|The idea of Leadman sinking in while pacing Lucho in the 100mi run.|
My declaration during a frantic, nerve-frayed, cold stretch along the dreamscape trail around Turquoise Lake late at night while pacing Tim Lucho Waggoner. We had made an epic comeback to catch and pass Troy Howard at mile 80 and were pushing hard to put time on our lead. With 18 hours of running wearing on his mind and over 90 miles on his legs, Lucho was stumbling and tripping over anything higher than a pebble. I was trying to balance the effort with caution. But, after pacing him for the last 10 hours, working so hard to catch the Leadman on-course leader (Troy, an amazing ultrarunner, damn good mountain biker and first rate person), my interest and excitement of the whole thing bubbled up to emerge as the above statement (Tim W. was busy enjoying the ubiquitous body pain only 90 miles of racing on your feet can bring). I wanted to be in Lucho's position next year. I wanted to be racing against great athletes, not only in one race but a series of races. I wanted the big buckles of both the 100 mile MTB race and the 100 mile run (a rare feat). I wanted to win Leadman.
From that cold, painful, insightful moment to this point at my keyboard all I've thought about over the last two months in terms of my athletic pursuit is Leadman or, more clearly stated, winning Leadman 2013. Audacious? Presumptuous? Maybe. But there have been few things I've failed at when I set my mind to it. Example 1. On top of the Leadman Series I gots my eyeballs on the Silver King title (not a pawn broker patriarch in Detroit). Silver King is the completion of both the Silver Rush MTB 50 mi race and the Silver Rush 50 mi run... back to back, Saturday and Sunday. Righteous.
A heart felt thank you to the folks at Vi Fuel for sponsoring my Leadman races. I'm very grateful for your terrific product and gracious support.
The plan (at least a shallow overview of it):
Big base training on the bike. I've already begun this process and plan to carry through with base training, increasing training hours per week gradually with the emphasis on regaining technical ability and building an aerobic engine strong enough to power a city bus, last week was a modest 10 hours. During the first stage of this block of training running will be peppered in, like two days a week. I've got the Quad Dipsea in a couple weeks and then pacing a fast chick at the North Face 50 Mile Championships; after those two things running will be a side gig in my training. My excitement with cycling has been there since the first time I swung a leg over my first road racing bike (a too large metalic light blue Miyata) in 1987. The mountain bike added so many new levels to that excitement and training that it was a natural progression. Every morning over the last 15 days I've been relearning what I love about riding and it's an auspicious start to my training plan.
Running will be reintroduced in earnest after the first of the year with several weeks where the training hours will gradually shift to running while keeping simple maintenance and sharpening on the bike with several MTB races thrown in to reintroduce myself to crowds on the trail at speed. This blending plan varies from Lucho's where he basically alternated weeks of run and biking after a big initial base of bike focus.
The most difficult thing is snipping away all the racing I typically do in a year (900 miles in '11 and 800 miles this year). I half-heartedly asked Lucho what he thought of me doing one of my favorite races, San Diego 100, knowing the answer already, which he confirmed in asking "would it help your first Leadman event (the marathon) three weeks later?" So, no 100s until after LM then, fine. Currently, I have Miwok 100k on the schedule in May (if chosen in the lottery). I'll also add a few training races affiliated with and/or on the La Sportiva calendar, mostly 50ks and shorter.
Heading to CA in two weeks for an "extended visit". As mentioned before, I'll be crawling up and down stairs for nearly 10,000 ft of climb at the Quad Dipsea on the 24th and then pacing Tina Lewis (1st at Miwok 100k and 1st at Leadville 100 this year) at the North Face 50 Mile Champs. I hope she buys me a burger and beer with the $10 thousand she wins.