It's getting closer and I'm getting more excited. This is the biggest race I've ever done, and they seem to do it right. The atmosphere is off the chart and the support is unparalleled on any level. If it wasn't for the altitude, this would be the perfect hundie. But, maybe that's what makes it so intriguing.
Training is slowing noticeably for the next two weeks and I couldn't be happier. I just capped off a huge 2 week block with an energetic ride yesterday with Chris Holley. It's been a while since I've ridden with Chris and he has not let up since. I always push myself harder than I think possible when I ride with him and KC, so that made yesterdays final big ride before Leadville a special one. I was hammered after 6 hours and 56+ miles with him, but today I feel much better and encouraged. For the record we rode from 3 Kings Condo to Silver Spur up Spiro to the Mid Mtn trail over to the Red Pine restaurant (we made it in 1:32) down the Ambush trail (that was scary) and then to the Spring Creek trail head. We then did the 24/7 Flying Dog loop clockwise and out Glen Wild back to the trail head. To finish it off we headed to Round Valley and climbed up the back side of the 12 hour course and down Somewhere Elks and back to the condo on the rail trail. Nice loop, with 5600+ climbing mostly up Spiro and 24/7 Flying Dog, and hot (101 F max temp).
The last 8 weeks I've been real cautious so as not to get hurt or over train or over race myself. I did way too much of both last year and it bit me in the ass the last 25 miles at Leadville. Well, yesterday I almost bought the farm - really. I'm running a new Stan's Crow on the back and it is FAST. With 25 psi it grabs surprisingly well, and it wants to run. I was following Chris down the trail at the Canyons towards Ambush and we were ripping through the woods, over bumps, tight corners and flowy single track. Like an idiot I wanted to stay on Chris' wheel and see how the Pros do it. He launched over a bump and so did I, but, I had the angle wrong and while airborne I headed for a large Quaky on the left side of the trail. I could see the tree coming straight at me and it felt like I was a goner. It was not going to be pretty and there was no way I was getting off the mtn on my own. I was a dead man flying! I've never had anything like that happen before and was surprised how big the tree looked and how slow things seemed to be going. I remember asking myself why was I being so stupid to ruin my Leadville trip just 2 weeks away. Dumb ass - what a shame - it's too late now - get ready for impact. When my tire touched down I made one last effort to steer clear hoping it was not too late. Surprisingly, I missed the tree, but don't know how. I really think the tree opened up where my bars were and let me through. I just about wet myself. Once clear I yelled out to Chris and stopped to gather myself. I already talk too much, but that one raised my voice a few octaves and upped the tempo and level senseless drivel. Needless to say, I was much more cautious and measured after that. And thank you, whoever you are, for watching out for me on that one. I promise I'll be a good boy from now on out.
So here I am, it's Monday, I'm still in one piece and ready to go. The bike is tuned and I feel my body is as ready as it can be. No more 6-7 hour rides, only a 3 hour ride next Saturday. I'll be doing some interval work the next 8 days with good intensity but fewer reps and I be resting a lot. My weight is now within 1 lb of where I want to be, but I can live with it where it is. I'm excited to see if I can get under 10 hours with fewer training miles in my legs, and if so, that will set the stages for next year. If I don't make the 10 hours, I'll be happy with a 12 hour belt buckle and I'll give it a go again next year.
That's it for now and good luck to all you guys and gals at Leadville.
1 year ago