In the weeks that followed the 2010 Leadville 100 I dug myself into a massive hole of exhaustion by being overly ambitious in my training and over confident in my body’s ability to recover. Included in this learning experience was a thoroughly enjoyable, albeit punishing, Maroon Bells 4 Pass Loop adventure run, followed a week later by a 50 mile race at Steamboat’s Run Rabbit Run event. My race at RRR50 left me utterly shattered and finally injected some long overdue rest into my life. I didn’t feel right again for two months. This startling episode of immense fatigue is something I intend to avoid for the remainder of my life as a runner.
Now, a little more than 2 weeks removed from SD100, I am happy to report I feel very strong. I took six full days off after the race (total of 8 zero days now in 2011), and have been slowly building back towards consistent two hour days on the trails. I’ve been very cautious about this feeling of strength and fully intend to listen to what my body indicates is a reasonable amount of mileage in the coming weeks. So far, I’ve been successful practicing this body awareness and have cut a couple outings short when my legs just weren’t feeling it. I’ve also made a few appearances in the yoga studio and have visited local miracle worker Andrea Rubel for some glorious massage and chiropractic work. I believe very strongly in the benefits of both these activities and intend to consistently implement them into my training and recovery. My hope is that this gradual and conservative approach will leave me primed and peaking in late August – specifically around the weekend of the 20th.
We have finally emerged from the seemingly endless winter here in Aspen, so it certainly hasn’t been easy to practice moderation in my training. I’ve been like a kid in a candy store recently, eager to have lonely sweat sessions in the backcountry and get reacquainted with my favorite ribbons of dirt. I look forward to a long summer of discovery and adventure in my beautiful backyard.
My next adventure will take me to the mighty San Juan Mountain Range in Southwestern, Colorado just over a week from now, where I’m thrilled to be pacing/crewing for Joe Grant at the unforgiving Hardrock 100. My involvement in Joe’s race was sort of a last minute development due to a very unfortuante injury which has sidelined ultra legend Anton Krupicka from his scheduled pacing duties. Under the circumstances, I’m happy to come off the bench for one of the world’s best in order to help Joe’s cause. Hopefully I can hold up my end of the bargain.
Joe and I still haven’t met in person yet, but our recent phone conversations have me confident we will have a good dynamic come game time. Tomorrow we are meeting in Twin Lakes for an evening assault of Mt. Elbert followed by a slumber party in Aspen. Should be excellent team building. As of now, the plan is for Joe to run solo until Telluride (Mile 72), where I’ll be waiting to escort him through the night back to Silverton. I’m truly excited to experince a 100 miler from the crew/pacer perspective and am looking forward to enjoying the atmosphere of this epic event. Fire it up.