Time to Acclimate

The truck is loaded, the maps are packed, and we're just a stuffed duffel bag or two away from heading off to Colorado. We're going to drive through the night to Flaming Gorge, spend a couple days in Steamboat Springs, a day in Winter Park, then finally wheeze our way into Leadville on Thursday afternoon, after taking a break to enjoy this little side-trip.

Thursday's RAMROD suffer-fest has left me with mixed emotions about Leadville. On the one hand, I wonder how on earth I can finish 100 miles off-road at Leadville given how miserable I performed at RAMROD. On the other hand, I sort of feel like Thursday was rock-bottom and if I could push on through 100 miles of bonk-dom, then I can probably grind my way through just about anything. Time will tell.

I was looking over last year's Leadville 100 results and nearly 170 people got the dreaded DNF. A whole slew more finished within the "grace period" of 12-13 hours. They aren't official finishers, but they are allowed the honor of finishing what they started. You have to finish in under 12 hours to be counted as an official finisher. Only 65% of racers tend to finish in under 12 hours. That's my goal. I want the medal, I want the belt buckle, and I want the hooded sweatshirt with my finishing time... even if it says 11:59:59. And when it's done, I'll want oxygen.

One person who I know won't be having trouble finishing in under 12 hours is Lance Armstrong.

Yes, you read that right, Mr. Yellow Wristband himself is going to be wheeling up to the line next Saturday to race. Of course, if not for the out-and-back design of the course, I'd have no prayer of actually seeing him on the race-course, but it is pretty freaking cool to know that I'll be "racing against" Lance Armstrong.

Thanks Mike for passing along the news post.

The promoter of the Leadville 100, a 100-mile mountain bike race in Colorado, told a local newspaper that Lance Armstrong has registered for his race and is training nearby for the August 9 event.

"It's huge for the race, of course, but even more grand and more meaningful to our community, because now the national and the international spotlight will be on Leadville," promoter Ken Chlouber told the Summit Daily.

Armstrong had said he was going to do Leadville last year but then pulled out citing a scheduling conflict. Floyd Landis did race last year, coming second to mountain bike legend Dave Wiens. The paper reported that Armstrong has been training in nearby Aspen, Colorado. Acclimatization is key at Leadville, which starts at 10,200 feet elevation and tops out at 12,600.

"(Armstrong's) coming to win," Chlouber told the newspaper. "I’m sure he’s got his guns strapped on, and he’ll be coming full blast ... We’re going to put him on the front row, right besides Dave Wiens, and I expect it’ll be a shootout right from the get-go."

Kristin has agreed to use the dreaded camcorder to film parts of the race (multiple crew access points) and promises to take plenty of photos. Naturally, I fully intend to Photoshop said pictographs to make it look like Lance is drafting behind me.

In other news, today is our anniversary. What better way to celebrate this spectacular occasion than by embarking on a road trip to the Rockies! I do believe 11 Years is the "Denny's Anniversary" and I fully intend on honoring the occasion with an order of Eggs Over My Hammy. I figure that'll taste pretty good in backwater Idaho, at about 11pm tonight.

Have a good week. I hope to make an update or two from Steamboat Springs on Tuesday and/or Leadville on Thursday.

Not sure if there's any web-updates during the race or live-feeds of any sort, but here's the official race site for those curious. Thanks for reading, and be sure to send some positive vibes in the direction of Colorado next Saturday. I'm going to need it.

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