Wow, what a few days it's been in Leadville! I couldn't help but snag a pic of this, as it seems fitting for me, too:
That made for a total of about 4500 feet of climbing over nearly 40 miles. The St. Kevins climb is a serious kick in the teeth right at the beginning, but the rest is fairly uninteresting until you get to Powerline. That descent is fast and dangerous due to the loose soil and large loose rocks, but it is still pretty fun. From there, we turned around and went back up. That sucks. Only a handful of riders have EVER ridden the first part of Powerline during the race. It's crazy steep. I'll be walking that and likely a lot of the rest of it, too, just because of how far into the race it is (73 miles or so!). After that, things get somewhat sane with just run of the mill brutal climbs. *cough*
We finished that ride up and CTS provided a killer lunch from Mountain Pies here in Leadville. Man, that place has spectacular calzones and pizza! Then I biodegraded. I was beat. Turns out the only thing I screwed up that day was my sodium intake. I simply forgot to take it for most of the day and thought that the fact that I had to pee fairly often meant I was hydrating fine. Wrong. If you don't get enough salt your body doesn't effectively process the fluid. So I was just flushing it out.
That had me feeling dehydrated to start day 2, which wasn't good. So I upped the early salt intake a bit along with the fluids and barely managed to stay on top of it. That was good, because day 2 is the Columbine Mine climb and then a quick out-and-back to show you some of the course outside of Twin Lakes. The full data is here, but here's the elevation graph from this one:
That's 4300 feet of elevation gain and almost all of it at one time over 7 miles! That's all gravel road and isn't too bad until you get to the last mile and a half or so. I probably walked a mile of that part, but rode the rest of it. I think on race day I'll be able to do about the same amount. CTS served us another excellent lunch after this one, too. In between days they also served up a great little talk along with dinner at a local Italian place. All in all, I'd say their coaches did a wonderful job, and I feel much more confident about the race now that I know so much more about what to expect and how to properly pull this thing off.
Outside of that, things are going really well. I haven't slept very well any night here until last night, but I think that's simply because I'm getting acclimated to this altitude finally. I'm sure it was partially because I was so tired from no sleep and those two days of riding, but it was still nice to finally get out of the bed feeling well rested for a change. Today was my workout day off, and I was fortunate enough to find not only a good place to get my hair cut (it was really getting bad due to all this traveling!), but a really great deep tissue massage, too. This was a wonderful discovery, because I hate finding new people to cut hair, and I was sure I'd have to go to a resort town nearby for a massage, which would have meant a motorcycle ride of nearly an hour.
I'm also quite happy to be staying at the Leadville RV Corral:
|Here's my RV and Dad's trailer in my campsite in Leadville|
So what's next? Well, I've got workouts planned for this week along with the arrival of my friend, Matt. He'll be here Thursday. We've both got our dual sport motorcycles here and plan to find our way to the top of some 14k' peaks. Look for lots of pictures as we find our way around!
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