Tuesday, June 1, 2010


 I've been off the radar a bit with my jogging. It has been off my own mental radar quite a bit also. Jemez was an eye opener for me and has made me question whether ultra running is something that I not only enjoy but am good at. The two go hand in hand for me. I am almost over the fence on whether I will run Leadville or not. My wife has a chance to do a triathlon with some friends on that Saturday and to be honest, I would rather go watch her and support her. I do have the Teva Vail mountain running series thing bookmarked and those races look like a direction I may explore. Who knows. I don't.


skatona said...

It bums me out you don't enjoy ultras. Clearly you're good. You go out and say how awful everything is and still finish in the top 10% every time having a BAD day. Holy crap what happens when you have a good day (or even a mediocre day)?! Do you grow wings and just fly?

I'm betting that had you run the exact same Jemez course with a couple friends on a Wednesday, you would have come out of that saying it was one of the best times you've ever had on trails. You're pretty open about your aversion to competition and how it skews your outlook, but really, cut it out :)

Apparently what needs to happen is you need to be convinced the LT100 has been cancelled but there's a "time trial" at the same time on the same course so you go and enjoy yourself.

So uhhh....yeah....I heard the LT100's been cancelled but GZ and Nick are holding another TT the same day on the same course (what are the chances?!). Just for fun. Serious.

Brett said...

I'm not sure if Jemez counts as running quite honestly. I think that just told you that you don't like -those types- of races.

Do what you like. Do Pikes Peak Ascent and/or Pikes Peak Marathon instead. Do SJS50. Those are more up your league of challenging trail runs than scrambling and glissading anyway.

J.P. Patrick said...

Leadville is a totally different animal than the "ultras" you've done up to this point. Some of those sound more like wild goose chases or Fear Factor episodes.

Leadville is built for your talents! It's runnable (for you anyway!)and you're a pure runner... and you'd have to suffer some kind of blow to the head from a falling object to get lost. The TT's that you've been killing lately are WAY more technical than Leadville.

Don't pull up just yet!

Uli said...

Is Leadville such an extreme course as the 50miler you did?

Lucho said...

It's twice as far ;
What's bothering me most is that I don't want to walk in the door after workouts too tired to be a good father or a good husband. Is all of this worth sacrificing quality time with my family?

Anonymous said...

I'm in the same boat, sort of. I really enjoy running around the trails and even challenging myself on certain routes/hills but sometimes racing long (over 50 miles) is not that appealing. You could get good at it and, therefore, could begin to like it more. Just don't make the mistake of gnawing off too much too soon, i.e. Jemez as your second ultra and Leadville as your third.

Nick C would probably be the first to admit that he couldn't run 8:26 at Jemez two years ago; that's seasoning both in body and mind.

Dave said...

I don't want to sound unsupportive, especially in something I know nothing about, but the act of asking that question might be enough evidence that ultras are not the best use of your abilities. Investing that amount of time in training, only to surrender your fate to the vagueries of race day sounds intimidating to me.

Also, shorter trail races could be the perfect mix of mental challenge/physical speed that are perfect for you at this point. This uninformed spectator thinks you could do amazingly on the national scene. Either way, I would bet on you to do awesome things in the future.

Lucho said...

Thanks guys.
Dave- perfect... "Investing that amount of time in training, only to surrender your fate to the vagaries of race day".

I'm sick of myself being such a drama queen on race day. It's worse inside than the view from the outside.

Jeremy said...

From what I read in every entry you post Tim, you are a very good father and husband. You seem to balance your incredible training, your love of being in the mountains, and family responsibilities and enjoyment extremely well. If you DNS'ed Leadville, wouldn't you always wonder? Race with the energy and love that you have when running to and from your doorstep everyday.

Lucho said...

Jeremy- Thanks. I have tried! Really I have. Not sure what my problem is...

Matt said...

This "stage-fright" is nuts I guess Ironman enables one to hide behind the gadgetry (cap/goggles, bike, etc.)? And trail running is like streaking over the hill and through the woods with people you don't really know?

I think you might be crazy good at some shorter distances (the TTs suggest that). Pikes might be perfect.

100? That's pretty nuts. Train for 50 miles but run 25k or 50ks. The steeper the better. That way you're not as far from the family and the cooler. Seriously, Lucho.

Lucho said...

Matt- I'm convinced that my 'drama queen racing bull shit' is from needing to perform to pay my bills from racing pro at Ironman. I hate it. As much as my crap seems to suck from your (all's) perspective... it is 100 times worse from mine. But you have always been correct in that I love the trail and I think it's my gig!
I am fairly certain that the answer lies somewhere between killing the shit out of mountain climbs and finding the greatest IPA of all time... both are a beautiful thing.

Uli said...

Can you see yourself transitioning from a competitive athlete to someone who simply enjoys exercising without competing?

I'm 35 now and approaching my last year(s?) of the best I can be. Racing still motivates me but I never did and probably never will compete for AG placing. Hence, soon enough I will have to seek full enjoyment in simply working out/exercising (or should I say 'touring'?).

How do you see yourself in this situation? You said that you still need the races to enjoy training. That's how we are wired. But as an ex-pro, would doing the best you can do in comparison to people of your age be interesting enough to keep you training hard and compromising on other things?
Or would simply exercising and taking part in races as they come along be doable or worth doing for the sake of being part of it? Snowshoe in winter, a 10k in spring, a MTB Marathon in summer, CX in fall?

Lucho said...

Uli- Excellent question. I do see myself being able to exercise with out competing. But it would certainly be weight lifting and cycling primarily and running once in a while. I want to be a strong old guy.
But with 40 fast approaching for me I think the Masters running will give me another challenge with running.

GZ said...

I can't tell you to run Leadville or not.

I have an interest in if you do, but I am more interested in having you find the balance you seek between these imbalances of sport, family, work.

We have a gift to run long distances, at speeds that would wind most if they held them for a minute. We get to touch the sky on top of mountain ridges, and then bomb back down home at breakneck terrifying speeds, in glorious locations of mountains, deserts, trails and yes, even roads and tracks on occasion.

I think we feel a need to drink up every drop of that gift because if we don't we'd see the crime in that ... and I sense we'd probably be self loathing and bitter knowing we were given something that we threw away. And ultimately, I think we'd feel we failed as an example to those we love.

Maybe that is not the case for you. But I know you despise seeing those with a privilege scorn it.

Again, I am not saying that is manifested in Leadville. Only you know how you get to unwrap this present.

And shit, if you raced a thousand times more and they were all failures by your grading, I'd still take that as a life than someone who never toed the line or never took a chance because they feared failure.

I ain't doing a Pb TT. I have other bitches and demons to attend to in Manitou.

Lucho said...

G- Good stuff. I think my expectations were set at my first 50 miler. Now I feel I need to live up to that performance. This can also include my relative success in High School track, College track, and the Ironman. I was always good at what I did... now I'm struggling for the first time. I may need to back track and take baby steps instead of jumping both feet first in to this scene.

MtUnpaved said...

Competing in something you enjoy and NOT being at the very top of the game right off the bat is not a bad thing. It's sounds like you may be being pushed during your races more than you'd like and from a professional standpoint are struggling with that. Maybe taking a small step back and competing in 50k, 50mile and 100k races would be better

Lucho said...

MtUnpaved... I have been thinking this also. I feel like I need to figure out the shorter stuff before moving to a 100m. And I think I do like to compete, I just hate not winning.