Leadville 2012 vs Leadville 2013 Part II

Leadville 2012 vs Leadville 2013 Part II
The Crew

LEADVILLE 100 2013

Pre Race

This year I moved to Estes Park, Colorado in January so I had over a year of living at altitude and training in mountainous terrain. I believe I did roughly 30 mountain summits including 8 of which that were 14ers. I also managed a couple of trips up Longs Peak and a traverse of the Mummy Range and a Continental Divide crossing. However, my mileage per week dipped a little below where I like it to be for the summer but my race actually turned out better this year. I attribute this to the SAID principle or specific adaptations to imposed demands. Because the majority of my long runs were run/hikes in the mountains I feel I was better prepared for a race with ample elevation gain. Additionally, I did a lot more racing and track workouts this summer; including the Collegiate Peaks 50 and the Estes Park Marathon (which I will describe at another time).

Summer Mileage:

1 (Last Week in May)101.6888.47
2 (First Week in June)102.8591.52
6 (Last Week in June)111.7790.70
7 (First Week in July)101.58105.31
10 (Last Week in July)123.3792.94
11 (First Week in August)111.05107.49
13 (Race Week)147.36131.50

Leadville Split Comparison

2012 vs 2013 Leadville Splits (Green means faster than 2012 and red means slower than 2013)


May Queen and Fish Hatchery

This year I camped out with my crew and I slept slightly better than in 2012 but still got very little rest. The race started out even quicker than last year and I was feeling pretty good but took a slight turn off course with a small pack of runners and added about a half mile to the race. However, I still made it into the aid station a little quicker than last year. I was able to run all the way up Sugar Loaf this year but I took it a little easier down powerlines. I kind of missed the old location of Fish Hatchery aid station but only for nostalgia sake.

Half Pipe/Twin Lakes/Hope Pass

The middle section was a little tougher for me this year, I was hurting on my way into Half Pipe so I alternated running and walking for a few miles. I came into Twin Lakes quite a bit slower this year and remember telling my pacer, Apryle, that she would have her work cut out for her getting me back up and over Hope Pass. I jogged to the water crossing and then hiked the remainder to the top in about the same time as last year.

Winfield/Hope Pass/Twin Lakes

I was actually able to run down into Winfield this year in a respectable time (3:00 per mile faster than last year). I felt great until I reached the road and then the fatigue and realization that I had not eaten anything on the way down set in. I got to the aid station and I was out of it to say the least, I can remember that I lost 9 pounds and was having trouble standing back up. My dad fed me while Apryle covered me in sunscreen, while I was helpless in a chair. For some reason I got up and we headed back up the pass. I can remember wanting to lay down in what was probably the most uncomfortable spot on the coarse but I could not bring myself to walk any longer. When I got up Apryle did an amazing job of making sure I ate something every couple of minutes and by the time I was at the top of the pass I was feeling great. I truly believe that this race is finished with your stomach not your heart (although I’m not discrediting the romanticized tails of finishing this race with your heart it is a big part of it). I actually ascended in about the same time as last year and descended a little slower (planned).

Half Pipe/Fish Hatchery

As I got into Twin Lakes I met up with one of my best friends from high school, Craig Genet. I have put in more miles with Craig than any other person I know. Craig and I have been running together for almost 8 years and having him as a pacer was only fitting. We put in several miles in Estes Park this summer after he moved to the small mountain town as well. My crew was a well oiled machine with Tiffin Legend Walt Szablewski leading the crew for a second year along with Craig’s sister Catherin (Big Cat), and two of the toughest and fittest people I know Apryle Craig and Craig Genet. Craig and I set off on the trail to Half Pipe where I took it real easy. I did not want a repeat of 2012 so I walked nearly all of it and got into Half Pipe 16 minutes slower that last year. However, Craig and I started hammering the pace into Fish Hatchery and I made up over 40 minutes from last year! I think my strategy coupled with Apryle’s insistence on eating every couple of minutes paid off.

May Queen/Finish

What a difference a year makes, came into Fish Hatchery, put on some warm cloths grabbed some food and took back off on the road. The time spent on the cot this year was non-existent. Apryle and I took off to tackle Sugar Loaf Pass in a steady walk. It was a brutally seemingly endless assent to the top of the pass that I still do not really want to go into detail about. Suffice to say that I am glad I had such a great pacer for the two mountain passes. We cruised down into May Queen where we met up with the crew and enjoyed the energized atmosphere of the final aid station. I remember saying as Craig and I left that we would see them at the finish around 4am. I felt great and in complete control around the lake with Craig keeping a solid clip going. As we hit the Boulevard, Apryle swapped back in to pace in place of Craig and we started ramping up the pace. We probably rolled up about 15 people in the last 4 miles. It was a exciting movement to have all my crew surrounding me as I run toward the finish. I quickly put on the indelible blazer (a high school mascot of sorts) and turned on the after burners over the line.

I was very pleased overall with how the race went, I will always be striving to improve my time but I cannot complain about breaking 24 hours. I knocked off over 2:24 minutes from 2012 and I feel that I can do the same in 2014. Once again I could not have done it without the support of my crew: Dad, Apryle, Craig, Big Cat and Mom back at home routing me on! Grad school should add a new complexity to things but I hope to be back for round 3 next year!

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