Ascending 100,000 feet in the month of June was the goal. I have never been close to that number while preparing for Hardrock so why not give a go and see what happens. Result: 388 myles and 106,385 feet ascended for the month. Check.
So what does this mean at Hardrock? In terms of pain - nothing. In terms of confidence - everything. One of my favorite quotes by Dave Horton is "pain is inevitable, suffering is optional". In my mind, preparation forces the balance one way or the other. I know I've done my best work to prepare for this year. You know the song "everybody hurts" by R.E.M.? Hardrock 100 does that to every runner, and if not, then you're not pushing to give your best. Confidence is the key, especially during the second half of Hardrock which can flip the switch from survival mode to hunting mode.
The last time I ran Hardrock was two years ago, same direction (clockwise) as this year. Reference this post to find out what happened. I don't want to repeat that so my number one goal is to NOT be the first person to Ouray. I've won that race before, now it's time to be the fastest in the second half. Better yet, what I'd like most out of this year is a PR. A PR is something that I control with my own actions. I can't control what other people do. I could be 50th place, but would be a success if I kiss that rock in 27.47:52.
I am leaving to Silverton tomorrow and really look forward to seeing my extended Hardrock family once again. Safe travels everyone! For those of you at home, follow along here.