In thinking about what went down last weekend, I'm really just so glad I finished the race. A time of 22:40 (even as I still believe I was in sub-20 or at the least sub-21 shape) is quite good--all things considered--and I'm glad I was able to battle through some tough spots, including my horrible puking episode at the Hopeless aid station. Mostly because of cramps and stomach distress, I spent seven hours on the Hope Pass double crossing--an hour and fifteen minutes more than I should have. I felt pretty awful for the first 65 miles and then broke through and had a strong final 35 miles in which I passed probably three dozen runners and literally ran up the Powerline climb (something very few runners do that late in the race). While I'm still pretty competitive at heart, I'm thrilled to have finished Leadville, because I know how painful it is to DNF your A-race.
In thinking back to the race, I realize my nutrition strategy at Leadville is still far from perfect. It's very hard to eat at 10,000+ feet! After four races there, it's ridiculous that I still haven't figured out a good nutrition plan. Whereas Perpetuem seemed to work well for me in 2011, this year it was a disaster. I'm really intrigued by GU Roctane and will give it a try this fall. It may be the ticket for next year--I hear it's packed with calories (240/serving), good-tasting and fairly light. Whatever the case, I simply have to find a way to get 300 calories in me every hour.
So, going into 2013, I'm adding "figure out nutrition" to my to-do list. It's a huge need.
As for what I may do for the rest of 2013, I'm seriously considering the Rock 'n Roll Denver Marathon in October. If not that marathon, then maybe the half. Other races that cross my mind are the Run Rabbit Run and Bear Chase 50-milers. I would pick just one of those three races. I'm most certainly doing a local 5K in a few weeks--it's an annual tradition for me and it's for a good cause (raises money for soldiers). I know my speed is lacking right now, so I won't go into the 5K with huge expectations (sub 19 would be nice). I'm also going to hit the weights soon and work on my hips, glutes, hamstrings and quads. I think the weight training I did last winter had a huge payoff. Plenty of skiing this winter will provide some needed cross-training benefits and a bit of rest.
After Thanksgiving,, I'll probably transition back to Maffetone Method training and stay with that for four months or so. I'm definitely entering the Western States 100 lottery and, if I get in, that'll be my goal race in 2014. If I don't get into Western States, which will probably be the case, then Leadville or maybe some other mountain 100-miler will be the focus. One of these days I'll tackle two "to-dos" that continue to stay on the list:
- Fast 100K road race (Mad City?)
- One more crack at 24 hours - did 131 in 2009 and would like to go for 140