Leadville 100 Trail Race

It has been awhile since I blogged.  Actually, it has been since July 2012, right about the time I completed my first ultra trail race, Leadville’s Silver Rush 50. 

Running the Silver Rush 50

Running the Silver Rush 50

It was epic – a long, long time on the trail, at just about perfect temperatures, fabulous co-participants, an even more fabulous set of self-proclaimed athletic supporters, what seemed to be an unending supply of energy, if not speed, and no nasty thunderstorms until the very end (and at that point I didn’t really care about anything, except finishing – as long as I wasn’t struck by lightning, I was getting over that finish line, regardless of what the sky was throwing at me). 

Well, now I’m in for an even more epic adventure, and this one is going to be twice as long – I registered for Leadville’s 100 mile trail race in August of this new 2013 year.  Some say it’s easier (wider forest roads instead of steeper, more technical singletracks), some say harder (it is, after all, twice as long).  I will be running and/or stumbling for more than 24 hours, running at night, running on full, running on empty, running with pacers, running with others, running by myself, running towards, running away, just plain running for a helluva long time. 

Not quite sure just what I have gotten myself into.  Certainly, a bit, or more, of some pain.  Hopefully, a bit, or more, of some nirvana.

And recently, on my little yak trak snowy run at Brainard Lake,

Chilly post-run me!

Chilly post-run me!

attempting to pick up some speed in short dabs of intervals, in chilly, windy conditions, I realized (again) that I run because, well, as trite as it sounds, because I can.  I am so incredibly blessed – to be able to run physically, to be able to run lifestyle-wise, to be able to run mentally, to be able to run, period. 

What a journey this will be.  I will post more when I can – stick with me, if you like – it might be interesting, and even, kind of fun!

Running high

It was past time to get up to elevation.  And that I did, starting at 11,600 feet, for two of my recent runs.  Running may not be the operative verb, however – it was more like fast hiking, and sometimes more like a death march, on the steeper, higher sections of Mt. Bierstadt.  One day was windy and bereft of humans (aside from my husband, a family who were some of the nicest people I have encountered in a long time, and the two big white dogs, who don’t qualify as humans, of course, but who often provide better company).  The other day held bluebird skies and a smattering of snow on top.  Unfortunately, those gorgeous conditions prompted about five gazillion other folks to attempt a summit push, and it felt like a highway (but certainly a very picturesqe one).   That day there were two other actual runners out there – one who grunted as he passed me on the way up, the other who screamed past me on the way down while casually inquiring, “You training for Pikes Peak (marathon)?” like we were chatting at sea level.

It was good to be up there.  One, because I need to experience the difficulty of moving around in thin air, and hopefully accilimate to it so I can move faster through what little of it is there.  Two, it is truly beautiful, even with the multitudes of people scrambling around.  There is something about the crispness of the air, the clarity of the views, the sense of belonging to the earth and the air, as you push on it and through it.  My pictures do not do it justice, at all, but here are a few…

The lake at the beginning of the trail

Non summit trail – the road (far) less traveled…

Lake with Bill and Sascha and Yoder