Sunday, March 9, 2014

Leadman! Part Deux

Since my lottery luck sucked so bad for the 2014 HR100 and the 2014 LT100 MTB I am now geared up for another run for another Leadman finish this year.  I have sat by and waited patiently for months waiting to see exactly what might happen this year and for that reason I have abstained from registering in any races except for Run Rabbit Run 100 which is way out there in September.  Now I have a race schedule, my summer is set.  Just five races really. 

Pb  Marathon  June 14
SR 50 MTB    July 12
LT100 MTB   August 9
10K                August 10
LT100 Run    August 16

So there you have it.  My first race of the season now will be the Leadville Marathon in just a little over three months away.  For those who are familiar with the standard schedule of Leadville races, you might notice that the Marathon date is about two weeks early but the other races are spaced apart about the same.  The early marathon date I see as both good and bad.  Good as I can race it hard and have four instead of two weeks to recover and get ready for the SR50 MTB race on July 12.  The bad... given our snowpack situations across the state and especially the central mountains, the marathon course could be really messy if  not downright un-runnable. 

The following three photos were taken June 9, 2011 on the way up to Mosquito Pass.  You can see why I might be concerned.

Looking up towards Mosquito Pass.  You can see the snow on the roads up there.
This is the road lower.  The creek and flowing water is the road itself.
Looking back down the drainage you can see how much snow was still up high.  This was June 9.

Anyway, that's the potentially bad part.  But really not a lot to worry about because if the conditions are that bad it will just affect everyone the same I imagine.  I know better than to get too freaked out. If they have an exceptionally warm and windy spring in and around Leadville the snow will evaporate in a hurry. If the course is good, I'd like to pick up ten to fifteen minutes here.

Then there is the 50 bike.  The command decision by Lucho and myself is to ride the full suspension Trek on that course.  Also planning on getting in a boat load of riding the course and training on it.  I am looking to go nearly an hour faster in that race than this past year.

The 100 bike... now here is the challenge.  I plan to ride the Trek for this race too.  The hard tail Cannondale is on the bench for now as my back up bike.  It is mechanically sound and ready to race.  I decided to race the Trek as I have already raced it and it is a good bike for that course and I trust it 100%.  Also from a budgetary point, it is cheaper for me to plan to race and maintain that bike through the training and racing season than to keep fixing both bikes.  It is cheaper to feed one horse than two. 

I have to make up about 1.5 hours in the 100 bike over my time last year.  I think the first hour is easy to make up as I have experience on the course now and know it.  It's those other 30 minutes that we are going to have to work super extra hard to make up.  I think that I made Columbine in about 5:35 last summer.  This year it has to be nearly an hour faster at 4:40.   It should be fun (and scary.)

For the 10K... I'd like to drop five minutes there but if I come in the same time that will be fine.  My secondary goal is to keep on JT's heels and harrass him for that whole race... that is if I don't just flat out crush him and if he is even in the series still at that point.

The biggie... The LT100 Run.  I will be honest.  One of the reasons I did so well last year was that I told myself countless times that I would not be coming back to do that race for quite some time.  That helped me to push through a lot of sections that I do not like.  I don't know if I can get myself to fall for that lie two times in a row.  I also believe that last years run was the best run of my life and quite possibly not one to ever be duplicated.  I could be wrong but 23:18 seems pretty darn far out to pull off twice.  But I also think I cracked the code for me in terms of running that race and big buckling and I will race it the same exact way as I did this past year.  The speed will be there or it won't but I think I will be okay and a big buckle for the run is quite doable. 

So I am looking for three hours off of my time.  This past year, I was 15th overall and it is cool that nobody older than me finished the series ahead of me.  I would like to keep it that way this year too. 

Q: What is more cool than having a Leadman Trophy sitting on your mantle in Aspen?

A: Having two of those heavy as hell trophies sitting on your mantle in Aspen!


  1. Awesome, Andy. You'll do great and I'm sure you'll improve your overall time from last year. The marathon will almost certainly be snow packed. Practice glissading! Ever thought of doing the full Silver King and running the 50 as well? It could be good training. As far as the 100 run goes, I bet you'll come very close to your time from last year-- if not surpass it. So much of that race is experience and proper pacing. I'll be aiming for <24 hours myself this year. Seems crazy fast, but I gotta believe that I can make up some time going over Hope and from May Queen to the finish. Happy training!

    1. I have ran the 50 twice in the past and one of the reasons I switched to the bike for that race instead of the run is that I really did not want to run it for a third time. Now that I know I can ride it and survive it on the bike I would much rather do that. It's a shorter day. :)

  2. Have you heard why they moved the marathon up two weeks? I thought they'd be playing with more snow up there at that time (and it's the same day as Mt. Evans and Boulder Half IM now). I'll be up there for the marathon, probably slipping off the damn mt (I have trouble staying vertical on a good day :)) but am excited. I tried to comment on your blog the other day to tell you I liked the sound of "Leadman x2" but something happened and I don't think my comment took. Exciting year ahead for you, nice!!

  3. Well, I am glad this has played out. Double the Lead, don't let it get to your head ..

    1. GZ... trust me it won't! My number one goal of course is to just survive the thing. If anything, after finishing once I think I might have a better sense of what can go wrong so that alone is keeping me humble.

  4. Very pumped you're returning to Leadman, Andy! The thoughts you shared about the marathon and snowpack situation are dead on. Could be interesting this year.