Leadville is upon us; I am up in Breckenridge, CO as we speak working on my acclimation from the good ole flatlands. Getting all the logistics mapped out & the food & drink planned; while trying not to get too stir crazy while thinking of all the playing in the mountains I could be doing out here. I've really been focused on doing everything I want to do the last 2-3 weeks of taper - for me that's same type of intensity & frequency but 50%~ish volume, same eating, same fueling practice, etc. This week is about acclimation, sleeping, sleeping & more sleeping; then maybe a couple naps inbetween.
Really tough not to be out there on the trails though. I've already had to fight off several urges; most notably Quandy, Grays & Torreys (see 14ers dot com below). But as one of my twitter followers put it (can't remember if it was Danny or Travis), "are you going to Colorado to run Leadville or to climb 14ers?". And a valid point, my plan is to finish Leadville; I can certainly come back & climb more mountains. Thankfully day 1 out here (I arrived at Eric's place late Sunday evening) was nice & rainy the entire day; so it wasn't as tempting to get out & play as normal.
So how do I feel & what is my plan?
Race plan is for a 24:30 finish; I think this is pretty cautious & given any significant issues should be doable. There are a couple sections that I guess might be concerning to me - specifically I've got 2:10 built in for the trip from Winfield to Hope Pass (that might be aggressive). But I also have a pretty conservative 1:20 from Hope Pass down to Twin which is a 17.76 per mile average; which should allow for some stopping time at Twin. Keep in mind I am a horrible downhill runner; my strength is certainly sustained climbs, constant motion, durability & a great sense of humor. Then there's the whole Powerline in the dark thing & just keeping it moving later in the race; so yeah, lots of variables, but physically I feel capable, so I need to execute & hopefully I'll be able to attain my plan goal.
What could go wrong?
Lots of course, going to be a long day. I'm a rookie 100 miler, I live at flatlands, my crew w/the exception of 1 has 0 experience of anything more than long bar sessions, I spend too much time tweeting, etc. There is a rumor going about that there is a large contingent of cougar in the Twin Lakes area & not the kind seen frequenting the Lake Geneva bar scene, but a less enjoyable type. But I am so looking forward to the challenge; looking forward to what kind of demons present themselves from the hike out of Twin Lakes on. Most importantly I hope I execute my nutritional, pacing & logistical plan as best as I can. If I execute well & leave it all out there I'll leave with some great experiences I am sure.
I will be in Breck until Wednesday, then I head up to Vail to get checked in at our Viper Headquarters which I am calling "Chateau de los Viperos". Thursday AM the crew arrives - I've got my wife Meg (@MeghanMacaux), pacer Eric (@antisepticsoap), crew chief Bones (@YepitsBones) & alternate pacer Buzz. Looking forward to meeting lots of great folks that I know on twitter at the pre-race meeting & the race festivities themselves.
My crew chief @Yepitsbones will be tweeting live throughout & I might sneak in a few tweets here or there on course. How could I not?