Get High

I'm talking about the highest ultramarathon in the country...the Leadville 100 mile trail race! Yep, Coach Bob is once again subjecting himself to the rigors of starting at 10,200 feet and peaking at 12,600 feet. Why you ask? Well, my wife says because I am crazy but really, I just love seeing how far my body can be pushed. I live my one of my favorite sayings, "If you don't push your body to the limits, how do you know where your limits are?".

Leadville is just around the corner, August 18-19. I did the race and successfully finished in under the 30 hour cut-off time in 2005 but not without incident. At about mile 47, I really started to develop an excruciating pain in my right shin. It forced me to walk the last 50 miles and a few days afterwards, I found out I had a stress fracture.

Live and learn! Fast forward to 2007 and I'm going into Leadville with a vengeance. I know I can break 25 hours as long as I do not experience any biomechanical or anatomical challenges other than the normal fatigue along the way. So the next few Fuel4mance blogs will be devoted to my physical and nutritional preparation for Leadville. I think it is very important to share since it differs quite a bit from the traditional ultratriathlon prep.

Last weekend gave me almost 45 miles in a 22 hour span of time with a long, continuous run of 32 miles on mixed road and trail. Good nutrition (about 300 calories per hour and 16 ounces of fluid per hour which included an EFS bar, liquid gels, skittles and EFS sports drink mixed with one scoop of First Endurance Pre-race) during and aggressive post-run recovery (ice bath for 6 minutes, 2 bottles of First Endurance Ultragen immediately after and a nice continuous soak in a reservoir playing with my kids later that day) really lessened the effects of the run. Monday was a rest day and Tuesday I was back on the road!

This is just such a cool story with a lesson somewhere in there that I feel I must share. My excitement last weekend was on my sub 2 hour trail run when I encountered a black bear about 20 feet in front of me on a trail that I frequent by my house. Talk about getting goosebumps! I stopped dead in my tracks and observed what his next move would be. Luckily for me, he ran up the mountain into the trees. My wife tells me that my next move wasn't very smart but you have to understand that I was on track to break 1 hour on this climb and I couldn't just turn around without making it to the top. I mean, I'm a competitive person! So, yes, I continued on (at a much faster pace!), reached the top narrowly missing my one hour mark by 2 seconds and headed back down. It was almost more frightening running back down as I had no idea where ole blackie was! But, since you are reading this, I obviously survived and came out with a great story! Did you pick up on the lesson? If you did, let me know because I still don't know what it is! :-)

This weekend is the biggest of them all. I'll put in about 3 hours of pure trail running on Saturday (same bear trail!) and then will wake up at 2am on Sunday to head out for my 6 hour journey of which I will attempt to cover 40 miles continuously. Same recovery strategy of hopping in the reservoir with the kids since that worked so well last weekend!

Check back next week for an update on how my epic training weekend went and what I did nutritionally to be successful! Thanks for reading!

Coach Bob