I just wrapped up the first week of my Leadville 100 taper, logging 80 miles. That may sound like a lot of miles, but it really wasn't too demanding when I've been nailing triple-digit weeks for the past few months. The plan this week is 50-55 miles with a little intensity mixed in to keep things interesting.
Also this week, I'm going to step up my core and upper body strengthening, place an even great emphasis on stretching, and--most important of all--try to get my feet in good shape. No more hard-soled work shoes for the next two weeks (unless I have meetings). I'm going to be reporting to work everyday in my super-comfortable Keens in the hopes that I can get this plantar fasciitis in my left heel over and done with. I've found that my work shoes have only exacerbated the problem. If you have any magic bullet treatments for PF, let me know.
Big news out of Leadville this week. The entire Leadville race series, which was co-founded and, for the past 28 years, has been co-directed by Ken Chlouber and Merilee Maupin, has been sold to Lifetime Fitness, a publicly traded company out of Minnesota. Lifetime Fitness operates a chain of fitness clubs, with several locations here in the Denver area, and also sponsors a number of races.
The sale struck me as sad news, and maybe it's because I have such a distrust for corporate America. In an age when our society has become so homogenized (McNeighborhoods, McDowntowns, etc.), Leadville is such a unique place with unique people who put on this incredible race series. My only hope is that Lifetime Fitness preserves the unique character of the Leadville races and sacrifices nothing at the alter of profits. And make no mistake about it; Lifetime Fitness is out to make money. I'm sure Ken Chlouber and Merilee Maupin would never have sold the Leadville races unless they were sure Lifetime Fitness would take good care of the brand they spent years building. I hope they'll continue to be involved in the races.
Although Leadville will be my first race of 100 miles in the mountains, it's a good thing I have experience with 100-milers. I know that the race really doesn't begin until after 50 miles. And so I'll be patient and run my own race, not letting what's going on around me influence my decisions or thought process. In my mind, the key is getting to Winfield (50 miles) in good shape, getting back over Hope Pass (12,600 feet) and back down to Twin Lakes feeling good, and then covering that final 40 miles knowing I'm going to make it.
In the final 40 miles, it's just you and your soul. There's no one and nothing to get you to the finish except yourself. You have to dig deep. I've been there and done that and believe that, barring a significant injury, I'll have my game face on during those final 40 miles and through all the challenges that will come--Powerline, Sugarloaf Pass, etc.
Hundreds really come down to one step at a time. You have to take it inch by inch.