LooseCrew-JeffO: Leadville Silver Rush 50M


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

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Leadville Silver Rush 50M

I know I'm not supposed to run - but I did.
So there.

I don't have photos, because it rained a lot. Kind of a whole lot. There were hours of perfect weather, though, and the rain wasn't so cold.

The rain started at 3am. I was sleeping in the back of my CR-V, and the air was extremely fresh. Sure beats sleeping in a motel.
Got up at 4:30 - still raining.
When the race started, it had let up mostly, but it was still sprinkling.
Lots of puddles. Hell - there were pools of water in the road.

My plantar was hurting before the race, so it was hurting during the race. But it was tolerable.
First aid station on-time for a PR. No rain.
Printer Boy aid station a few minutes late. That's actually a lot that early in the race. Wasn't feeling good, nor did I feel bad.
And that's the way it stayed, with me falling further and further behind last year's pace. I got to the turn-around way too late.
I decided to just take it easy on the return. If I'm not going to PR, why cause extra trauma to my plantar? I was obviously in terrible condition from months of sedentary living, albiet with a few, er, ultras thrown in here-and-there.

The first climb coming back, I took three puffs from my albuterol asthma inhaler. Came over the top, dropped down to see Ken Klouber on an ATV and low-5'd him on the way by. Then started up Ball Mtn again from the south. As I was breaking treeline again, thunder and lightening started. As I crested the side of Ball Mtn, it started hailing. I put my 4oz rain jacket on, but the hail stung right through it. The lightening was scaring me so I pretty much put the hammer down and ran for my life. It felt very good. At Venir aid station, I only filled one of my 20oz bottles, took no food, and kept racing down the mountain. And it still felt good. My plantar pain was subsiding. I didn't know where all this energy came from, but I sure did appreciate it. I wasn't exactly running like I used to, but not far off.

At the same time, I noticed my quads were loaded with painful lactic acid. I just ignored it and thought, "I'll pay for it tomorrow. Right now I'm busy."

This surge kept going, and it made no sense. How does a guy who is very out-of-shape suddenly shake off fatigue and start running like a maniac after 30 miles?
Coming out of Printer Boy aid station, at about mile 36, I thought of the albuterol. I became pretty sure there was no coincidence. I've experimented with albuterol in the past, but hadn't noticed much benefit. This time around, there was a very big difference! Probably because I was out of shape, it was more dramatic.
So I took a couple more puffs, my last of 3 fish oil capsules, and a caffiene pill. I did NOT want this surge to end!
And it didn't. My plantar hurt less and less. Certainly from an endorpin flood, and ibuprofen and aspirin.
But part of the surge was also caused by a tendon behind my left knee that hurt any time I walked. The only way to make it stop was to run. Kind of a convenient pain, huh?
The last 10 miles, it started raining again. All I had on was a sleeveless UnderArmour shirt. The rain was cold but my body was cranking heat in overdrive. I'll bet if I had stood still, visible steam would have been rising off my body. I didn't bother to put my rain jacket on. I just kept running.
A benefit of the rain was that it didn't make any difference if I ran through a puddle or around it. That made things easier.

Near the end, someone came knocking on my back door. I never found out who it was. I was less than a mile from the finish and wasn't going to get passed. I crossed the finish smiling big.
My 10:47 finish sucks, but those last 20 miles were awesome fun.

Ryan Burch crossed the finish in 7:00:01, missing his sub-7hr finish by a second. I feel guilty. I was returning to the trail from a #2 nature-experience when he ran by. I yelled that he was doing an awesome job. He almost stopped, losing more than a second, I'm sure. Granted, when you stop that briefly, it's a bit of rest, and you tend to go faster right afterwards such that it makes no difference. Pretty much. Probably. But it kind of eats at me. Even as I yelled, in the back of my mind I regretted it.
Can you imagine running the Leadville Silver Rush 50 in 7 hours?

No more running for me.
Until the Leadville 100 four weeks from now.


At 12:14 PM, Blogger mnodurft said...

Nice work! Must feel good to race, even though you weren't totally prepared, and probably shouldn't have run. But I am not the person who should tell you to rest on an injury. What's your prep for Leadville look like if you're not going to run? And how are you set for pacers/crew?


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