As I sit here in the Hotel San Pedro lobby working to tighten up any loose ends for the week to come, I am watching my fellow tent mates and running buddies laying out at the pool and enjoying a relaxing day before the hustle begins tomorrow.

For a group of us, the hustle will begin this evening with a Grand Slam and Grand Slam Plus priority check in. It is a great time to visit with our buddies from all over the world that have been with us at every race so far. It is also a special treat to go ahead and get the gear check in out of the way a night early and allows for more time tomorrow to settle in to the hustle, and in my case finish just a little bit more work.

The time is almost here to tow the line at race number 4 of the Grand Slam Plus journey and I cannot wait to start. On that note, I thought I would share how the last 13 weeks of preparation went to get to today.

Coming off of China was a lot harder than expected to gain back my energy. I thought that I could have two weeks off and that at week three I would jump in and it would not be a problem at all. Now I did spend 22 hour days for a week opening a coffee bar for my company Stoked Roasters in the Bay area within The North Face, but none the less it was a rough beginning. That said, it is important when you feel that groggy, to keep resting and allow your body to push back as slow or fast as it is ready. It is a key part of ditching your schedule until your body says it is time. Those that don’t listen often get injured.

At week 4 the consistency jumped in and I began my climb back to another level of fitness that is the highest it has been all year long. Training ranged from 45-100 mile weeks depending on where it was in the cycle. I also love to race during some of the training to spend some of those longer miles enjoyed with other people. This segment I raced in the Jackson Hole Marathon and was the female champion with a new new course record of 3:23. Next, I hopped into the Huntsville Marathon during a 100-mile week and took 3rd female overall in a time of 3:09. Lastly, I placed 2nd female at The North Face Endurance Challenge trail half marathon last week in 1:56. It was super fun to pop into those three races and all were at an altitude of 6,300 to 8,500 feet.

All in the training program was a smash hit. I am excited to be in the best fitness I have been in so far for a 4 Deserts race and hope for really good things to come this week. It is by far my favorite course, and I am really lucky to have knowledge of what is ahead on the course, both easy and challenging. This course is not an easy one by any means and it has very challenging terrain at points that will really test your stamina and patience. It is that much more important to stay positive and stay focused on the end result.

Jumping to this evening, the VIP check in for Grand Slam and Grand Slam Plus athletes was as always a wonderful gift from the 4 Deserts race team. I am proud to say that my pack is the lightest it has ever been for a 4 Deserts race, sitting at 6.75 kilos (14.88 pounds) and I have been training with one that is 10.2 kilos (22.5 pounds). I have been spending a large amount of time with my pack over the past 2 weeks, so it feels really light even at 22.5 pounds these days. This is another piece that feels great for day 1. I have also been religious about doing my strength and core exercises as well as a big hydration project for the past 5 weeks to ensure I am hydrated at the muscular level. Thanks to DripDrop as well for being a continuous piece in this formula. Lastly, I have had the pleasure of working with the Bemer and 40 minute naps for the past 3 weeks. It has been a huge element in recovery. I can’t thank my “recovery coach” Scott B. for always making sure I am sleeping, eating, getting massage and recovering as I should to put in great weeks of training.

And while the run training takes place, we have also been busy pushing Stoked Roasters to the masses. We launched our new instant coffee called STOKED STIX, launched a new van program with Stoked Mobile, and we began an exciting partnership with The North Face with placing coffee bars within their Flagship locations. We are really excited to see where this will go. On my marketing business, it has been really fun to get Powderbird Heliski underway for another great season ahead.

So the typical setting of Wonderwomanjax was definitely in play in a huge way over the past 13 weeks. It was busy, hard at times, yet very successful.

And now, we rest until tomorrow when we will enjoy the mandatory briefing and leave for camp around 2:45pm.

There are some exciting and beautiful days of running ahead.