September 9, 2014

PermalinkGodsmack / Seether / Skillet / Buckcherry / Pop Evil @ Broomfield

Pretty excited about the line up for this show. Not a bad band involved. So let's do them in order!

Pop Evil was up first. This is a shame because they are one of my favorite up and comers. But I guess they aren't selling as many albums as the other guys just yet. They played for like 25 minutes to a smaller but passionate crowd. Had to get there at 6 to see them play! So it was a short set but they worked it pretty hard and skipped all the slow songs. I hope they won more fans. Love seeing them. Wish Syd could have gone but school night rules.

Pop Evil

Setlist:

Last Man Standing
Goodbye My Friend
Sick Sense
Torn to Pieces
Deal with the Devil
Trenches


Buckcherry was up next. They have a few songs I like but I have never dug into them. The lead singer has a very Steven Tyler vibe. Like to sing about bitches, say fuck, and talk about drugs. Total rock star persona. A few new songs I hadn't heard off the new album and they were catchy. As you can see from the photo, I had escaped off the floor to eat some food while watching them. Enjoyed the performance and will be downloading a few more of their tunes.

Buckcherry

Setlist:

Lit Up
Somebody Fucked With Me
Everything
Sorry
Say Fuck It
Gluttony
I Don't Give A Fuck
Crazy Bitch


Skillet followed. I was surprised at the level of crowd participation with these guys. I have always written them off because they are a Christian metal band. I don't care about your religion while we are rocking out. The songs aren't overtly messaged though. So even with the rest of these rock bands on the bill, these guys seemed to hold the crowd. The lead singer is pretty passionate during the performance. I kept thinking his wife was the drummer but she is actually lead guitar. Hmmm. The final move though was when he gave a shout out to Jesus Christ. Never heard that at a metal show before.

Skillet

Setlist:

Whispers in the Dark
Sick of It
Hero
Not Gonna Die
Awake and Alive
Rise
Monster
Rebirthing


Now was Seether. This was the reason I was there. I love them. They have been a constant rotation on my runs for years now. However, I have seen them quite a few times lately and the performances seem about the same each time. They play the radio hits mostly and then take pauses between songs while Shaun's guitar whines. I was sort of bored. Too bad. I wish they would play more of the songs I like that aren't the most popular.

Seether

Setlist:

Gasoline
Rise Above This
Words As Weapons
Fine Again
Broken
Tonight
Country Song
Fake It
Remedy


And the headliner! They didn't start until 10 PM...on a weeknight! The Smack is back! Godsmack took the stage after a AC/DC backed video of them coming up over the years. They have been on a break for a few years and I was sort of wondering if they would ever return. However, with a new album, they showed they haven't lost anything. I think the songs are really good and slightly different and richer. I have been playing it for weeks.

Godsmack

I have seen them several times over their history. Funny that the last time was in this same venue. So it felt like a flashback...in a good way. New songs and old songs interleaved. Stage show was modest but good enough.

Godsmack

They did their classic drum battle which I always enjoy. Sully knows how to jam. Then during Whatever, they did some of the usual shenanigans but added a new twist. After plenty of ribbing about local sports vs. New England teams, Sully brought out a cart of beer cups. Those Solo red cups. They poured into them. Then he said he would be sending them out to the crowd to test our catching skills. He hurled the Solo cups in a fashion that kept the beer in tact into the crowd. People were catching them and pounding the beer. Then he went to the sides. Long throws. He was heaving them. Beers flying all over. People were mostly catching them with beer in tact. Never seen that one before.

Godsmack

Setlist:

Generation Day
Cryin' Like a Bitch
What's Next
Locked and Loaded
Keep Away
The Enemy
Something Different
Straight Out of Line
Awake
Speak
Voodoo
Batalla de los Tambores
Whatever
1000hp
I Stand Alone

I guess that's the end of the summer tours here for me. Strong show to close out the season! I would see any of those bands again.

September 8, 2014

PermalinkLinkin Park @ Fiddler's Green

I had not seen this band since 2004. Holy shit. That's 10 year ago now. Amazing that I can say I saw this band in Denver a decade ago. They have been around that long and I have been here longer. Anyway, it was a cooler and slightly rainy night but it was well worth the trip. I had actually skipped Linkin Park's visits in prior years. But I stumbled on this Lollapalooza Brazil show they did on YouTube and thought to myself that I needed to go again if they return.

