So I have been running.
The last couple of weeks the fam' has been out of town so I tried to get in some longer runs in on the weekend.
Here are the results.
Ran on the actual Leadville course! I ran from the boat ramp, around Turquoise Lake, through the Turquoise Lake Half marathon race (while it was happening), through May Queen, and up the Colorado Trail towards Power Line and then came back. 23 miles in 5:21. I would have gone farther, but as I started up the climb towards Sugarloaf I lost the trail. There was also some pretty deep snow, and a whole lot of water and mud. The trail was a swamp where I lost track of it. I spent about a half an hour looking around and sort of thought I knew where it was, but I didn't want to go in the wrong direction and my energy was already waning.
Overall it was sort of a fun run. I took my time, stopped and took pictures (stupid camera phone defaulted back to "tiny" mode without me realizing it so all the pics are like 160x100 pixels). Cheered on all the half-marathoners running by me, and tried to enjoy it. It was nice to get a feel for the course. The elevation (over 10,000') didn't cause any real problems; I noticed a mild headache a couple times but nothing too bad.
I had some helpful assistance from an uber ultra-dude who was motoring through the area, and was kind enough to point me in the right direction after May Queen.
Here is a "tiny" video with some "tiny" pictures from the run. The Leadville 100 is known as the "Race Across the Sky" thus the selected cloud imagery.
Hey I ran forty miles.
I didn't realize this before, but forty miles is a long way.
Yes it took me a really long time (nine hours and thirty six minutes) but I'm OK with that. I generally just start the watch and whatever happens in the middle I just let the clock run. I don't get to stop the clock at Leadville for all the "miscellaneous activities" so I figure I should time it that way in training. I did have a three hour break in the middle this time around as I had to break to watch USA v. England in the World Cup.
The run consisted of three legs. The first leg I followed Happy Trails' recommendation and ran around Rampart Reservoir. With a few detours I believe I managed about 13 miles in 3:06. The trail was muddy, it was raining almost all of the time I ran outside, in many places had standing water and impromptu Spring streams running through it, so it kept me on my toes.
The second leg started after the match was over and consisted of nine trips up the hill by my house. This equals 13.5 miles and took 3:09.
The third leg was on to the treadmill. I was sick of being rained on and being cold and I just wanted to finish. 13.5 miles in 3:21.
Total elevation gain was approximately 5,000', which is 1/3 of that on the entire Leadville course. I was pretty happy about that.
For both of these runs I took a much different approach to what I had been doing. I tried to really maintain a pace where my heart rate didn't spike, but stayed at a low constant rate. That meant a slow running pace and more walking when needed. My understanding from what I've read is this is the best way to try and cover the longer distances. I found this to be very helpful. I didn't have nearly as many stomach problems, and was able to stay better hydrated and to keep eating throughout. Yeah! Now I just need to keep getting the base stronger so I can keep a little bit faster pace for a longer time frame without bonking. Oh yeah and try to forget how much I wanted to quit at the end of forty miles....
Did I just say forty miles? Schnikes! :)