After the Leadville 100
First things first. I have some pretty awesome friends. The response to my Leadville 100 recap has been super positive and reinvigorating!
Some of the emails, texts, Tweets, Facebook, and more:
– Dude! You ran 40 miles at altitude on botched legs! You’re my hero!
– Signing up for that race takes more guts than anything.
– You have the mental and now just need to work on the miles. Most don’t ever figure out the mental part.
– You give me no excuse to register for my first 5k.
– Let’s talk as I know you can get this done.
Someone asked how disappointed I am. Yes, I wanted a buckle, but I can get that at another race.
Truth be told, I had the best time in Leadville since starting to run ultras. This realization came to me Saturday night after Jamie and I were done running for the day. We sat around drinking beers, eating pizza, and sharing stories of life. It was relaxed. There was no reason to pretend. The ultrarunning community puts themselves out there when it comes to these events. There are no crowds for you to hide behind and burning more calories than you can consume reveals some true colors. People get real.
Someone made the comment to me at the pre-race meeting that I looked really relaxed. I couldn’t stop smiling because I kept seeing people that I knew. Even my wife kept asking how I knew all these people. This community is so welcoming that it’s easy to meet people. We all share this common bond of suffering through. No person in a 100 mile race avoids it. From the winner to the last person, everyone suffers. What starts to define us, and has in my life, is how we push through that suffering.
I have done a couple short runs a few days following Leadville. The IT Band is still pretty tender, more than I had ever felt before. Someone told me that running on it would make it worse. About an hour later I went for a couple mile run. Yes, I have issues.
There’s no question I want to run the Leadville 100 Mile Run again. The community, race staff, and desire to push the needle on what I can do burns brightly. I know what I need to do. Now it’s making it happen.