Linkin Park

The stage show was pretty cool. A little NIN-esque with the video screens and playing behind them. Lots of action on stage with this 6 member band.

Linkin Park

Mike continues to be a crazy talented musician. Rapping, pianos, singing, guitar, MC, whatever. Chester is becoming more Scott Weiland than ever. Dancing around. Must be his other gig as lead singer for STP now influencing him. Still think he has amazing range from singing to screaming. The guy really uses his voice.

Linkin Park

I have the new album and I like it more than their last. Even their stuff from Hybrid Theory still holds up -- I might say its my favorite of all they ever did. Such a solid debut album.

Linkin Park

Thirty Seconds to Mars was the opener. Watched a bit of it. Crowd liked it. Not my thing. I kept thinking that lead singer looked familiar though. Googled it later and figured out he is Jared Leto. Whoa. I saw him in various movies like Dallas Buyer's Club most recently. And he has a video streaming startup, VyRT. OK, that dude is crazy talented then. Acting, singing, whatever.

I actually had a seat for the show. 6th row. Enjoyed watching from a bit further back and taking in this late summer night show under the stars. Last one of those for the year. Drat. Nothing better than an outdoor Colorado concert.

Posted: 23:05 MDT in Music | PermalinkComments
Tags: concert denver fiddlersgreen linkinpark

September 6, 2014

PermalinkMount Bierstadt (14,065')

Natalee and Chad are in town for the weekend. Natalee was intent on making Chad do a 14er. We had to go from Longmont so the time friendly choices were limited. Bierstadt was an easy winner. 7 miles R/T. Done.

Mount Bierstadt

My boy was very excited to be back in the wild. Its going to be a long winter for him. Although he loves the snow. Maybe we will do more winter ascents. Maybe.

Mount Bierstadt

The trail is a nice meandering class 1 jaunt. This is my 2nd time on this mountain. Didn't mind repeating at all. I was in hiking mode with my guests today. Wondered what kind of time I could do here. Would be fun to time trial it.

Mount Bierstadt

But don't go on the weekend! I have never seen so many people on a 14er in my life. Wild. Hoards of people constantly. Lots of rookie stuff out there. You gotta start somewhere I guess. And they start here.

Mount Bierstadt

Well, that's 5 uniques for the dogs so far in one summer. Hell, they are going to catch me at this rate!

Mount Bierstadt

Just a dusting of snow on the north side. Its not winter yet but a single night could change that. It was chilly at the summit though.

Posted: 18:16 MDT | PermalinkComments

September 2, 2014

PermalinkHurt

Reagan

Sitting in the hospital with Reagan...Rewind a few days.

My workout schedule has rest days in it. Damn, I forgot marathon training was so nice. Kind of refreshing to not have to log miles tomorrow. But then the next day usually involves some suffering at threshold pace to make up for that!

So Labor Day weekend was going to be great. A hills run on Saturday and a long run on Sunday. I caffeined up and had some gel and hit the road for the hills. I was on fire! Running an old loop of mine at Sandstone Ranch that has 9% grades. Moving solid up the hills and blasting down. I was working well. But on the last lap, my brain was telling me to back off. Shut up. I pushed the down hard and my ankle wasn't happy. I didn't roll it side to side but more like forward. Ouch. I sort of limped 30 minutes back home in a cooldown. Stayed on it all day but woke up the next morning not being able to bear weight out of bed. Damn it. I forgot this is an injury prevention game. It felt good and I went with it. But I went too far. Again. This seems to be my yearly trend and I never learn.

I have been icing it and putting a brace on it. Putting on the brake while driving my truck is the most painful action. A few days off shouldn't kill me. Skipped the long run obviously. And every run since. I actually put my weight system back together in the basement on Sunday and figured out how to use them once again.

Last night as I was going to bed to ice, Reagan's ongoing sickness got worse and Kim ran her over to the ER. They ended up admitting her and spent the night working through it. She is having breathing issues. Diagnosis was "Acute bronchitis with respiratory asthmatic distress with hypoxia". My interpretation was she got a lung infection that caused a bunch of mucus and then she couldn't breathe. SaO2 was in the 80s. It should be like 92 for this altitude. So I spent the day shift today with her and now I am on the night shift here too.

