The 2012 Leadville 100 Trail Run is just a few days away. Leadville is my big race for the year – and to say I’m looking forward to it would be an understatement. I’d like to have a great day so in preparation I have been:
- Only running every other day for the last month. Definitely unconventional, but I found myself flirting with injury, fatigue and burnout following a heavy race schedule this spring. I figure I have more to gain with being healthy and rested – rather than more training. We’ll see how this new routine translates into performance this weekend, but I have a hunch I’m onto something!
- Seeing a therapist to help me overcome the guilt I am experiencing about asking my pacer Christian Johnson to mule for me. You see, I was raised to believe that “friends don’t ask friends to carry their shit.” My professional counsel has assured me that after 50 miles I will not experience ANY guilt and that my new mantra may be “friends carry their friends’ shit.”
- Working on core strength. On my non-running days I’ve been lifting weights, cutting, splitting and stacking wood, and getting intimate with an exercise ball. Matt Hart seems to think it’s important – and I consider his advice to be solid.
- Icing my aching shins following too much “jumping” at a Michael Franti concert last night. My confidence that I can run a hundred miles in a moderately dignified manner has been undermined by the reality that two hours of jumping and dancing have left my shins inflamed and my calves sore.
- Creating crew instructions that I know will get completely thrown out after the first aid station. I would be better served by practicing how to say “I’m feeling like an espresso gel right now rather than vanilla bean like I asked you to have ready. Thank you for being patient with me and adapting to my fickleness. I am very fortunate to have you here. Thank you for all your help!!” rather than my usual, “I don’t want vanilla bean (accented by throwing the gel on the ground). Give me an espresso! Can’t you tell what I need??!!”
- Altitude training. Yep – I painted the outside of the house this past weekend spending the better part of both days more than 30 feet off the ground. My best estimate is that this could result in up to a 23-second improvement in my performance due to this adaptive effort. Perhaps a second and third coat of paint this week could result in running an entire minute faster??
- Visioning the race in my head during training runs. I imagine myself light on my feet with a quick turnover, almost effortlessly moving along the trail enjoying that amazing feeling that comes when one is fit, healthy and has their head in the right place. I’m cautiously optimistic that Saturday will be that kind of day for me! We’ll see…