LooseCrew-JeffO: Lead King Loop


Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lead King Loop

After the Run Rabbit Run 50, Paul G and I left late - it was after sundown but not yet dark.
We never actually went into Steamboat Springs. We had gone only to the ski resort where the race was held and were now leaving. After a couple of years of running in the Steamboat Marathon and then lounging for hours at Strawberry Park Hot Springs, it seemed a travesty to have to leave.
I was hurting. More accurately, I was a train-wreck! My lungs were constantly filling with phlegm sending me into hacking fits. My quads were blown. Both ankles and both knees and my right hip were hurting.
Then I started saying how stupid I was and how doing that weekend was the dumbest thing I could think of doing. I'm old - maybe I should act like it!
Paul just said, "You'll be amazed at how much better you'll feel after a few hours of sleep.
Problem was, hacking the way I was, and sore like I was, I don't normally sleep at all - no matter how tired and sleepy I am.
I just kept nursing myself with Muscle Milk, Gatorade, beef jerky, pizza, water, vitamin I (ibuprofen), and ice. I stretched some and massaged and moaned and groaned.

We got to our camping spot around 11pm north of Marble. Lightening was all around us and the ground was very moist, but not muddy. We laid our sleeping bags out and were fast asleep. So much for me not being able to sleep - I died - slept like a corpse for 5 hours.
Then a particularly loud explosion woke me up. It was thunder, but it didn't rain.
The night was warm. It was too warm to zip up my sleeping bag. I had to have one leg out to keep from overheating. I never have had trouble with cold legs when running or otherwise. My legs are always hot, especially after a run. I'm sure that if looked at with infrared goggles, my legs would show up like white phosphorous.

At 5am, we rolled up our sleeping bags and got ready for the race. By 6am, we were in Marble at the Beaver Lake Lodge as the Lead King Loop RD was getting things set up. We were the first ones there - even the runners who stayed in the lodge weren't out yet.
We grabbed our packets and pinned our numbers with over an hour to spare. While we were doing that, it started to rain for a few minutes but stopped.
With so much time left, we sat in Paul's truck and fell asleep for another hour and woke 30 minutes before race start.

Again, in spite of all the rain, it wasn't cold. I think the rain was coming from the leftovers from the hurricane that hit Mexico the week before, so it was a warm system.
Runners gathered and I recognized quite a few faces. Tim and Anita had followed from Steamboat, so we had no monopoly on insanity. Bernie Boetcher was there, and several people who's names escaped me. Kasandra from Leadville had run a half marathon the day before and was also doing a double.
Standing there a minute before the start, I lifted my left knee, which hurt. I said, "Ow," quietly and Kassandra started laughing. It really was funny how Anita, Paul, Kasandra and I were all lined up like walking wounded and the race hadn't even started.

The race started and I tried to keep up with Anita and Paul but my ribcage felt awful. After half a mile I said, "Screw this," and started walking. Paul and everyone else soon was out of sight ahead. Anita slowed and I caught up after a mile. We walked together for a few miles as the course got steeper. Like Run Rabbit, the first 5.5 to 6 miles were up, up, and away.

It was beautiful! So sorry, but I forgot my camera! Burn me at the stake for that - the scenery at the Lead king Loop is the best of ANY race I've ever done! The Fall colors were starting to come out, there were curtains of rain clouds sweeping across us, there were greens, golds, grays, blacks, whites, blues, browns, etc.

With all the climbing done, and me pulling ahead of Anita, she told me not to let her hold me up. It took a full mile of downhill for my legs to finally get some circulation going. Then I was cruising at nearly full speed - but doing so with several miles of deficit. Kasandra, Anita, Paul, myself, and a couple of older women were the last 6 runners strung out behind the others.

Since I was so far back, and had forgotten my camera, I really didn't care. I took a side-trip to see a waterfall and the rapids next to the road. Later, we passed the famous Crystal Mill. I spent nearly 4 minutes there talking to a couple of hikers. The two older women passed by as I spoke and I didn't even care. Wow, that mill is bigger than I thought and it's been worked on to stablize it. The singles are kept in good shape.

On I went, finally, until I got to Lizard Lake. Wow again. This lake is beautiful! It was glassy and clear with tons of seaweed growing in it. Not the gross green mossy stuff but healthy light-brown water weed. There was a camp site next to it. I'd love to return later this year - maybe in Winter - to camp there.

The aid stations were great. I especially liked the mom and her young daughters. Very cute.

At the finish, I won a pair of Brooks Cascadias. There were three tables full of food that we attacked.

Paul G and I before leaving for Denver

Bernie Boetcher told me he came in 2nd, and pointed out the guy who won. I guess it was a 3-second difference. Our conversation was abruptly ended by a powerful gust. Without hesitating I ran for Paul's truck and got there the instant the hail and rain started. The very last person had crossed the finish seconds before, so I think the Creator was watching.

Another beer glass, another great tech shirt, trail mix, etc. A very good time.

A good thing I went slow - it ended up being a recovery hike/run instead of adding to my misery. Still, I ended up with my left ankle swelling from the rock that bashed me during the Leadville 100, my right ankle hurt even though I never twisted it or bashed it, both knees hurt, and my right hip hurts.
I've been doing lots of sleeping. Haven't had much time. Busy, busy, busy. Running around hither and yon. I did manage to walk 2.6 miles at Wash. Park while everyone else ran two laps.

Tuesday I had an appointment with Lucy where she spent 90 minutes working on me - mostly my legs. Ouch, she hurts me so good. I love Lucy 'cause she kneeds me so.

My left big toe nail has been hurting since the 50. Now the nail is rising. An infection has developed underneath and is starting to run away and push it up. I've soaked it twice in a mixture of hydrogen-peroxide and alcohol, plus this morning I spread Neomycin around it before putting my sock on. Tonight I need to do surgery with scalpel, syringe, and saline solution. I'm not looking forward to it. Either I do it now, or a doctor will have to do it later.


At 8:53 PM, Blogger Meghan said...

I'd say it doesn't matter much how fast you ran either of these runs. Aren't they just time-on-feet endeavors?

Nice time this weekend, sure wish you had a camera for this beautiful second day. Then again, I am horrible about carrying a camera, so I'll shut up now. ;)

As for your toe, are you sure it's an infection? Or is it just fluid build-up from wear-and-tear on your toe? If it's an infection that's running, you should get on an antibiotic pronto. Those suckers move fast. If it's just pressure buildup, get under your toenail from the front with a sterilized sewing needle and poke a bunch of holes to drain fluid. And then, keep doing that, like 3-4 times a day. I thought I was going to lose 3 toenails from my 50 from fluid buildup, but I kept them drained enough that it didn't traumatize the nail bed enough to lose the toenails. Hallelujiah!

Recover happy! Does Lucy know you talk like this about her? ;)



Post a Comment

<< Home