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Leadville 2011… I made it!

Tuesday, Aug. 16th 2011
This really was a great trip. The drive out was much more pleasant than expected and we had thoroughly pumped ourselves up for the Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race. Being in Leadville felt a bit like being in a time warp… it is so old! The townspeople are so true to their roots and genuine friendliness was all around. We felt silly even locking our bikes up. On Friday, we had a bit of running around and prepping to do. We were fortunate enough to get a room in town (thanks AJ & Kevin!) at the Delaware Hotel, which was practically at the starting line.

On raceday, 1900 riders lined up to go. Even though we were sleeping on the starting line, we were still late and our bikes weren’t prepped. I was so nervous I couldn’t eat breakfast. Perfect. Kat & I lost eachother before the gun even fired, and for some reason I left my gloves on the hood of the car. Awesome. The gun went off and I tried to ‘go slower that I thought I should,’ as my coach suggested. No Chance. I was blazing out of the gates and up St. Kevin’s much faster than anticipated. Although my nerves & stomach were not agreeing with me, I was cranking. I pulled about 10 dudes from the bottom of Powerline to Pipeline, still amp’d, then suffered a bit to Twin Lakes. I picked up some fluid and food there and headed up the mountain. Climbing Coumbine was awful. I seriously though about tossing my wheels and walking down on multiple occasions. It was the single-most frustrating experience of my life.  Its a never-ending uphill climb into the clouds, and then you have to keep going. Once I made it to the top, I had to fend off the medics and get myself back together. Finally, I was flying down the mountain. This is, after all, the part of mountain biking that love. I think I may have even smiled once. Kat said that I was looking ‘as fresh as ever’ at the 60 mile mark (though I don’t believe her) and she got me refueled. I remember asking to quit but was told no. Dang it. I still had a LONG 40 miles to go. I struggled with the heat, relentless climbs, dehydration, exhaustion, and my brain… but somehow finished the 104 miles.

Today I said actually said that I would do it again… Really?!?

Headin' to Leadville... Crazy Beautiful!

Made it to The Delaware Hotel, Leadville CO

Pre-Race Meeting

Pre-Race Final Prep

Finishing... Finally!!

Ok, I'm beat. Gimme a coke.

What do you expect... I just rode 104 miles?! I may have a little dirt on my face

The Metal & The Muskrat

Post Ledaville MTB Hydration

 

 

 

 

 

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Getting In Extra Miles…

Thursday, Jul. 21st 2011

Here I am, day one of wine-tasting in Paso Robles with our Florida visitors, with one thing on my mind… The Leadville Trail 100 MTB. It is now only 22 days away and we are on vacation… again! We have a few more weeks to get our fine-tuning in, and we are getting very excited :-)

Extra Credit in Paso Robles

 

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The Okole Cup

Saturday, Jul. 16th 2011

This was a very well organized and fun race out in Irvine Regional Park / Santiago Oaks. There were a few surprises for me:

1) There were many more riders than I had expected to show up… It was a shoulder to shoulder start with six separated waves!

2) There was a giant mountain in the middle of the race. Who knew there was an 1,100 ft section of single track switchbacks in the middle of Irvine?!?

3) Wahoo’s Fish Taco’s provided the post-race meal… well worth the little bit of work I had to do to earn it :-)

Fierce Game Faces before the Okole Stuff Cup 2011

The Mountains in the Distance at the Okole Stuff Cup Irvine 2011

Finish Line & Post-Race Party

 

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Our Next Training Race… The Okole Cup

Tuesday, Jul. 12th 2011

This Saturday will be our second mountain bike race… and its in Orange County! I’ve entered into the 2 lap event, for a total of 18 miles. Its the first race in Santiago Oaks and it looks like it will be great weather, a bunch of fun riders, and A PETTING ZOO!! Who could turn that down ;-) If you are interested, it is at Irvine Regional Park at 8:30 am… Come on by! Click here for the Okole Cup & Dirt Demo Day information.

 

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The Next Race

Friday, Jul. 8th 2011

In preparation for The Leadville Trail 100 MTB, I have registered for my second race to date. Myself and a few friends will be riding in the Okole Cup in Orange CountyPark. The race is July 16th and I will be riding the 2 loop course for 18 total miles. I’m looking forward to another practice race and it looks like it should be a fun day!

