Sunday, July 1, 2012

Leadville Training Camp (Day 2 6/24/12)

WARNING: There may be some profanity in this post. Stop now if you will be offened.

Gathered again for another day in the mountains.

Day 2 Twin Lakes – Winfield – Twin Lakes miles 40-60 of leadville 100 course

 If I would have wrote this Sunday night after I completed this, I’m sure I would have been much more graphic, but I was so tired and out of it, I couldn’t even muster the energy.

 After yesterday’s run I set what I thought was realistic expectations for this part of the course 20min/mile average, 7hrs total.

Day 2 -Hope's Pass

We started the course at the bridge just past Twin Lakes (this part was altered due to us not doing the river crossing) We had about 1 mile of rolling hills and then 4.25 miles of climbing up to 12,600. The climbing and elevation was so extreme I couldn’t drink or consume calories without stopping to catch my breath. Coming out of the treeline from twin lakes was absolutely beautiful. I was so dyspnic I didn’t stop to enjoy it because I just wanted it to be over, but I did snap a few quick pics.

On the way up.

View from 12,600ft

Made it, can I get down from here now so I can breathe!

Once I got to the top I was so thrilled to start descending so I could breathe again. Unfortunately my descending skills combined with the lack of oxygen meant for a slower than desired descend. I stopped at the aid station at the bottom of the trail and gulped a warm can of coke with hopes it would perk me up.
I then continued on to Winfield, on the way out I saw Daniel who was about a mile ahead of me, with some other runners scattered throughout to the turnaround. Luis who was about ½ mile of me who was really struggling, I shouted out to him, “Go get that bitch.” He tried to muster a smile, but it was meek. Turning into the Winfield aid station I was relieved to see a port-a-potty and a clean one at that. Coming back out of Winfield is fun because it’s mainly downhill and you can gain back some of the time you lose climbing. I stopped again at the aid station filled up on water and downed another warm coke for still hopes of more energy. Almost instantly onto the trailhead you start a very steep incline for 2.5miles. This is the worst because immediately when you start climbing you are already out of breath. I tried to play a game with myself to see if I could get a ½ mile done in 15mins, nope, a mile in 30min, nope. I can’t remember exactly without going back to my Garmin but I think the miles were 44min and 39min. This is with my moving forward at all times except to drink or consume calories. I saw Luis about a ¼ up the climb, coming back down, shaking his head saying it just wasn’t his day. From that point on I was alone, I couldn’t catch site of anyone. This is a very bad place to be alone. I kept coming out of a switchback or to a clearing hoping to see another human, nothing. Then about 1 mile from the top a saw a glimsp of 2 people, but it was gone in a moment. My heart felt like it was going to explode out of my chest. I remembered the story Jay told me the night before at dinner, how he came into May Queen aid station one year when he was on track to finish in under 24hrs and he passed out. He said he was so out of it he didn’t realize he was hypoglycemic didn’t even feel it coming. What if I pass out there’s no one around me, someone’s just going to encounter my passed out self on the trail. Keep moving forward to get off this wicked pass. Once the trees cleared I could see about 10 other runners disperced on the switchbacks ahead of me, but they were gaining distance on me. Or at least it seem. About a ¼ mile from the top a saw a group of wild goats or sheep, I couldn’t tell exactly I took a picture to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating, made a note to myself to check that later.

Going up again, the never ending grade.
Can you see the wild sheep in the background?
Then all of a sudden the wind started whipping around me and pelting me with rain drops. The wind was so instense I thought it would push me over. All I wanted to do was crutch down into a little ball to protect myself. But I was only a quarter of a mile from the top. No mood for pictures this time. In fact I flipped off the pass with both hands and said “I’ll be back bitch.”

 The decend was just as miserable my legs were shaky and there were a lot of lose rocks. It seemed like forever for me to get to a place where I could run, or at least fake a run. About 3 miles from the finish I saw Daniel ahead of me. “I am so happy to see another human.” I shouted out to him. He was just as excited to see me as me him. So we had a hell of a time commiserating together on the way down. Daniel has been getting nausea on the runs, yesterday he amongst others left his breakfast along side the trail. At least I wasn’t experiencing that. With a mile left we were both pretty loopy. I’m pretty sure I dropped my O2 level pretty low, I remember up higher looking at my hands and my fingers being purple.

I crashed hard when we finished. I was so beat up I wasn’t even happy to be done. I said “that may have been the most miserable run (not going to lie there wasn’t much running) I have ever had” Daniel agreed with a “yeah” After that I was diminished to one word sentences for about an hour.

This is what I must look like right before death,
well thats what I felt like at least.

Legs after 8hrs on the trail.
I remember last year pacing over hope’s pass from Winfield thinking, how the runners had to go over it twice after already having 40miles down, insane, who would do that, is it even possible, nooooooooo. Well I now know it is and I also know where there is going to be some major struggling on the course, I will probably cry once I get back to Twin Lakes .

 Basically I made it back to the bed and breakfast crawled into the bathtub, crawled out before I drowned myself and collapsed into bed. I didn’t really sleep, I was more in a daze. Somehow around 10pm I got myself out of bed and went to the grocery store for some beverages, food and snacks, I was already planning on doing nothing but lounging the next day until the night run. I was still quite a mess, I think I walked around the store 3 times and not even remembering Epson salt for tomorrows bath. All night I don’t really think I slept I was more just dazed with a few moments of loss of conscouisness. My breathing was horrible, I was congested and wheezy.

 Totals: 21 miles
Elevation Gain: 8800feet
Time: 8hrs (3:55 to Winfield, 4:05 from Winfield to Twin Lakes)
22:51 min/mile
Caloric intake 1580 (2 gu chomps, 2 cans coke, 6 coconut waters, 3 bars, 100cal almonds)
202cal/hr avg

 I definitely plan on going back out to Hope’s Pass in early August to practice my descends I think if I can get myself acclimated and with a little more comfort on descending I could get my time on that section down to 7:30 on race day. Not speedy but a reasonable goal.

 The only problem I had on this section was breathing, I blame my inability to descend because I was so shaky from poor O2 consumption. (But lets be honest, I need to work on descending too.)

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