Monday, December 5, 2016

What Happened?

A couple people have asked what happened this year to improve my running. Dan would say I had a second kid. For years he's been trying to convince me that was the key to my success! After all it seemed to work for Kerrie Bruxvvort so that had to be the missing piece for me. Right?!?! Well I did change up somethings this year, aside from being a mom to two boys, and I think that it really paid of for me. 

1. Nutrition
Over the winter I knew one thing I really had to work on this year was my nutrition both in general and during races. I did a lot of research on race nutrition and what I decided to try was to simplify my nutrition to one type of sugar and to keep my electrolytes separate from my calories. It was fine to mix them but I wanted to be able to adjust the electrolytes based on conditions. After trying a few different things I reluctantly tried Dan's 50 lb bag of maltodextrin and Nuun. Well it worked on that first long run, so I tried it again and again. I'm sure there will be another race where my stomach turns south, but for now I'm sticking with the plan because it's working. I've mentioned before, but I also ate considerably more than I have in the past. I averaged 120-150 calories/hour...every hour until the end. Part of what helped was not puking. But keeping the calories coming in definitely helped my performance.

One thing I didn't plan on changing was going dairy free. We began to suspect Robert was having issues with dairy last winter and immediately saw an improvement particularly in his temperament, but it wasn't until the spring that I was really able to stick with it. Trust me dairy free is WAY harder than gluten free. It plain old sucks...I am a Wisonsin girl! I love my 10 yr cheddar, Mack and cheese, pizza... But the reality is I think it really had a significant impact on my stomach issues. Even if it wasn't not doing dairy its in my head now that no dairy helps so even once I add dairy back I'll go back to no dairy for a couple weeks before races. 

2. Mileage
I've never been a high mileage runner, but this summer after the Leadville marathon I put together a training block of the highest mileage I've ever ran. July I ran 337 miles with 59000 ft in vertical. My previous high mileage month was 249 miles. I was consistently running 70-80 mph. While I can finish 100s on lower mileage I really think that to run successfully I really needed the higher mileage. The other side to that though is balancing getting injured. The past few years I've been slowing increasing my weekly mileage during training blocks and I think this season the timing was right to be able to increase my mileage without getting injured. And not just that but my body was able to respond well to the week after week of high mileage without feeling fatigued. I actually ended my training block without the feeling I usually have where I'm tired and rundown and ready to taper. I felt great the whole time. 

3. Strength Training
If you know me at all you know I hate the gym. I hate lifting weights, I hate working out, I hate being in a gym. But after doing a running eval this spring I found out my quads, particularly my left quad was actually weak. I knew if I wanted to run high mileage and push myself I had to change things which meant I was going to have to do some strength training. I did all the research I could to develop a Pilates based routine I could do at home to strengthen my core, legs and back. I made sure it was short enough, 30 minutes, that I would stick with it several times a week and started including a couple exercises every day with the hip exercises I was already doing. After a couple weeks I started to notice a significant difference in the muscle definition in my quads so I know my routine was working to improve my strength and fitness. Just how much of that actually improved my running I'm not sure, but it was definitely worth it and something I will continue. And I actually kind of like doing it. 

4. Race Strategy
Ok I've said over and over this year I'm running consistent and running for time not place. I can't get caught up in anyone else's race. Aside from the Leadville marathon I think I did this pretty well. Interestingly enough the one race I had where I had a place goal I ran terrible. I wasn't running my own race, I didn't run consistent and the end result was a sub-par race result. I still haven't perfected this because its a fine line between pushing hard enough at the beginning of a race and not pushing too hard. But I'm definitely closer than I have been before.

I don't really know if any of these things made a big difference or not, but I have to believe they helped somewhat. Here's to hoping that if I can keep this up I can continue to see some big improvements next season!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Run Rabbit Run Pace Report

After Leadville it was time to shift focus to Dan and Run Rabbit Run. I knew he'd done the training right this time, but after Never Summer I knew he was struggling a bit with his confidence. 

