Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Clear trails in Leadville- Not the course, but it'll do

I woke up feeling pretty beat this am. I don't think it had much to do with the altitude or the miles this week. 40 miles in 3 days is solid, but not really enough to leave me feeling beat down. I think I was just a little bummed about not being able to run much of the course. Add in a little bit of missing home and a lot of solo miles lately and motivation can get sapped a little bit. BUT, I've pretty devoted to the goal of having a good day on the course in August. I'm reminded of the difference between discipline and devotion. Discipline is instant and willing obedience to all orders (That's what my Senior Drill Instruction taught me). It's also doing what you know you have to do even if you don't want to and nobody is watching. Devotion is doing something out of a love for the actual thing. The love of the experience and what it means. This goal means a lot of things to me.  First, just lacing up the shoes and doing this race is a pretty big goal for me. I don't do a lot of races. I normally like to just do long runs with my buddies and enjoy the fun of suffering with friends. Leadville, however, has always intrigued me. It's always just kind of been out there as this thing that's supposed to be a really hard race-- a chance to really test yourself. I have no illusions of actually being competitive here in August. For me sub 25 will be a huge accomplishment. I just want to test myself, enjoy the scenery, and share a great day with the people supporting me and everyone on the course. I also really want to have a good day, reach my goal, and be able to add the Lville 100 to the list of things Always Brothers had done to honor our fallen brothers. I really hope to be able to raise the Always Brothers Banner at the finish. All those things got me up and out of bed this morning. A little Super 8- (not so super) coffee got me going. Then, I headed downtown to hit up Cookies with Altitude for a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel. Sitting in the sunshine chowing down on a killer (in lots of ways, right) breakfast sammich, reading a little Gatsby, and chugging some gatorade greatly improved my mood and motivation. I should have added a Red Bull to the mix. Don't know why I didn't think of that! I've been neglecting that sweet nectar lately.

Since the road to Mosquito Pass was still snowed in, I decided to hit the Mineral Belt trail to get my miles in today. I didn't realize it would be so pretty. The views were pretty spectacular, and I enjoyed looking down on town from the trail.

I also didn't realize the first 6 miles would trend uphill and hit 10,600. I was a nice surprise to get that much elevation gain in today. I hopped on the trail at 9,500, so that's not a bad gain for six miles.

 I did a lot of hiking for the first few miles. I was just feeling a little sluggish, and decided that it would be OK to work on the hiking uphill for a while. After the summit, I enjoyed the long, slight downhill grade back to town.  I added some miles around town to make sure I hit an even 14. Despite my early slow slog up the hill, I managed to make sure the overall average pace was sub 11:40. My avg HR for the day was the lowest of any of my runs out here so far, and that HAS to be a good thing. I didn't manage to beat the rain, and I got drizzled on for the last few miles. It was chilly today. The weather here is volatile. The day started out nice- sunny and warm. I saw some clouds moving in before I left the hotel, so stuffed a jacket in my pack. I would have needed it if I had stayed out much longer.

After the run, I stretched, showered, and chilled for a bit before heading down towards Twin Lakes to try to find the section of the Colorado Trail the course will hit to head up Hope Pass. I think I might have found it, so that will be on the menu tomorrow. I'm hoping to get in 10 miles and bag an even 50 for my four days of running out here. More than half of tomorrow's effort will, hopefully, be hiking a big climb. We'll see if I can actually find the trail. It looks like there are some twists and turns leaving Twin Lakes that could be dicey. Either way, it'll be a fun last day out here. 

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