At the Leadville 100 briefing this year, Ken went off script from prior years and said something that I can only paraphrase now but resonated with me. He explained that we are only there for this foot race. Its only a foot race. Its going to be tough but it will never be tougher than the real challenges you will face in life. He talked about sickness or issues with children, etc. Those are tough problems. Not solved simply by putting one foot in front of the other for 30 hours. However, that foot race trains you to physically and mentally to persevere through challenging situations and gives you the confidence that you can face things that you thought you could not. That other people can't fathom.

So as I sit here with Reagan tonight, I am calm and so is she. Just a bump in the road. A timeout. She will be back home in a day or so. Refueled and recharged.

Then I can go back to whining about my ankle or maybe running on it.

Thanks to all who reached out to give her a bump.

Posted: 22:27 MDT | PermalinkComments

August 27, 2014

PermalinkMy Comfort Zone

Firestarter

I turn 40 this year. God damn. That seems old.

In my 20s, I had fun making waves. Somewhere in my 30s, I lost the desire to do that. Less stress. Less trouble in life. Spend my time on other things. Things that mattered more. Supposedly.

And somehow through that transition, I lost a key attribute that I had previously cultivated. Getting out of my comfort zone. Maybe not with everything I do but there are a few specific things where I lost this edge.

So I think its time to face my fears there with respect to running. I need to admit I have become a slow runner. I am afraid of fast.

On Monday, I registered for the Boulder 1/2 Marathon and the Denver Marathon. Less than 2 months out. No real thought went into it other than forcing myself to go run races that I used to run. Facing my PR demons. Facing the fact that I have to practice running fast for a while. I despise running fast. It usually hurts.

Being a fast runner will benefit me in the things I want to do. The things I still need to do. I haven't run a marathon proper since Boston 2010. That's too long ago. It was one of my top 3 best executed races ever. I felt like I could step away. But now its clear that I need to get out of my comfort zone and return to the marathon to put some speed back in my running.

Will I be able to run a PR at Denver? No way. Oh maybe a course record for me there but I don't plan on breaking 3 hours by any stretch. 3:15 is the BQ time for me these days. Which is what it was before! They have since revised the times and I got older. So its net the same.

Therefore, this week I started one of my old training plans. I had to do intervals today. It sucked. I cramped out and bailed about 1/2 through. But that's just week 1. I will be back tomorrow and every day until the race. Plenty of time.

So do something that takes you out of your comfort zone today. Like holding a flaming stick. Or doing intervals. Or challenging the win at your local race. It will be good for you.

Posted: 14:19 MDT | PermalinkComments

August 25, 2014

PermalinkInsuring Nature

My insurance company in Leadville denied our renewal after a site inspection. We were deemed a fire hazard. You get this worksheet and you get so many points you can score. We had too many. So in order to keep my house on the up and up, we had to call in some pros to help us do the heavy lifting. We had the fire department out for an inspection. They thought we were in good shape. But if you were being picky, they gave us a few suggestions.

So we hired a forestry company. They came in with a crew and did a single day of cleanup. Removed 80 trees from the property. Mostly up around the house. Clearing clumps. Removing trees that were not healthy -- usually ones that split as they rise. Lots of trimming and pruning.

I also had them remove a large tree that was right in my line of sight from my breakfast seat to La Plata Peak. Ah, very nice now.

In the meantime, we spent the days raking our dirt to remove the pine needles that had accumulated over the years. We built a huge pile of them and had the largest bonfire in history. Too hard to haul away. And the funny thing was they didn't burn worth a shit. I had to keep pouring lighter fluid on them like crazy to make them burn. Fire hazard? Right.

So we are cleaned up and awaiting inspection #2. Hopefully this is actually a healthier forest on the property now so we can get some diversity in the species. But I doubt it. Nothing tends to grow at 10,000 feet except lodge-pole pines.

Oh and the equipment of the day -- the wood chipper. That thing would just eat any full size tree that they put into it. Amazing.

Tree Removal

Tree Removal

Posted: 14:40 MDT | PermalinkComments

August 22, 2014

PermalinkLeadville Win Was (Not) Tainted

ORIGINAL POST

Leadville Route Comparison

Started on Facebook via this post. Now I am bringing it here.

While I was at the back of the pack struggling with my own race in this year's Leadville Trail 100, there was something brewing up front. Rob Krar was the easy favorite in the race. Heck, our local RunColo.com even joked about the landslide prediction by making the contest about who would come in second place to him. The talk was Krar all week in town as well. Everybody loves a fresh story.

