Saturday, June 15

The Leadville Saga: Hart and Soul

I identified my weaknesses after last year's failed attempt to do the Leadville 100.  One of those weaknesses was my cardiovascular fitness.  I'm not saying I had NO cardio conditioning; just that it wasn't where it really needed to be.

I find it much harder to hit my cardio threshold on the bike than I do running or hiking.  Well, I did until I discovered Cobhill and Hart's Orchard (and Lone Oak Road, SHH!!!) on my bike.

I'm sure there's an easy answer like spinning faster or something similar.  I've just never been able to get the same cardio workout on the bike I get from running.  My entire training regime last year involved my behind on the saddle of the bike.

I don't know if I've mentioned this, but ten weeks to the day after Leadville I'm signed up to run a half marathon.  I signed me up.  No, not crazy.  Signed Mandy up too.  Might be a little crazy.

Nah, she seems excited about the prospect.  Both of us just have a lot of running to do.  A lot.  We have participated in exactly two 5k runs since Thanksgiving.   I'm pretty comfortable going out and running 2-3 miles at my loping pace no matter how much I've ran recently.  Right before the Mohican I'd gotten comfortable running 4 miles.  I wasn't running as regularly, but I was running often enough to enjoy it.

Despite my efforts I was huffing and puffing while other Mohican riders were quiet.  Maybe I'm just a loud breather.  I don't think so, but...

Now begins the cardiovascular disaster that will be my primary training tool for the next two months.  I just don't have enough good MTBing opportunities close to home.  I'll ride when I can.  I'll road ride as much as possible.  And I'll run.

Earlier in the week I attempted Hart's Orchard Hill for the second time.  No Va.

I made it to the third telephone pole.  Last time I made it almost to the fourth pole.  It was really muggy despite it being prior to 7am that morning.  I need to be able to climb that sucker long before Leadville.  Okay, I'm back in the saddle...


  1. Hart Orchard Hill is an absolute killer. Unless the aging process reverses on me I may never get up it.
    Rally the two dogs on the right, about 1/8 mile from the start, and that may be the extra drive one needs to succeed.

  2. Weird thing in my race yesterday. I felt strong and comfortable on the climbs. Passed people on those all day long. Couple of guys passed me but they were going at a pace that made me think there was some other reason why they were back with the slow pokes because no one around me was going that fast.

    1. In the three races I've participated in I've seen the exact same thing...some obviously uber fit person goes flying past from out of nowhere. Maybe they'd platted somewhere and I just hadn't noticed them on the side of the trail? Wrong turn? Showed up late?