Some races go great, some go badly and then others turn out okay or just good. My run in the Leadville Silver Rush 50 counts as as just a good one... not great but good.
Neat points about this race and weekend. My parents were able to be there and I got to visit with my cousin John who was up in Pb training and I also got to visit with my friends Bob and Tobi. So the day before the race was a lot of fun getting to visit and socialize with everyone. Also, Saturday was when my parents found out that Melissa and I are engaged and have been since the first of July... we wanted to wait until they were out to tell them in person. It was hilarious seeing mom's reaction when she finally noticed the ring on Melissa's hand at dinner.
Synopsis of this race... it is all ran between 10K and 12k on the east side of 24 in the old mining district mostly on Jeep trails and very little single track. This course crests over 12k four times. Say what you might about other courses but I think this is probably the most beautiful course (similar to the Leadville Marathon) in the state. From certain vantage points on this course you can see nearly all of the Leadville 100 course from town, around Turquoise Lake all the way down range to Hope Pass. It is breathtaking (in more ways than one.)
I had high expectations for this race. I was shooting for sub 10 and I will just say now that did not happen. I came in at 10:17:37.
However, I did do great the first 35 miles or so. I had my splits computed and I was making them. Actually I felt great most of the day. I made it to the Stumptown turnaround a few minutes off but still way within range and then the next 12 miles back to Printer Boy Aid Station went well too. As a matter of fact I was right on time getting here. I left Printer Boy with 3 hours to do what I did in 2.5 hours earlier in the day, but that didn't happen.
The last big climb up and over 12K sort of did me in I guess. That and it got hot. It took me a full hour to do that climb with the last mile taking quite some time. The next stretch back to Leadville after that is very runnable but as I ran lower in elevation, while there was more air, it was also getting hotter and I was just done. I could not get my legs to turn over at all. I could literally feel myself slowing down as the minutes ticked by. I hit the ten hour mark with about 1.5 miles left and I just had to let it go and focus on finishing.
But that is what this ultra game is about. You never know what is going to happen, good or bad. I was having a great race yesterday until I wasn't. I don't think that I can classify this as a blow up though as things didn't get THAT bad. I just slowed down a whole lot.
As far as root cause for yesterday's (mediocre?) performance? Eh, I could point out a ton of reasons and circumstances since San Juan that may have contributed. Everything from work stress, to being sick, to just life in general. A lot of things happened in this last cycle between the two races. But that is life and you can't do anything about that.
And really... I had a good day, more things went right than not. My time is still an improvement of 56 minutes from two years ago. I can't bitch about that. I am still working on getting better and faster and stronger. It is all good.
I feel good today considering it is the day after. I had a good run, my parents had quite the show as they had never seen an Ultra event before. I got to run through some of the most gorgeous country in the world. I have no right to complain. LOL!
Next race is the Bear in Sept. Pacing my cousin John in five weeks in the LT100. Lots of great things on the horizon. I am excited and looking forward to going back to Leadville next month and running from Windfield back to the finish. THAT will be the best run of the year and it has nothing to do with me, that's the cool part. I can't wait.