Leadman lead up
Less than 12 hours away from the start of the Leadman EPIC 250 here in Bend and we have finally sat down after the typical scramble of transition bags, race briefings, last minute items and the joys of traveling. Time to put the final rest in before tomorrows party.
Leadman 250 | 5-kilometer swim • 223-kilometer bike • 22-kilometer run
I signed up for the first Leadman 250 in Vegas shortly after my first Ironman back in 2010 but my coach at the time talked me out of it. That ended up being a big year as it was but I would have loved to smash myself on that course and I am bummed it is no longer an option. Last year, we were here in Bend but after running all year I decided to jump into a trail race instead and enjoy time with friends here and watch other friends race. I also missed out on Tempe 125 this year because of my stubbornness (stupidity) to run a marathon at Cabo with my ankle/shin injured. Three Leadman races, zero starts. That all changes tomorrow. I am ready and I am hungry!
This weekend is special for a number of reasons. Right now the start of the Kodiak 100 mile ultra run in Big Bear has started and we have a few friends racing out there. On Sunday, the Tahoe Ironman kicks off with many of our friends racing and two guys that I have been coaching are toeing the line. In many ways, I am more stoked to see how their races unfold than even mine tomorrow. Lots of energy output and realized goals over the weekend.
I wanted to highlight a few things that were different for me in this (short) build up to this race. I had about two months back to running only getting in 20-25 miles a week but I feel more confident going into this race than I have ever before in the past. Why? Experience with how I should feel race week is a big part of it but it has more to do with the lead up. Key changes in focus for me were
– Coaching — This has been a very rewarding process and extremely insightful. Having to understand and adapt someones training based on their progress, where they are at and write out my advice/lessons has been a huge help to me. I really didn’t expect that but it was a change of perspective that had me even taking my own advice at times ;-)
– Working for the man — I have put more time into my job and career this year than I have in the last four years or so… All for good reason and reward but in the ruthless drive for efficiency I have found a focus in training that I have never had before. I love to train so when I get the chance I am grateful and I make it count.
– Perfecting my formula — Not that it is perfect but with the time that I have put into training I really feel that I have nailed the process that works for me. This is huge! I was not swimming a ton but I had 3 sessions every week that has me swimming faster and more efficient than ever before. I didn’t swim tired and I did not put in big volume but I swam smart and repeated with consistency the keys sessions that gave me the biggest boost and it is working. This is always a work in progress but this is where a lot of my confidence is coming from. I had no problem cutting back most sessions and taking extra rest and it made me more focused when I knew I needed to nail a key session.
– Enjoy the journey — OK. This is an oldie but a goodie! With a kid on the way, responsibility with work growing and other goals in life looming I am savoring every second of putting in the training to a big race. As always, it is the people and relationships that you remember the most and I have met and grown some relationships in the last four months that I am very stoked about. When I look back at the thousands of pictures I took over this build, I can enjoy the collection of positive memories along the way win, loose or dnf come race day and race day is just another step in the process where I get to test my formula.
So that brings me to tomorrow morning and I have one burning goal on my mind. GO FAST! ha. OK… Outside of the RACE, I have my eyes set on getting that BIG belt buckle from the Epic 250. Any competitor who can cross the finish line before 9 hours gets a big buckle. To my knowledge, no amateur has been able to do that yet and last year only the top 9 pros were sub9. That is to say, it is not easy and going to be a good carrot to get me focused on every second. Even with a flat, being frozen or falling on my face I know I can just give it all I got with a yearning to beat the clock on the way to smashing the best out of myself. Looking at the numbers over the last week has started to make me sick because it is a delicate balance and a very big stretch but somehow my mind wants to believe I can do it…I would have to have a killer day but it is possible.
Its a goal and its going to stretch me so I am up for the race! Only issue I see now is the weather that looks like we will get rain and snow at the higher parts of the bike course around Mt. Bachelor. Ahhh…. I HATE being cold! I would much rather race in the heat sweating buckets with my head ready to pop than be shivering in the cold but it is just another obstacle to overcome on the day. The course is SICK and looks like a mountain bike course only on a paved road. Here are some pics from our trip so far.
O is for Oregon
the family package
miles and miles of this on the bike course – it does not suck!
did I mention that it was COLD!?
where it all begins tomorrow morning at 7:35am