Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Four days after finishing the 100 we were on a plane headed for Europe to visit my in-laws and enjoy a relaxing two-week vacation. Our first stop was my wife's childhood home in Switzerland-- a small village just outside of Geneva. Our second stop was her father's house, situated in the rolling hills of southern France near the Pyrenees, just outside of Lourdes. It was a wonderful trip. Very, very relaxing. Christina's parents were amazing hosts; and the kids had a ton of fun playing with their grandparents.

I arrived with swollen feet and a tender spot on the top of my right foot (due to my crazy, ill-advised Powerlines descent), but in pretty good shape. With some compression, icing, and plenty of rest my feet more-or-less recovered a week after the race. When all was said and done, I think I recovered from this year's 100 more quickly than any previous year. It seems unfair that the less time you're out there, the easier it is. Not being on your feet for a full 30 hours really makes a difference.

After about two weeks' rest, I started going out on short, 5-mile runs in France. I felt pretty good and I was actually able to set a PR for the distance-- due to all the oxygen at sea level, of course. I was ravenously hungry during the entire vacation and ate and ate and ate. Such good food. When we finally returned to Leadville, I stepped on my scale and weighed in 6 lbs heavier than my race weight just three weeks prior! Aw, yeah!

I'm headed to Steamboat Strings this weekend to pace my friend Alex for 60 miles. (Yikes! We'll see how that goes! Hopefully I haven't lost too much fitness...) He's running the Run Rabbit Run 100 mainly in an effort to preserve his qualifying status for the Hardrock lottery. I definitely owe him for pacing me at Leadville this year. It should be a lot of fun. I'm really looking forward to it. I think it'll be great to be immersed in the energy of a race again, but without worrying about my own performance or selfish goals. Instead, I will be solely focused on helping a friend. That will be a very healthy change.

Other than that, I've got a business trip to Boston coming up, and then I'm thinking of running the Devil Mountain 50 in Pagosa Springs the last weekend of September. I ran it in '11 and it's a small, low-key, very mellow race-- basically the opposite of the Leadville 100. Beautiful terrain and plenty of vertical. A good opportunity to enjoy some time in the mountains before my summer fitness disappears.

I've updated my LT100 race report with some pictures. I'm definitely feeling some post-focus-race aimlessness. So much training, so much planning, so much obsessing and now it's over... Sure, I'm starting to tentatively think about possible goals for next year, but more than anything I'm looking forward to four months of down time-- of just running when I feel like it, for the hell of it.

A view from the backyard of Christina's childhood home over the adjacent vineyard.
Grandma, Sierra, and Aunt Carolyn. Lake Geneva and the Alps in the background.
Chamonix and the UTMB starting line! Two weeks is enough rest, right???
Mer de Glace. I was very proud of Sierra hiking the 400+ steps to the glacier without complaint.
Grandpa's pool was obviously a big hit with the kids-- well, everyone really!
Momma and Ethan enjoy lunch at Grandpa's.
A view of the Pyrenees from Grandpa's front yard.
The whole family at Biarritz, France.
Sierra dragging me into the Atlantic.

1 comment:

  1. I paced Ben L. last hear the last 30 of RRR100 and my opinion after just those thirty miles is that I would never run that full race... pace it? Sure... run, no. Anyway... curious to see what you think about it. Also, a big vacation after LT100 is a brilliant idea. What a great way to reboot life after racing. :)