Leaving Leadville after Stage 2, I was nervous about how my body would hold up after the tough 2nd day. I promised myself I’d take it easy and stick with some of the runners I’d met during my first two days so that I wouldn’t be left to my own devices in the pacing department.
Day 3 was our longest day- 24.5 miles with some good climbing and descents. We lucked out with the weather- cool breezes through the single track trail to keep us from overheating. I met some amazing international runners, from Canada and London, who kept me company in the middle miles. When one of us was having a low point, we’d help each other out, and when it was my turn, I listened to their stories and tried to keep pace with their footsteps.
I’d gone in to Day 3 not knowing if my body would let me keep going after the 3-day adventure, but as soon as I crossed the finish line I KNEW I wasn’t done running. I promptly gave my RUN3 medal and t-shirt back and headed to the TransRockies RV to ask for an upgrade.
I found Taylor at the Finish Area and since we were without cell reception, we decided to unplug and sit by the water and just relax. The regular routine followed: dinner, course briefing, daily photos and videos and back into the tent for some rest.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wake up this morning wondering if I made the right decision. My legs were a little sore and I knew we had a tough morning of steep climbing ahead. Similar to day 2, Stage 4 was a steep climb for the first few miles and then some rocky, steep descent. We even ran in a somewhat dried-up, rocky river for a while. New skill: pebble hopping.
Surprisingly I’ve felt the best on Days 3 and 4 because I think I’m pretty good at pacing myself and knowing not to go out too hard. Each morning has started with nerves and fear, but as soon as I’m on the trail, the views and incredible support from fellow runners help melt the fear away and I try to enjoy every step.
We’ve still got 42+ miles to run in the next two days and plenty of elevation to gain, but I’m sure even if there’s points where I struggle, I’ll be happy I stayed for this crazy 6 day adventure.
Back to camp- we’re headed to Vail tomorrow!