"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Monday, June 23, 2008

Leadville hill stompers


George Carlin died last night. I say the gray ponytail look dies with him. RIP, George.

Recent training

6/19. 3 miles in 27.5 In the afternoon, I mowed my lawn and I'm counting it as three more miles of training. It takes a full tank of gas to cut my 0.35 acres and I didn't have that much, so I cut the grass while running, to cut fuel consumption. The neighbors are worried about my mental health now.

6/20. 4 miles in 34, plus five powerwalked.

6/21. 23 miles in 4:06, with 14 in 2:05. Ran in the heat at Afton, starting two hours after a dozen others I know. I was gulping water as fast as I could get it (the pump handle at the beach was gone, so water was scarce), as much as 40 oz. per hour, but was still dehydrating. I also managed to get some sunburn. Ran into Julie Berg, who's running Leadville this year - the first connection to that race of the weekend. Decided to move to the campground hill, as there's water at the top. The hill's 310 feet, but I forget how long - it levels out a lot at the top.

There were two young women running repeats of the hill that were really pounding it. I asked them if they were doing the race on the 5th, but they were training for cross-country skiing. These women would be naturals at trail racing, which they might be thinking themselves, after all the attention they got - I know three others who asked them the same thing that day. Of course, they might just think it was old guys chatting them up.

Les Martisko was out there doing hill repeats, so I joined him, slowing to his pace, which I probably needed anyway. Les has done 273 races marathon or longer; if you can't learn from him, you're not listening. He made me feel a lot better about my problems at FANS - he says stuff happens there that just never seems to happen elsewhere. We got to talking about Leadville, among other hilly races and about the stats of various hills in the Twin Cities. Buck Hill (240 feet elevation, 0.22 miles up) is closed due to erosion.

6/22. 10+ miles in 87 minutes, at Hyland Hills. Decided to have a look at the hill most people are substituting for Buck Hill. A straight shot up the long hill is 0.14 miles and 155 feet (Les claims 140). My heart wasn't into it. Chatted with some hikers and some people competing in the state Frisbee golf championship - the hill is in the middle of their course. Ran into two guys whose names I really should know (it'll get more and more embarassing as we'll meet again and again); both a generation older than me and we got to talking about... Leadville. One of them finished it on his first try 10 years ago and has tried to repeat every year since (though he talked about pacing someone -vomiting Bob - as well). They pointed me through the woods to the ski jump hill. That one's 145 feet, but only 0.9 miles; steep enough for anyone's tastes.

They told me that Paul Hasse's been training for Leadville by running the half-mile loop along the long hill. 65 loops! 10 loops an hour! Kurt Decker's been running that hill - training for Leadville - 30 times at 4 1/2 minutes per hill (apparently doing it straight up and down, or he's unbelievably fast). Joe Ziegenfuss and his crew have been training out there on Monday nights as well.

The other guys heading out to Leadville that I know are Joel Button and Pete Grimes; they've been doing some heavy training as well. Pete's description of their recent 50 mile training run has me rethinking some of my electrolyte choices.

I've got a lot of work to do to catch up to these guys.

[Note added: One of the guys I ran into at Hyland was Ed Dallmann. Also, I forgot a rather important entrant in this year's Leadville: my cousin Keith Rudolph. Paul Holovnia and Allan Holtz are also running Leadville.]


keith said...

leadville is my fantasy race. i love that area of the united states of wide america.

i don't think you have as far to go as you think from some of those guys. you're one of the best runners i know.

saturday was a good day to get a tan, indeed. you also got that line from family guy randomly popping into my head and making me crack up from time to time, so thanks for that.

Londell said...

Not to take away from the solid post, but your first line was the most impacting... kept me thinking about Carlin and not reading the post... Carlin... My son even loved the guy as much as I... It says alot when he has two generations thinking he is the best... And then, here I am getting news from a blog... I guess that tells you what I enjoy reading more!

Carry on!


I have to agree with Keith. You're well within reach of Leadville. I think you're way ahead of me in preparation. There are really only two "hills" at Leadville. Granted one is 12,600' and the other is over 11,000' but other than that it really is less hilly than Afton. You saw the course last year. You know you could do it. Come join the fun.

Joel said...


Thanks for mentioning the other Leadville preparers. I didn't know there were so many. I'll look to hook up with them. Having said that, you should come out and run it. Seriously. You saw how Pete and I ran and WALKED last year. While we're hoping to reach Winfield much sooner this year, it's nothing crazy.

If you can't be convinced to run the whole thing, consider pacing for us. We've no one. No pacers, no crew. Right now, we're planning our drop bag strategies.

Joe Z said...

Steve (and others who may read this) - we do meet Monday nights at 8:00 PM at Hyland for a hill workout (this week it might be a lighter crew / workout due to the Afton race). We also have a standing 6:00 AM Friday AM loop of Hyland we do (7.5 miles).

Joe Z