On Monday, the first day of June, I arrived in Leadville for the Summer, and after being away for 9 months it felt like coming home. From the snow capped mountains off Hwy 24 into Leadville, to its historic downtown, Coffee on the Hill, Quincy’s steak house, Tennessee Pass cafe, Leadville Outdoors, and the Leadville Race Series headquarters, it seemed like time stood still. And though I know it was a long Winter for all my friends in Leadville, I am ready for Summer adventures on the trails.
After 2 months of living and training in the High Country, I was ready to toe the line for my first 100 mile race, the Leadville Trail 100 Run, an out and back course with over 18,000 ft. of climbing starting in Leadville, down The Boulevard, around Turquoise Lake, past the Fish Hatchery, up the Colorado Trail, down into Twin Lakes, through the river, up and over Hope Pass, down into Winfield at the 50 mile mark, and then back.
When I arrived in Leadville the first week of June, it did not seem that 2 months was enough to get ready to run 100 miles, but after 8 weeks of steady building I was able to increase my weekly mileage to 101 miles with over 16K ft. of vertical all on the course. So now, yes, I feel ready.
Week 7: 4 running days, 31 miles, 7:17 hours, and 2,791 ft. of climbing
Week 8: 6 running days, 101 miles, 26:05 hours, and 16,367 ft. of vertical
The first 2 weeks in July were all about getting ready for the Silver Rush 50, a grueling trail run with over 7,000 ft. of vertical gain and 4 climbs that reach 12,000 ft. elevation, and after 5 consecutive weeks of running an average of 100K per week, I felt my body was ready for its longest run in almost 4 years.
Week 5: 4 running days, 50 miles, 11:06 hours, and 5,464 ft. of climbing
Week 6: 3 running days, 65 miles, 15:10 hours, and 8,953 ft. of vertical
Week 4 in Leadville: running almost every inch of the course during the 3 day running camp, first 140K week ever, more breathtaking vertical, first double crossing of Hope Pass at 12,600 ft. elevation, and a night run to be reminded of the absolutely stunning stars in the High Country sky.
5 running days, 87 miles, 23:53 hours, and 9,831 ft. of climbing