Thursday, January 3, 2008

2008 Leadville Training Log, Part I

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


  1. What a fun time of year! Everyone is setting their races goals. All full of confidence that this year they will train as hard as they need to.

    I'm no different. I was just recruited by my LBS to ride for them. I will be riding 6-7 races and am feeling good because I'm starting this year 15 pounds lighter than I did last year.

    We have a 100 mile mtn bike race here i want to try. It's got almost as much climbing as Leadville but it's not at the same elevation. We'll see.

    A rider for T6 rode it and wrote about his experience. Doesn't sound fun at all.

  2. Bob, there's a fine line between "broken in" and "broken down." I wouldn't expect someone with your limited experience in cycling to appreciate it, but the difference can be significant.

    A must-do training ride is Kenny's RAWROD. Because it's early in the year (April) and long, it really pushes you to get out and get in shape as to avoid be left for dead out on the white rim trail.

    Oh yeah, I just remembered that imagining yourself dying on white rim probably doesn't hold any fear for you since you've already done that.

    You know what would be great endurance cycling training? A couple months in India.

    Go for the single speed road bike! You'll be amazed at how much you enjoy it.

    Speaking of blak grandmothers: I wonder if any person of african descent has ever finished Leadville. Of course, what I mean is a person of RECENT african descent.

    You could ease up some of your obligations at work by asking your boss to outsource some of your job responsibilities to Indian contractors.

  3. "I'd just end up pretending I had a nasty crash and couldn't continue due to injury."

    do you have sumthin to say?

  4. Sorry about that, Dug. I'm still feeling burned by your "big finish" comment. I know that you were moderately injured, and it's no fun to ride with a boo boo.

  5. Sorry about that "boo boo" crack. I'm out of line.

  6. You are aiming way too low. 11:55? Me and dug will be bringing in at least an 11:00 or better I predict, right dug? I think that it would be grand to ride the whole thing together. I also think some cuervo shots together at the top of St. Kevin's would be dandy. Ill bring the hooch you bring the limes. I'm getting excited.

  7. my understanding is that dug won't be racing this year.

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  9. Bob- The best thing you can do to train this year is to eat a pack of shot bloks every hour for the next 8 months. Get your body used to those things.

    Good luck.

  10. I found you thru goggle...I also got into Leadville this year. I'm a virgin to the race so I am looking for advise. I'm a flat lander from Wisconsin but I have a lot of racing under my belt. I road race and race at age 41. My first big race of the year is in May so I have been training on a regular basis but all in doors since we have 3' of snow on the groud. I am also doing the Triple Bypass in July to help me train for Leadville. I need a new bike for this Leadville ride this year...what are you thoughts on a 29er?

    The single speed will be a great purchase, you will love the freedom and it will help you in all parts of cycling.