Thursday, July 19, 2012

Gutting it Out. Literally.

I was fortunate enough to be able to make a mid-week trip to Leadville on Tuesday which allowed for a long run on the LT100 course on Wednesday.  The plan was to run from the starting line on 6th and Harrison to Fish Hatchery.  My friend Lisa had arrived on Tuesday night just a few minutes before I got there and had found a great new camping spot in the area that we had scoped out over the 4th of July weekend.  My first thought when I arrived and got out of the Jeep was that I wished to hell I had my fly rod because the stream next to camp looked awesome to fish in.  Next time.

After getting my tent set up, we sat around and chatted for a bit and finalized our plans.. up at 6:30, leave camp by 7:30 drop a car off at Fish Hatchery then carpool back to town and start running.  Simple enough...

We were up at 6:30, we did leave camp at 7:30, we dropped the Jeep off at FH no problem but when we got to town a mandatory stop was in order.  Lisa needed coffee... me... I needed the coffee shop's er, uh, facilities.

My stomach was NOT happy with me at all Wednesday morning.  It could have been the burrito and a half that I ate at Pancho's the night before or it could have been the altitude, or maybe sleeping uncomfortably that night.  Whatever the cause it didn't get any better even after my stop at the coffee shop.  No bueno...

We started running and from the word go I felt done.  D-O-N-E, done!  I was really feeling the altitude and if you divided my digestive system into two halves, the upper from the stomach up and the lower from the stomach down... neither part was happy or enthusiastically agreeing to go on this run at all. 

I was quiet on the run and I think that was the first sign to Lisa that I was struggling a bit.  To be honest the only real thing that I can remember saying of value or of any importance was that when we hit the first boat ramp going around Turquoise Lake that I was stopping to use the facilities there.  But of course I had my doubts that I would even make it but fortunately I did.

This stop burned more than just time as I was sitting in the lakeside outhouse... too much damned hot sauce the night before I thought as I had an old Johnny Cash song going through my head.  I finally left and thank god the lower half of the digestive tract was starting to feel better.  Thankfully.

Of course by now it is getting warmer and we have to pass like 100 (really, 100 or more) kids from a local camp, hiking on the north shore of the Lake.  I still pretty much feel like shit... Lisa is on point, I am still not talking a lot but the one bright spot is that I don't feel like I need to worry about stopping AGAIN at Mayqueeen.  By now my headache (yeah I didn't mention that) is starting to die off as well.  So things are starting to look up.

We do stop at Mayqueen and refill our water bottles.  I tell Lisa that I am not feeling so great (it was obvious, she already knew) but that I was still enjoying the outing.  The key was going to be just taking it easy and hoping that I start to feel better soon.

We basically hiked the entire section of the Colorado Trail to Haggerman Road.  It was nice being in the cool trees and the creeks through that section are just beautiful.  Once we got to the road we were able to run to the switchback that goes up Sugarloaf with relative ease.  Things are still getting better.

It was at some point on the climb to the top of Sugarloaf where I finally felt right again.  Since we had sort of held back to this point (30 minutes behind schedule) I had plenty of go to run the whole way down the power lines and feel decent doing it and we had a great run on the hard road to the Fish Hatchery was well.    22.5 miles total for that day.

Would I call it a great training run?  No.  Would I call it a beneficial training run?  Hell yes!  This run required me to be patient for starters... patient with myself mostly for feeling poorly, not moving as quickly as I wanted to be moving and for having to lose time making multiple pit stops.  But more important than that, and I think this is a very important facet in playing the ultra game is that I had to be patient in waiting for things to finally right themselves and then enjoy the rest of the run.  I gutted it out yesterday and unfortunately in more ways that one!

Going to do an ascent/descent on the Peak Friday night.  It will be fun and thankfully cooler.  I am not feeling too beat up today either and that is with 50 miles under my belt by Wednesday.  I should hit 100 this week easily.


  1. Patience ...

  2. Thanks for the read GZ! That is a great link!

  3. My grandma makes a super hot homemade pepper jelly from her garden. I told her she should name it Ring of Fire and sell it for the exact same reasons in your blog. She did not find it funny.