Howdy again. I thought I’d make sure to get up two posts this afternoon, knowing that it has been a while since I have posted consistently which is of course pretty lame to say the least. I have been increasingly aware that I am not the model of emotional and mental stability I once thought! As it turns out, when the running is going less than stellar I tend to not update, hide-away, and hope for a resurgent up-swing. When I am feeling good about my running, all I want to do is tell the world how well it is going. Wow, I’ve got some growing up to do. Regardless, as you may be able to ascertain simply by realizing this is my second post of the day, my running has been much better and is going smoothly as of late. Since early July, my energy has turned upward again, my fitness has increased, and my mental game has grown stronger once more. I feel competent, capable, motivated, and determined. I have always thought the true reason why running is labeled an ‘endurance sport’ has less to do with the physiology of the actual action, and more to do with the emotional and mental tenacity to go through day-to-day and season-to-season.
A couple of weeks ago I sent an e-mail to a ‘grizzled-old-vet’ of ultra-running asking for a bit of advice and maybe some hand-holding. My e-mail made the creative request: “In 50 words or less please provide some advice for a guy having a ‘less-than-stellar’ season.” His response? “I don’t need 50 words, I need 1: PERSEVERE.” That was it. No wiping my nose, holding my hand, or telling me that ‘I’d be okay.’ Nope… just one sentence with one word of advice. Thanks man… just what I needed.
Just what I needed to hear to bust out of a selfish running slump
So, moving forward from this slump I have launched into some good training with a quality fast run per week, a strategic long run per week, a size-able amount of strength training, and many normal runs as well. My head seems to be screwed on straight again and I have found myself enjoying the simplicity of the most simple sport yet again. Two and a half weeks ago I ran the Leadville Silver Rush 50 miler on some new terrain which proved to be the race I needed to jump start the second half of my season. 1.5 weeks ago I rekindled the fire on new terrain on the Grand Mesa while pacing Ryan Burch in the Grand Mesa 100. Now I am looking forward to a long run or two in Leadville this weekend as I prep for the Leadville 100.
Heading into the Leadville 100, I am feeling confident in my preparation and strength. Most importantly I am looking forward to meeting many more great folks in Leadville as I seem to do every year. Just some great folks who share a passion for 100 milers and for Leadville. My focus for the race will be to run a consistent time on the way out which keeps me near the front, and then come back strong. There will be a lot of people on the race course that day, including many competitors: Dylan Bowman, Marty Wacker, Marco, Zeke Tiernan and a whole list of others. Tony Krupicka will also be there making this race a tough one. I look forward to the challenge. Stunning to realize this will be my 4th consecutive Leadville 100. For me, there is a strong magnetism to this race and the area around Leadville. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I am enamored by the Leadville lore.
Looking beyond Leadville, I will be competing in the Grand Teton 100 on September 4th. I competed strongly in the 50-miler there last year and will look to run another strong 100 only two weeks after Leadville. I am excited to see that course again, hang out with race directors Jay and Lisa, and be in one of the most beautiful places in the West. After that, Annie and I will both be racing in the Golden Leaf 1/2 Marathon in Aspen, CO toward the end of September. I do not have solid race plans for the remainder of the autumn, but I am excited to see how the body holds up after two 100’s. There are many great thing happening in ultra-running right here in Gunnison with Ryan Burch, Timmy Parr, and Scott Drum. These guys are raising the bar and making it tough to keep up! Here’s to a fantastic remainder of the season for all. Thanks for reading. Train well. Live well. DC