However, there are a bunch of runners in the next 4 spots that are friends of mine. They work hard. They train on course. They put the work in. So when I saw what unfolded up front by reviewing post race, I felt like somebody had to say something about this.

So what I noticed was that Rob's GPS route didn't match the course on Strava. Specifically around the Winfield turn around. That's odd.

Then I read Ian Sharman (3rd) mention Rob going off course in his blog.

Then I heard Rob on Ultrarunner Podcast and he admitted to this. He just kept his head down and cruised passed a turn. He ended up running the 2012 course that went to the campground at Winfield and then he came back into Winfield from the opposite direction. Ian speculated trail sabotage but nobody else reported as such.

Mike Aish talked about the situation on the Elevation Trail podcast. He is in a tough position. Who wants to win on a technicality? Mike works hard and I am sure he would have wanted to duel in the final miles. He knows Krar was the stronger runner that day. But that's not reasonable in racing. Shit happens. And that's why we run the race. You never know what might happen on any given day.

Talking with crews that were at Winfield during the leader's run through, they confirmed to me that Rob never came down on the road to Winfield inbound where they were crewing. Then he suddenly was going outbound on the road. Where did he come from? The wrong way.

Using Google Earth to roughly measure, Rob's path was 1.77 miles with ~500ft decline and 250ft incline, while the proper course is 0.7 miles 250ft decline and 35ft incline. So it was a harder and longer effort.

People that argue the other side give some reasons like:

1) He is a good guy. Whatever. That's not even a serious argument in competition.

2) He is an honest guy. Then he would have raised this issue prior to hoisting the trophy. If he did and it wasn't publicized, then let us know. But he did publish the Strava and had talked about it on the podcast. So he isn't exactly hiding it either.

3) He ran a longer harder course. So? You don't get to make up the course on your own. There are time and space considerations you avoid by not running the right course. You don't trip on the same rock that everybody else does. The other competitors do not see you and get to feed off your presence. Who knows what you did on the unsupervised trail? You changed the game.

What do the rules say? Leadville 100 Run Athlete Guide 2014, pg 17, Racer Code of Conduct Section:

Rule # 4: Do not cut switchbacks. You must follow the trail as it is has been marked. STAY ON THE TRAIL!

Rule # 15: Violation of any rule will be grounds for disqualification. Race Management reserves the right to bar any runners from competing in this and any future Leadville Trail 100 races

Rule #17: Decisions of the Race Director and Race Management are Final.

I argue that solid determined focus that Rob runs with and benefits him...actually did him in.

What I am calling for? Leadville Race Management needs to address this. You have a runner that went off course and did not return to the place they left. What say you? Its OK because it did not benefit him. Or its not OK under any circumstance. They rules are gray at best.

I am not calling on Rob to do anything.

Screw you if you think I am a spoil sport. This is a great topic as the sport gains credibility. But more importantly Leadville is my town and my race. People talked shit about the quality of the race last year. We came back with a better race this year. But now I feel like a real issue is being ignored. To be the reputable race that this series is and needs to be, issues need to be addressed publicly and openly. Leadville's survival depends on it.

UPDATE

The same day as this post went up, the Leadville Race Series issued a statement about this matter. Here it is. Basically they say the win stands. I commend them for addressing the matter directly. Per Rule 17 above, there is nothing more to see here.

However, I do hope we see some guidance show up in the future athlete handbook above leaving the course.

I will leave the post stand unedited as I still think this was a healthy debate to have. But I have edited the title and added the word NOT into it for clarity for that arrive in years to come.

Congrats to Rob and all the finishers. This was never about them. It was about understanding the rules and how they are enforced so we can have a better race next year.

Posted: 08:22 MDT | PermalinkComments

August 19, 2014

PermalinkLongmont Dog Swim 2014

Annually at the end of summer, our city closes down the pools by having a dog swim party. Its a great event. My old dogs were not swimmers so it wasn't exactly their thing. However, this was the first year with the new dogs and I knew this would be right up their alley. When we got out of the truck, the dogs knew something was up instantly from all the barking around them. What kind of paradise could this be?

Dog Pool

Dog Pool

Crank this video up and see if your dogs get excited from the barking. I can only imagine that the dogs are all saying "Everything is AWESOME!".

