I really can't say enough about the Grand Canyon. Every trip is a magical experience. Sounds corny but when you have really experienced a Rim to Rim to Rim you grow this intimate relationship with the Canyon to the point where it feels like leaving a family member when you finally drive away. The staggering beauty never ceases to amaze me. The sun coming up over the ridgeline and the way the colors change as the sun climbs in the sky...it's why I run, it's why I hike, it's why I love the life I have.
47 miles and 20,000 feet of elevation gain later I'm feeling pretty solid going into the Javalina Jundred race pacing Matt. I'm volunteering the morning shift which I'm actually quite excited about. I'm looking forward to seeing some of the regular people there and cheering people on from the other side of the refreshments. A few hours after that I'm changing shoes and jumping to the start line to pick up Matt and hopefully pull him through for the full 100 miles.
Before I can even do that I have my first test with the ASU Ultramarathon Study which is attempting to determine what the fastest pace you can run an Ultra and keep burning your fat supplies and not switching over to burning your muscles. So Friday morning I have a 50 minute walk as they test several levels of my fitness. Then it's a max test to determine my max VO2. Starting at a moderate pace (7:00-7:30/mile) with an increase in grade every 30 seconds until I can no longer stay on the treadmill. Exciting to be a part of it and to find out what I'm capable of on an offiical level.