AC100 + Leadville100 = Tired Jimmy Dean Freeman

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  • Jimmy Dean Freeman is one of your best guests. He speaks with the honesty that only a veteran runner – and a coach – can.

    This most recent podcast had me reflecting on a personal version of the Grand Slam I ran in 2007, call it the anti-lottery slam, or the western mountain slam, something like that: Bighorn 100, Tahoe Rim 100, Leadville 100, and Cascade Crest 100. They were 5, 4 and 1 week apart. I learned a few things about running and recovery. First, I think 2-3 weeks is enough to recover adequately from a 100 miler assuming no injuries. A 4-5 week recovery was more than enough to bounce back stronger than before. I felt far stronger on the 2nd race than the 1st race. Second, it was mentally more sustainable to treat each race like an independent event. Race according to how you feel now, not how you might feel in a week or two. Especially during Leadville, with Cascade Crest looming just 6 days later, I couldn’t let the burden of another race creep into my mind. Late in a 100, everything hurts too much to think much beyond the present race. Third, even though the body doesn’t recover fully in 1 week, the mind can, if you feed it enough inspiration. In a sport where mental strength is more important to finishing than physical, it’s more important to focus on the mental recovery with the limited time between races. Lastly, I discovered that racing 100s so close together can dull their personal importance and impact. For that reason, I don’t really want to do it again. I can’t recall many details from the last race, whereas I can vividly recall more moments from my other Cascade Crest finishes. I’m glad I did a “slam,” but I’ve concluded that I have more fun racing 100s as isolated events, once or twice a season. I look forward to them, and I remember them fondly as athletic celebrations. Party too often, so to speak, and it doesn’t feel special anymore.

    Jimmy Dean probably discovered much of this with AC and Leadville. All I can do is agree.

    Keep up the great podcasts, gentlemen. Quite the service to the trail running community.

    • Phil,
      I WISH I had discovered that. Now I’m doing all I can to sign up for 6 hundos. I do have a stretch goal and a “I’m completely delirious/dreaming” goal for the 6 races. But maybe we’ll have to get on the phone and chat about it since you have experience doing what I’m trying to do.

      Also, thanks for the comment. The respect is quite mutual.


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