WE NAILED IT!
I like it when you say that.
Yeah, it makes me feel part of the race.
Oh you are... there's no way I could do it without you.
I'm pretty sure I've cried every year I've raced Leadville. For various reasons. It's that kinda race. Everything is required: body, mind, soul.
I rounded the corner, there was the van as planned. Perfectly stationed was my trophy wife. I skidded to a stop. Dumped my empty gear. Like a pro, she gave me my supplies. Loaded my water bottle into the cage. Made sure I took a big swig of pickle juice.
I was off.
Overcome with emotion.
She was so kind and patient and pro.
That's really nothing to cry over, right? But, you see... that's 2.5 hours into the race. By that point, I'd...
... wondered what the hell I was doing the race for as my lungs and legs burned a whopping 10 miles into the 100.
... been shocked as every hill, which I'd pre-ridden, seemed longer and steeper and meaner.
... intensely contemplated what was I trying to prove by chasing a PR?
Then there's the whole self-talk... can I even do it? will the bike hold up? the body? the weather?
And it's a weird cry... a wounded animal whimper. No tears.
Soon enough I was on Columbine. Emotions gone. Hungry Like A Wolf blaring in my mind.
Let me just say, of all the climbs I've done for fun or racing... this is by far the worst. Straight up to 12,500'. The top so steep I have to walk. It's shameful. But, I gotta do it.
I made a few friends on the climb. That's always fun. One was Coach Jonathan from Trainer Road. A great podcast. I could tell he was focused on metering out his power. We rode together most of the day. Mainly because he took a few bathroom breaks and I, somehow, had the prostrate of a 20 year old.
But, that's Leadville... emotional. challenging. friendly.
This annual gathering comes together to find out what we're made of.
Behind every effort is an extraordinary amount of planning, investment and support from the crew.
Nobody does it alone.
We nail it!
... oh, and yeah, I got that PR. 19 years after my 8:20, I posted 8:15. I crossed the line. Hugged Ken, the founder. ... clutched my Surfergirl, and hustled to the potty to empty my screaming bladder, like a 20 year-old! (mighta been a tear there, too)