Somehow we managed to get all the gear and 2 kids loaded by 8:30 and were on our way to Steamboat! I had really wanted to get Dan up there earlier than I had gotten to Leadville. That was way more pre-race stress than I like and I didn't want him to deal with that. Of course a later start time helps with that as well. Overall it was a pretty uneventful check-in and night before a big race. Friday morning we walked over to the starting line, kids in tow. It was shaping up to be a gorgeous day and Dan seemed totally ready to go...until..."shit, my handheld" ie. my calories! In what was easily the fastest couple miles I had ran since Leadville...okay who's kidding I didn't even hit a mile that fast at Leadville...I took off in a dead sprint across the village. Just another reason you want a runner crewing you. I grabbed the bottle from the condo and took off back to the start. Everyone was lined up when I got there with 2 or 3 minutes to the start. I started panning the crowd but no Dan. With 20 seconds to go I knew I had to go past the start line to find him. Worst case I'd meet him at the top of the gondola, but I didn't want him stressed that first hour or without calories. But as luck would have it he ran right by me and we did a quick pass off. After that it really was pretty smooth sailing.
Top of the gondola

We met Dan at Olympian, mile 20ish. I actually ran up Fish Creek road to meet him and run him in since you can pace this section. He was right on his pace range and looking the best I've ever seen him look in not just a 100 but in any race. We got him in and out quickly and he was off to tour Emerald Mountain. Race tracking was absolutely terrible at least in the beginning and I couldn't get any updates. It was anyone's guess what time he'd be back to Olympian, 42ish. My plan was to pace him up Fish Creek road, go put the boys to bed, get a few hours of sleep and then head to Dry Creek to finish the race with him. But if he was in a bad spot at Olympian I would just finish with him. So I had to be ready to go and had to have the boys ready as well just in case. 

James had to get a hug on our way into Olympian
We got to Olympian a bit early to let the boys play in the park. Funny thing was I met this other mom at the park who's husband was running and turns out Dan and he ran together on and off most of the day. Dan came in still looking great, great attitude, and on pace. So our plan was in tact. I got him geared up for night and off we went up Fish Creek Road. I ran him all the way to the trailhead, gave him a quick kiss, and sent him off into the dark with promises to see him in around 18 miles. I hated sending him off and not being there. A lot can happen in 18 miles and I just worry...I know I'm a mom and a control freak. But I also knew that if I could get 3 hr of sleep it would be huge for taking care of the kids when we got done. I mean that's basically an average night of sleep for me anyways. 

Rockin' the pjs and waiting for Dad
With race tracking still not working I was really nervous about what time to get to Dry Creek. The shuttle that was supposedly only going to run once an hour was actually running about every 15-20 minutes so as soon as I got to Olympian a shuttle pulled up and I was at Dry Creek 15 min later. The other tough thing about pacing from Dry Creek but not having crew meant that all the gear I needed to stay warm would have to come with me, at least to Spring Creek where Dan had a drop bag. Needless to say yes, I was the one wearing her North Face down jacket running downhill! But hey it worked. Dan came into Dry Creek just a bit later than I expected him. He'd had a down patch since I left him at Fish Creek and was having some quad issues. But I knew we were still good, I was there now and no matter what we were past the point of no return. So off we took to Spring Creek where we really geared up for the cold. 

Coming out of Spring Creek Dan was rocking it. Allisa came in just as we were leaving and even though I could tell she was having a rough patch you could see she was going to make it this time. I tried to reassure her she was looking good and just needed to keep moving and to keep eating.  We even passed Amanda Basham, who was having a rough day, but I used it as motivation to keep him running and hiking strong. After leaving Dry Creek for the second time Dan started having another low patch. It was somewhere around 4:00 am at this point, so he was tired, sore, hungry and still going uphill. But really he kept a fairly good pace and we managed to hold our position going up the dirt road. And then the sun came up and I was surprised at how warm I actually was. We were making our way through the coldest part of the night and it was nothing like I had remembered. 

