Icy and muddy trails, a few falls and a devastating wrong turn in the last hour provided a good test of my grit at the Winter Loops 4hr. I clawed my way to 28.5 miles (and climbed 1,600+ feet), winning the overall title by 3 miles and setting a new course record in the process.
Sharing a 1.5 mile loop of single-track trail with 200+ runners added another challenge, as I found myself weaving in and out of other competitors for most of the race.
I'm pleased with how I responded to the challenges and I know my fitness is moving in the right direction, but I still have a lot of work to do if I want to be competitive with the pros at the Ice Age Trail 50 this May. I wasn't very happy with my training block leading up to my last 50 miler (Yankee Springs), which was condensed due to an injury, but I'm looking forward to a productive few months before Ice Age and planning to log some 100 mile weeks. I have yet to miss a podium in an ultra, and I don't plan on breaking that streak anytime soon.
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