Despite the injuries that I've been dealing with over the past 9-10 months, I decided to do the Leadville marathon again this year. Since I started running again 9 weeks ago, I figured I could get in reasonable shape to do it. Well, a few setbacks had reduced the mileage that I was able to do in preparation for Leadville. No matter. I planned on just doing it and didn't set any goals for time.; just to finish.
Several trail Nerds planned to do the marathon this year. Caleb, Sarah, Greg Burger, Shane and his brother Cody all planned on making the trek out to Leadville, CO from KC. Caleb and Sarah drove with Allison and I and everyone else went separately. Shane wasn't able to make it, but the rest of us met up in Leadville after various other excursions in the area to help us get acclimated to the altitude.
On July 4th, Allison and I were able to catch a Colorado Rockies baseball game and fireworks show. We did this last year with the Jones family and had so much fun we decided to do it again. the fireworks show after the game is probably the best one we've ever seen. One of my best friends Lee Barnes and his wife Monique and son Connor joined us for the festivities. Lee and Monique just moved to Evergreen from FL where we grew up together and it's going to be neat living close to each other again in Denver. Lee likes doing adventurous things so I'll have some company out on the trails.
The day before the marathon, Ed Payne, Greg Burger and I drove some of the route of the marathon and it made Greg a little nervous about the steepness of the grade we'd be running in that altitude as well as the rugged terrain. I was later told that Mosquito Pass had only been open for about 3 weeks since the snow had melted sufficiently.
During the run, I took it easy on the uphills and enjoyed letting gravity take over on the downhills. At about mile 10 or 11, I started having a really hard time staying motivated. Really hit a low spot and the funk was killing my desire to continue. I still had energy physically, but wasn't sure I wanted to continue. I pressed on up mosquito pass even though I didn't want to and about halfway DOWN the pass, I began to feel better. It took me 1 hour and 40 minutes to go the 3 miles UP the pass and 30 minutes to get DOWN it. Not a very consistent pace, but at least I was still moving forward. This run also reinforced that I DO NOT do well on coke and chocolate at aid stations. They always give me heart burn.
In retrospect, I think I probably could have done some longer runs at a slower pace, and I KNOW I should have done more weight training for the quads, but I'm just glad my knee held out for this one. Still, I wasn't really expecting to be a full 64 minutes slower than last year. On well... Now I have to get my mileage up in preparation for the Moab Alpine to Slickrock 50 miler in September.
GPS data from Caleb's Garmin forerunner 305