Thursday, August 21, 2014

Picking Up the Pieces

Two Leadman Trophies.  Two Awesome Summers.
The week after Leadville is always messy.  Lots of gear and stuff to sort, put away, wash, put away, etc.  Even with my minimal amount of stuff it is still a chore that takes time. But it is nice having the apartment look like the apartment rather than a running/cycling shop that puked up all over itself.

No running yet this week and that has been nice.  I log into Training Peaks each day and I really enjoy seeing the sea of nothing on the horizon for the near future.  That won't last long as I have to start gearing up for Run Rabbit Run but between now and then it will only be active recovery and hell, a taper if  you will.

Eating like a fiend this week too.  What else is new. Not sure how much of it is post 100 miler eating or how much of it is I don't care and just want to eat.  Regardless, I am enjoying that too!  :)  

Post Leadman II thoughts... First of all.  I could have never done this without the full support and buy in from Melissa and Annie.  I dragged them through the ringer last summer with the first go around.  And even though I tried to minimize their direct involvement this year I know it was drag on them as well. They endured months, especially since March with me fretting, planning, training, whining, scheming, etc.  No way could I have done my first Leadman without them, doubly so for this one.

Leadman II... it was hard.  A lot harder than I remember last year being.  For starters it was a lot more stressful.  See... to do Leadman once, you have to finish five out of five races.  To pull it off twice, ten out of ten.  In my mind that drove up the risk of something happening during a race to knock me out exponentially.  Especially when it comes to the bike where the risks are even greater when things like wrecks, bad mechanicals, or something like that can just happen.  So a lot of stress there.

The first time I had a certain amount of excitement fueled by the fear of the unknown that I did not have this year.  I believe that had an impact as well. I just never felt as "fired up" as last year.  Other factors play in here as well, as last year we had a really solid core of athletes training together and supporting each other from June until the Finish.  This year, not so much.

This year has has also been a major life change year for me.  Moving, changing careers, going into business for myself, each of those being great things but I know the stress from all of that weighed me down considerably regardless of how much I tried to minimize that truth from myself. I don't think it hampered my races but it was just more on the mind, at least in the back of the mind.

Do I think I could have done better this year?   No.  I gave each race in the series my best and walked away from each one knowing that.  I might not have done as well I wanted but I did my best.  I just want to be clear that I am not making any excuses for anything or sitting here lamenting over what I fucked up, or was fucked up, etc.  I don't have any excuses or reasons for excuses.  I'm not looking back going, "only if..."

As a personal growth journey is concerned, I believe I gained WAY more from the series this year than last.  Many lessons in patience, humility (not humiliation), and being humble, were gained from this summer.  Also a very renewed sense of gratitude just for my life and all of the wonderful things that I am able to do and can do. 

There will not be a third go at Leadman.  At least not anytime soon.  Two years back to back with basically everyday consumed by it was a lot to go through and endure. I want to do other things now and focus on other races.  Run Rabbit Run for instance, as well as hoping to get into Hardrock next summer.  But past that, there are so many cool races over here on the West Slope and just around here in Aspen to keep me plenty busy, both on the mountain bike and running.

I have five LT100 Run finishes now and I am happy with that.  Not saying that I will never go back.  I've learned that lesson.  But I can't see myself going back for a bit.  Like I said I want to do other things.  I love Leadville, I love the races, but it is time for a break after running races up there for seven years.  The 1000 mile buckle has never been in the plan and even though I am halfway there right now it still does not resonate with me.

The newest addition is on the far right.  I think I have enough Leadville Buckles now.  Especially considering I would never wear any of them! 
My second Leadman finish, my second Big Buckle in the run and finishing tenth overall in Leadman seems to me to be the perfect time and way to walk away.  I'm good with that.

Time to eat...


  1. Amen man. Well done. Time to eat. And have a drink.

    Let me know when you want to get into the burro circuit.

  2. Those MTB buckles are small. Just sayin.

  3. Impressive rack of buckles and awards. Well done this year, well done!