I don't know if it is dumb luck or not but the excitement of my last long run in preparation for Leadville included another bear spotting. I was running with my friend/Leadville racing partner and we spotted the black bear a couple of hundred feet from us. While it was not the close encounter I had last weekend of having the bear about 20 feet in front of me, it was still quite an adrenaline rush! The bear was running in the same direction we were headed so we proceeded with caution down the trail to see where he was headed (and to try to finish our run!).
Lucky for us he disappeared and we were able to continue on, although not without frequent checks behind us to see if he was going to surprise us! After the bear spotting, the wildlife viewing was a bit more boring...only about 22 deer and a hawk. Did I mention how much I love Colorado?!
This last big build week was a success. I logged in 64 miles which is the most I have ever run in one week and my body feels great outside of not being able to shake this cold that I have had for 2 weeks. I have entered my taper phase and will take the next 2 days off with another one spaced on later this week to get my immune system healthy again.
This weekend started with a 13 mile trail run on Saturday followed by a 30-miler on Sunday, which started at 2am! It wasn't the 40 miles that I had hoped for but it was better to cut it short due to time (I wanted to get home to see my kids and let my wife have her training time...remember priorities!) and I just couldn't ding my immune system more than I already had. It was a bit difficult getting out of bed and trying to run 30 miles on a few hours of sleep but Leadville doesn't care how much sleep you had or not. Leadville beats you up physically and mentally so it's important to prepare for that. I didn't practice that in 2005 and swore that I would not make those mistakes again!
As for my long run nutrition, I consumed 4 bottles of EFS lemon-lime with 1 scoop of Pre-race in each (200mg of caffeine!), a bag of Skittles, a white bread and cheese sandwich (hold the mustard and mayo) and 1.5 EFS bars. I should have eaten more and will make note of that for Leadville. I had to milk my last ounce of fluid the last 7 miles as we did not encounter a fluid replenishing station but I did survive until I reached home base, albeit dehydrated! Post-run saw me immediately consume a bottle of Ultragen (which was already prepared and waiting in the fridge when I got home...I preach being nutritionally prepared post-exercise!) then heading to the river by my house for a lower body soak of 8 minutes in the ice cold water followed by another bottle of Ultragen. Later that day I was at the swim beach with the kids, soaking the lower body in lake water in between building sand castles and buring my kids in the sand. Today, I feel great! No soreness, no aches and pains. I highly recommend ice baths post-long training.
During every run the only thing I can focus on is Leadville (except for keeping an eye out for bears!). I am completely ready for this "race" mentally and physically feel like I can really do very well.
Stay tuned for the next post. I'll include some photos of my nutrition preparation strategies so you can see the time I take to plan out my nutrition. I know, that's a shocker!