Carry The Torch

Rob practicing pacing me out of Twin,
he apparently thought I would still be
running uphill!
With the Leadville marathon just around the corner it's hard not to think about Rob on every training run. I am so determined to go out there this year and race hard.
I remember one afternoon last summer waiting in the parking lot at Apex for Rob so we could run together for the first time. I was mindlessly eating white cheddar popcorn in the hopes that it would help me keep up with the climbing legend! I always get nervous running with new people, no matter how well I know them and the stories about Rob's climbing abilities were legendary. I just get nervous I won't be able to keep up and I'll let them down. About 2 seconds into the run I remembered this was Rob, the guy who'd make the kid finishing last feel like he'd just won the race. And so a great running partnership was built!

Rob challenged me on the uphills and I challenged him on the downs. We both liked to chat through out the whole run. We swapped stories about family, climbing, traveling, research, geology, our next great adventures, just whatever came to mind. The Leadville marathon was one of Rob's favorite races and was a constant topic of conversation. He was so excited for this years race. To push himself harder, to see how much faster he could go. These are all things I've learned from Rob, oh and to do it with a smile. I will run the Leadville marathon this year as if this is the only chance I get.

"Sometimes life only gives you one chance"  - Gordy Ainsleigh
Climb on Rob! I'll be raising a Dales to you
at the LTM finish!
This year when I take off across the starting line I know there will be a tear in my eye, but I also know when I cross the finish line I will be smiling ear to ear. I've read Rob's race report every day lately, getting motivated and formulating my game plan. It's exactly what he did this time last year.

Hanging out in Leadville!
The last time I ran with Rob was over Hope Pass at the Leadville 100 last year. I still relive that night, the jokes we told each other, the stories we chatted about and mostly how he made me feel like I was pretty darn good, despite the fact that most of the way down I had my hands on my knees, head between my legs and was worrying about drowning in the river we still had to cross. I still feel guilty about not having made it to the finish. Like somehow I owed it to Rob to finish. I know he will be there this year when I cross the finish, but until that day comes it will continue to gnaw at me.

I thought about Rob and channeled my "Rob legs" on Saturday as I tested my speed at Meyers. I wanted to check my fitness and see where I was at in my training. So I charged uphill in the way Rob taught me. Then I charged downhill with everything I had. I PRd by nearly 2 min! I know Rob's still here watching over all of us, helping James heal his heart and helping me charge my climbs.

Rob I miss you. You will forever be my trail running hero. And I hope to always keep up with the pace you set.

Week May 27 - June 2

Miles Running: 31.5
Hours Running and Hiking: 7


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