Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Preparing for Leadville 50 and other Reflections

We experienced the most memorable camping trip of our lives over July 4th weekend.

Three trips to find a hitch rack for the Jeep, a cast iron skillet falling on Andy's foot, scraped knuckles on the concrete, hitting one's head on the car frame, five storms and hail between COS and Chaffee County, a leak in the water jug (visualize a little boy statue pissing in a fountain), a veritable mudslide ontop of our clothing and tent cargo during the drive, switching campsites, mosquitos from hell, spiders and ants in our sleeping bag (the theory is still out on an apple sized bump on the back of Andy's head), a chipped tooth, a swollen butthole, sunburned and sore, the only wind of the day picking up just as Andy started pitching the tent, a dog addicted to eating elk poop, "It's 9pm and I still need to RUN!!!!" and a special, amazing, once in a lifetime surprise ontop of a mountain.

I'm thinking that crewing Andy at the Leadville 50 on Sunday will be a cakewalk in comparison. Andy's parents will be there to celebrate his finish. The goal is sub-10. A PR for 50. I know he can do it. We watched a bit of running porn last night. We have quite the collection: Spirit of the Marathon, Running the Sahara, On the Edge, Chariots of Fire... Anyway, we both love the quote from Spirit of the Marathon that goes something like this, "When we get together, all we talk about is running. But when we run, we talk about anything else."

Right now, what I'm hearing is the frustration of tapering. TAPERING! This must be like a four letter word for runners. The itch to turn that 5 miles into 10. Or to push that 3 miles and turn it into speed training. Or not take a day off because you just don't think you can afford to do it.... wow. I think we can be our own worst enemy sometimes. Your brain tells you one thing. Your passion tells you something else. I think this is where experience can play such a crucial role. Sometimes it's the experience of having NOT tapered wisely before a race and then blowing up or tapering, resting, planning and taking care of yourself and having your best race all year. It's my job to encourage and support the latter. Keeping my fingers crossed.