It was a Grand Adventure

I dropped from the Leadville 100 Trail Run at mile 38, at Twin Lakes. I really thought it was my day; that I would finish this race. I really wanted to experience the water crossings and Hope Pass and Winfield. But I just couldn’t do it. My legs and brain couldn’t do it. I wasn’t going to meet cut-offs and I stopped. 

The first section of the course was spectacular and I loved running at 4am. I met some cool people, particularly Ernie and Isaac who called me New Hampshire. Isaac talked to everyone and asked everyone where they were from. Every time I would see him, “Hey New Hampshire, how are you feeling”. He is still on the course as of this writing. Ernie dropped when I did.

That course was brutal; so many ups and downs. And then when it was flat road, which was a lot, it was hard to run because my legs were dead. I started slow, I never ran with full gait, so I felt like it was a good pace. But once I left Outward Bound my legs betrayed me. I tried to run, count to 100, and it worked for a bit but once I was through Mount Ebert aid station I knew I was done. I walked and then slowed even more once I knew I was done. My legs were dead. 

I tried to Jedi Mind Trick my brain with thoughts of seeing Hope Pass and using all my mantras but it was no use. 

Where I decided to call it a day. Then I snapped this picture.

I’m not sad or mad about the race. I feel badly that my pacers couldn’t run. I know Roger wanted to pace me and for that I feel terrible. I know Mark, Mary and Whitney would’ve been amazing. 

I just couldn’t imagine running at night feeling the way I was. I’m not sure I would’ve even made the cut offs. 

I know I have work to do. I like running for long distances but maybe 100 is too much or the Rocky Mountains are too much. I have to get leaner, stronger and I need to do more mountain running. 

Race 5 of 5 for the dream year is a bust. I told Mark yesterday as we drove back to the condo that it was a great adventure – this Leadville quest. It was fun to train and plan and execute despite the outcome. 

It turns out that 2019’s mantra is “It’s all about the adventure”. The adventures this year turned out to be a mixed bag. Some highs and lows for sure. I’m so thankful for my friends and family. It’s only August, so much can happen in the next few months. I’m determined that 2019 is going to be the best year ever for every aspect of my life. There is so much to try, to learn, to experience.  One of my favorite phrases to say after success and failure: What’s Next. Stay tuned for the next adventure. It’s going to be so good!

One day until Race Day, Leadville 100 Trail Run

I’m in Colorado getting ready for the big day tomorrow.

There is an athlete meeting, lunch and packet pickup/drop back drop off.

So much to do before race day because I was trying not to think too much about it so I stayed calm. This has proved to be a good strategy.

Tomorrow, all I have to do is wake up and run and eat. I actually feel really good about it because I know that my crew and pacers are helping me every step of the way. Their planning and tips have helped immeasurably and I’m not sure how to thank them.

50-100 mile pacers

My next post will hopefully be about the best day ever. It’s been a fun ride. I’ve learned a lot and changed so much from this experience training for Leadville. I’m pretty sure it’s not the end of Leadville and 100 mile trail runs. It’s always fun to see what’s next.

4,000 footer club

It only took 30 years to get the 4,000 footers done, however, I was out of the region for 15 years. I finished my last one yesterday, August 11, 2019.

But I love a challenge and reaching long-term goals so I’m doing the 67 4,000 footers in New England next so I’ll be heading to Vermont and Maine a lot in the next few months. And, I might have just found a companion to do them with ….. and his dog.

4,000 Footer List, page 1
AMC Guide 24th Edition 4,000 footer list

#doepicshit #ne67

Owl’s Head NH, Finishing my 4,000 footer list

Black Pond Trail

It only took 30 years to finish hiking all my 4,000 footers in New Hampshire. Granted, I was out west for 15 of those years. 

Owl's Head Summit
Owl’s Head Summit

I hiked Owl’s Head on Sunday, August 11 to bag my final peak. Owl’s Head has been my nemesis since several attempts last year and having to turn back due to high water. Fortunately, this year, I met the right person at the right time who was able to hike the mountain with me. I was so afraid of getting lost after reading hundreds of trip reports. But Ross hiked it several times and I felt confident I would make it without being lost in the woods for days. 

We took the Black Pond Bushwhack route and made the round trip in 16 miles and 7 hours. 

Black Pond looking to the Bonds
Black Pond looking to the Bonds

I loved the gently hike to the base of Owl’s Head; just walking in the woods next to a river. It was peaceful and beautiful. 

View from Owl's Head Trail, Franconia Ridge
View from Owl’s Head Trail, Franconia Ridge

The slide and boulders were tough but I gradually got into a rhythm and just headed to the top scrambling up rocks. Hiking down was just as slow. 

I’m so happy to have finished this hike and now I can do the list again, or go right to the 4,000 footers of New England. 

Ross hiking Owl's Head
Ross hiking up the steep trail, Owl’s Head

I love completing life goals. On to the next. 

Next Saturday – Leadville.

One week away from The Day

Here’s to one week away from the thing I’ve been wanting to do for 5 years.

Let’s just see if dreams come true.

Let’s just see if 2019 is MY year. The year that everything great happens.

So far – 2019 has not disappointed me. So far – it’s been pretty amazing.