Saturday, December 19, 2009

My favorite DNF

"The first year just go out and get your ass kicked, and then come back the next year and do it again." -on attempting Leadville 100
Winfield 50 mile turn around, getting DQ'ed
13 lbs under

Around May Queen AS mile 13.5
Hagerman Pass Rd. Sunrise over Turquoise Lake
Some where along Sugar Loaf Pass 11,000 ft
mile 19?

Powerline downhill
Not sure where this , maybe after Fish Hatchery mile 24?
The trail just after Twin Lakes AS mile 39.5
Typical scene heading up to the pass. I was getting pretty sick here too. Mile 41?

Runners leaving Hopeless AS mile 43?
Looking back at Hopeless AS
Almost to the top of the pass looking back.
Paul Schoenlaub inbound looking fresh like he just started.
Steep trail section and why a lot of people use trekking poles.

I suck at blogging. Leadville Trail 100 was like 4 months ago. I haven't run an ultra since. I've been running a lot of short course races and working towards improving speed. I've been resting a little more and helping my wife do a few more races. I would like for her to get a marathon/ultra finish this coming year. I'm very grateful for this past year. I was given the opportunity to travel with friends, had the privilege of being a pacer, and run some very difficult races when the economy has been upside down.

Not gonna put out some boring, crap race report. Just a few tips I learned.

Yes, a trained, healthy runner from sea level can run this thing on zero acclimation. It won't be pretty and it won't be fast. I was getting a respiratory infection the week of the race so I need to emphasize "healthy" and "injury free" runner=finish, sick or injured=DNF.

Leadville Trail 100. Elevation 10,152 feet

Leadville is basically a road course with hours and hours of mountain hiking thrown at you. The only other mountain 100 I have to compare it to is Western States 100. WS is a horse trail, a lot hotter, has more climb and more severe downhill than Leadville. What makes LT so special is that its 2 miles up. There are no freebies with this race, Hope Pass will break you. Pay close attention to pacing and nutritional needs.

Get rid of the crap you don't need!

I used hand held water bottles at WS and then for some reason decided to use a hydration pack at LT. Never again! You end up running with a bunch of dead weight. A filled 2 liter bladder weighs 4.5 lbs, plus gels, batteries and other food items you probably won't use and the pack weight itself, for about 10 lbs total. This is a no-go, the furthest you run with out aid is the first 13.5 miles of the race. This early in the race you are most likely to be over hydrated (had to stop and pee about 5 times) extra weight at that altitude contributes to faster fatigue and kills running economy. The exception would be the Hope Pass climb outbound. Lighten up. Utilize drop bags.

Don't over race!

Be patient and allow time for recovery after each race. Everyone is different in their recovery time. At this point I don't think I'm capable of more than one 100 a year. The training volume for WS was pretty intense. I was thinking that the fitness I built up for WS would carry over and get me through Leadville. Nope. I needed more back to back training runs for LT. I think I was able to run 200 miles in the 8 weeks after WS, not enough! The residual fatigue from completing a 100 can last a long time.

A finish or a race???

Do you want the end of a journey or a speed contest? Guess it comes down to personality type. I became a runner out of self-selection, meaning I'm not good at anything else. My goal in a race is to cover ground as fast as possible. This type of running means you need to be willing to thrive in failure, not accept it. Buckles, medals, awards are nice to receive, I have a few. But, what I'm looking for are those opportunities you can only experience in a race.