This past weekend brought the second biggest event in the Leadman series, one that I put a lot of training time and effort towards for the sake of getting a big shiny belt buckle – including a huge three-day weekend on the bike last month. I started the weekend with an early drive to Leadville for packet pickup and killed some time before the mandatory pre-race meeting with a haircut. The meeting was a waste of time, with no relevant race information but plenty of “you’re all amazing, especially these guys who have done the race dozens of times, enjoy the near-life experience you’re about to have, etc. etc. etc.” With that over I slowly made my way to lunch and my hotel, and wound down for the afternoon/evening.
My alarm came plenty early at 4am on Saturday. I microwaved some breakfast, got dressed, put on most of a tube of sunscreen, and before I knew it I was lined up in my starting corral.
The first race of this year’s Leadman series is now behind me. It was a fun one, with mostly good weather and better course conditions than could’ve been expected. I kept going back and forth on staying in town the night before or driving up the morning of, and ended up with a 3:30am alarm on Saturday, in large part due to Owen’s most recent sleep regression. Since I was treating this race as a training run, being a little tired was no big deal. As long as I could finish feeling good and drive myself home at the end of the day, I’d be happy.
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.
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.
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.
This is a few weeks late, but better late than never. A few weeks ago I raced XTERRA Curt Gowdy, put on by Without Limits Productions. They put on great races, and this was no exception. There’s nothing noteworthy about the pre-race – parking was easy, packet pickup was easy, setting up transition, again, easy. The biggest problem of the day was the heat. The late start combined with the June heatwave made for a painful day – and waiting in a wetsuit to start was rough. My goal for the day went from crushing dreams to just making it through in one piece.
After a couple years of intending to do some rando racing, I finally got started this past Saturday at the 12 hour Sunlight Endurance Challenge. Brian up in Glenwood got me a spot on the Glenwood Insurance team, and at 8am Saturday morning we were off to the sufferfest. My strategy for the race was as cunning as it was daring – start slow, and slow down from there.