First, I'd like to invite any other people who happened upon my page because they are also running Leadville this year to feel free to comment or respond.
Second, some background for those who do not know by ultra running history and more specifically my Leadville history. I've got two hundreds under my belt (buckle) and both were at the Arkansas Traveler and both were proudly sub 18. Two years ago I dropped at MayQueen in bound (yes, I know I only had thirteen easy miles left) and last year I dropped at 13 for reasons I may never fully understand myself.
So in spite of extensive ultrarunning experience including two of the toughest 50 milers in the country (Jemez and Lake City) as well as Bighorn 50 and Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim, I just can't seem to shake the Leadville curse. This year will be different!
My training is going very well. I have four consecutive 100 mile weeks now and may or may not reduce mileage this week before getting in three or four more strong mileage weeks.
I feel like I can run forever on these training runs in spite of the Oklahoma heat which has now seen many days over 100 degrees so all signs are looking good. Even a nagging sciatic/piriformis issue seems to be subsiding.
For me, a Leadville finish is going to be all mental. I just cannot have the mental breakdown and self doubt of the last two years. Sadly, the physical part is not that much a problem for me. I know physically I can complete Leadville and if all goes right, I can be flirting with the 19 or 20 hour time frame. But mentally, the last two years I have allowed negative thoughts to overwhelm me and that in turn lead to the DNF.
I'm really hoping that I can stay positive and stay focused even if I blow out the quads as I did at mile 67 in 2010.
Next week I will probably head to Colorado to escape the Oklahoma heat and hope to put in 130 plus miles while there. Unsure of whether to include the Silver Rush 50 run in that training because I do not want to give Leadville any more money than what I have already given them. Plus, if I ran the 50, I would run it slow as a training run and I can pretty much do that on my own.
My training around Leadville will consist of mostly the sections on the Colorado Trail but I also hope to include a few fourteeners as well as a double crossing of Hope just like in the race. I loved that part of the course.
I am committed to succeeding this year because I hope to line up Hardrock, Western States, Bighorn and Wasatch in future years. (One each year.) But I cannot begin completing those races until I have knocked off Leadville.
As I give updates on my training, I will also begin to formulate strategy. One fall back is to go super slow which for me would be 23 or 24 hour range and that would almost guarantee a finish. More likely, I will start a little slower than 2010 when I hit Winfield at 9 hours (20 minutes off course too) and should still have plenty of energy to finish strong presuming the quads do not blow out again.
If you are a Leadville runner or veteran and have thoughts on my thoughts, please leave a comment. Look for another update soon.