Posted: 22:59 MDT | PermalinkComments

August 17, 2014

PermalinkLeadville Trail 100 Run 2014

Distance100 miles
Elevation Gain14,541 feet
Time29:44:41
Rank335 of 360 finishers/690 starters
GPS AnalysisStrava
Leadville Trail 100 Ru 2014By Caleb Wilson

Son of a bitch.

This race and I are like a bad couple. We just can't get along but we still keep going out hoping to make it work.

The lead up to the race seemed near perfect. Had everything dialed in. Was greatly acclimatized. Not a single thing I can argue in my head.

Race morning is always so painful waking up at 2:30 AM to go stand in the cold and run at 4 AM. This is not my best time of day. Slept a bit beforehand but the secret is always sleeping soundly the day before that -- which I did. Drove myself to the start line this year for the first time. Parked and walked up 6th Street a 1/4 mile into the lights. I was pumped to be there again. There are no qualifiers for this race but it feels good to swagger up the street knowing you can give this race a fair shot year after year.

Started up in the front but not the front. Just far enough up so I could chat with all my Colorado boys that would surely be leading this race out. As the gun went off, I started my jog but let the leaders fly. I settled into my pace and down the Boulevard we went.

We cruised to May Queen in a good pack. I got there in 2:08 which I knew would keep my fans/critics happy. Oddly the pace seemed a tad harder than I would have expected. I can't fathom how I ran a 1:48 there in 2011. I dropped my headlamp and was on my way.

On the way up Sugarloaf, my day took its first turn for the worst. I was getting some lower stomach, high ab pain. Tolerable but super annoying. This was breaking my run up Sugarloaf and people on the run were quickly moving by me. Drat. As I descended Powerline this became worse and worse. I started to better identify it as kidney pain. I had an issue at Bighorn in June but after 6-8 hours, I was able to clear it and recover. Would this be another day like that?

On to Outward Bound. They moved the aid station further east in the field this year. No cars on the road at all. It was a pretty clean entrance. Then they changed the course to exit out the south of the property and then go east over to Halfmoon road. So it cut a bit of the road out but it was just a mowed path through the pasture. And there were plenty of divots/cow holes in the ground. Not sure it was a bonus.

As I headed to Half Pipe, the pain continued. I was re-evaluating my fluid intake. I was hitting 1 UD bottle of water and 1 UD bottle of UCANN between each of the aid stations. That was all I could carry so it seemed reasonable being before 9 AM. I found myself ducking off in the trees inbound to Half Pipe trying to quell the pain by peeing. But I could barely pee. Like squeezing as hard as you can and a couple drops would come out. Like you couldn't fill a thimble. And it was dark. Orangish. Is this blood? What the hell. Not again.

I figured I would just keep on it and it would eventually clear. But the weather was not helping. This was literally the hottest day in Leadville in months. We had a rainy and overcast July in Leadville. I nearly trained there all summer. Never much in Longmont where temps are 90-100. I was forced to wear a shirt and run in 60-70s in Leadville -- in the rain. I was not heat trained this summer. I used to pride myself in the hot summer workout. This year I just wasn't in that location. Me acclimatizing bit me back.

Finally dropped into Twin Lakes just past noon. I was aiming for 11-11:30. Tim was right at the front when I arrived. He flagged me right into his camp. He had brought a chair and got there early and setup to crew me. I wasn't planning on much support on course but it was nice to get a bit of help here. He knew I was off pace and I was showing my disappointment. But he encouraged me to move out and make it up on Hope Pass. Because that was the plan anyway. Ryan, Liz and Honeybear were hanging out at Twin Lakes and wished me well. I had a moment and bent down and let Honeybear lick my face. I told them I missed my dogs. Its weird to train with them all summer but then leave them home on the big day.

Hope Pass was a mixed bag. I felt so familiar there given my training over the summer on the course there. I moved better than I had in prior years. I used to double over hacking and coughing trying to get my breath. Today, I used my inhaler and it seemed to calm my symptoms. So I was steady but it was slow. The kidneys still aching. I finally hit the road into Winfield and Jason Koop was there waiting on his runner. He accompanied me all the way into Winfield chatting about my race and offering suggestions. I appreciated the time he took with me.