a long dirt road...
Eventually we saw the dome tents of Summit Lake! That is such a welcome site! There is still a long ways to go but the uphill battle is done and you're getting to the home stretch. We lost a few layers, loaded up on food and coffee. I actually had one of those starbucks espresso shots after not drinking coffee for almost 3 weeks and wahooo I was flying! I'll definitely do the no coffee thing for a couple weeks before any other 100s because man did it work! I felt like a million bucks! Then we headed out for the Wyoming Trail. I was determined to get Dan running as much of this section as possible. At Summit he was about 45 minutes behind a sub 30hr finish and I was going to do my best to set him up to be able to get that. So we ran, and ran and ran. We even had hares pacing off of us because his pace was so on point. When we finally reached Long Lake I knew Dan needed a break. We also needed to derobe as it was getting warm out. I gave him 3 min in the AS since he was now only 5 min back. I didn't tell him, but I knew looking at his splits for the next two sections that it would take a miracle to actually hit those splits and make sub 30. But I certainly wasn't going to tell him no. So in and out, with about 20 lb less clothes, lots of coke, Honey Stinger chews and waffles and a couple handfuls of m&ms. The section from Long Lake to Mount Werner is deceptively uphill. I tried to pretend it wasn't but at 90+ miles in those were some hills. Dan ran/hiked well, but we both knew sub-30 wasn't going to happen unless he absolutely destroyed himself. He made the decision to finish strong but not totally cripple himself. 

The hike down from Mount Werner is terrible. There is just no good way to describe it. It seems like it shouldn't be that bad or that slow, but it is. We passed Kerrie Bruxxvort at the AS and it looked like she'd had a rough day as well. Slowly we wound our way down and after what seemed like forever I saw James' fluorescent green t-shirt!. He immediately saw Dan and took off in a full blow sprint up to get him. James took Dan the rest of the way to the finish line and I'm pretty sure actually got more cheers than Dan did! And really why shouldn't he! 

Congrats Dan on a great race! You ran strong and steady...exactly the way you planned it!
bringing Dad into the finish

no great 100 is complete without a little Mexican food

Run like the wind little buddy 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Catching Up

It's crazy how much extra time I feel like I have in a week. Not necessarily every day but overall in a week...on Friday I got to sit for 5 min before I had to go pick up the boys...5 whole minutes of nothing. It was crazy! I thought about having a beer but didn't want to push my luck! 

The tightness is my hammys has slowly been working its way out and even though I have no structure to my running, I don't wear a watch and am totally just running based on how I feel I still managed 50 miles this week. No long runs...saving that for my pacing duties at Run Rabbit this week! I also managed to bake cookies, rake a small portion of the yard, cut down a half dozen trees, take the boys for hikes after dinner almost every night and more trips to the park than I can count. It's amazing what you can accomplish with a little bit of efficiency! 

I'm still not sure if I even want to run another race this fall. Really I'd like to run a couple more 14ers, maybe James Peak, a fall run at Kenosha Pass and Golden Gate, so the thought of giving up a Friday run because of a weekend race just doesn't sound appealing right now. Maybe after Run Rabbit I'll be signing a different tune...who knows. Right now I'm just enjoying the fun of running with no agenda.

a moment of peaceful giggles right before the chaos starts...

a catastrophic pancake failure...after a chunk fell off this pancake was rendered totally useless 

the only thing better than a smoked pork butt...smoked bacon

this seemed like a way better idea before our feet went in buckets

are you kidding me? pulled pork where have you been all my life?

because why would you wear a shirt to play in the sand?

Saturday, September 3, 2016


So what now? It's such a weird feeling when everything for the past few months has been focused on training. All you've known is eat, run and try to sleep when you can. My season is done and Dan's tapering so it feels like our entire universe if off kilter. 
Hiking fun with the boys

My post- race days have definitely included more beer and donuts than running. I've been getting back to it but with no watch, no agenda, no running schedule at all. And slowly the stiffness is working itself out of my legs. Really aside from some stiffness in my hammys and some swelling in my knee and legs in general I came out of Leadville in pretty good shape. No blisters, no feet issues and no injuries. It's hard to ask for much more than that. 

