I've been feeling pretty solid since returning to Alaska on Monday. This is the quickest I've ever recovered from any Ultra. I didn't run until Tuesday but I was never once sore, just a bit tired on Sunday and Monday - by Wednesday I felt as good as I've felt on a run in a long time.
In the end Bear Mountain turned out to be a perfect long "training run" for Western States. I feel really good about where I'm at with 6 weeks to go before what will be my first 100 in 9 months. I find myself thinking a lot more about this race then I have leading up to any race in awhile. On most of my runs this week it was hard not to end up with my mind wandering to thoughts about crew/pacer logistics, heat/elevation acclimatization, and especially about the exciting race at the front of the pack that I hope to be a part of. Something's going to have to give in this one. Hal has won this race two years in a row; Tony has never lost any ultra that he's finished; I've set a course record on every single 100 mile course I've run; and most people in Europe believe that Killian is unbeatable in this one. And then beyond this there are half a dozen or so other guys who could also find a way to scratch and claw their way to the finish in Auburn before everyone else.
It should be really fun to be a part of this. I like my chances of having a satisfying race. I'm stronger, smarter, and more confident as a competitor than I've ever been. I feel very optimistic that this will be one of the most fun races I'll ever be a part of. And perhaps the best part is that as excited as I am for June 26th, I'm just as excited for the training runs that I'll be doing between now and then.