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Big Blue Adventures 8 Hours of Tahoe

Wednesday, Jun. 22nd 2011

I competed in my first mountain bike race this weekend… and it went better than expected! In preparation for the upcoming 100 mile Leadville race, we headed to Lake Tahoe to get some altitude, distance, and racing in.

The Start of the Big Blue Adventures 8 Hour Tahoe Race

Our Rest Area

We had to dismount in order to cross these huge snowballs!

Me Finishing the Big Blue Adventures 8 Hour Tahoe Race

Post-Race Treat... A Little White Water Rafting!

Mountain Biking was Nothing Compared to Plunging off the Dam!

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I… I… I Believe In Myself

Wednesday, Jun. 8th 2011

So this little guy has me totally pumped up for the next 65 days of my training! In fact, I think he may even be up for motivational speaker of the year ;-) How can a 4-year-old be so serious? So far, Kat and I have watched this clip about ten times, and she is so fired up, she even agreed to tackle THE LUGE on a night ride! Unfortunately, we couldn’t get our equipment together in time for a work night, so I think I will be replaying the video often to keep the momentum going. We ended up to the gym to do a spin workout instead and have now been banned from the spin room. Doh! Guess its off to pick up another indoor trainer so we can get our interval work in…

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Big Climbing Weekend

Sunday, May. 22nd 2011

I had all weekend to get some serious riding in, without babysitting Kat :-) On Saturday I rode from Cook’s Corner, up to Old Camp and down The Luge. That was nearly 16 miles of riding, and I was so excited to actually get to fly down some trails. Its been a few weeks since I had ridden with my friend AJ, and it felt great to get compete with her downhill. I cruised over rocks, stairsteps & ruts without a care in the world.

Me Climbing

Then on Sunday I took my first uphill digger. Awesome. I am seriously bruised & scraped from neck to knees. And that was only 15 minutes in to my 3 1/2 hour ride. I had never ridden up the San Juan Trail, and was pretty sure (until 3 months ago), I never would… hills are for riding down, right?! Anyhow, I struggled through the rest of the ride and waited for my bruises to appear.

Climbing SJT

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160 Miles?!?

Sunday, May. 15th 2011

How did I get myself into this discomfort? I just finished riding my road bike from Aliso Viejo to downtown San Diego, and back, in just two days. It was crazy. I am now very, very tired. And hungry. We certainly did not stay on top of our nutrition very well (yet, another lesson learned) and kept having to deal with physical and mental downs. On the up side, we didn’t get on the train :-) And we are constantly learning (again, about staying on top of our nutrition). We also forgot to apply sunscreen and are absolutely fried, even though the way down was completely overcast.

Heading to SD

I also didn’t realize just how skinny my road bike tires were until I had to stare at them for nearly 12 hours. I definitely have a new appreciation for the roads in Orange County. I felt like my mountain bike would have even been sketchy riding through parts of San Diego! Luckily we made it back safely, and I now have a road bike up for sale ;-)

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VO2 Max Test? I’m in trouble again!

Wednesday, May. 4th 2011

 

This isn't me, but a good example of a dude preforming a VO2 Max Test

Well, I just did my first VO2 Max test today, thanks to Vito at Fitness Evolution in Laguna Hills. I will get the official results tomorrow but the preliminary signs are….. (You guessed it!) I need to ramp up my fitness level in order to increase my VO2 capacity, or I am in big trouble come this August! Vito and his team will be working hard to get me strong enough for Leadville (David, at Carmichael Training Systems, is handling the cycling end of things!). If you’ve never done a VO2 Max test before, it’s pretty interesting…. You run on a treadmill with increasing speed, then after several minutes the incline increases, all while wearing a suffocating gas-mask. Quite pleasant ;-) I do have to say that Vito did a great job explaining what was going on throughout the test.

Like I said, I’ll get a full report tomorrow, but I can already tell you my training partner and girlfriend, Kat, is way ahead of me! Maybe when she gets into her 40’s she’ll have a harder time, but she has a few more years before that happens (I’m not bitter ;-) ). Hopefully I’ll get to take the test again in early August and see a DRASTIC improvement! Stay tuned for my results tomorrow. Unfortunately, I think my MTB coach David will even more worried about me! Perhaps I can blame my poor results on the fact that my girlfriend made me get up at 5am this morning for spin class? I think so….

Where I was when I should have been sleeping this am...

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