All of this training and the race is finally here. I decided that I would do this series back in December when I really locked down my training after gaining 10 lb. on my 2 month break from almost no running. By the time I signed up in January, it seemed so far away that it would never happen. Thankfully, I have been consistent with my training all year through the highs and lows (including the broken big toe. Throughout the broken toe times, I was able to focus on my biking and get it to a better place thus far and have been happy. I was even able to squeeze in a surprise 50 miler down at Jemez a few weeks ago as a final training push towards this goal. Before breaking my toe, my goal was to run this race in sub 4:30. I believed this was possible based on my last year's Salida Run through Time time of 4:00 and my Pikes Peak of 5:07 where I dogged it hard on the descent. I knew with solid training and a good race this would be possible. The first "test" race came this year at Salida where I hoped to shave 15 minutes and get a 3:45 as a healthy sign. Unfortunately, that race went well for the first half before ending differently than expected with the bonus miles and quad crippling cramps that forced downhill hiking. A 4:30 at Salida normally would indicate 5+ hours at this race based on statistics but I knew I had an off day that day due to the 12 hour puking episode the day prior. Anyhow, long story short, Leadman is about a path. It's not about winning or losing or place, but more about the personal Journey. This is all story of my journey including the toe and my expectation with the toe issues was honestly to pull a 4:45 at best given the lack of time on feet from expected. The Jemez race was an eye opener to what proper rest and recovery can do and my end result on this race was far more than I could have hoped for on my journey to earn the title Leadman.
|(All photos courtesey of Athlinks.com unless otherwise noted)|
The journey this year towards Leadman showcases that strong commitment. Only thing is that I am also strongly committed to other things. This is not an excuse but to show that determination. I have a Wife and Son whom I care dearly about and who get some time that would be otherwise training. I also was wrapping a Master of Science in Systems Engineering degree this spring that I ended up with a 4.0 in. Ok. now you get the point. I don't want to sound like I am bragging. Just trying to relay that I give 100%. Being sold on the Maffetone method a little over a year ago, I understand the importance of training smartly and at sustainable paces. I also understand the importance of minimizing cortisol. The way to do this is training at or below Maximum Aerobic Function efforts but also minimizing general life stress. While having a busy life filled with family, school, a job that includes shift work, and taking care of my grandmothers finances, I have figured out how to not be stressed. Basically, I decide to not let stuff stress me out. The one negative consequence is that things on the fringes are definitely effected and thus the reason this kind of training effort is a one time gig. Things like normal honey do chores around the house and hanging out with friends and family members have to be sacrificed. I hang on to the bare minimum of things that include time spent with my family when not training. So here we have it. Low Stress+Adequate Recovery+Consistent training+resting adequately=Recipe for success. I think the biggest strength so far is my flexibility. If I was planning a long run for a certain day and wasn't feeling up to it, I simply didn't do it. Sometimes I just did it the next day. Sometimes I skipped it. Point being that I never dropped off the radar and stayed consistent as displayed by 300+ hours of training from 1 Jan until this race.
Ok, so now that I talked your ear off, I haven't started reporting on the race yet. Well. Hold your horses or scroll down or something like that, there is more... So major advice to future Leadmen. When you sign up in January, book your lodging right then. Don't wait for open registration for other races as it becomes increasingly difficult to lock down lodging. I am already staying in Buena Vista for the 100s because I waited too long. I was able to snag this cool house for the Marathon though and I highly recommend the house and the owners. We stayed at 1010 Harrison Ave just a few blocks up from the start in a dog friendly house that was advertized to sleep 7. I found this house on VRBO.com for a decent price and it was perfect for our fam. I brought my wife, son, parents in Law, and my Bro in Law and his GF who were running the Marathon and Heavy Half as well. We all fit with beds to spare.