But it was the last part of the last big push and I took my time and I was careful. I was slow and while I came out of there yesterday eight hours and 44 minutes after going in, I also came out uninjured and intact. It was probably around mile 15 of yesterday's run where I hit that ultra-edge... the place where the culmination of the past two weeks was inescapable... Shit was going to start hurting and it was going to start hurting then... the exhaustion that I had been dodging, walking around, skirting for two weeks? I could delay it no more... that deep bone weariness finally crept in and settled down around my shoulders and made it's presence known in no uncertain terms... "Hey... remember ME asshole?"
These were good things however... I felt confident now that I had done everything right. It reminded me of being on point and the question regarding, how do you know if you are doing it right? The answer being, "when everything hurts." When your senses are so in-tune with your surroundings, that you feel it all and sensory overload just hurts... THAT is where I was yesterday in the last 14 miles in the Lost Creek Wilderness Area. But it was still fun...
Two weeks of extremely hard work... questions, doubts, fears... am I doing too much? Not enough? Can I get through this uninjured and without being too burned out? Am I eating enough? Too much? Am I getting enough sleep, etc. I regarded my fitness to the cutting edge of a knife... would taking the blade to the whetstone one more time cause the steel to reveal a flawless and burr-less edge or would it ruin the honing exercise altogether and you'd have to start all over again?
I also noticed some weird physiological adaptations during the past couple of weeks which were sort of bizarre. After Wednesday's 25 miler in Leadville my legs were trashed... Thursday during the day I thought that I "might" be able to get in five miles, maybe but even that was going to suck. Brooks called me mid-day wanting to run something ridiculous after work and I told him no way... I could do five to seven miles with him maybe but that was it. Anyway, by three p.m. Thursday afternoon, my legs felt great and ready to go again... And we proceeded to knock out a rather substantial 13 mile run that evening. It was just a neat experience to be at point where my recovery from day to day was so noticeable.
Now... now I rest. Today I will not run a step. Today is my first non-running day since June 29. Actually I will not run any Monday or Friday between now Leadville. It took a lot to get here these past few weeks but damn it feels good to have the feet up!
A tale of two beasts... the first elevation profile is the section from Mayqeen to Twin Lakes on the LT100 course that I ran this past Wednesday. The second elevation profile is the run in the Lost Creek Wilderness area, yesterday. To me the profiles look to be very, very similar but in reality they are not...
While one run left me feeling great and ready to take on the world, the other made me almost want to surrender in defeat... There is just a lot more to a course than just elevation gain and loss.
|Leadville from Mayqueen to Twin Lakes.|
|Lost Creek Wilderness, Climb to Hankins Pass, then Goose Creek, and then climb and descent out of McCurdy Park.|