Friday, July 20, 2012

First full day report from Leadville

That's me today taken on the Mineral Belt Trail that runs around the town of Leadville.  It's 11.6 miles in length and is totally paved with a handful of road crossings.  It has about 700 feet of elevation gain and loss, with basically one long climb and one long descent.

I've done two rides now.  Yesterday's ride was about 80 minutes and today was 60.  Just trying to take it easy and get my legs back under me while getting used to the altitude.  I have prepared about as well as I could have, but there's just nothing like being here.  My lungs feel like they're struggling very hard at times, but the nice thing is my heart rate seems to be staying in good shape even with long sustained climbs and decent output wattage.  For example, a 600' continuous climb today at 184W yielded an average heart rate of 138 bpm.  That was on pavement, so the speed at which I did it won't translate to the race climbs exactly, but it shouldn't be too far off.  And that was around 12MPH for the 4.8 miles that it took. 

I'm very happy with that, but it's also happening when I'm still "fresh" from lower altitude, too.  The real question is how that will change as my body settles in and I'm having to do much long outputs on Sunday and Monday at the Carmichael camp.

The campground I'm at has been good.  It's an easy walk to the entire downtown area and the facilities are reasonable.  I've yet to find anything important that I've forgotten.  There are a few small things, but it's all stuff that Alan can bring when he flies out to do the camp with me.  The cable TV is decent and the wifi is actually very good.  The only nagging issue seems to be how we're going to get Matt's motorcycle re-jetted so it will run at altitude fine, but we're working some angles on that.

So far everything has been so good that I'm a little nervous!  It's almost too good.  The tragedy in Aurora was a little too close, and it's hard to feel very good about much of anything today in light of that.  But all we can really do is try to move on from those things.

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