I've also been really happy with the ebb and flow of my training this year. Of course I wish I had been able to train more between Quad Rock and the Leadville marathon but I'm not injured, I'm not burned out and I'm still excited about running. I'm excited for some fun fall runs and then this winter get back to training. I'm not sure what next season will bring yet, but I'm excited for it! 

The boys seem to have sensed the chaos in the household and are doing their best to add to it as well! I'm pretty sure they have some secret contest to see who can get a cast first. That or James is intent on trying to see what all he can convince Robert to do. The other night while I was making dinner I watched James stand up on the ottoman, the coffee table is long gone as it was getting way to dangerous, he glanced over to see if I was watching, then motioned for Rob to climb up and then jumped off onto an overturned plush chair. I managed to grab Rob just as he was standing up and plotting his jump. Maybe they're just trying to get me back in shape and keep my legs spry...we'll pretend that's what it is...always looking out for mama. 
Daddy hunt with our 'binoculars'

fly high little one

Well halfway through writing this post Dan might have asked one of those stupid little questions like do you think you should try one more race with the fitness you still have? You could probably do pretty hmmm...I guess that's floating around my head now. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Leadville 100 Race Report

Hope Pass #2
Photo: Sandra Carpenter
Another Leadville in the books and finally a race I feel like I gave it my all and my body delivered. What was different this year? What did I do differently? I ran. I ran. A. Lot! A lot more than I have in previous 100s. And I ate. A. Lot. And I suffered better. When I say it like that it sounds simple. Eat, run and suffer. A lot. And that's all there is...

The week leading up to Leadville felt really hectic. Lots of appointments, my parents came in to town to help with the kids, I was up late cooking so the kids had food, by the looks of my kitchen you would have thought I was planning to be racing for days! Even getting to Leadville was hectic. We didn't get up there until Friday afternoon and when I double checked packet pickup it said 7-10AM! So in a panicked dash I ran up to Leadville to drop off drop bags and beg for my packet. I mean I couldn't be the only one to get to Leadville after 10 right? They ended up having another pickup at 5:00 so we had some time to kill after doing drop bags. James threw a fit about riding in the stroller so I parked it by the packet pickup and we wandered around for a bit finally I got my packet, we loaded up and headed back to BV. With the kids it seemed easier to stay there than in Leadville. 

We got back, I scarfed down a hamburger, tried to get all the kids stuff unpacked and them to bed so I could sit down at some point. As I was looking for my keys, I could only find my spare, I came to the horrible realization that my keys were in the back of the stroller that was still sitting in Leadville. Thankfully it's Leadville so it was still there when Dan went back to get it. Needless to say I didn't sleep much before that 2:15 wake up. 
Coming down off Powerlines

I got to the starting line and was surprisingly not too nervous. This wasn't my first rodeo and I knew what lay ahead. I lined up way closer to the front than I felt comfortable but I knew this was where I belonged. And based on the fact that I didn't get passed by a ton of people it was the right place. It was pretty chilly so I had my sleeves over my watch which probably ended up being one of my best decisions. It's a huge pain to pull my sleeve back to check my time so I only checked to see where I was at when I went through an aid station. My plan from the start until Twin was to keep the heart rate low and running easy. I didn't wear a HR monitor but I'm a pretty good judge of where I'm at without it. A few people blew by me on the Boulevard and while it was tempting to chase them I kept'll see them on Hope, you'll see them on Hope...and I did. I actually ran alone most of he way around Turquiose which was a strange feeling, but it allowed me to just run the pace I needed for my race. I got to Mayqueen checked my watch, 2:09 my goal was 2:10, I had carried extracalories so I just refilled and didn't even bother to drop my head lamp. As I left the AS someone yelled out 6th woman and I cringed. Way too early in the race for me to know or think about this. 

