Monday, June 19, 2017

2017 Leadville Mosquito Pass Marathon

Well there is a lot to update. For starters I pulled my hamstring in late March and had to take April off. After what seemed like an eternity I was finally able to run consistently again by mid May. I know coming back from an injury is always difficult. Finding the right balance of rest coupled with challenging the body can be difficult. I pushed the boundary for recovery and was able to get back in. But... then on June 2nd, Lynnette and I were told that our youngest daughter Annalise was diagnosed with Leukemia. Lynnette and Annalise have been staying at the Denver Children's Hospital (in Aurora, east side of Denver). Katrina and I have been mostly staying in Monument with Lynnette's parents and driving up to see them every other day. Luckily school is out for the summer.

The race: How would my body respond? This was to be only my second race of the year and the first back from injury. I knew I was getting fit and would be able to contend. My goal was simple: break 3:40 and win. Going out and up the first hill I knew I that this was going to be a tough race. Matt Daniels and I jockeyed for the lead, with neither wanting to relinquish it. We ran mostly together until 3 miles in he took the lead going up the Burro Road and he flew. I did not panic and resigned to let him set the pace until Mosquito Pass. For the next 4 miles we yo-yoed back and forth while I waited. Finally at the base of Mosquito Pass I put in a small surge and caught Matt and then tried to keep the pace going. A long mile later I finally pulled slightly ahead. Around the steep switchbacks of Mosquito Pass I could see I was slowly making headway gaining a few seconds here and there. I kept pushing it only walking 4 times on the steepest sections for about 20 yards per section.

The last mile to the top of the pass I was tossed around like a rag doll as 50 mph winds swept around me. Finally I topped out at the top of the pass with about a 90 second lead. I turned and head down. Conservatively I dropped down from the pass. I wanted to descend in a controlled safe manner. At the bottom of the pass I ran on trying to maintain my lead. I continued to eat even though I definitely did not feel like it. Finally I reached the dreaded hill at mile 21. This hill is wonderful or horrible. I managed to get up to the aid which as always was a welcome sight. I figured my lead was only 2 or 3 minutes. I left and quickly started the long decent to the finish.

I turned onto 6th street, the finish line in sight. I knew I'd win... I just had to run the last 1/2 mile of the course. I ran down the course not pushing the pace. Because of the wind I had dropped my awesome hat earlier in the race (I gave it to a spectating friend). Consequently, I pleasantly surprised the race announcers. I crossed... the race was finished. Some notes: During the race I ate about 550 calories and drank about 90 oz of liquid. I wore the Hoka Challenger 3.

Results are here:

https://results.chronotrack.com/event/results/event/event-16893?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=Post-race&utm_campaign=LT-Mara-HH&et_cid=3562549&et_rid=90437787&et_attr1=

I soon found myself resting and contemplating the race.

It had been a tough race: Physically I had to push and dig deep. I had managed to come back from the nasty injury in March, that thankfully is now gone. Mentally, I was overwhelmed: It was my 20th year in a row of winning a race. It was my first race back from injury and the first race run after Annalise was diagnosed with Leukemia.

Annalise is getting better every day. Katrina has a hectic whirlwind summer going on. Lynnette takes amazing care of both of them. They inspire me. Next race is the Leadville Silver Rush 50. See you then.




Saturday, February 11, 2017

New Year and Strava Update

Quick update: It is been an interesting start to the New Year. Winter training in Leadville is always challenging. During January, Leadville received copious amounts of snow. Then again it received in the neighborhood of 170% of snowfall. Training was slow going, but I made a go of it. Also I finally was able to sign up for Strava as well and will be updating many of my training runs up to it. I’ve added the link to this running blog. It is a great start to a new year and I look forward to my first race: the Chuckanut 50k in Bellingham, Washington on March 18th