The Leadville 100 – a storied race, that I’ve heard about for years. Not something I ever considered doing until I fell in love with mountain biking last spring! I noticed an instagram post sharing that sign up for the lottery was approaching last winter, I decided “what the hell”, I’ll sign up and see if I get in. In early January, I was notified that I was selected – I was so excited!
Our winter in Denver was fairly harsh, and I didn’t get out on my bike from December – March. In March I started riding again, casually—60 – 90 minute rides in the front range. I figured I would ramp up the training in April / May. Well, life got in the way! Dozens of opportunities came my way – travel, lifestyle retreats, CrossFit competitions, exciting influencer trips. I continued to exercise 2-3 hours a day, but more for enjoyment – a mix of running, hiking, trail running, crossfit, and mountain biking when I was in Denver.
Fast forward to July, a month before the race, I started to realize how underprepared I was. No long rides. No elevation training. No clue what the course was like. I had every opportunity to ride long, go to Leadville, to train at elevation, but I was having too much fun in my normal day to day! I started to question whether I should do the race. I decided I needed to suffer. I needed a gut check. I needed a big life hurdle to jump over. I like doing things like this when life is just throwing you slow pitches. I committed to Leadville, and fuck it, I was going to race.
As luck would have it, two weeks before the race, I cracked my bike frame. I was sans bike for 10 days. I got my bike back 4 days before the race. I rode every day leading up to it, just to get my feel back for it.
The week leading up to the race, I panicked a bit. I hadn’t practiced endurance racing nutrition since 2014. I hadn’t ridden more than 2 1/2 hours since 2015. I had no idea how the elevation was going to affect me. I knew it was going to be a suffer-fest after reading other’s race reports and watching the documentary: “Race Across the Sky”.
Two days before the race I ran 11 miles (split up between a morning run in Denver and an afternoon run in Silverthorne-one of my favorite places in the world to run; I couldn’t resist)!
Courtney, Luna, and I arrived in Leadville on Thursday night. I’ve learned to either arrive at elevation 7-10 days before a race, or go right before the race. I didn’t sleep well Thursday night, a combination of being at altitude and a bit of anxiety about how much I was going to suffer in less than 48 hours.