Running has been mixed over the past month. On the one hand I have not been feeling very good; in some cases not good at all; heavy legs, sore feet, tired, achy, “bonky”, and on and on. I even contracted by first head cold in years. Clearly I had been over doing it, and clearly I had not truly recovered from my race at the San Juan Solstice on June 21. I have had days were I was hungry absolutely non-stop; my weight dipped to an even 160 for the first time in years. I have had some runs where I got out there for 15 min, and decided that I was done; tired, hungry, dizzy, and I turned around and walked back to the car or home. Through all of this, I have held to the unwavering belief that no one at Leadville was preparing like I was. I had hit weeks of up to 180 miles, with back-to-back-to-back-to-back long runs of 4 and 5 hrs. apeice. I have run in the dark of early morning, and the dark of late night. I have run with a headlamp and no light.
I remember the runs I did this winter in the early AM when the temp was negative 35 degrees. I remember the frost bite and the toe nails. I have continually pushed through undo fatigue. I remember all of the late night runs over the past 10 months .. the ones when I would much rather be at home with my wife watching a movie or reading. I remember some of those runs over the winter when it would be dark, and getting colder, and I would make the turn that would add on another hour to the run; and get me home at 10:30pm. I recall the 11pm dinners in the bath tub as I cold bathed and hot bathed. There as been a lot of miles since the end of October; almost 5000 of them… and they have all helped me to this point.
What is this point? Fit and focused. The tide has turned on my fatigued body… I am to the point of invincibility again. I have chosen my workouts well this past month. I have shortened the running a lot, and exchanged it for some harder, and higher altitude runs. I have run in numerous new places this summer. The high altitude running is helping; man do I feel good on the hill climbs; strong and running everything. On Saturday, July 26, I ran a 30 miler up Schofield Pass and up West Maroon Pass, and up Frigidaire Pass, and up Haisley Basin above Crested Butte. I ran it all, even the steep trails above 12,000ft. This is a first for me. It excites me. I have run up CBMR (pictured above). I have run Henry Lake, Mill Creek and Storm, etc. I have been to Leadville and Silverton and camped a lot at altitude this summer. I will make one more pilgrimage to Leadville this coming weekend for my last long run of 40 miles. I can’t wait.