Thursday, August 30, 2012

2012 Leadville Trail 100 Mile - Remembering the Lessons


A DNF
On July 22, 1995, I DNF'ed (Did Not Finish) the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run (my second 100 mile race and first DNF).  I made some critical errors on both the days leading up to that event and on race day.  I returned home after an abysmal race dejected and upset.  I wrote down what I felt I needed to do differently the next time I toed the line of a 100 mile.

I've held onto the list.  Though the page on which it is written handles more like parchment now the words are still legible.

1)  Drink more water the week before an ultra.
2)  Relax while traveling to the race.
3)  Eat regularly and eat foods with which I'm familiar.
4)  Don't show up before I have to.  Don't think about the race too much.
5)  Don't set myself up for disappointment.  Take it easy, relax, and have fun.  Don't race them.  Don't ever be disappointed of where I am in the field.
6)  Stick to my training foods and fluids.  Don't use things I'm not used to during an ultra.
7)  Don't eat too much or drink too much early on - moderate.
8)  Don't let what others tell me influence my mind set, strategy, and plans.
9)  If I do DNF - look ahead, learn from it, and move forward - don't lament, don't sulk.
10)  The run will be there next year!

Quite frankly, I lost sight of many of these points at this year's Leadville Trail 100 Mile.  I allowed one thing after another frustrate me and control my race.  I lost sight of why I was there and why I enjoy these events so much.

With that said, I won't bore you of the why's and how's of a day that went south, but, instead, will keep this old piece of scratch paper closer at hand.  Let's look at some cool photos while you anxiously await the next blog post which will regal you with successes of an ultra gone right.  Cheers!

A definite race day highlight was sharing trail time with fellow Flagstaffian and close friend Brian Tinder.  He'd go on to finish in 21 hours!

Atop Sugarloaf in the early morning.  Unfortunately I wouldn't see it again as I would drop at mile 73.

Leaving Fish Hatchery (mile 24).

Running on the new section of single-track trail carved out above Winfield.  I liked it!

I was so looking forward to seeing these familiar faces at Winfield.  Here Derek Schultz, my pacer for the Hope Pass section, plays photo op with Zoroaster.


I felt as if I had a dump truck on my back!  Nearing the crest of Hope Pass at 12,600'.

Crossing Hope Pass (mile 55).

Derek paces me through Twin Lakes (mile 61).

Crew member Craig Bushong helps Emily Harrison prepare to pace me through the Colorado Trail section of the course.

Your Moment of Zen

DNF:  Dog's Never Forget.  It's okay Dad, I still love you!  Lick!

10 comments:

Jana said...

I'll take a photocopy of that tattered piece of paper! Great post. On on!

Evan said...

It was good to see you at the race Ian, and I'm digging this Zen moment!

Jessica Miller said...

Great post. I mentioned this quote just the other day to your nephew, Griff. "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. -Michael Jordan

Andrew said...

What a great list of 10 points to keep in mind before and during racing. Ultras, and 100-milers especially, seem to provide endless opportunities to learn old lessons for "yet another first time." Great post: Thanks for sharing those insights, Ian.

Anne's Alterations said...

Nice post, Ian. I was definitely interested in this one since I was there so many years ago at your fantastic finish of the Leadville 100. You are amazing! It is nice to see some Zen in your life =)
Happiness always!

mr trail safety said...

I used my '95 LT100/AC100 DNFs to focus on my '96 AC100 efforts. It was the best year of my ultra career!

Karin said...

I was googling 'what to do after a 100 mile DNF" and there was your post. And a great post it is! I DNF'd last weekend on my first 100miler. What a deflated feeling that is! One thing it did do was grow my - already great - respect for this tremendous distance. Here's to the next race!! Happy trails!

Missy B. said...

If anything, you got a sweet portrait of yourself with Z. Congrats on lessons learned, and on your successful race after Leadville. It was great to see you in Buena Vista before TRR ~ your smile brightened my day!

Bart-Eve Smith said...

Nice laundry list of things to do/not do prior to any ultra. Great pictures, but the last one takes first prize.

Thanks,
Bartman

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