Three months ago, Rory Bosio crushed The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. Now, she’s back home in California getting ready to race The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Championships this weekend. In the following interview, Rory talks about her time “relaxing” in Switzerland after UTMB, what her training’s been like since she’s been home, and how she’s feeling ahead of this weekend’s big race.
[Editor’s Note: For more information, we’ve published a full women’s race preview with links to other pre-race interviews.]
Rory Bosio Pre-2013 TNF EC 50 Mile Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Rory Bosio before The North Face Endurance Challenge. How are you doing, Rory?
Rory Bosio: I’m good. How are you?
iRunFar: I’m good. The last time we chatted you were in Chamonix…
Bosio: Oh, those were the days.
iRunFar: …after a great run at UTMB and you were planning to stay for awhile longer in the Alps. How did that go?
Bosio: I did. It was great. It was the perfect way to recover—a little hiking time. Yeah, it was really nice in Switzerland.
iRunFar: In Switzerland—where in Switzerland?
Bosio: We were in the Lauterbrunnen Valley across from the Eiger and the Jungfrau. It was pretty phenomenal.
iRunFar: It’s a good place to relax.
Bosio: Yeah, it was really nice. Well, my family doesn’t really relax but lots of hiking.
iRunFar: Hiking and some good food?
Bosio: Yeah, really good food and good weather. It was all good.
iRunFar: Perfect. So when did you head back Stateside?
Bosio: Mid-late September.
iRunFar: Have you done some training since you’ve been back?
Bosio: Yeah, I’ve just kind of just been on my usual “go out and run whenever I feel like it for how long I want” kind of program. So, yeah, I’ve been running.
iRunFar: What does that look like? There’s one thing to not have a training plan, but what does it…?
Bosio: Oh, I don’t know. I go out and run for a few hours and then come back and go for a run in the afternoon—that kind of thing.
iRunFar: So there’s a decent amount of just going out and running.
Bosio: The same pace, probably not mixing it up enough… horrible.
iRunFar: You just go run.
iRunFar: Did you have any particularly fun runs this autumn?
Bosio: Let’s see… yeah, there are a couple trails in Tahoe that I love to do in the fall because of the leaves changing and everything. I timed it just right, so ka-ching! That was pretty fun. I came down here and ran a little bit in November.
Bosio: Yeah, I ran a little bit in the Headlands which was super fun.
iRunFar: Did you get on the course or just…
Bosio: A little bit, yeah, a little bit. I feel like there are so many other trails to kind of check out that I don’t get to check out enough, so I only did a little bit of the course, but it was nice.
iRunFar: That’s nice. You get some more rolling hills than you probably get on a daily basis.
Bosio: Yeah, I like the rollers. They’re fun. They’re runnable.
iRunFar: Yeah. This year we should have some cool (but not for you) weather-wise, some good views hopefully…
Bosio: Yeah, hope so. I haven’t looked at the weather report. Is it supposed to be clear?
iRunFar: Could be. Once the day rolls in, it’s going to be cold. There could be actually snow on the course.
iRunFar: Very light. Very little bit.
Bosio: Oh, I’d feel so at home.
iRunFar: You would.
Bosio: I’ve been postholing for the past three weeks.
iRunFar: You’ve been working on the strength.
iRunFar: Not the speed necessarily.
Bosio: No. Everything has felt like one of those rubber tire obstacle courses where you’re like, “Knee high! Knee high! Knee high!”
iRunFar: So if I see you high-stepping to the finish line, I’ll know why.
iRF: So it’s been a long season. You obviously were in great shape at UTMB time. So you feel like you’ve maintained some of that fitness?
Bosio: I guess so. I don’t know. It’s hard to tell. I feel like maybe not right now. I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like it’s a crap shoot where you never know. Two weeks ago I felt like I was running pretty good, so sure.
iRunFar: If the answer changes from two weeks out to two days before the race, it’s called tapering where you’re like, “Eh, I’m not in that great of shape. I’m not sure I want to be racing.”
Bosio: Yeah, tapering.
iRunFar: Are you actually good at tapering? It seems like you’re very intuitive and you just like to go do your thing.
Bosio: I’m pretty good. I’m actually pretty regimented about taking time (to taper).
iRunFar: That’s actually the only structured part of your training?
Bosio: This week wasn’t hard because I was working a lot, so I don’t really run when I work.
iRunFar: You work some pretty long shifts, right?
Bosio: I do 12-hour shifts. It’s really more like 13.
iRunFar: How have you dealt with that in the past with racing? How have you done it before Western States or…?
Bosio: I usually just work the first Sunday and Monday before the race and then take a personal day—not calling in sick as we get eight of them per year. “Take a personal day!” So I only work two days that week.
iRunFar: So you get a little break from being on your legs.
iRunFar: Does it actually tire you out? You’ve been doing it for a long time.
Bosio: Depends on the night and the patient.
iRunFar: Really. So sometimes it’s successive patients rather than…
Bosio: Depends on how much narcotics I can give my patients—no just kidding—how many Ambiens—totally just joking. It just depends on the night and how busy you are.
iRunFar: This race, TNF Endurance Challenge, has had a great field for years. But every year I show up and it seems even stronger than the year before.
Bosio: Maybe just the level of runners is just elevating every year. That’s probably what it is.
iRunFar: The whole universe of runners?
Bosio: I think so. I think the field is growing. It only makes sense.
iRunFar: The sport is growing and with that there are more top runners. Then the more top runners come here.
Bosio: That would make sense, right?
iRunFar: Are you excited to run against them?
Bosio: Sure, yeah. I’m always excited to see people you haven’t seen in awhile. I like running with people at races because I train so much by myself.
iRunFar: Do you find that you chat with some of the other competitors along the way?
Bosio: Yeah, totally. Hopefully they like to chat back otherwise it’s just like pulling teeth or finally you realize, Oh, they don’t want to talk to me.
iRunFar: And you’re chatting away and somebody is giving you the evil eye.
iRunFar: Well, I hope you do find some folks to chat with out there and have a great time, alright?
Bosio: Thanks! I’m looking forward to it!