Monthly Archives: August 2018

Leadville Trail 100 – My Leadville Diaries


The Leadville Trail 100 has captured my attention for a good part of three years. Prior to discovering this race running was mostly about getting to the finish line as fast as I could.  To run faster I avoided races with hilly terrain.  At that stage of my running career there was little adventure in my runs.  I was simply logging miles…some very flat miles.  Then I watched a movie call 1hundred and was captivated that people sought out and ran up mountains.  I also discovered the story of this sleepy little mining town high up in the Rockies.  I was hooked…

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If I was going to seek out a mountain, if I was going to run up a mountain I wanted it to be a big one.  Leadville may not offer the highest crest but with the majority of the race over 10,000 ft I felt this was the mountain race I needed to run.

“I will run and I will complete the Leadville Trail 100.”  Became my calling card.

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Fast forward to Aug, 2018.  The miles are done, the hay is in the barn….only final touches are left in my preparation.  Come along with me as I spend a little over a week in Leadville getting ready to run the biggest race of my life.

My Leadville Diaries:

Aug 9, Day 1 / 8 days till race day:  I drove out to the site of the May Queen aide station.  This site would serve as the first and last stops on my way to the Leadville belt buckle.

In this video diary I talk about why Leadville, how I’ve amp’d up my training for this race and my race goals.

Aug 10, Day 2 / 7 days till race day:  Facebook is great.  During my day 1 dinner (Pizza) I received an instant message from a FB friend asking if I wanted to run/hike Hope Pass with him.   At first I second guessed myself when I accepted.  Did I really want to go up Hope?  Did I really want to hang out with someone I had never met in person?  WOW….so glad I went.

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In no other sport/community do you meet as strangers (FB friends) and in the span of 3 hours and 3,000 feet you feel like lost souls. On this run we laughed, I learned, we told stories and shed a few tears.

In my day 2 diary I talk about why 100-miles, and what I do for nutrition on race day.

Aug 11, Day 3 / 6 days till race day:  I spent my third day in Leadville volunteering for the 100-mile Mountain Bike Race.  Instead of a video I have a few pictures from my adventure.  My first assignment of the day was to work the starting corral (4 a.m. until 6 a.m.) in the gold corral…with all the elite level bike riders.  Being this up close and personal with such talent was humbling.  The start of the race was impressive and inspiring.

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After the 6 a.m. start I got reassigned with two friends, Stacy and Sho to help with traffic management on the north side of Twin Lakes Dam, aka “parking duty.”  All my experience marshaling aircraft in the USAF came in handy.  Not one signal parking indecent, but I’m here to tell you parallel parking is a lost art.

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After the parking rush was over I was able to get out on the course to watch as a few of the riders made their return trip back to Leadville, mile 60.

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Once done with parking Stacy drove us around to each of the locations for the run aid stations.  An experienced Leadville crew member she pointed out helpful race day hints/tips for crewing.  I’ll post this information in my upcoming videos.  After our site survey of the run course we headed back to Start/Finish line.

Back at the finish line we were able to watch a few of the riders come home.  This time at the finish line really inspired Sho and I for our adventure, running the Leadville Trail 100.

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Aug 12, Day 4 / 5 days till race day:  I could not be in town and not run the Leadville Trail 10k…it would be un-American, right?  But I wasn’t here to race the 10k.  I simply wanted to get a feel for my race day intervals and/or work on my race day plan for the first leg of the 100-mile race, Leadville to May Queen.  I completed the race in 1:00:53, good for 169/435 overall.  Best of all I felt strong the entire 6.2 miles…

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In this installment I talk about the Leadville 10k, how I plan to handle the two rivers crossings during the race and the use of hiking poles.

Aug 13, Day 5 / 4 days till race day:  Today I linked up with three friends and toured the locations for the aid stations along the Leadville race course.  I also asked Mike and Jim “Why 100-miles and why Leadville.”

Check back for my next installment of my Leadville Diaries.

 


Running – How to start running


For the beginner any new hobby, lifestyle or line of work can be intimidating.  Running can be one of the most “scary” things a person can do to regain their fitness.  After all the actual task of running is a solo activity.  Running tends to expose your weakness and provides very little cover to hide behind.  Running can be humbling, your either in shape or you’re not and after a few feet, yards or miles your level of fitness will be exposure.  Finally running is the easiest form of exercise to get wrong…and end up injured.

