7/8 - 10.6 miles. 3:07:25. 2650'v. Lower Bear Creek Trail. Easy with Richard.
7/9 - Rest.
7/10 - 4.3 miles. :49:33. Stagecoach.
7/11- 3.59 miles. :36:17. Stagecoach.
7/12 - 2.30 miles. :26:42. Stagecoach.
7/13 - Rest.
7/14 - Rest. Travel to Leadville. Set up camp, eat and relax.
7/15 - Leadville Silver Rush 50 Mile. 47.5 miles. 9:49:56. 7,382'v.
7/16 - Rest. Despite feeling completely thrashed after the race yesterday, I felt pretty good when I woke up the next morning. My legs didn't start feeling sore until around noon the next day and then pretty rough in the afternoon. Slept OK that night but could feel my legs. Took an extra round of Juice Plus and drank alot of juice and berries for anti-oxidants.
7/17 - Rest. Pretty sore, primarily in the quadraceps but not so much anywhere else. A little soreness on top of my left foot. Slept like a champ.
7/18 - 3.42 miles. :39:08. Stagecoach. Easy road run felt awesome. Legs really weren't sore today at all. Just fatigued a bit but the run seemed to help shake out the cobwebs.
7/19 - 4.39 miles. :45:05. Stagecoach. Ran a few easy miles after starting out a little quick. Legs feel pretty good at the beginning of the run but after a while they felt a little dead. Walked a little, too.
7/20 - Rest.
7/21 - Spring Creek Memorial Trail Run. 9 miles. 1:17:24. My third year running this race and I just love it. This year, the field was much smaller and alot of fast people didn't show up so it was anybody's race up front. Local Austrian-stud-speedster, Harald Niedl, who always seems to finish in the top five of whatever race he's in, finally scored a win in 1:11. Followed by high school stand-out runner, Chris Zirkle. I was feeling good and went out fast at the start, running in 4th, but knew the pace was too hot for me and even asked if anyone wanted to pass as we rolled down the first hill, across the first bridge and onto the gradually uphill rocky trail. Several people passed me before we made the climb up to the actual Spring Creek trailhead. I eased into a strong powerhike once we turned off the single track and started up Elevator Shaft, a steep drainage that course follows for a few hundred vertical feet. I opted not to pass immediately and stayed behind a few people to keep my breathing and heart rate down and felt really good the entire climb through the ferns and aspens. There were several trees downed along the course but even the tallest ones didn't really impede my ascent as I began to alternate running into my climb. I passed about 4 runners on the climb and soon caught site of Walter McGill as we made a gradual descent through the trees on a somewhat rocky trail. I could see Kelly Heany about 15 yards in front of Walter. About a mile later, we all emerged from the forest together and turned on a dirt road to leave the Tatanka Ridge property. We lamented running the dirt road up to Dry Lake as our least favorite part of the race. Having done this race a couple of times now, I know that the 3/4 mile dirt road climb can be really tough. It's a grind and there is one spot where you can't see around the corner but it looks like you are at the top and then you go a little farther and see the road just keeps going up. By this time another runner had caught us, so the four of us relaxed a bit and we talked a little bit as we ran. A few minutes later, we finally reached the Dry Lake parking lot and I sped up to be the first one on Spring Creek Trail. I was feeling really good as we started the 4.5 mile descent to the finish and I love to run this trail downhill. It's just a blast. There are 13 bridges that you cross as the dirt trail snakes it's way through aspen and pine trees, rocks, logs, ferns and water. There are a few small ascents along the way but overall the trail drops a couple thousand feet over those 4.5 miles. It's sublime. The rest of the way down the trail, I just tried to maintain a fast but in control cadence. In last year's race, I ran the down hill too hard and the last mile or so really hurt. I wanted to avoid that this year and be able to run strong at the end and enjoy the experience. Cruising over the final miles of the course, I just felt rock solid and kept wondering if I should push harder or maintain. I found myself wishing someone was close enough behind me to scare me into running faster. In the end, I'm amazed at how my legs have recovered from Silver Rush because I felt I could have run faster. My legs just felt that solid. In hindsight, I wish I had worn a watch for this race. I ran by feel today and even when I was going hard I was pretty much in control. If I had worn a watch, I would've set split-time goals for the ascent and descent and pushed harder to make those goals. If I had pushed a little harder at any time during the race I'd be able to claim a PR for the course instead of finishing five seconds slower than last year! Oh well, I finished sixth. Top ten three years in a row! Woo-hoo!
7/22 - Rest. Ahh. Feels good to stay home and relax.
The last couple weeks have been pretty solid. I had a nice taper going into Silver Rush and the legs felt good and delivered on race day. I knew I was capable of posting a sub-10 finish and I ran a smart enough race to make it happen, even if I had a rough spot at the end. I think my troubles really stemmed more from the nutrition end and not fitness because I still had leg strength but was just feeling lousy in my stomach and head. Between the altitude and heat, I was lacking adequate electrolyte intake because I kept watering down my Gatorade over the last 2.5 hours. The nausea was a real eye-opener though. In a way, I'm glad I experienced that so that I know what will happen if I fall behind on fueling. Lesson learned there.
Recovery after the 50 was also the best it's ever been. I was feeling it Monday and Tuesday, after the race, but ran easy on Wednesday and Thursday, without any discomfort. Friday off seemed like enough rest to run hard at Spring Creek and I'm just a little sore (mostly hamstrings) and fatigued today (Sunday). With less than two months until Run Rabbit Run, I will keep up with my 3 scheduled maintenance runs during the week and long runs on the weekend. I'm hoping to work out a 40-mile wilderness run with Richard Williams in mid-August, that will be my last long run before RRR. The only race I might do in August is Continental Divide but as much as I like that race, I'm not 100% sure that will register.