Let me start this thing off by stating that this is my first blog post ever and that I am not claiming to be a good writer by any stretch of the imagination. I wanted to start blogging every once in awhile to 1) give those that I am close to, but don’t get to see very often, a way keep up with my life 2) give other runners a sneak peak into what a professional runner’s life is like (spoiler alert: it’s boring, sorry) and 3) give myself something productive to do every now and then now that I am FINALLY finishing up school.

After the Payton Jordan Invitational, myself and a large portion of the Bowerman Track Club flew to Salt Lake City, UT and made the drive up to Park City to begin our first altitude camp of the year.

I love altitude training camps for many reasons. First of all, an altitude camp usually comes at a time of the year when we start gearing up for our very important races and it’s a great way to really focus in on your training and what you want to achieve throughout the season. For me, our altitude camps have forced me to not enroll in classes for the term which gives me one less thing to worry about, making it easier for me to put 100% into my training. And finally, it’s really fun (most of the time) getting to spend extra time with the guys and girls on the team that I don’t live with back in Portland.

Anyways, the first week of altitude is in the books and everything has been going well. Our first four or five days were pretty busy with getting situated in our new homes for the next six weeks, grocery shopping and finding new places to run and workout and do core.

Logistics aside, the first week of altitude is always a balancing act of feeling really good or feeling extremely awful. Some days, when the sun is shining down on you, there is no wind and you’re exploring a new pristine dirt trail with spectacular views, you feel like you could run forever. Then there are other days, when it might be just a little cloudy and a little windy, that you look down at you watch only to find that you are only ten minutes into your run, you have 50 minutes to go and you haven’t broken eight minute/mile pace yet (we try to get down to at least 6:00-6:15 pace for most runs). Thankfully, I have had more of the first-example days as opposed to the second- example days, so far.

I am really excited to be up here in Park City training. I know I will be gaining fitness while I am up here as long as I continue to consistently put in the work and am able to stay healthy. My first steeple session of the year is coming next week. I am really looking forward to it because they help me to prepare for the grind of a really fast steeple race, which I happen to have planned for the end of the month.

I am going to be racing the steeple at the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon on May 30th. I am especially excited for this race because it is on U.S. soil with eight of the top ten steeplechasers in the world from last year. I feel my fitness is in a place where I should be able to compete with all of those guys and being able to do that on U.S. soil is an opportunity I don’t get very often.

Hopefully all goes well over these next couple weeks, I have a good showing at Pre and have a good start to the rest of the year!

- Evan