So how does someone who desires to get fit begin on a running routine.  This is one of the most popular questions from friends, co-workers and anyone looking to run.

10-Tips to Start You on The Right Running Path.

#10  Visit your doctor/health care provider.  Ensure they give you the green light to begin any fitness routine.

#9  Invest in a good pair of shoes, AND get fitted by a running professional.  We all love the flash of a colorful pair of shoes.  We would all like to strut around in the latest Air Jordan’s…but your running shoes must fit your needs.  A trained professional at your local running store has the knowledge, training and experience to help you find the right pair for your feet.

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 (Topo Athletic are my shoe of choice,
but the best shoe for you is the best shoe for you)

Some running stores that I have personal experience with:

In Wake Forest, NC see Run-N-Tri-Outfitters

In Richmond, VA see Lucky Road Running Store

In Newport News, VA see Point 2 Running Company

In Virginia Beach, VA see Running ETC.

AND In Las Vegas, NV see Red Rock Running Company

A good pair of shoes can make or break your running experience.

#8  Walk don’t run.  As bad as you would like to start running, you wouldn’t take your Ferrari straight from the show room or out of storage and race it up to 100-miles per hour on the first outing.  The same warm up approach needs to be applied to your body.  I recommend starting your running career by walking first.  This will allow your body to get used to the motion, regain some up-front fitness and settled into a more active life style.

The best way to start running is to walk first.

#7  Find a community.  Running is a solo activity, face it no one can run the miles for you but you can run them with friends and like minded people.  Your local running store or running club can find you a good group to link up with.  I have found that runners are a great bunch of people, we love to share our experiences and enjoy lifting up others.

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(It takes a community to do what we do…join one)

Reach out on the Social media side.  Sure there is a lot wrong with the internet, be careful online, but I have met a lot of great people, and forged some long term relationships within the online running community.

There is power in numbers…a good group helps to motivate, inspire, hold accountable and make your run more enjoyable.  Find your community.

#6  Set some goals and rewards.  In running it’s okay to bride yourself.  I set short term and long-term goals.  If I complete my long run I get ice cream, if I do well in a race an extra day off…if I hit my monthly goals I get a new shirt, shorts or some piece of running gear I’ve had my eye on.

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 (Bling makes my heart sing and my legs move….)

Provide a target to measure your success…how will you know how awesome you are without a measuring stick.

#5  Run for someone else.  I have a friend who dedicates all her miles to a little boy named Aiden.  I don’t know Aiden well, but I would guess he would give anything to be able to run…Once you run for someone else it enables you to view your ability as a gift, one that should not be wasted.

At Seven bridges marathon I ran for a little boy named Isaiah…changed my day.

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 (It’s about more….)

Run for those who wish they could.

#4  Take rest days.  Once bitten by the running bug it’s easy to overdo it.  Your body needs rest to recover and grow stronger.  View rest days as an important part of the training plan.

Running and resting go hand in hand…take advantage of it.

#3  Seek out inspiration.  Read race reports, visit blogs, subscribe to running magazines and read a book on the gene of running you enjoy most.  There is inspiration in the victories of others.  There is lessons to be learned in the struggles of others.  There are goals to be set in the inspiration of others.  In most sports, you can only sit on the couch or on the sidelines watching your favorite team or player.  Running offers you the opportunity to retrace their literal footsteps as you venture over the very terrain they did.

Shameless plug for my books here.

Be inspired by others and then go follow them.

#2  Follow a plan.  You can either hire a professional coach or follow your own plan, but either way learn from the experiences of others.  There are many highly trained running coaches out there who would love to help you.  You can locate a coach either thru your local running store, gym, or on-line.  Most coaches have years of experience, have passed accreditation tests and have a desire to help you succeed.  An outside perspective can help you reach your fitness goals.

If a coach is beyond your budget, or if you simply like blazing your own trail, download a proven plan as a baseline and adjust your training to your lifestyle and fitness goals.

Plan for your success and follow it, tweak it, BUT enjoy it.

#1  Enjoy the run.  For some running is about racing, conquering difficult terrain, breaking new barriers and for others running is about the experience.

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 (Really experience the run)

Smell the roses, witness the deer in the forest, enjoy the first rays of sunlight on the water front, feel the warmth of your soul on your skin, be scared to push your body, cry for the victory of others and live in the run!

Running can be a lifetime activity.  Be sure you get off on the right foot.

Do you have tip to help the new runner?  Drop it in the comments section below, Thank you!