Monday, June 28, 2010

Leadville . . .

Next race . . . Leadville Trail Marathon on July 3rd.

Now, Leadville will be quite different in a number of ways, but for this race I've had to promise my doctor I will only walk!  No running!

Now back off some of those "smart ass" comments you were just thinking!  Things like "So . . . how is this different from a normal 'TripleF' race?"  Or perhaps, "Hey . . . this 'all walking' may just improve your time!"  Or maybe "Will anybody be able to actually see the difference?"  I may be slow, but I usually do "get it done."  So cut me a break here!

Leadville is going to be quite a challenge for me . . . walking or running!  Actually, since the race never drops below 10,000 feet elevation, I would probably be walking most of it anyway!  Altitude really "kicks my ass" bad.  In February I was visiting my daughter in Vail (~8,000) and just walking was a chore that would leave me winded, dizzy and a little nauseous.  I was there about four days and it did start to get a little better by the end.  But I never went for a run my whole trip. 

This time I will be getting to Vail on Thursday night late and the "race" is Saturday morning . . . one days to adjust.  A new friend of mine, Sharon Scott, has suggested I take Ginkgo bilaba for 5 days before the race to help with altitude adjustment.  Sharon and her husband Ricky are both very experienced ultra runners and have experience running at altitude (Pikes Peak twice and Ricky did a Pikes Peak double . . . up, down, back up and back down in one race!!)  So I'm giving Ginkgo a try.  Can't hurt!

But I'm fine with "having" to walk!  This "bad knee thing" just gives me a good excuse!  I understand that the trail as you near Mosquito Pass is totally big, loose rocks that cause a bunch of falls each year.  Unstable ground would just kill my knee if I was running . . . hope it will not be so bad if I'm walking.  Going up I would be walking for sure anyway, but normally I'm a good down-hill runner and can make up some lost time.  So I'm giving that up.

Leadville has an 8 1/2 hour cut-off.  Super easy if we were in NC.  We'll see how it all works out above 10,000 feet.

But as my friend Jim Plant told me, 'Any DNF is better then a DNS.'  So I'm going to start and see what happens.  No matter what . . . I promise I'll have fun!

I'm also looking forward to seeing my e-friend, Jennifer Nichols.  Jenn has been running really strong plus has run Leadville before so she knows what to expect.  Also, she lives and trains in the mountains of VA/TN.  I'm betting she will 'hammer' Leadville!  I sure hope so!


  1. Can't wait to see your smiling face, frank! We'll have fun! I will try the ginkgo as well! Leadville is a beast of a marathon but with the 50 milers you've ran etc. I think you'll be fine. Just hydrate well. Mind your nutrition and you be fine. The loose rocks I call it scree... Is no fun running on but there are many sections of just gravel road as well it has a good variation of runnable and damn near impossible:0) cheers!!! See you on Saturday!

  2. Frank, You are going to rock those rocks (scree). Take your time and enjoy yourself. Be sure to give Jenny a hug for me and I wish you both the best of luck. Rick


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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.