THERE'S A KINDA PACE WHEN YOU RACE LEADVILLE THAT YOU'VE GOT TO FEEL, because your heart and brain are going to lie to you. It takes more than a few outings to feel it, but when you do... hot damn!
To me it feels like I'm a tank or a loaded semi or a bulldozer or an outta control train... yes a crazy train!
Un. Flipping. Stoppable.
It doesn't happen on the road, because road racing is much more about 1-5 minutes of pain. It doesn't happen in XC because that's about holding your breath until you heart explodes. Not gravel because... is that racing? : )
Only at a truly long mountain bike race do I have to become that crazy train. The training for it goes like this: Figure out that pace I can hold for hours and hours. Then train it every Saturday. That's it.
If I listen to my heart in August, I could completely blow it on the first climb by going out way too fast. I'll be so fresh and antsy. If I listen to my brain on Powerline I might just pull over and quit. At Leadville your heart and your brain are your enemy.
Your friend is that feeling of unstoppable. Let the kids go hard early, laugh at them when they pull over and puke or quit or cry 6 hours later.
So, when my assignment today was to hammer Harding this morning, I decided to hammer it at Leadville pace. I wasn't super stoked on my time, 1:10. It was a minute slower than a few weeks back. But... here's the kicker. I took a full 5 minutes off last week's time up Maple Springs, 1 hour flat.. which came after Harding. Then, I proceeded to keep putting out solid power for the entire 6 hour ride.
62 miles, 10,000' of elevation gain.
Nothing wrong with that.
Every week I'm laying that track, stoking that fire. The big choo-choo is coming together. Soon it'll be...
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