I just read the news about Leadville 100 Run – canceled. My heart sank.
While I’m not racing it this year, I know how I felt at this time last year training for the August race: I was tapering for my first 50 miler as part of my 100 mile training plan, I was close to race weight, I was laser focused on training for my first 100 miler. Leadville was my entire world.
And to think that I went through all those tough training weekends and then the race was canceled – I’d be devistated.
However, in ultra running and triathlon there are so many things that can go wrong in any training cycle: injury, sickness, weather. There are so many factors at play in training for an A Race. We have to remain positive and know that it will be there next year.
I’m disappointed for my friends who are in the middle of training and planning for Leadville. I know they are sad.
At the same time I get a reminder of one of the best things I did in 2019: train for my first 100, travel to Colorado multiple times, run with friends at 10,000 feet and strive to finish something unknown.
Training was hard but I was so motivated. Race day ended early with a disappointing DNF. But I’m not done with you Leadville. I will conquer you. I will run that red carpet.
And some day. Some day. I will be a Leadwoman. How’s that for lofty goals?!
It’s taper time. Week 2 – unbelievable. Race day is almost here and in one week I fly to Colorado. Last week was very emotional; I was making bad decisions and not thinking things through – typical taper. And that has never worked well for me. But the good news – it was all reparable. I think things are finally turning in my favor. Perhaps I’ve outlasted it all. I keep working at it, keep coming back and keep getting back up after falling and failure.
However, there was some good – some good hiking, an off-road triathlon and a few good runs. This week will be all about running 20 miles for the entire week, some mountain biking and stretching.
Also very important is mental training; knowing that I can do it. Knowing that all my nutrition planning, gear preparation and training will get me to the finish line.
Every day I’ve been reading my race plan and I thought I would post an inspiring sentence from my race plan document. I’ve been adding to it for the last six months and now that race day is so close I want to remember these motivational quotes from past racers that are part of the race plan.
I’ve kept a blog since 2005. Thanks to my friend Tim, who has always helped me keep my domain name and WordPress CMS up to date so I can blog. This is my third blog.
While I love sharing (sometimes over sharing) stories on my blog, the main reason I write these blog posts are really for me to remember everything that happens. I love reading the posts over and over in order to stay motivated. I read my blog several times during the day from work and on my phone. Over the years I’ve deleted pictures or lost phones with photos so I read the blog posts to remember friends, places I’ve lived and visited, and re-read race reports.
Here’s today’s motivation so I finish Leadville 100 Run:
It only takes one positive thought to keep moving.
Wednesday’s run was fantastic with a 15 mile scheduled run and I finished 14 miles on a mixture of trails and roads. The bugs in the woods are terrible. If I wasn’t for wearing headphones with ear buds they would’ve been in my ears. The small, buzzy’ing black bugs really liked to bite the back of my arms. Grrrrrr
Thursday was a little longer than scheduled but again, a nice post-14-mile run that was about 7 miles. Since it was the 4th of July I packed in so many fun things that it felt like a super, big training day: swimming in Lake Winnipesaukee with Kendra, Adam and Toby-dog, and a fun swim in the Merrimack River. Such a fun, fun day.
Friday was another recovery day preparing for what was supposed to be a big mileage weekend. I’m trying to not be disappointed as I write about the weekend because I think part of the ultra running life is learning to go with the changes that happen in a long training plan and just not dwelling on it; keep moving forward to the next big training day.
Saturday was hot and humid at 6am. I had to run 30 miles but after 4 miles in I had to decide to go left for the big loop that would bring me back for water/electrolytes at mile 15, or go right and 8 miles would bring me back for water/electrolytes or stopping – I went right. I was dripping from sweating and just felt off for the entire run.
At mile 8 I called it quits for running outside and went to the Y to run in A/C. The real feel was 84 and I was very low energy, and a bit dizzy. I ran 2.5 miles on the treadmill and did about 200 stairs and wanted to quit.
I sat on the stretching floor for about 5 minutes trying to figure out what to do. I wanted to go home. I debated. I could do some weights which I seemed to have energy for or more treadmill or just sit here and decide. For the record, I don’t usually ponder for so long what to do, I usually act. I usually just go home. But this time, I decided to make use of the time and do weights. This is huge for me. I just couldn’t run.
Sunday was a hike with Bob and Mark to Mount Washington. Originally the plan was to run 20 miles. At the beginning of the week it was unknown if I could even be able to go to Mount Washington since I didn’t have anyone to let out Winnie during the day. I couldn’t take her because it’s one of the hardest hikes in the White Mountains. On Saturday Jeff texted me and said his plans changed and he could let Winnie out. Whoo Hooo!!! It was on.
When I arrived at Pinkham Notch Bob mentioned something about two loops. Wait, WHAT? Their plan, which wasn’t communicated, was learning mental fortitude for Leadville – they would hike to the top, turn around and do it one more time. I had no idea. But I should’ve known because these guys are ultra runners, they think like me however, this one caught me by surprise. I thought it was one run/hike ascent of Mount Washington. I said I would try.
The hike was amazing and since I hadn’t hiked it since 1992, it was new to me. Although, I did remember all the rocks on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail and how hard it was. However, being in the best, freaking shape of my life made the hike so doable and so enjoyable. We had to take Lions Head trail to the top of Mount Washington because the top part of Tuckerman’s was closed due to snow. Being on top of the rock pile is one of the most amazing things in the world.
Being on top of the world was amazing and I want to do it again – I want to do the Presidential Loop before heading to Leadville. The weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky. We talked about all our training and they told me about Leadville Training Camp, and what they learned. It’s so great hanging out with people who are going through what you are and have the same joys and concerns about preparing for 100 miles at 10,000 feet. It was a great day.
I opted out of the second loop. But those two – total rocks stars with 9,000 feet of climbing in 8 hours and 16 miles. I drove home and hung out with Winnie-dog.