Spirit of the Ultra

Nice Kitty
There's a certain kind of spirit that Leadville holds. It's in the town and it's in the race. I remember my first trip to Leadville...I was moving there for the winter. Rent was cheaper than Frisco so my sister and I decided Leadville would be our winter home while we worked at Copper Mountain. There is something about the little town that instantly grabbed me. It doesn't have a main street lined with cute cafes and gift shops, there aren't fancy spas or restaurants. But what Leadville lacks in amenities it makes up for in heart. It has character, determination, grit. All the characteristics of the 100.

Leadville 100 was the first 100 I ever heard of, the first 100 I ever witnessed and I knew it would be the first 100 I would try. I also thought I would try it once and that would be good enough. Well try turned into finish. And finish...well finish has turned into finish faster. As the season is getting underway I've been watching endless you tube videos of Leadville and I am already excited to run it again. I'm excited to get to experience the race pacing and crewing this year, ultimately I think it will help by eventual big buckle attempt. But it's hard to think about not standing at the starting line this year. I know I realistically can't run Leadville every year, nor do I really want to. I need to experience new races. But there's this draw, this pull at your heart begging you to come back.

I can picture all the trails. Winding around Turquoise Lake as the sun rises, the spectacular views from Sugarloaf as the day begins, rolling along the Colorado Trail beneath Mt Elbert for a moment contemplating a quick turn off for a summit attempt, watching Twin Lakes getting bigger and bigger as you make your decent, meandering through the meadows before that climb up Hope. I can picture the last clearing before you see the tents and llamas that mark Hope, the steep decent before you pop out quickly on the road only to turn around and do it all over again.

I realized this week that Leadville is completely entrenched in my heart. And I know I will be back to race again. Not everyone feels the same way about Leadville, but everyone has that race that holds a special place for them and that keeps drawing them back.

It felt so good to get back in the groove of running Apex all week. I could tell I haven't been running enough climbs, but I could tell I was gaining it back quickly. Thursday I ran the same loop nearly 2 minutes faster than the day before. My week day runs weren't as long as I like most to be, but I was a bit time crunched and at least I got in more vertical than I've been getting recently.

Overall though this week seemed to be a bit of a catch up week in terms of work and life. I had a million little things to finish up so my week day runs were all a bit shorter than I would like. But Dan and I did manage a date run on Saturday. We've been meaning to check out the new Nice Kitty trail in Buffalo Creek. We did a loop heading up Nice Kitty to the Buffalo Burn Trail, CT and back down Shinglemill and Morrison Creek. The trails were in great condition. We hit a few icy patches on the CT, but otherwise it was all dry trail. Definitely excited to have some new loops. As much as I like my 19 mile loop at PVR sometimes it's nice to mix it up a bit.

James has become even more proficient in his climbing abilities. Time to mount the TV to the wall so we can get rid of the TV stand I guess. He also has decided that Michael Franti is just as good as Daft Punk for Sunday morning dance parties! It's hilarious how he has favorite songs. Let it Go...definitely up there as a favorite. 

Week March 24 - 30

Miles Running: 38.0
Hours Hiking and Running: 7.5

Pure determination

Just shallaxing


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