Coming off the DNF at Hardrock in early July, my confidence was rightly damaged as I began looking ahead to Leadville.
Since then, I've had roughly 6 weeks to put that behind me and attempt to get my mojo back. While I feel that I've made a complete physical and psychological recovery and am as ready or possibly more ready than I was this time last year. I still decided to take a slightly more Spartan stab at this year's race.
While I am going to have my close friends Grant and Katie crewing for me, I've kept the logistics pretty straightforward this go round. They'll meet me at Mayqueen (13 miles), Fish Hatchery (23.5 miles), Twin Lakes (40 miles), and Winfield (50 miles) on both the outbound and inbound trips. I'll use the 3-Rubbermaid-bin-system from last year which will just require them to have all three ready for me to take what I need at each stop. One bin consists of just nutritional items and first aid, the second is just clothing items, and the third is shoes/socks and miscellaneous.
The amount of time I spend at each aid station will be one of my major changes from last year. With the 2009 LT100 being my very first stab at the 100 mile distance, I needed all the support I could get at each station and inevitably sat down each time, felt sorry for myself, and contemplated quitting, before finally regrouping and hitting the trail again! I now know to avoid the dangers a comfy chair presents... no sitting for this guy unless it's to change shoes or socks! In 2009 I spent a cumulative time of about an hour and a half at aid stations, so in 2010, even if I simply cut that in half, it would put me at a 22:36 finish time assuming identical fitness and splits while on the course. Combine that with the fact that my fitness level is better this year AND I have the advantage of being familiar with the course, and I don't think it's unrealistic to shave 1 to 1 1/2 hours on top of that. Using this logic is what gave me the idea for a sub-last-call-at-the-bar finish time, but we'll see... there are still just so many variables!
Pacing: Again going along with the 'simplify' strategy (and because the thought of spending 10 miles on a trail with me scares away most runners), I will only have pacers for the last 40 miles this year. (Not to say I won't pick up a pacer in Winfield if one's available, but I'm not counting on it.) When deciding on what miles to get assistance with, I figured I'd rather go solo in the daylight from miles 50-60, while I'm still somewhat fresh, rather than in the middle of the night when I'd probably get lost, hurt, fall asleep, or get eaten by a bear.
For my Facebook friends, my crew will be posting updates on my wall throughout the day and night documenting my progress. I've also heard rumors of a live Twitter feed (#lt100), but I can neither confirm nor deny!
Leeeeeeeeeeet's get ready to ruuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmbbbbbbbbbbbbllllllllllle!