Today was the day I dreamed of when I took up OCR. Just endless trail in the Vermont mountains. I don’t keep good stats on my workouts preferring to focus on the joy of the experience but it was about 25 miles, 4000 feet of climbing and up and over two ski resorts plus some local smaller mile+ climbs to get there. It was simply sublime. Along the way sun turned to misty mountain tops and then back again as I went up and down, up and down. I saw 1-2 people the entire 4.5 hours but countless signs of life including turkeys, deer, and prints and scat of bears, rabbits and coyotes. This was one of the hardest training runs of my life; and also the most sublime. I could tell you how its great prep for Spartan Ultra Beast. I could tell you about the science of aerobic efficiency and cardio base. Or about muscle and ligament durability or go on about the key efforts of simply spending hours going up steep slopes; and while all that’s true all I can really say is, in truth, I did this run today to keep my soul awake. To wash off the coating of offices and buildings. To burn the processed food out of my body. To simply breathe the freshest air and look at the world anew. I will save today’s workout in my minds-eye and draw on it at worlds; and remember how I felt today (except the last 4 miles-those were rough!) and I know it will give me an edge because I have been here before and I won today.