Sarah Lavender Smith August 08, 2012 TWEET COMMENTS 5

Checking In with Geoff Roes in Juneau - Page 3

But how did you feel when you saw that Tim Olson ran sub-15 [in 14:46, breaking Roes’s record by over 20 minutes]?

Oh, I was so excited!

Really? No pangs?

No, really. I mean, at first I was shocked, like, "That’s gotta be wrong." I didn’t really believe it. Then I realized that that was definitely the finishing time and I was really excited.

At the end of the long run I did the same day, there was this last 200- or 300-foot climb, and I had felt tired the last few hours, but on that last climb I ran it really hard and suddenly I was like, "Oh, I feel really good!" When we finished at pretty much when Timmy finished Western States, it felt like there was some connection there. I talked to Timmy on the phone a couple of days later, and it was cool to share that story with him.

You were registered for Hardrock and then decided not to do it. What went into that decision?

I just didn’t feel like I was in a place to race it the way I know I’d want to. I think I could’ve gotten myself into a good enough race mindset and physical condition to go there and maybe have a good race, but it felt like that would be very opposite from the type of summer I really wanted to have, where each day we do the most enjoyable run we can that day.

What races do you want to do next?

I may race this September. I’m signed up now for Run Rabbit Run 100 and UROC, which are two weeks apart, which is kind of funny because I’m so far removed from racing in my mind. My plan now is to go out after my last camp [which ends August 9] and do 35 or 40 miles at a decent clip and see how it feels, and if it feels pretty good and I feel like I want to race, I’ll continue to do some long runs and then do a little taper.

How does the landscape here in Juneau shape you as a runner in a way that other places, even Colorado, can’t?

Most importantly it's that there are so many places to explore right from the center of town. I’ve never enjoyed driving to run; I like to be able to run right from where I am. In most places, that means doing the same runs over and over. Here, I feel like I can run from my doorstep and run a completely different place every single day on super-challenging terrain. It took thinking differently what a run is to come to that. Initially I thought this was a bad place to run because everything is just too steep and you’re hiking the uphills, and it’s so rooty and rocky and muddy. Now, with my change of mindset, I think of running as going out and moving as quickly as I can over the terrain I’m in.

Here in Juneau you run with a group of longtime runners, several of whom are in their 60s and 70s and call themselves “the Geezers.” How much have they influenced your mindset and running?

A lot. It’s allowed me to not take myself or my running too seriously. It reminds me of meeting up with friends when you’re a seven-year-old and going out to play for the whole day, and you don’t really have much of an agenda and you live very much in the moment. Even at times when I’ve been really focused and training really hard, if I get out with the local runners a couple of times a week, then I have a chance to step back and not get too wrapped up in training.


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