Friday, June 18, 2010

It's only a marathon. How hard can it be?

How many times must I be dropped on my head before I realize it hurts . . . every time . . . it will hurt.  And the higher up you go, the further the fall . . . and the further the fall the more it hurts!  It's really not very complicated at all.

Looks like at the end of this month, Connie and I will need to drive to Vail, CO to deliver something to my daughter, Laurie.  Long trip. Mapquest say 1,825 miles taking 28.5 driving hours . . . each way.   I do love Colorado! Almost everything about it!  Great trout fishing, great mountains, very scenic and a nice, laid-back life-style.  There is just one thing that I really don't like . . . and that is the elevation effects!

When I get to Vail (8,100 ft elevation), even the shortest walk leaves me very light-headed and gasping for breath like I've been a "couch potato" for years!  And it doesn't get better for several day at least.  I guess at this altitude there is just less oxygen in the air.  But whatever it is, it REALLY affects me!  A short walk feels more like running a 5k . . . hard!  Basically . . . it sucks!

But when I realized we would be in Colorado around July 4th I remembered there is a race not to far away from Vail that I've always wanted to do . . . the Leadville Marathon.

Now, here is where the falling on my head part comes in . . .

Leadville sits at 10,152 ft elevation . . . and is the highest incorporated municipality in the US.  The race starts in Leadville proper and climbs to 12,200 in the first 6 miles.  Then, you descend to 11,200 ft by mile 10 before you climb the big "Mama Jama" peaking at about 13,200 ft at the 13.1 mile point.  Then, turn around and run back.  The good news (at least for me) is they have an 8 1/2 hour cut-off.

On I read a few reviews of the race.  Everyone says it is spectacular.  And hard.  I wasn't too terribly worried as I read one where the lady was talking about how much the elevation affected her and her husband . . . until I saw they were from Los Vegas, NM . . . elevation 6,500 feet!!  The elevation of my house is 210 ft!!

And my right knee is still really"barking" from the Boogie Marathon last Saturday afternoon. 

So how high up the ladder am I before I take my "header" onto cement?

But It's ONLY 26.2 miles . . .How hard can it be?

So maybe I'll be paying $100 (steep!) for a t-shirt and a DNF.  I'll decide for sure this weekend.


  1. Every time I think I am running too much or attempting something too hard or challenging, I just come to your blog. It always puts things in perspective.

  2. Knowing you, I predict you will be on the right side of that finish line. Good decision.


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Littleton, North Carolina
World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.