Leadville: Week 2
After 2 full weeks in Leadville, and running the Leadville Marathon, I finally feel like I am finding my Rocky Mountain groove and getting adjusted to life in the High Country, in large part thanks to the support and encouragement of my Leadville Family.
1 race, 5 running days, 53 miles, 12:47 hours, and 7,370 ft. of climbing
Since the Leadville Marathon was on the weekend, most of the runs this week were short outings along the east and north shore of Turquoise Lake, with the exception of a half-marathon on the Leadville course at the beginning of the week, from the starting line in Leadville to Turquoise Lake and back. These outings, and a 12 mile bike ride on the Mineral Belt loop around town, were a great opportunity to slowly start building mileage and to dial-in my nutrition for race day.
They say you should never try something new on race day, so instead I decided to try 2 new things: new food and new hydration. In addition to assorted GU gels, I ate a lamb bar and rice mix, wafers, and a fruit & nut mix. Then, I alternated water with skratch in my bottle for hydration, and took a salt tablet on the hour. Of course at the aid stations I would snack on bananas, coke, and the occasional salty treat.
By any measure, the Leadville Marathon is very challenging, but due to snow on the course, a detour around Bull Mountain made this race even more difficult than last year. And though it was sunny, it was unusually cold for June, so I wore my windbreaker for the entire race. With hands over knees, grinding up the switchbacks to Mosquito Pass at 13,185 ft., the wind made for a chilly climb, so I did my best to descend the rocky trail as quickly as possible to the 16 mile marker.
Only 10 more miles to go, two more tough climbs, two technical descents, and a cruise down 6th St. would take me to the finish line. Though tired, I was very happy with the steady effort of 7 hours and 6,200 ft. of climbing. Compared to other races this year, I was also very pleased with my nutrition and hydration, which kept me moving all day. After another good training day in Leadville, it’s time to recover, and to get back to running on the trails of the Leadville course.
60 days until the Leadville Trail 100M.