The Leadville Marathon.
26.2 miles in 3:45.
8:36 pace with 6000+ vertical gain.
Whew. So happy to get that first race done! I had never stepped foot on the Leadville Marathon course so my time goal was arbitrary and really I just wanted feel OK and race well. Neither of those panned out. My climbing legs were absent from the gun and I never felt good on the climbs (excuse #1- too much biking in the last few weeks I think), a bad thing with that course profile. The winner, Marshall Thomson, was over a minute behind me at Mt Evans two weeks ago but today he simply ran away from me in the opening mile. By mile 4 I had completely disengaged from racing and started to think about my training on the bike this coming week (excuse #2). I hiked much of Mosquito Pass (miles 10-13) and on the descent I developed blisters on the balls of both my feet (excuse #3), something another athlete said also happened with her Hokas. By mile 16 I was in total shut down mode trying to run gingerly to avoid having the blisters open up (excuse #4) and I simply held a steady relaxed effort to the finish hoping that it was enough to put time on my fellow Leadman competitors. A bad race that luckily turned out OK so I can't whine (much).
Sunday my legs felt very good and I was able to get in a solid bike. The blisters are only mild and won't be an issue, had I tried to hammer the last 10 miles it may have turned out much worse... so a couple of positives.
The next race is the Silver Rush 50 mile mountain bike in two weeks. Last year this was the race that put me in the emergency room for a ct scan, so I have a demon. From the day I entered Leadman this race has weighed heavily on my mind, maybe more than the 100 run. It's a good reminder that in order to win Leadman you first have to finish and that anything can happen.