UK and Europe over 8 kilometers. Leading our US team will be Dathan Ritzenhein, Galen Rupp, Eddy Moran, and Scotty Bauhs. I cannot wait to race in this thing and be a contributor to a victory. I have put in some good work during the fall, and while I have only raced a couple times with fair results since the summer injury, I feel like it is time to breathe some life into this thing. This is the perfect opportunity and I am going to take full advantage of it.
Currently I am in Rapid City, South Dakota, doing some runs at about 3200 feet of elevation. While this is no Boulder, Colorado, I can't help but feel that a week here running lots of miles mixed with some quality sessions will give me some sort of benefit down the road. A week ago Julie and I had made our way to the farm in Iowa to spend some holiday time with my mother and stepfather Paul. I put in one of the hardest long runs I have done since the 2005 Albuquerque runs with Andrew. It was a 20 miler out on the hilly, snow covered roads of Dubuque County. I swear to all that is fair and just that the hills on this loop are the biggest I have ever ran on. They just burn going up them. Add in a strong headwind, cold temps, and snowy roads and you have yourself primed for any distance. Just a real old-school day out there on the roads. I would imagine this is what contributed to Phil Coppess running so well in the marathon as he trained on loops like this day after day. It was more an exercise of mental will than anything else.
My mother had her first round of chemotherapy this week related to breast cancer they discovered a few months back. It is unbelievable how much positive energy she exhibits and I am trying to apply the attitude she is taking with this to my training each and every day. I am ready for Jan 8 to kick off the year of racing and I am going to lay it on the line to the best of my ability. Happy holidays, enjoy the season as it is a time to truly reflect on what we are trying to accomplish here and who is most important to us. Take advantage of it as I will most definitely be doing. Thanks for reading.