This summer, I have a number of races planned, and they are all geared towards getting me trained and prepared to try and tackle the Leadville 100 mile race in Colorado in Aug. Leadville is the ONLY race where if you look at the results page, you will find a big fat DNF (Did Not Finish). Needless to say, that has been a monkey on my back...well, more like a gorilla, for the last 3 years. So this weekend, I flew to Cleveland where I ran the Mohican 50 mile race, as another great training run.
And for all these races, THEY are not the end result, Leadville is...so the goals aren't to necessarily do as well as I can, but rather to go out and get a great workout in, and come out of them uninjured.
I met my good friend Alex Nemet, who lives outside of Cleveland, and we drove the hour or so to the race site. Alex, his wife, daughter, along with their new infant, were nice enough to allow me to crash in their hotel room the night before the race.
Alex and his friend Cole, were planning on doing the 100 miler, while I was content to not push it too much and stick with the 50. We all three started out together but it quickly became apparent that what they needed for their 100 miler, was to go out nice and slow, and I on the other hand needed to push the pace a bit, in order to get as much out of it as I could. So rather soon into it, I went ahead on my own.
I went out nice and easy, warmed up, and did my thing. The temps were pretty warm, but nothing too crazy. I ran most of the flats, and power walked HARD on all the ups. I was supposed to run part of the up hill sections and then slow to a power walk. But I found that I was feeling so well, many times I just kept it going and ran many of them. I felt strong throughout the race, up until about mile 40. Even then, I didn't fall apart, but kept it together even though I was starting to feel it. Even though time wasn't my goal, as usual I found myself chasing the clock and realized I had the potential to break 10 hours. So I pushed it at the end, ran many of the hills, but a combination of the miles, and the sun coming out strong, made it more and more difficult to keep up the pace. With only a few miles to go, I finally realized I was JUST going to miss it if I ran it out, and so I slowed down, met a friend and just jogged, walked, and chatted my way in but came in with a very respectable time of 10:16 and finished 11th out of 51 starters!!!!!!!!