Let’s see, it has been awhile since my last post and that’s not due to a lack of things I wanted to say. It has mostly been due to a lack of computer and a little bit from being too busy to borrow another computer.
Anyway, a few weekends ago I paced a very dear friend of mine in her first attempt at a 100 miler. Elinor has been training all winter, spring and summer for the Leadville 100 and was ready to give it a go. Elinor’s training partner Joy, had already raced and finished her first 100 miler earlier this summer at the Tahoe Rim Trail 100. Unfortunately Joy could not pace Elinor as planned so I opted for a slightly longer section of the race to make sure that El had someone with her every mile from mile 50 to the finish (no pacers allowed until mile 50).
Moving slightly faster than her projected times, El’s husband Rob called me letting me know I needed to get on the road and over to Twin Lakes for the drive into Winfield. Rob had an amazing aid station set up for El when she arrived at mile 50 hurting a little more than expected. I was extremely thankful I had made it in time as I think it would have been very difficult for Elinor to turn around and go over Hope Pass alone at that point. As difficult as it was to witness my friend suffering, I continued to encourage her to keep moving despite being a bit overwhelmed at the time. We made it over Hope Pass (which was absolutely beautiful for me) and into Twin Lakes at mile 60 to have a quick visit with Rob, Reed (their one year old), El’s parents (in from Canada) and Todd (a Leadville veteran and pacer for later in the race).
Despite stressing Elinor out at the time, Reed’s crying was a blessing in disguise as she was too overwhelmed to deal with him so she got up and kept going. We continued on together into the night, me attempting to keep her eating (one Honey Stinger chew at a time) and not falling asleep and El just concentrating on moving her feet forward. As with all races, there are good and bad times and Elinor made it out of a slump and had some great miles of running (and running fast) between Twin Lakes and Fish Hatchery. Even though I have been through these cycles in races as well, it was really interesting to witness them from this perspective.
After about 27 miles, I left Elinor at Fish Hatchery where she continued on with Todd and up the Powerline climb passing people the whole way. I know she had a few more low points before she made it to the finish line but she pushed through and showed some amazing will power. One of my motivating speeches for El was to finish this one so she would never have to go through this again but of course it sounds like she’s already considering another 100 miler.
Elinor will have a full recap of her race experience in the November issue of Trail Runner magazine.
As for me, I have been working on my running threshold thanks to Lindsay Hyman at CTS. Intervals with some great trail runs and mountain bike rides mixed in have gotten me back to a point where I’m starting to feel fit again. I have a little further to go but am looking forward to testing my fitness at a few races in September and October.