Thursday, March 26, 2009

Winter Ain't Over Yet!

Temps were in the mid 80s when I left San Diego last week. Contrast that to mid teens in blizzard conditions today. The Leadman is an extreme event and therefore requires extreme preparation. At least that’s what I kept telling myself. Today’s workouts were pretty rough considering I haven’t seen winter this year.

In the morning, a 3.2 hour MTB ride with two tempo efforts, the first 30 min, the second 50 min. Temps were in the mid 20s so I was pretty frozen when finished. Especially hands and feet. In the afternoon the weather turned for the worse and we were hit with a full-on blizzard. The wind was blowing so hard it was snowing sideways. The interstate closed down, as well as half the city.

I assumed no one would show for the CRUD Thursday evening run, (what was I thinking, this is Team CRUD) so I went out on my own. (Turns out two brave souls did turn out for the CRUD run).

My wife wouldn’t let me take Max because she thought the weather was too extreme. She knew better to talk me out of it, although she made an obligatory attempt, and I proceeded with a speech about the Leadman is an extreme event and therefore requires extreme preparation and she let it go. I think she mentioned something about the Leadman requires extreme morons or something as I headed out the door.

After 3+ hours in the cold this morning, I wasn’t too excited about going out again. But the Leadman is an extreme… I repeated several times. The wind was ridicules and the snow stung. Luckily the first half of the run was against the wind so it was at my back the second half. At one point the wind was blowing so hard I was running in place. I started laughing out loud. After that I started to question my sanity too! I have to admit I was enjoying it. The trail was a mix of snow drifts and bare ice due to the wind. Exactly what Yaktrax is made for. I don’t know who invented those things, but they work great. They are like tire chains for shoes.


When I turned around I was surprised to see my tracks were all ready covered. The longer into the run the deeper the snow was getting, and many times I had to walk. I didn’t like walking because the sweat would start freezing, so I forced myself to run through the drifts.

In retrospect, this was excellent training for Leadman. In any of the five races there is a very good possibility of snow, rain, hail, heat or all four within the same race. This is almost a guarantee during the 100 mile run. The run starts at 4:30 am in temps right around freezing, may get very warm in the day, with afternoon/evening thunderstorms all but guaranteed. These thunderstorms are hail storms on the passes. At night it can get very cold, even down to freezing. Combine that with possible rain, snow or hail and today was just a small taste of what Leadville could be. The Leadman is an extreme event and therefore requires extreme preparation.

Run: 1.7 hrs, 10.5 miles
Bike: 3.2 hrs, 30 min & 50 min tempo, 45 miles

45 min, 5 miles easy
Bike: Technical MTB , 2.1 hrs, 16 miles

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