Cow pasture
Mayqueen to Outward Bound was more of the same. Steady on the climb, listen to my heart rate and keep calories coming in. Even down Powerlines I didn't let it rip, I needed to keep the quads intact for awhile longer. I got to Outward Bound in 4:18 my goal was 4:10 but I realized I had misjudged how much further the AS is then when I ran in 2013 so I figured really I was pretty close. I cruised through this AS pretty quick. Nick and Allisa were there so I gave a quick wave and kept moving.  I had prepared myself for the 'cow pasture' but was surprised how easy it actually was. Then a couple quick miles on the road, a right on to the trail, I swear I could do this in my sleep, but I distinctly remember this turn because in 2012 Rob and JB were there with high fives and in 2013 I was pumping here. For some reason this section seemed really fast this year. I ran every step which probably had a lot to do with it. The next thing I knew the road turned left and we were cruising through Treeline. This was my first crew point and James came charging out yelling mama! Totally made my day. A couple quick hugs and kisses and promises to see him real soon. I refilled my calories here so I could just cruise through Half Pipe. In fact I didn't even have a drop bag for Half Pipe. In the past I felt like I waited forever to get my bag here and all I was going to need was calories so easier just to carry extras. I did slam a couple cokes and then just kept running. My pace was spot on and I knew I'd make Twin right on time around 7:15. 

The section to Twin is one of my favorites. I love running through the aspens and this year did not disappoint. It's a super gradual uphill so I made sure to reign myself in. Every uphill I asked myself will you run this hill in the last 30? I walked a couple of these but mostly I ran everything to Elbert. At Elbert it was starting to heat up so even though it's only 3 miles to Twin I refilled my water and took off running. Before I knew it I was on the steep decent into the AS with an ear to ear grin knowing I was rocking my splits. 
Heading off to tackle Hope

I quickly saw Dan and my Dad and they pointed out where the crew was. I grabbed some coke while they refilled my bottle with calories and stuffed extra calories and chews into my handheld. More quick hugs and kisses for the boys and then I was off. I knew Hope would be the make it or break it section for my race. Coming into Twin I'd been told I was in everything from 4th to 10th place all of which I tried to ignore. 

I easily ran across the meadows pushing the pace a bit knowing I wouldn't be running for awhile. As soon as we got to the no vehicles sign I knew that was my sign to go into hike mode and immediately switched gears. I was also planning to try to get as many calories in on the lower section as I could and I nailed that pretty good. The climb was actually pretty uneventful. I stayed steady and just kept pressing on. And for maybe the first time in my short 100 career I passed more runners on a climb than passed me! For someone who's climbing is not their strength this was huge! My stomach also didn't completely fall apart. Around 11,800' I had to back off the pace a bit and couldn't get any calories down. But as soon as I crested the pass and began running down I started getting calories in again. Another huge milestone was only Max King passed me on the front side! I cruised pretty easily down the backside and made the right turn to head to Winfield. I forgot how uphill this section is and ended up hiking more of it than I would have liked. 
Hope #1
Photo: Patrick Nguyen

At Winfield I picked up Sandra, she filled my bottles while I chugged some Coke and then we were off. That's the one other thing I really did pretty well, was my AS stops were all super efficient and there was no wasted time. I tried to run as much of the first section as I could. I was really not looking forward to this climb back up over Hope and wanted it over as soon as I could so in my mind getting through the rolling section got me to the top faster. As soon as we started climbing I felt like I was barely at a shuffle. I must have been moving better than I thought because I think maybe one person passed us. I just kept reminding myself, it's a short climb, keep moving, don't stop and before long we were at the top. Coming back getting calories was the same story, once I hit about 11,800' I wasn't getting anything in. But for the first time I also didn't puke and lose any calories. I think the key for me was backing off the pace every time I felt my stomach start to go. I hated going that slow but in the end I was probably faster because of it. 

