Leadville training day 3....a true adventure....

Leadville training day 3...a true adventureTuesday's agenda was to run from the base of sugarloaf pass to twin lakes...27 miles. This was the monster I created in my mind. This was the hardest section for me last year.  Each direction.  Leadville race is 50 miles out and back.  Where we would start would be around mile 15 from the start. After my near implosion on Monday and flurry of emails to coach..we decided a phone call was in order.  I couldnt seem to change my perspective on what this section was going to be like. I thrashed my legs sunday and monday trying to push myself too hard, and I was physically, mentally, emotionally spent. It was a depth and a sense of dread I dont know that I have ever experienced before. Before, and during the first half of my conversation with coach I kept wishing he would say, "hey, you know what, you are spent, lets change this run, lets shorten the miles." Thank God he didnt. Both my coach and my pacer wanted to see me accomplish this course.  They could both see I needed to get past this.  I needed to do this run. By the last half of the conversation I was actually starting to believe I might survive this run. My biggest fear was that I would fall apart physically at mile 15....smack in the.middle of nowhere with no way of getting off the course but to go near 15 miles on foot in either direction. My legs were and are more fatigued than they have ever been at a point in training, and quite possibly in racing, where I still have so many more miles to put on them. Waaaaaaa.So enough whining. The only way I could believe I could complete this one was to make it as easy as possible. Oh, I also have to.mention my near fatal error.  I only brought one pair of trail shoes. I've put a ton of trail miles on em, including 3 ultra races. The last one had seemingly a million river crossings. The soles, I hadnt noticed, were separating form the toe and forefoot...bad. By the time I finished monday's night run, they were separated all the way to the mid foot. Too dangerous to continue on. I reaaaally did not want to spend a bunch of money on trail shoes I would wear for 3 days, but there was no way I'd be able to continue on these. So hit the outdoor adventure store and sure enough the shoes I would need were $120-$150. The only style she had that fit my feet were $150. I told the clerk my situation and she said there was a thrift shop down the way that often had running shoes. Worth a shot. Got there. Found the same $120 pair of shoes for $13. Except they were size 11, I wear size 8. Put em on and they felt great..just extended about an inch past my toes. I went for it. Started at the base of sugarloaf and we hiked to the top, 11,500 feet. I was feeling pretty good. Conserved well.  Hit the top of the infamous powerline. It is a two mile down a sandy, rutted out slide. Me and my ronald mcdonald shoes. Sure enough, about a mile down powerline, I tripped, landing on my left knee, hands, elbow, hip...an impressive 3-4ft slide anyway. Lots of strawberries. Needless to say, I was a bit pensive the rest of the way down, actually, the rest of the run. Remaining so aware of one's feet is mentally tiring. I did like the look of my new shoes, pink and yellow. I watched them intently as I passed over the terrain. Got to fish hatchery. The next 7-9 miles would be paved, then dirt, then forrest road until hitting the colorado trail. This is all reaaaally runnable. No hills to hike, no downhills to cruise.  One would think this would be the BEST part of the run. It would if it were the first part of the run, with fresh legs. Running Leadville last year, many runners were surprised and perplexed by how much focus this section took to remain running. I anticipated this. I got deep inside myself on this section and focused on the grain of the pavement and my breathing rythm....still sounding somewhat like a pregnant yak in labor. I had my pacer in front of me focusing on everything else...traffic, when to turn...As my kindergarten teacher once told me to do...I put my head down and colored hard. I was covering the miles well here. We got to the forrest road and pulled out the map so we could make sure we zeroed in on where we would meet the colorado trail. On the map it looks like you just take road 130 and hit the trail. The map didnt show 130a, 130b, 130c or 130d.  We had to guess.  We guessed wrong. We continued on forrest road until it became blatantly obvious we were nowhere near the colorado trail. We came to a ridge. Could see hope pass and orient ourselves to where twin lakes (and our car) would be.  Which would be straight across orivate land to the dirt road about a mile or so down the ridge and across a marsh. My pacer, the smarter one was a bit pensive about crossing barbed wire private property with potentially unruely bulls. I was derermined. I was actually a little afraid. I knew we still had plenty of daylight, but if we continued endlessly on intersecting forrest roads and it got dark we would be in for a real treat. As we traversed we nervously joked about land owners with guns...surely they wouldnt shoot a wee little girl in bright pink? And cows aren't aggressive beasts right? Is that fence electical? As we got into marsh with hip high grass I was more concerned about the serious threat of anacondas. Much more real a threat than any aforementioned...right? I mean who really knows for sure there aren't anacondas in colorado, with so much unexplored land? A cold weather cousin maybe? We hit the dirt road safe and sound and continued on. It seemed like forever before we made it back to twin lakes, but we did. We covered the same exact miles as was on the agenda almost on the nose. All resteraunts were closing now. 25 mile drive to leadville for groceries and dinner at 11:30 pm. I finished the run feeling good. I conquered the beast in my brain and had quite an unexpected adventure. It was a good day. Sent via the Samsung GALAXY S™4, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

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