I got into Winfield and weighed in. Down 12 pounds. Oops. Totally dehydrated. I sat in the tent and drank cup after cup of water, GU brew, whatever. I wasn't going to stop at Winfield -- but I changed plans. I decided to hang for 15 minutes just refueling to see if I could kick start the recovery. Finally, I got up and left and headed back over the pass.

The return was another slow ascent. But it wasn't as painstaking as other years. I just kept moving and the time sort of melted away. Once I crested, it was time to go down and I could barely run. The kidney pain was too intense by this point for the jostling of the rocky trail. So I hiked down.

On my way down Hope, I lost light. Sunset came and I was running down in the dark. This happened last year and you would think I would have learned. But I didn't have a drop bag at Winfield. Oops. So I was running down the trail in the dark using my cat eyes to veer away from the grayish looking things on the trail that looked like rocks. People with lights would bomb past me. Finally, crossing the river and then the swamp in total darkness. Losing the trail a few times and just standing there waiting for the next runner to come through and light the trail.

Pulled into Twin Lakes and Tim was right in the parking lot. I wasn't really sure what the situation was with the cutoffs. I don't think I need to pay attention to such things but here I am. Tim had the data and said we had 20 minutes. I was fully prepared to go home if they said I was out of time but I was guaranteed to solider on if they let me. So we packed up Tim's camp and moved to the real aid station so we could get through the timer and make a final prep for the night time push.

We got out and hiked back up to the Colorado Trail. Tim's fresh legs had him just drifting away from me at a leisurely hiking pace uphill. While I was there driving the sticks and grunting up the hill. Tim was trying to encourage me to push and stay with a group, or catch a light, or eat more. But I was in survival mode. I started thinking in terms of cutoffs. Could I make the next aid station in time? I continued to hurt in the kidneys. Barely any pee still. I figured night time would fix everything given the cooler temps but it wasn't relieving me. I would try and pee and get out another drop and then try and run. It was a pathetic jog if anything.

Tim then started having his own digestion issue. He was having to stop and stretch and bend. He wasn't well. We pulled into Half Pipe freezing cold. Tim informed me that he couldn't pace anymore with the discomfort. He hitched a ride out of Half Pipe as I went into the tent. Cutoff was 1:15 and I arrived at 12:20 AM. Nice. Got some time back there. But the highlight was clearly dropping Tim with my wicked pace.

Off to Outward Bound. I was solo and still cold. All my warm clothes were in the Outward Bound drop bag. I didn't pack one for Half Pipe. Whoops. When I have been on an OK pace, I never get could until Outward Bound (Fish). Not this year. I was later than ever. I took my Buff and made a glove out of it and kept switching it from hand to hand to keep some finger functioning.

Outward Bound's cutoff was 3 AM. I got there somewhere around 2:45ish. I grabbed my dropbag and sat by a fire that some crew/family had going in the field. I geared way up. Pants. Couple shirts. Hat. Gloves. Warmed up nicely. Marched out into the night.

Up next was Powerline. It was a 2x a week practice this summer with the dogs so every step was predictable. I continued to move decently on the hike but couldn't run the stuff I should. I didn't lose position to many and caught plenty. Felt like a decent push given the circumstances. However, the descent off Sugarloaf was killing me. The kidneys were piercing but my feet started getting angry too. My non-Hokas all day long were starting to catch up with me.

As I approached May Queen, I was unsure of the cutoff. People were saying 6 AM but there was no big push of people around me. Maybe it was later? Maybe it was earlier? I didn't know. I just made the best time I could and rolled into May Queen. As I crossed the timer, it read 6:19:41AM. Cutoff = 6:30. Damn. I made it. You aren't sure if you are happy or sad at that moment. But I knew the race went on and so would I.

I was still in this thing after hiking since sunset. Now, sunrise is here and I have 13.5 miles to cover in 3.5 hours. This might hurt a bit. So I jumped on the Turquoise Lake Trail and started doing math. What pace do I have to nail to make this? How bad do I want this? I was rolling the down and hiking the ups. I found some rhythm that didn't have me doubled over from the kidneys.

People passed me and I was passing people. There was definitely something special going on with the time left in the race. We were the last wave. And frankly, it was pretty interesting being in it. We came though the campgrounds and folks were all cheering us on like I have never heard. They knew it was close and they were pushing us. I ran what felt like super fast around to the damn. Looking back on the splits I never broke a 15 min mile but I would have sworn they were 6 minutes flat.

