Less than a year ago Ruby Muir was laid out with injury, she even withdrew from the 2012 Kepler Challenge, unable to train for it. Oh how quickly things can change- Ruby has in the last 10 months won the Kauir Run, Kepler Challenge (she got a late entry), Kaweka, Shotover Moonlight, Tarawera Ultra, Trail des Cagous in New Caledonia, the Glow Worm Marathon in Australia and is now off to a World Sky Running Series Race, the Speedgoat 50km, in Snow Bird, Utah.
BCR caught up with Ruby the night before she flew out to the US to race the Speedgoat-
BCR– Ruby, you have had a crazy year, going from injury to some big wins, with a few scalps along the way, how does it all feel?
Ruby Muir- Things seem to be gathering speed. It’s a little disconcerting as nothing I’m doing has changed. I’ve just been running the way I used to before my injury. I’m training with no more dedication than before or proper workouts or technique. I wouldn’t say my performance has improved dramatically; just its coverage. I’m entering higher profile races for one. More then, that it’s other people pushing my name and doing things for me. I’m not that hungry and I’m not a pusher. I just sit here quietly and watch things happen. Because of this I think it took a while for the momentum to grow, but now, due to mainly to the work of others, the ball has started rolling and it’s getting faster.
In many ways its exciting, but with opportunities come a lot more uncertainty and I’m having to ask some tough personal questions, both Kirstan and I are, as a couple. We have to work out what we really want and where we want to head. I want to make sure I stay true to myself and say yes because I really truly want these things.
BCR- And the knee injury is behind you now? The body is holding up well?
RM- The knee. We have our wee moments, but I manage to hold my cool with it quite well now. I named it Norman, and I reckon he suits it, as he is a moany bugger.
Nah, the knee almost never hurts (because it can’t as the ITB’s been cut away so as not to rub). Instead, the hip and lower leg and back get sore. It’s harder to manage as they are all side effects of my ITB getting tight and they gradually creep up on me until I realise “Oh Fuck, leaning forwards to chop these vegetables hurt.” I think the way I run/my body shape means my ITBs will repeatedly tighten. I’ve just resigned myself to a lifetime of awkward sideways stretches and rolling my bum around on a wooden ball until I swear. I’ve gotten so good at it I can even stretch whilst at work as I hand out the washing and prepare meals.
BCR- You have the Speed Goat 50km up next, your first Sky Running Race and first trip to the USA (??), you must be excited! What expectations do you have for the race?
RM- My biggest expectation is to feel miserable and unfit due to the heat and elevation. I don’t how I’ll cope with the elevation change, but I’m sure I’ll moan a lot about the temperature. Having coped okay in New Caledonia which had humidity to boot is reassuring though.
I haven’t seen a full entry list but know there are some top names…ahem… Krissy Moehl. I have no idea where I’ll be in respect to runners like that. It’ll be exciting to find out.
Because I’m uncertain of how I’ll cope with both the conditions and the calibre of the entrants I’ve set myself a loftier goal then aiming for a position. I’ve vowed to finish with a Kerry Suter war face. This will mean running harder than I’ve ever run before, but I’m hoping the heat will give me a knee up onto the facial agony stage at least.
BCR- How has the build-up been for a Sky Running Race in the middle summer, while you have been in the depths of a New Zealand winter?
RM- Ha, there has been no build up. Vibram USA asked me to go during the last week of June and it was confirmed in the beginning of July. I was a bit unhappy about this, as although I planned to take on some big international races, I wanted to do it next year with my injury well behind and feeling on top form. I do not feel I’ve prepared for this race at all. I was trying to ease off after Tarawera (although the two, last minute overseas races interfered with that), so that I would be feeling fresh next month to start some serious training for Kepler as I’ve set myself a hefty goal.
I was therefore doing no hard out running, and certainly little is appropriately steep, just a lot of faster paced on the roads to work and in the MTB park. The weather been too harsh for us to get up into the mountains much at all. More so, I live 4km from the coast, the highest point I ever get to is in the Kawekas and they’re 1700m, which is lower than the start of Speed Goat. I know it takes 6 weeks for your body to make physical adaptions to altitude and I’ll only be there a week before hand. What’s worse is that the heat will have the same effect on my blood as the sudden altitude increase.
All that said, I’ve had no injuries or even bad niggles over the last few months so at least I’ve had consistent training. Even when you know a race is coming and you plan targeted training for it, a lot can go wrong. I’m healthy and fit and will see how it goes.
BCR- Do you know much about the course and/or or competition?
RM- Not as much as I would like. I never worry too much about that side of things as long as I can remember what distance the aid stations are so I have a guage of how far through I am. I am there a week early so will be able to run a bit in the appropriate mountains. I like it when the course is new and exciting which this one will be.
BCR- We have to ask about your shoe choice for Speed Goat, will you be rocking Vibram Five Fingers?
RM- Mate Vibram are sending me over and giving me sweet digs. They are all I choose to run in these days except the inov8 trailroc159 0mm drop. It’s funny, whatever race I’m doing a few people tell me “you shouldn’t run this one in fives.” I’ve heard it a few times already for Speed Goat. I’m always happy in them though so I am not at all concerned. I have some new Vibrams made for me with a slightly more grippy mountainous sole taken from the Spyridon but with the Seeya upper I love, which should last longer. Chances are I will just wear the Seeya though. I love being able to feel the ground, and yes, all the rocks, so they are always what I choose.
BCR-We assume you have entered the Kepler later this year? What other plans do you have for the summer at this stage?
RM- Next is The Otter in South Africa in September. Then a few north island races en-route to Kepler. I want to do the Kawerau King of the Mountanin for one, Waihi Ultra and the Kauri Run. As for the summer, who knows, a lot could be happening next year….. I have got an entry to Tarawara though, there is no way I could desert Paul.
BCR- Safe travels and all the best for Speed Goat Ruby!
You will be able to follow Ruby’s progress and all the action at the Speedgoat at irunfar.com