Leadville isn't the only significant thing going on in my life. At the time of this writing, tomorrow I start week two in my new job. I'm working at Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation as director of a public will-building campaign focused on improving children's oral health in the state. It's a great job and Delta Dental is an excellent company. I'm very fortunate, but of course starting a job involves stress...as does the final countdown to a 100-mile mountain race! So, with a lot of super important things swirling right now, I'm doing my best to remain calm and focused.
|Getting ready for race day.|
Happily, last week I spent three nights at Keystone Ski Resort, elevation 9,200 feet, for a work-related conference!
Going into Leadville, I'm so fortunate and blessed to be backed in words and deeds by Anne and our son, my mom and dad, and two dedicated, accomplished runners in Chuck R. and Scott W. who will be pacing me. Hopefully, AJ will be there, too, but he's getting over a knee procedure. Simply put, I couldn't do all the requisite training for these crazy races without Anne's love and support. I know for our family sometimes my training can get challenging (and annoying) at times. Their support means everything to me. My mom and dad will once again be there. No matter how old I get, my mom and dad are...my mom and dad. And so having them there is special.
As I said to the crew, my fitness is without question my biggest asset going into Leadville. The last few years I couldn't have said that (especially last year). But this year I'm fit, as a result of weeks of 90-105 miles and 16,000+ feet of climbing. Of course, there's more to 100s than just fitness. I'm mentally dialed in and I want this race--every inch of it. I know it's going to require suffering and I'm ready, willing and able to hurt as I get closer and closer to the finish line. Last year, I wasn't in the mood to hurt...something that can happen to ultrarunners if you do this sport long enough (this is my tenth year). Fortunately, it was just a temporary problem for me. The emotional pain I've endured this year, as a result of last year's DNF, is more than enough fuel for me. While a "fast" time would be great, what I most want is a strong finish (read: my third big buckle).
So, while I'm busily packing my "don't-drop" boxes and trying to think through all the needs that may come on race day, foremost in my mind are thoughts that I'm ready for this challenge and really all I need are my heart, mind and body...plus some rain gear! Yes, it's been quite a wet, cool late summer in Colorado, and so it'll be critical for all runners to be prepared for rain and cold.
I'll try to post an update on Thursday or Friday.