After the mini powerline, I started thinking I was in the money. And suddenly I came upon a group of about 15 runners in a pack. They were mostly walking and talking. There was no sense of urgency with this group. I found the last wave! They and their pacers had done the math and we were all going to make it.

We got to the Boulevard and I cruised right up it with the pack. I had memories of 2010 with my sister. I was doubled over crying like a baby saying I wanted to stop right now. Taking pauses. None of that today. I just powerhiked and never broke my stride up the whole thing. Passing by the exit for my house knowing I would be there shortly. Thinking about how my dogs and I ran this road about every afternoon. Basking in the moment.

We rolled up 6th Street and the pack decided to run it out. I let them go. I could see the clock and I had plenty of time. So I let them go so I could cross the line alone. There have never been so many people at one of my finishes. We were getting close to the end of the race and the town gathers. But you finish a few hours earlier and its tough to find anybody out there. I never ran. I walked right over the finish line and got my medal. Another one done! 3 time finisher.

I went over to the medical tent and told them my story. No pee. Pain. I figured I was a shoe in for an IV. Denied. They sent me over to the food area and told me to keep hydrating. So I did. Sat by myself and chugged what I could for 15 minutes. I was getting stiff so I got up and limped to the finish line to see them shoot the gun for the end of the race. I then hobbled down 6th Street and found my truck. Sitting in the driver's seat felt amazing. I don't have to move anymore!

Except that the awards were only 2 hours from now. So I had to go shower and then get myself up into the auditorium to receive my buckle. I worked for it and I needed to get it. Not surprisingly, I fell asleep in my chair during the awards. Apparently, they never called my name but I took a buckle anyway. My chip stopped working half way through the race so I never got scored. I had to go to race HQ on Monday to sort it out. I was kind of panicked. I just did that and I want my credit! Turns out they have manual data too and the put it all together except for one split. Everything is right now.

My Bighorn video seemed popular so I wanted to do another in the same style. However, I lost motivation during the day with the issues. Probably would have made for a good story but I just wasn't in the mood or something. Then I think it popped on later and the battery drained. So you get some video of me from the start to after half way.

I usually try and end these Leadville posts with some epic plan or discovery or proclamation. This time, I just don't have one. I am not really sure where to go from here with this race. I have 3 buckles -- which I tell myself I can divide up between my 3 daughters some day. Seems about right. Is that enough finishes? Have I proven I can gut that race enough times? But I still haven't achieved the mastery I wanted there. I want to have one good race in my adopted hometown one day. That would give me some peace. And something about that 1000 mile buckle seems right.

I talked to many friends who indicated they were going to pause after this one. I feel the same sometimes. Step away for a while. Come back some other day. This is a runner's course and I have done less pure running lately. It used to take me months, then weeks, then days to recommit to returning to this race. This time it took me minutes. On the drive from the finish back to the cabin. But I left the year out. When you are out there, it really seems like agony sometimes and you wish you were elsewhere. But the second it was over, you realize it was a fine place to be at that time. Life isn't about normal moments. Its about special ones. And every August I get one of those burnt into my brain forever.

The tradeoff is always more about the strain on things. This race seems to put pressure on my family in some way I can't understand. They don't enjoy it and haven't attended in a few years now. My kids have never seen me finish a 100 miler. I crossed the line this year with no pacer, no crew, no family. And that was OK. Its a solo passion for me and I respect that. For my fellow runners that do get to share it with their families, I hope they all cherish the insanity of running around these mountains in the middle of the night trying to keep you from puking. Those are the stories that you will remember forever.

So I commit to coming back here again, but maybe not next year. Odd years seem to bite me. So maybe I will try a few new things next summer. Hone some skills. Really prep. And then come back and give it another go with fresher perspective. I know I can do this. I just haven't put it together yet. So the journey will continue...date TBD.

Posted: 22:34 MDT | PermalinkComments
Tags: 100mi colorado leadville lt100 race run

August 16, 2014

PermalinkLeadville Begins Now

Its 4 AM in Leadville. The shotgun just fired. We are off! My 5th year in a row.

Why Leadville? Why run 100 miles? This video touches on it for me.

Track me! #247 @ http://results.chronotrack.com/event/results/event/event-6391?lc=en

Leadville 100 Profile

See you Sunday.

Posted: 04:00 MDT | PermalinkComments

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