As this year Leadville Trail 100 Mt. Bike Race neared I decided that this race is just too hard. If I finished this – my 10th Lt 100 I would receive some special recognition for my persistence in racing the 1000 miles of Leadville and I would be able to end my obsession with the event.
I was certainly happy to share the race and vacation with my hard nosed friend Mike Johnson and first timers Paul Meyermann, Doug Keiser and my faithful-always-willing-training-partner Kathleen Porter. But, as the race approached I was practically overwhelmed with anxiety and reservations about my preparation and my lack of desire to ride/race hard. If you don’t treat your training and this epic event with a great deal of respect and determination – you are going to have a very difficult day on your bike. I respect this race and I always train with a lot of purpose, but this year my work outs have been constantly interrupted by travel, sickness and one bike accident/injury after another. So my preparation left me with questions.
But, my real concern had to do with giving too much attention to one big event. First of all, with the time I’ve spent on - and at Leadville - there are so many fine races that I have not been able to participate in. In addition to that, what would I feel like if I had a serious mechanical or a personal/physical failure? Too many eggs in one basket??? It is not exactly the Olympics, but the experience and success that I’ve had at the Lt 100 have been very important to me – for many years. So, expectations were kickin my ass. I decided that I would just ride, finish it, and be done with it.
That’s just not how it works for me – it is a race, and I love to race. The race went well – good weather, no mechanicals, good riding with Mikey for the last 27 miles, and a 3rd place out of 29 – finish in the Old Goats Cat.
Am I going back? Most certainly. It is what I do.
- It is giving one race a lot of attention, but most of the preparation can benefit me during the rest of the season.
- And having that one huge event on my schedule gives me focus and great motivation to train hard and regularly.
- About other races – there are several races that I have already penciled into my schedule for 2009.
- And if I can help Mike and Kat with some unfinished business – count me in.
- And how can you beat a two week vacation in the mountains with your friends. And the fitness that you come home with…
- And it is what I do.John