A season of big ambitions

Four years ago, I ran the Leadville Trail Marathon, and swore off ever running ultras, ever. That same year, I paced someone for the last 25 miles of the Leadville 100, and doubled down on my commitment to never do ultras, and especially to never, ever run the LT100. Then some things changed.

This will likely be my last year with a good level of run fitness. I qualified for the Boston Marathon at Colfax last year, and am currently getting ready for that. Then I figured, “what the hell, I’ll do the Leadville Trail Marathon again, and see if I can pick up a qualifying spot for the LT100.” Then I saw that there were a few remaining spots for the Leadman competition, which, among other things, includes an entry to the LT100 run. And bike. And 50. And marathon. And because the organizers may be mildly sadistic, a 10km the day after the LT100 bike.

And so one of those days that seems to come along every few years, when I make a decision that I know I’ll regret before I ever even commit. Expect some snapshots and updates once in a while, along with some potentially-rambling thoughts about what I’ve gotten myself in to. I’ve got a big summer ahead, with lots of running, cyling, and big days in the mountains. In any given week for the next couple months, I’ll be trying to run about 50 miles, get in a decent bike ride or two, and spend a day in the mountains. Last week was a down week, with only 27 miles ran and a cold road ride.

Ski Flag
A ski flag, seen in Kerr Gulch yesterday.

Back to normal (?) this week, and hopefully weather this weekend will cooperate. It’s certainly been weird lately.

Cyclocross Season Returns! – CX of the North

And just like that, ‘cross season is back in Colorado. At the time of this writing things are more than a bit damp thanks to a 100-year storm, but moondust was the name of the game last weekend at Cross of the North. I’m back to “racing” in the singlespeed category, partly due to missing the pain that comes with not being able to change gear ratios mid-race, but also largely due to racing at 8am instead of 2:30pm. I’m a morning person through-and-through, and the early race works perfectly for me.

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Photo by Greg Orticelle

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Leadville and Motivation

The Leadville Trail Marathon is now four weeks behind us. I signed up for it in memory of Rob Janssen, who passed in a climbing accident last year. My training was almost all-consuming leading up to it, as evidenced by my near-total lack of peak skiing this year, despite an excellent spring. The race was an amazing experience, but took it out of me in a way nothing has before. Motivation was nonexistent, energy levels through the floor, and recovery slower than molasses.

Things finally changed his week, thanks to the preseason Salvagetti/Happy Coffee Cyclocross team meeting. After a month of not wanting to do anything, I’m now to the point where I’m even looking forward to trainer workouts. It’s good to be back.

Because I need to get caught up on photos and such, below are two photos from the Bailey Hundo. The first is Christopher Jones blasting the end of Sandy Wash, the second Levi enjoying a free massage at the aid station.

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Schoolyard CX

As a condition of joining the Happy Coffee team, each member agrees to host a race. This same race last year was my favorite (despite the broken chain), so I volunteered Lauren and myself to make sure a good time was had by all this weekend. This year’s race schedule has had the SW4 class (Lauren’s category) starting at 8am. Setting up meant an even earlier start to the day for us, and we were on-site putting up the tent in the pre-dawn, sub-freezing temperatures as frost grew on our bikes, car, table, the grass… everything, really.

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Boulder Ultra Cross

Boulder Ultra CX was possibly the hardest and most enjoyable race I’ve done all year. No official support, no course markings, and best of all – no entry fees. The course was 50 miles long, which I successfully navigated due to the GPS mounted on my bike’s stem. It included 6,000′ of climbing, including one uninterrupted 20-mile long, 3,300′ climb. The course looked a little something like Continue reading