"Albert Camus wrote that the only serious question is whether to kill yourself or not."

Pork n’ Beans n’ Miles

Life in Leadville goes on. My days are filled with wasting away on the internet, and running. I occasionally do groceries, or dishes, or clean, but for the most part I run, read about running, think about running, or plan my runs.

I’m not starving, but it was touch and go for a while there. Have learned to appreciate the g/f’s cooking even more!

My diet has been pretty mediocre for the previous month, but I’ve tightened things up a bit. No more bags of delicious Lime Tostitos. I actually found a cucumber in the Leadville Safeway this week. I didn’t think they had those, up here. I won’t lie and say I’m eating as many veggies as I should be, but such is life, and vegetables are gross.

“Feed me, please.. I’m … dyyyyinnnnng…..”
“You ate 6 hours ago.”
“Well it feels like I’m dying!”

The dog is doing well enough. I’m pretty tired of being a dog-sitter 24-7, but I guess when you own a dog, that’s the way it goes. She’s running 65+ km per week. It’s funny, she never really gets a rest week, because she runs all my “easy” runs. So my rest weeks often mean she does more running than usual. She still seems to struggle on anything around the 20 km mark. I think it’s still mostly the heat though. We try to start early to beat the sun. The air is cold here, but the sun is blazing.

Some dude finishing the Leadville 50 miler. I could look him up. If I cared. Which I don’t.

Leadville Race Series held their “Silver Rush 50” a few weekends ago. Or maybe it was last weekend? The 50 miler, anyway. Matt and I were hiking and met this Canadian dude from Toronto, named Carlos something. (I could look it up, but it’s unimportant right now.) He is competing in the 100 miler, and also did the 50 miler. I was pretty excited to meet a fellow Canadian so I told him maybe I’d catch him at the start or finish line of the 50.

Funny thing was, I actually got there the exact minute he crossed the finish line. The photo I got was complete dog-shit though so whatevs. It was just a funny coincidence. It was also the highlight of the visit: hanging out at the finish line of a race you a) are not racing in, or b) don’t know anyone in is c) incredibly goddamn boring. Watching a bunch of decrepit randomns shuffle across a finish line (9 hours after they started!) is just a lot less fun than you would even imagine.

This is what the Finishing Area place looked like. Yup.

I caught a couple of shots of an epic sunset we had the other day. Leadville has some pretty intense weather. Super perfectly clear blue skies in the morning, and thundershowers every afternoon. It’s about 1 hundred trillion infinity times better than Vancouver weather. If you know me and my history with Vancouver weather, I say “Fuck Vancouver weather!”

Looking South.

Leadville countdown: 29 days

So we’re less than 1 month away from the start of the 2012 Leadville 100 trail run. This time, exactly 4 weeks from now, I will be getting ready for bed, I hope (well, maybe not at 4:30 PM, but close) in preparation for a 4 AM start to my first 100 miler.

I really, really wish it was not so far away. The anticipation is killing me.

My training is going well. Let me see if I can plot some pictures… well, I’ll do a more in-depth analysis later, but essentially I just did 3 good sets of 3 weeks increasing mileage + 1 week 50% mileage. After my injury, I slowly ramped back up, and just last week I ran 153 km. This is a rest week, and I’ll be at 88 or so km. Next week is a “big week” and I don’t wanna jinx myself (just kidding, what am I, Harry Potter?) but I’m hoping to hit like 180 km. Huge! I guess for some people that’s not a lot, but it’s more than most.

I’m going to run 64 km long run on Sunday, and try to split the rest up fairly evenly. A few big mountain climbs, another Powerline crossing on Thursday, and then voila… Tapering begins.

My final block of training looks like:

  • July 21-27: 160+ km
  • July 28-03: 75% (120 km)
  • Aug 04-10: 50% (80 km)
  • Aug 11-17: 25% (40 km)
  • Aug 18-19: Run like a sonofabitch

Now, some might argue that more rest is required. I am going to suggest that taking days off completely is a bad idea, and makes me feel like a pile of poop. A pile of goose poop, which Tona then eats, and poops out again. Double plus un-poop.

Better to simply go for a short 30 minute jog to get the blood flowing and freshen up the legs. In my final week I’m gonna do one short tempo workout (10 min E + 3 x 3 min T + 10 min E), the rest will be baby jogs. I think this is better than just sitting on my arse and surfing the net. I mean, I do that 8 hours a day anyway!

I’m concerned I’m not logging enough “long run” miles, or enough back-to-back miles. My plan is somewhat different from the standard plan, in that regards. This was a conscious decision based on my 50 mile run. I didn’t feel like I learned anything. I reasoned: why not run the same mileage, but spread out more evenly, and thus run more, run faster, and run less risk of injury?

The fact of the matter is, I’m more afraid of being injured again (that goddamn foot injury!) than I am of being undertrained.

I’d rather be like this poor bastard…

… than like this poor bastard.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, standing at the horizon of a 160 km battle against the minions of Satan himself, one can’t help but wonder if perhaps I shouldn’t be running longer distances. Alas, I can’t do anything about it now. Better to see my strategy through to the finish. If I’m wrong, there’s always another race.

The miles are in the bank, for the most part. It’s all over but the crying. And the pain. And the despair. And the nauseating consumption of 6,000 calories of sugar and 13.5 litres of water. Shudder.

Jennifer Anniston would sell water, wouldn’t she?

This is supposedly what a 6000 calorie breakfast looks like…. God I love eating.

Mitch out.


  1. Joan Childs

    Where is Leadville? Are you not living in Vancouver anymore.
    Remember your poor dog has on a fur coat, no wonder she doesn’t like running as far as you.

    • Mitch

      I’m in Leadville, Colorado, training for the summer. I do still live in Vancouver, but will only be back there in early September.

  2. xtracold

    You are putting me to shame dude. Last night I finally dragged my lazy scottish arse onto the trails in anticipation of the 23km Squamish run on August 11th. With 19days to go and a thoroughly structured training regime that has included a massive calorie intake at a rate of 200kcal/pint it is perhaps fair to say that it will not be the greatest time ever laid down. But I did stumble to a 52min 7.5km after zero running for a very long time, so I think that is similar to my on-road 10k pace. 3hrs is my goal for the 23k given my poor approach to training, if you can do your 100miler in similar time i’ll buy you one of those breakfasts!! haha!!!

    • Mitch

      If it’s any consolation, your drinking puts me to shame, and I’m more embarrassed about my inability to drink than you are about your inability to run 100 miles.

      52 minute 7.5 km is pretty damned good. We can compare our average paces after our race are over, haha.

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