The Grittiness Factor

"Within each one of us is a well of grit, gut, determination and resolve" -Ken Chlouber

Lately I've been thinking quite a bit about how I am possibly going to finish the Leadville 100. I'm not the most experienced runner, the strongest or fastest. I don't log the most miles, practice on the course everday or even get up to high altitude much. But I still have this confidence that I can finish this race. So what is it? What is that magical factor that makes me think I have what it takes? And then I remembered an aritcle I read in irunfar a few years ago. It was about the grittiness factor.

You can't teach grittiness, you certainly can't buy it, but it can improve over time. It comes from some place deep inside that you can't really explain, but it doesn't allow you to quit. I know I have grit. And Dan probably has more grit than anyone I know. I can't see him ever just quitting. He may not radiate sunshine and optimism, but when it comes to James and running he is optimistic, determined and full of grit. He was the one who never gave up believing James would heal his heart! At Silver Rush this past weekend there were some really rough and brutal conditions. I knew he was tired, sore and hurting, but I never once doubted I would see him cross the red carpeted finish line. No Dan was going to gut it out. Sometimes I wish I could bottle up some of his grit and take it with me.

So I have to trust the process. The reality is I work full-time, mom to James, which requires a little bit extra and I'm trying to run 100 miles. I know from other people I've read about training that 50 mile weeks is good enough for running ultras, some even say they don't recommend going over 60. All I can do now is keep logging the miles and getting myself mentally prepared for this journey.

I'm not totally sure where the past couple weeks have gone. I've logged some good miles though. I"m finally getting over my post-marathon cold that slowed me down a bit. Dan and I have still been running in the mornings which has been a nice treat for both of us. We slogged through the bug infested marsh at Deer Creek one day. I fought the heat at Falcon one afternoon. Continued my love hate relationship with segment 3 of the Colorado Trail...that section is just so runnable and hilly at the same time. But the day I was out there there were so many other runners, giving high 5s and words of encouragement to each other that you forgot about the 30 hills you hard just run over.

I think James may have inherited Dan and my grittiness! He has finally started army crawling and can nearly push himself to sit. He just gets this look of pure determination on his face and pushes himself so far. I've often thought I can't really tell if James looks like Dan or I, but then I see that determined look and yep, he's definitely our lil kiddo! When he gets himself up to sit he gets the biggest smile I think I've ever seen on his face...he's knows how hard he worked and is so excited he did something on his own. I love seeing that in him!

Week July 1 - 7

Miles Running: 43
Hours Hiking and Running: 8

Week July 8 - 14

Miles Running: 52.5
Hours Hiking and Running: 9


  1. What though the odds... We Irish have always had lots of grit.
    See you @ 6th and Harrison.
    Love you all,


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