We hit the top and I started letting the legs go and really running. I knew I still had a long way to go and didn't want to totally destroy my legs but I did run this downhill pretty hard. When we hit the meadows I didn't stop I just kept going. I knew we were ahead of schedule but then Sandra commented she hoped Dan would even be there. I really wasn't worried. I had all my gear planned as if I wouldn't have crew. With two littles you never know so you have to plan to be independent. I cruised into Twin 40 min ahead of schedule and had done the double crossing in 6:20!  In 2013 it took me almost 8:00 so this was a huge improvement. Plus secretly I wanted to see how close to 6 hr I could do it. 
Back into Twin with Sandra

At Twin I had to stop to change socks. They were filled with crap from the river crossing and one thing I've learned if you get something in your shoe that you 'notice' fix it right away or the chance that it will lead to issues later is significant. After Twin was where I made my only significant mistake of the race. I miscalculated the Elbert long it would take to get there and just that I could refill calories here. At Twin I should have grabbed enough calories to refill both at Elbert and Half Pipe but I only packed enough for one of those. The game plan was steady and strong on the climb but not to overdo it. I felt like I nailed this pretty well. But by the time I got to Elbert I was done with my first bottle of calories and the chews weren't going down as well anymore. In retrospect I should have refilled calories here but I just filled water and waited until Half Pipe for the calories. It's a gradual, rolling downhill so we flew pretty quickly through this section, but I could tell I was getting bonky. By the time we hit Half Pipe I was dizzy and starting to get teary. I know well enough now that as soon as I feel like this I need calories. As many as I can get in. Nothing is wrong I just need sugar. So I quickly filled my bottle, downed 3 or 4 cokes and headed off for the two miles to Treeline. I honestly had no idea if Sandra and Dan were switching pacing duties here or at Outward Bound, but I was really looking forward to seeing Dan. I had built in some buffer time in this section giving myself 45 min for two miles and we were moving way faster than that. We came cruising into Treeline still about 40 min ahead of pace and Dan was barely ready to go. 

Heading up to Elbert with Sandra
Still running...
I was stoked to have made it here without a light so far but it would be dark before we got to Outward Bound and we had the road section so I put on my light and a long sleeve, refilled my calories and off Dan and I went. We made great time getting to Outward Bound where I had planned to gear up for night. I changed into my Hoka Challengers, buff, gloves and tights, in retrospect I should have waited until Mayqueen for these as I was way too hot on the climb, grabbed more calories and coke and once again we were off. The extra calories had paid off and I had left the bonkiness behind without any terrible effects. I still wouldn't let myself think about place, although I knew I was somewhere around 6-8th. Some people like to count the false summits on Powerlines but it just throws me off wondering do they consider that a false summit? Or maybe this one? Instead I know the first section is steep but after that there's some runnable flats and before you know it Space Station is there. I just cruised through ready to get running downhill again. Steady, steady, steady...all day and all night and before long we crossed the fourth bridge and hit the road. I just ran right through Mayqueen as Dan stopped to refill bottles and eat. He seriously eats more crap while pacing than anyone I've ever met. At this point I was really slowing down though. I tried not to walk much but we got passed by a couple people, including one girl, and I just didn't have much more in me. But quicker than I had anticipated we reached the quiet cheers of Boat Ramp. I tried doing the math in my head but it was pretty foggy. I knew sub-23 was out but I was pretty sure sub-24 was a real possibility. I didn't want to risk it by slowing down so I just tried to keep forcing the running. Then there's that damn mini Powerlines as I like to call it. It's short but brutal on tired legs. I cursed as I half hobbled half ran this section doing everything I could to stay upright. For as boring as the race really had been for me this is where it got interesting. Just before we hit Sugarloafin I see this guy step out of the dark and yell wanna get peed on? And then start peeing and swinging around madly. Dan starts to take off after him, I'm screaming get back here I am NOT bailing you out of jail tonight. Don't you dare get me DQ'd or I swear... Finally the guy got back in his four wheeler and took off and Dan rejoined me. 

