Ok, another night of horrible sleep. This time I didn’t go to bed until late, and tossed and turned until around midnight or later. It wasn’t hot, I just couldn’t sleep. My left leg was bugging me like crazy (Irritable Leg Syndrome! It’s a thing, and it sucks terribly hard) and it was just a bad, bad time. The dog was up at 5:30 on the money, and was more enthusiastic than ever to get going. I laid there for a while, but eventually she bugged me enough to get me up.

After the morning routine, I brought the dog’s metal kennel inside. Damn, she hates that thing. It’s ok when it’s in the truck, but no sir, she weren’t happy. I got my running gear on and stuck her in it, down in the laundry room. It’s a bit dark and dreary, so I don’t blame her for being unhappy about getting left behind. I gotta get her used to it somewhat though, if I’m gonna ditch her for the weekend’s training camp runs. Unless I can find a dog walker / sitter… She whined and bitched and moaned for a while, but I didn’t hear her trying to break free, so I took off.

So I went for my first real “run” since I got to Leadville. For some reason, it was hellish. I ran from my house (the start line, basically) along what I believed to be the course. I later drove it (again) with map in hand, and now I’m certain is it the course. I turned back early on my run because I was confused about which train tracks to follow North. Turns out I wasn’t quite there!

Anyway, the run was awful. I was panting like I was running a intervals, but I was doing about 5:50 min/km! I was dying. I also felt like ass (eggs and bacon coming back up) and my ass felt like ass too (attempted oatmeal purge?) Either way, it was a bad run. I was a bit (a lot) demoralized, but I guess I could be tired from Mt. Elbert yesterday, and the lack of sleep, the cold I’m staving off, and still not being used to the altitude. At least, those are the excuses I’m using.

Garmin route from that morning. Warning: not awesome.

I carried bottles with me. Two of the Ultimate Direction ones. Unfortunately I don’t now what size they are. I drank at 15 min intervals and had a gel at 30. Damn it’s hard to do those things on the run, at this altitude. As mentioned a couple days ago, I simply cannot hold my breath for any period of time in this thin air.

It’s ~13 miles (21 km) (a half-marathon) to the first aid station: May Queen campground. It’ll be cold (4 AM start) but I believe that a calorie / water deficit is a bad way to start the race. If my plan is 200+ cals per hour, that’s 4 gels or so (assuming 2-ish hours to May Queen) and what? One litre of water? Seems like a lot, but it’s gonna get really hot before the day is over, so maybe better to eat while I am not being baked alive. I don’t really want to do gels the entire time, but how to carry other stuff? I am debating just bringing a pack for the first section. It doesn’t seem too unreasonable to carry a bag for a leg that is 1/8th of the course long, does it? I know other people won’t be drinking or eating much for this section, but I can’t help but think that could be mistake.

After my run, I took the dog back to the Lake. We drove the running route again (this time with the map, this time correctly) and I did a bit of off-roading down the end of the road to the tracks, and up a super steep section of trail that takes the race up to the lake start. I need bigger tires and my truck raised! I had to chicken out and turn around. What kind of man am I?

Anyway, we walked the lake to Tabor boat ramp, which is a crew access point for the race, though not a real aid station. It’s really not that far from the actual station, so I’ll have to think about whether I want to meet my crew there, or at May Queen Campground. Or both? Seems unreasonable, since I think the boat ramp is like 3 km from May Queen, if that. I guess it’s crowded here too, so moving the truck is probably unreasonable.

Beautiful, dead flat, easy trail around the entire lake. Lovely.

I saw a couple of runners. Heard them talking about the LTR100 and the training camp, Hope Pass, etc. Then they ran off, apparently to do a lap of the lake. They looked pretty hardcore, but I guess most ultra-runners do. I’ll do my best to look the part on race day!?

LTR100 tape from last year? Oh hell yeah.

The route around the lake is pretty straightforward, but there’s a few spots to be aware of. Not taking the “Nature Trail” is really the big one. I have no idea how clearly marked it’ll be on race day, but I should be fine, now, having walked it the once. I’ll get back out onto it much more often I’m sure, since the dog loves the beach and it’s close, and not pavement.

The dog’s most perfect disapproving look: “Do not follow this sign. It is misleading, and the trail was clearly labelled by a fucking moron.”

In other news:

My shin is very sore, on my left leg. I can only hope it’s not the bone, and just the muscle there. I guess I can run without a little lateral shin muscle. I cannot run without a shin bone.

My internet didn’t get set up today. The goddamn cable guy didn’t call, he just left a “sorry we missed you!” notice on the door. The company told the landlords that “they’d have to reschedule for the 26th”. Must it be that every service provider offers the worst service possible? Is it a law of thermodynamics!? I hate those fucks so much. I hate anyone who goes out of their way to make other people’s lives worse. With the intensity of a thousand burning suns. I’m editing this three days later and I’m making myself upset just thinking about it.

So they called the other company (of course there are only two) and they said they can get it set up right away, but I need a modem, and I don’t have a modem. The landlord is a resourceful dude so I am sure he’ll come up with something. My isolation is pretty intense out here, and some internet would be nice…

[Edit: the phone company screwed up also, and it too won’t be set up because it’s not “turned on” somewhere. Oh my god how is this so difficult?!]

For dinner I went to a bar called “Qincy’s”. They have a sweet thing going: you can order only one meal on certain nights of the week, and another on other nights. Steak cooked one way, and steak cooked another way. Goddamn genius. You might want to ask for “no salad” though, I think I ate about a half a container of ranch dressing and 1/2 lb of grated cheese on plain lettuce. I felt too rude to leave it though. Oh god. I’m getting nauseous just thinking about it! The steak was goddamn delicious though. The service was a little rough around the edges, but I guess a goddamn city boy like me needs to get off his high horse. (Another cowboy term? I’m on a roll.)

Mitch out.

ps: “Your high horse” is a term that clearly predates any cowboy, just like horses themselves:

“John Wyclif wrote of them in English Works, circa 1380: Ye emperour… made hym & his cardenals ride in reed on hye ors.