2019 Leadville Trail 100 Run

In June 2008 – I entered a lottery for my first Ironman. I miraculously got into a very competitive lottery for Ironman Coeur d’Alene but it was all about logging into several browsers at exactly the right time. Once I clicked submit and paid the entry fee, I knew my life was going to change. I knew that I just entered a race that I wasn’t quite sure I could finish. But I was going to train for a year and just keep moving forward. On race day, June 2009 I had a great support team (Mom and Dad) and met Mark and Than, and truly my life has never been the same since crossing that finish line.

Just over 10 years later I entered another lottery. It was another very competitive lottery and no one knows how people are chosen; apparently it is a trademarked secret. I found out yesterday I got into Leadville Trail 100 Run.

I wanted to run Leadville since 2012, the year I moved to Tucson from Colorado. It appeared on goals lists and blog posts – I wanted to train and run Leadville. Back then, I was too afraid to enter the lottery; I was just going to prepare, just put in the miles.

In 2016 after moving back to Colorado I ran the 10K in Leadville. Even while living at 8,000 going to 10,000 for a 10K kicked my butt. My plan was to progress through the distances, in a practical way, but life has a way of sidetracking even those with good intentions. I ended up leaving Colorado and moved back to New Hampshire the next year.

It’s been a wacky couple of years and I haven’t really been able to find my stride in training and racing. But the last six months something has changed and I’m more focused on mountain and trail running. I’m returning to my roots – running and hiking the mountains of New Hampshire. I’m getting stronger and more comfortable spending hours alone in the mountains. I was brave and entered the Leadville Lottery know that my life would change instantly if I got in.

I seriously don’t know how my name got picked. From reading comments from athletes on social media, many have been trying for years.

Maybe the organizers liked all the stuff I bought from their online store: shirts, maps and beanies. I’ve been wearing my Leadville shirt a lot lately to stay motivated to train. Or, maybe it was the license plate magnet I bought when I was in Leadville in 2016 that is on my refrigerator that states the elevation 10,152. Or maybe it’s the Leadville travel mug I use daily. It could be due to the hashtag I’ve been using on social #dreamingofleadville. Maybe it was hanging the map on my wall with the 100 mile race showing and not the side with the 50 mile course, which was my backup plan.

I don’t know why they picked me over the others or if it really was a random drawing. But I’m in. I’m all in. And I’m ready for a transformation. #dreamingofleadville

Kassandra visits, Nubble Lighthouse, Long Sunday Run

First on the list: be a tourist.

We drove to Maine to see a famous lighthouse and stopped for lunch at When Pigs Fly.

Restaurant stop on the way to the coast: When Pigs Fly.

We saw the lighthouse during a big wind storm so the waves were huge! It was a good day to be at the coast.

Kassandra with Nubble Light behind her.

In the evening we played blackjack and cribbage.

Kassandra teaches me Blackjack with my Obama playing cards. Ahh, remembering when we had an honorable president.

Sunday at 9:30 we started out on our long run. We waited until it warmed up to 27 degrees. Thank goodness for the sun!

Sunday long run up Carter Hill. It’s a huge hill and it was 30 degrees. Glad that run is over. 12.65 miles completed.

Being silly on the run. Just after the big hill. 7 miles to go.

And walking back to the house.

Post-run silliness. She is pointing to the Capitol.

Such a fun weekend. Kassandra was a trooper with the cold temps since she lives in Tucson. I’m so glad it didn’t snow!

Searching for covered bridges, hiking and memories

Mark and I headed north on Saturday in the wind and rain. He was interested is seeing covered bridges. Here is one of the more famous ones: Jackson, NH covered bridge.

Jackson NH Covered Bridge
We were seeking covered bridges and found this famous one in Jackson, NH.

On Sunday, the best weather day, we hiked on my favorite trail: Marjory Swope Park trail in Concord.

Mark hiking on my favorite trail

One of the momentos from our our trip north is a pint glass from a restaurant we stopped at in North Conway. It the Tuckerman Brewery glass below, third from the right. I realized all the glasses and mugs I’ve accumulated over the years remind me of some fun times all over the country.

Memory Glasses and Mugs
Each one means something

Pint glasses (from the left): finishing the Houston marathon 2017, 2nd place sprint triathlon finish prize Tucson 2014, Pemberton 50K trail run finisher prize 2013, Tuckerman Brewery Conway NH 2018, visit to Mississippi 2013, Tucson dog benefit 2105.

Mugs (from the left): 2009 1st Ironman mug, 2016 second St. George 70.3 race, a mug from my time living in Vermont 2001-3, Ironman Wisconsin with Mark 2013, my Christmas present from George from Rocky Mountain National Park.

Such great memories of time spend in mountain and Ironman towns.

Run 1,000 Miles – Goal Update

My mileage as of 10/31/18 is 760. Just 240 miles to run/hike until I meet my 2018 goal. Additional goals I’m hoping to reach by 12/31/18:

  1. Finish the 4,000 footers
  2. Run a 50K

I have just two 4,000 footers left and I hope to hike them before the new year. I’ve been reading the trail conditions report every day and there are several hikes reported to North Hancock so that one I think will be finished this year but Owl’s Head is just such a long day. I’m not ready for a winter camping in the Pemi Wilderness quite yet, but maybe. Maybe. There is still time to get the gear and practice using it.

I have some visitors this month so I’m not able to get out there to try Owl’s Head again. But it will happen.

My visitors are coming north from Texas and Arizona. I’m glad it’s not too cold, yet. This weekend Mark and I will head to Conway and check out some waterfalls and Mount Washington. Next weekend Kassandra and I will find an adventure somewhere north in the White Mountains. Happy, Happy November. 

A walk in the wilderness, Pemigewasset Wilderness

Sunday we took to the wilderness. We didn’t quite make our destination of Owl’s Head but the journey was filled with rivers, rocks, roots and beauty.

Must be winter. The Lincoln Woods Parking Lot is normally overflowing.

Into the Pemigewasset Wilderness we go.

Next time we will try this trail up to Flume.

Another bridge, another river crossing.

Side trip on Black Pond Trail to Black Pond. I loved the colors and the big roots.

As we got off the Lincoln Woods Trail and onto Lincoln Brook Trail we saw more snow.

The beavers on the Franconia Brook Trail have been busy.