Friday, August 23, 2013

Leadville 100 run report

My amazing wife Becca at finish
The Leadville 100 run was incredible. It was my first 100mile run and 20hrs I will never forget. Back in Jan when I decided to do Leadman there was 2 major factors before I pulled the trigger and paid the entry fee for my whole summer of endurance racing in Leadville. 1st: support from my loving wife  2nd: proper training by getting a solid coach (Patrick Valentine) to give myself the best possible chance to race well. I literally logged in twice to register for Leadman and chickened out….one day after a long run I decided to give it go and committed to myself to focus 100% on these races for 2013. I had a great summer of training and really loved it. I spent more time in the “real” mountains.  Had a great time training and getting to know Travis Macy (now the current Leadman record holder).  Two quotes that resonated with me all season “the mountains are calling and I must go” and “my eyes have seen the glory”. I looked forward to my long runs (5-7hrs) I felt trashed but “full” after a long day in on the trails. I feel super blessed to be able to do what I do and spend time in God’s creation.
Patrick set up a solid training program for me that started right after I completed the AZT300 mtb race (3 days and 300miles) in April. We set up a plan of 60-70% running and a very focused bike program to keep the strength for the 50 & 100mile races. I probably averaged about 12-14hrs a week and ramped up to 23hrs for my biggest week. I wasn’t pulling 100+mile run weeks like many ultrarunners, but felt confident with my training which was a lot of 3-5hr runs at 100mile pace with lots of hiking, and a solid amount of vert in most every long run.

*Race morning weather was perfect. With everyone lined up in the corral the focus and energy from all the racers was impressive. Boom…start. We jogged down 6th street with 1000 headlamped runners. My goal was to take it easy (“Its 100miles dummy” was my motto) the first 40miles and really try to ease off and hit my conservative goal times for each aid station…May Queen at 13 miles is the first main Aid station.  It was insane…probably 1000 people screaming and cheering (its 6am!) The sun was just coming up…I found Becca and my dad easily (thanks guys) and grabbed two new bottles and a couple gels and left my headlamp. Back onto some awesome singletrack and we started climbing. It was such a beautiful sunrise as we climbed up the long dirt road…we started down powerline and I was feeling great and very comfortable running/chatting with Donnie H., Travis Macy, and Bob Africa.  All great guys. Cruised into Fish Hatchery (23.5miles) around 7:50 and was feeling good after a much needed #2.  Saw my amazing crew, filled up and ate a rice cake. Going into pipeline aid station (29.5miles) I started feeling pretty crappy…my quads felt fried already and I was having a hard time running (even the flats) I was pretty concerned but decided to just take it easy for a bit and hope it flushed out. 10miles later rolling into Twin Lakes (mile 40) I was still not feeling great and thought I might be in for a long long slug. Mentally I got boost seeing Becca and my crew (Casey, Mom, Dad, Roy, Rhonda, and the boys) I sat down and did a quick shoe change to a pair of Pearl Izumi N2 trail shoes. Got a few chips down, and some coconut water and took off towards Hope Pass. I felt like crap (still) and was thinking once I started hiking up Hope Pass I would feel better (since climbing is my strength)…after crossing the river the long grind up hope pass began. I started out slow and couldn’t get rolling. It was a slow slog up to hope pass aid station and I got passed by 6-8 people. Mentally I stayed positive and just took the punches as they came. At the aid station (lamas and all) I downed some noodle soup and coke for the first time (It tasted amazing) I crested the summit and started the descent and my legs hurt..bad. After 10minutes or so my legs loosened up and I was able to use my descending skills to pass 6-8 guys. Once we hit the singletrack section at the bottom heading towards Mayfield I felt pretty solid and passed 4-5 more guys. I caught Donnie and he was still looking good…I knew Travis and Bob were a ways in front of me. I took a look at my watch as they both passed me heading back up (8min, and 15min up). I rolled into Mayfield  (mile 50) and Casey was ready to roll! We had a fast transition and I had only lost 3 pounds. Got some more coke and soup in and took a few Tylenol. We made quick work of the singletrack and started the steep climb back up hope pass. I felt good and Casey was cracking jokes (back in the game!) We absolutely crushed the climb back up. Fast powerhiking and we caught more people. I had Casey grab me two sticks out of the woods to use for poles and it helped a ton. It was awesome seeing Alex Pashley and Chris Boyack coming down. At the top we chucked the sticks and started ripping the descent. We actually caught Bob and Travis on the descent and I decided to mellow out and not get too excited. All three of us rolled into Twin Lakes (mile 60) aid station together at 4pm. I felt good and had made the double crossing in 5.5hrs. Another shoe change into some fresh Pearl Izumi N2 shoes and we headed back out. The next 16 miles was pretty solid…I didn’t feel amazing but felt ok and we had a steady pace as we Rolled into pipeline station (mile 70) feeling ok. The next 6miles to fish hatchery was tough…I was still moving ok but mentally it took a very long time. Casey had paced me a very hard 26.5miles and was ready for break (thanks dude!) Greg was geared up and ready to roll…we left Fish Hatchery (mile 76.5) around 7:20 and I was stoked to be at this point still in daylight. We power-hiked the Powerline climb and my legs felt great. Greg was doing a great job keeping me hydrated and fed. We were making great time (passing several people) and rolled into May Queen (mile 86.5) around 9:30 or so. Greg had told me I was top 20 leaving Fish Hatchery and I was pretty shocked/stoked. We ran the next 6miles of awesome singletrack around the lake around a 10-11:00min. mile pace.  90miles in it felt like we were flying. We got to the boatramp (mile 93) and Becca was amped up and ready to pace me the last 7miles. I owe Greg a huge thanks as he kept me moving at a great pace but more importantly made me drink way more than I wanted and I believe this is why felt so solid. It was so perfect running the last 7miles with my amazing wife and she did a phenomenal job running our crew and keeping everything running  smooth (just like at home)…She was running at a good clip and my legs although trashed and hurting felt ok running the last 7 miles.  We caught Travis and had an awesome couple minutes chatting with him and Jason Poole, He knew at this point he had won Leadman title with a new record. We crested the hill and saw the finish line! I rolled across in 20:14 and was 14th overall….stoked beyond words! I had finished 2nd leadman to Bob Africa who absolutely crushed it running a 19:36 (for 9th overall) with Travis finishing a minute behind me. I held onto my 3rd place overall for leadman, and was even more happy to put together a solid effort for my first 100mile run. My crew was super, and I feel so blessed to have such awesome people and family supporting  me.
 Gear pile
 The AMAZING crew!
 Twin Lakes (40miles)
 Twin lakes with Ryder pacing
 Leadman Podium
High fives with Max
Nutrition: UD Bottles: Water, EFS whole race. GU for most calories. 2 homemade rice cakes, 3 honey stinger waffles, 3 packs of honey stinger chews. Chicken soup and coke at aid stations.
Gear: Ultimate Directions AK vest and Bottles. Swiftwick socks (3pair), Pearl Izumi shoes (M3, N2), Pearl Izumi shorts, Swiftwick shirt and armwarmers, PrincetonTec headlamps, Oakley glasses, Vintage Denver Broncos hat (crucial).


Chris Boyack said...

Congrats, Luke! You hit that one out of the park!! What a sweet finish to bust out a 20 hour finish for your first 100 coming at the tail end of Leadman. Stout to say the least. Was great to see you out there moving so well, definitely a highlight for me!

Donnie said...

Luke! You knocked it out of the park brother, I'm so stoked for you. Let's make a few fall runs and cold beers happen.


jameson said...

epic... well everything but that hideous broncos had.