At this point my headlamp was almost completely dead I didn't want to tell Dan because the last thing I wanted was to waste time changing batteries. I was ready to be done. So I tried to stay in his light as much as possible. Until he got a few steps ahead in the cobble section by the train tracks. Next thing I knew I was brushing myself off and Dan was yelling what the hell are you doing? So we switched lights and just kept going. We were maybe half a mile from the Boulevard where it's smooth enough you can get away without a light. 

As the orange light from 6th street began to appear on the horizon I finally let myself believe I was actually going to go sub-24!! And then I saw the girl who had passed me around the lake. I knew I could get her back but I wanted to be sure when I passed her it would be for good this time. And it was. Shortly after I passed her we turned onto 6th and I knew I had it. I ran the red carpet and hugged Merilee to make my race finish official. splits exactly and 7th woman! I never let myself doubt I could do it but I was also never totally convinced it was possible either. But here I was amidst a group of really fast, solid women finishing 7th at Leadville! 

I know no matter what you do sometimes races, especially 100s aren't always going to go perfectly according to plan. But this time it really did. I stuck to my plan, the day gave me everything I needed it to and in the end I had a nearly spot on race. 

A huge thanks to my pacers and crew, Dan and Sandra, my parents for watching the boys, and to Pearl Izumi and Nuun for supporting my crazy races and keeping me healthy throughout. 
My awesome crew

Monday, August 15, 2016

Leadville 100 Race Strategy

Train hard. Fight until the finish. Never give up. -Ellie Greenwood

Drop bags packed
I wasn't sure I was going to even say my plan out loud because that makes it real...that means you have something to live up to. But if you don't say it out loud does it even really count? When I got my LT100 coin I was not in great shape, barely sleeping, struggling to log miles and honestly not even sure if I'd be ready come August. But then I clicked register and it was a game changer. I still doubted I could be ready to big buckle but a 27 hr goal seemed reasonable. But I'm not reasonable. Never have been and probably never will be. On August 20th I'm not going after a 27 hr finish...I'm going for the big buckle (sub-25 hr) and really my A goal is a sub-24 hr finish. The big thing in my planning is regardless of planning to go for a big time goal I want to run the same goal I've had all year...keep it steady. I know even splitting Leadville is damn near impossible, but I'm going to try to be close which if I can I think will get me under 24 hr. Well that and if all goes well, no matter how hard you train 100 miles is a long way to go with nothing going wrong. 

Let no one lay a hand on your dreams -E.V. Lucas


AS Cumm Mileage Mileage Time - 24h Time of Day Split Time-25h  Split Time-27h Split
MQ 13.5 13.5 2:10 6:10A 2:10 2:15 2:15 2:15 2:15
OB 24.5 11 4:10 8:10A 2:00 4:15 2:00 4:25 2:10
PL 28.5 4 5:05 9:05A 0:55 5:15 1:00 5:40 1:15
HP 31 2.5 5:35 9:35A 0:30 5:45 0:30 6:20 0:40
TL 39.5 8.5 7:15 11:15A 1:40 7:25 1:40 8:05 1:45
45.5 5 9:25 1:25P 2:10 9:45 2:20 10:35 2:30
W 50 5.5 10:40 2:40P 1:15 11:05 1:20 12:00 1:25
H 55.5 5.5 12:55 4:55P 2:15 13:25 2:20 14:30 2:30
TL 60.5 5 14:10 6:10P 1:15 14:50 1:25 15:55 1:25
HP 69 8.5 16:10 8:10P 2:00 16:50 2:00 18:00 2:05
PL 71.5 2.5 16:55 8:55P 0:45 17:35 0:45 19:00 1:00
OB 75.5 4 17:55 9:55P 1:00 18:45 1:10 20:15 1:15
MQ 86.5 11 20:40 12:40A 2:45 21:40 2:55 23:25 3:10
F 100 13.5 23:40:00 3:40A 3:00 24:45:00 3:05 26:55:00 3:30

Shoes: Pearl Izumi Trail M2s
Shorts: Pearl Izumi split fly shorts
Socks: Pearl Izumi infinity socks
Hydration pack: Ultimate Direction Ultravesta
Handheld: UltrAspire
Watch: Suunto Peak
Pump: Specta 9, I purposely ordered this one because the slim motor fits in my hydration pack so I can pump and run
Headlamp: Black Diamond 
Night clothes: Pearl Izumi Infinity wind blocker hoody and softshell pants

Maltodextrin powder
Nuun electrolytes
Honey Stinger grapefruit chews
Honey Stinger caramel waffles

Notes to myself with what I need and what my mantra is for each section...

