It's almost time to start training for Leadville again. Although I won't get excited until I get the confirmation postcard that tells me I've been accepted, I'm still thinking about it. Unfortunately, I've gained 13 pounds (172->185) since I last rode Leadville, so I have to lose that weight plus another five or ten pounds.
What I've Got Going Against Me
I'm a year older. I'll be 46. If I were a black woman in a Neal Pollack story, I'd have great grandchildren by now.
Busy at work. Last year, a big project ended in January, so I had a lot of extra time to train. This year, I'll be in crunch mode during the spring and early summer. I may need to work evenings and weekends for a few stretches, which will cut into my training.
Worse conditions. Last year, I didn't get sick at all during training, and the race conditions were ideal. It's statistically improbable for things to go as well this year.
What I've Got Going For Me This Year
A faster bike. This year, I'm selling The System, which is a sweet full-suspension bike but a heavy on the climbs, which is where I lost a bunch of time. I'm buying Fatty's singlespeed for Utah riding. Does this mean I'm going to do Leadville on a singlespeed? No. I'd just end up pretending I had a nasty crash and couldn't continue due to injury. This year, I'm going to do Leadville on my old Ibis Mojo. It's an experienced bike that's done Leadville a couple of times back in the late 90s. In fact, it still has all the same cables, rings, and brake pads from that same time period. It's broken in.
Better shape to start the season. Last year, I had to make the transition from commuter cycling to race training. I wasn't too successful, as evidenced by the fact that I didn't finish in under 12 hours. Still, in February last year, I wasn't able to ride more than 30 miles without becoming exhausted. I had to build up my mileage way too slowly last year. I wasn't able to ride 50 miles until early June. This year, if all goes well, I'll be able to put in longer rides earlier in the season.
Singlespeed training. When I sell The System, I'm going to buy a singlespeed road bike. That'll freshen up my training regimen. I'm thinking of getting the Specialized Langster Seattle. Thoughts?
The twins are older. Now that Luke and Max are four, I don't feel as guilty about taking off on weekends to do long rides.
Experience. This year, I'll remember how long Columbine is. And I'll take my Advil/Tums concoction the first time I bonk, not five hours into my bonk. And I'll get out of the check points faster.
Assessment and Predictions
If I were to ride Leadville this weekend: DNF
Prediction of Leadville 2008: 11:55