Dialing it in…

This is out of our range and it’s grown. ~ Kurt Cobain

Mon June 21: 00:29, 2.87 miles, Casa Trails barefoot
Tues June 22: 1:06, 6.68 miles, Janet’s house
Wed June 23: 2:55, 16 miles, Zoo Loop GGCSP
Thurs June 24: 2:17, 7.92 miles, Arapaho Glacier Trail
Sat June 26: 2:34, 13.88 miles, Casa Trails + barefoot
Sun June 27: 7:46, 37.66 miles, LT100 Start > Twin Lakes
Total: 17:08, 85.01 miles, 11,815 vert

Interesting week of running with highs and lows throughout. Overall, I am feeling fit but still have some work to do before the LT100 if I am going to perform well there. It’ll come.

The first runs of the week were really business as usual and I have been feeling really great on all my shorter efforts. I have been tossing in big ascents up to altitude every week and those just feel better and better the more I do them and the higher I get on the mountain so I’ll keep throwing those in the mix as they seem to be working well for me. It is gorgeous up high as well with tons of marmots running about and the wildflowers really starting to pop.

The big event for the week was Sunday’s self-supported effort on the first 38ish miles of the LT100 course: Start to Twin Lakes. The day started early with my alarm waking me at 3:45 for the drive up to the course. I dragged my trailer up with my motorbike to make the self-support system complete and, after stashing provisions in a couple of locations along the course (and a couple of misguided attempts to find a shortcut back to the highway), made it to Twin Lakes, got the bike off the trailer and headed back to the start in Leadville. Gear stashed, shoes on and I was ready to roll around 8:15.

I actually felt great and had a little bit of a tough time going slowly enough to meet my prescribed splits. I was a little fast into Mayqueen and Fish, then didn’t have any real set times for the rest of the day. Nice, easy running throughout. I felt strong on the section between Fish and Treeline, stopped to refuel, then made my way onto the new section between Treeline and the Colorado Trail.

This was the only section of the course with which I was not familiar and it is relatively flat and fast. Not a lot of coverage, which actually probably won’t be a big problem on race day given when I will be hitting this portion of the course, so I am not too worried about it. I continued to run well but as this section progressed and I approached the Colorado Trail, started having some stomach problems when contributed to my eventual downfall on the day’s run.

By the time I reached the CT, I was feeling pretty crappy with a stomach that wouldn’t empty and (subsequently), legs that just didn’t want to go anymore. So I walked. And walked. Really demoralizing, to say the least. The CT continues to climb quite a bit more than I remembered as well with a couple of short, steep downhills but what seems like a fairly upward trend for quite some time as one makes one’s way toward Twin Lakes. I tried alternating run/walking but really walked a solid majority of the last 5 miles or so into TL. I did pick it up for the last mile, which is decidedly downhill but that didn’t leave me feeling particularly strongly about the day overall despite a decent finish time.

I think there are a few elements that contributed to these problems:

  • Solo effort: It’s tough being out there all alone for that period of time. My self-support system worked well (decently spaced drop off points) but running solo for that long takes a toll. So there was a big mental component to it for me. This should be much less of a problem during the race and the training I am putting in now, solo, will pay off during the event.
  • Fuel selection: The self-support contributed here for sure as I only had a few choices in my drop-kits. Need to provide myself with more variety during these solo runs in order to be sure that I have some options. Rice milk/protein drink was not working well for me on Sunday. I think that as the protein sits, it becomes a bit bitter so on race day, if I decide this is something I need/want, I’ll have my crew mix it up when it is requested vs. having it sit around.
  • General mental attitude: This was a challenging week for me mentally. Redford, one of our bunnies died on Friday, which was really tough. I am sure that contributed to some of the lows I experienced in the later stages of the run.

Overall my time into TL was decent and considering how much of the final hour and a half was walking, was really quite strong. Though I felt pretty down about the run in the hours after finishing, upon reflection, I am okay with it. Wanted to finish with significantly higher quality but there is still time to work on my pacing, patience, consumption and mental/physical fitness.

~stubert.

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