Start to MayQueen:
My plan is to come in a bit faster than I have in previous years, but still keep that even pace. I don't want to even think about breathing hard. Easy, easy, easy! Stick 

MayQueen to Twin Lakes:
Really my plan all the way to Twin is the same, keep the pace easy and slow. I may see crew at Treeline, but basically I'm on my own in this section which is fine. I shouldn't need much other than refilling calories and to keep moving. Steady, steady, steady. No need to blow up here. Stick to the plan and don't get caught up in anyone else's race.

Twin Lakes to Winfield:
The climb up'll be brutal...I know that much. My game plan is NO stops, no stopping, standing or waiting, every second there will be forward movement. I'm climbing stronger than I was in 2013, although I'm still not a strong climber. Its still the same mantra here, keep it steady. That's the name of the game. If I can have a steady, consistent climb I'll be in good shape. The downhill I have no plans to hammer, but looking back my splits were shockingly slow for the downhill. I really want that to be a big area of improvement. I know I walked a lot of the rolling section along the CT into Winfield and I plan to run most of that this year. At Winfield I'll pick up Sandra, but other than that this is a quick turn-around. I want to get back up and over that mountain fast. 

Winfield to Twin:
Almost the same strategy as outbound, with the addition of really hoping not to puke. Or at least puke a minimal amount of times...especially because its really hard to hike and puke and I'm determined not to stop at all on the climb. 

Twin Lakes to Outward Bound: 
The name of the game is to run! The climb out of Twin is a good one up to Elbert so I plan to hike that strong and hopefully in the daylight. That could be a big game changer. It was dark last time I did this climb so I'm hoping the daylight gives me an extra boost. But then its a rolling down to Outward Bound and last time I really lost motivation to run here. Again hoping the light helps, but also I have it in my head that I'm running this section. Sure my legs will be sore by this point, but as long as its just sore you might as well keep running. 

Outward Bound to finish:
I'll switch out Sandra for Dan for the last section. For the climb up powerlines I just keep telling myself it will end. I remember almost crying when I finally came out on top last time. This year I'm hoping to hike it significantly stronger. Its just a count down in my head. As long as I keep moving forward it will only take 1.5 hr or so...its only about 3 miles and it will end. Once I get to the top that's when its game on and the race starts. I have no idea if there will even be any women to catch or not, but I'm not even going to think about it until the top of powerlines. By no means do I expect to be trying to catch a podium spot, but I'd like to see if I can have a strong finish and find another gear coming around the lake. My money is on Maggie Walsh for the win and I expect her to be finished well before I get to MayQueen. She's been kicking my butt all year and is really running strong. Then its an all out downhill to MayQueen and a book around the lake. I do not want that section to drag out...I want to get it over with and hopefully before it gets to cold. I have thought about this section in my head every day for the last 6 months. I know it seems silly to think about this more than Hope, but I know I will get up Hope. I need to knock out this lake section running. Not shuffling, not walking, not crying and whining, but running. So yes, this is the section I think about every lap at FJ, every treadmill run, laying in bed drifting off to sleep. I will be running and I will have a smile on my face. 

Behind every strong independent woman lies a broken little girl who had to learn how to get back up -unknown

Run Rabbit may have knocked me down last year, but I got back up, brushed off my knees and I'm more ready than every to go after it again. I learned a lot last year, I've trained hard and hopefully it all comes together on race day. 100s are different than other races, there is so much that is outside of our control. All I can do is run my plan, eat, and keep my head on straight...and come hell or high water I will be on that red carpet back in Leadville! See you all there!