August 24, 2008

August Random 10

The Arcade Fire - Ocean of Noise

Mosquito - Joey Davison

Beirut - A Call to Arms

Gorillaz - Kids with Guns

Sage Francis - Product Placement

Death Cab for Cutie - Company Calls

Black Tamborine - Drown

Daniel Johnston - Grievences

Lou Reed - Hangin' Round
Jad Fair and Yo La Tengo - Fiesty Millionare Fills Potholes with $100 Bills

August 19, 2008

Leadville 2008 - miles of puke before I sleep

6:00 am and we're getting ready for the start of another Leadville 100, typically an all day suck-fest for me and I'm assuming this year will be no different. Coming off a crazy bronchial infection thing that laid me up for close to a month this summer, I'm only here to finish in under the 12-hour cutoff - and if I hadn't already paid $250 bones for this thing, I probably would not be here at all....but here I am, so we'll see what 4 weeks of training gets you in a 100 mile race. This year there is a little more hoopla at the LT100 than the previous three times I've done this - that's because Lance Armstrong has decided to give it a go, his first race since winning his 7th Tour de France. We have to see how he can handle some of the fasties that usually show up, including 6-time Leadville winner - bad-ass Dave Weins from Gunnison.
We get to the start about 20 minutes early, it was still dark and was already wall-to-wall bikes snaking back from the start line and most have already claimed a spot at the line. Luckily John Harrington (my bosses husband at the mine - who is here trying to complete the "Lead Man" competition ) has invited me to squeeze in with him about 60 feet back from the line. Standing around at the start, I realize I gotta pee bad - I look up the street to where the porta-johns way, that line is like 100 people long. I figure I'll hold it and go once the race is underway.
The shotgun blast start is pretty typical at Leadville with 850 mountain bikers trying to ride in a large peleton. The first 4 miles out of town are all downhill on a paved road. Here's a recipe for disaster: high speed + downhill + pavement + testosterone + mountain bikes + everybody trying to ride Lance's wheel = SERIOUSLY BAD NEWS. Luckily the race organizers had the sense to regulate the start with a "pace car". - even so, I saw two crashes (very minor) and I'm sure there were more.
Bruce Murray, Me, Dan Fillipi, Chris Sherry and Todd Murray - Getting ready to RUMBLE!!!

The first 4 miles of the race a regulated by a pace car - 850 mountain bikers trying to ride in a big pack is not a pretty sight
So we're off and I still gotta pee - so about a mile after we hit the dirt I pull off. I immediately realize my mistake. Since everybody is still bunched up, I'm guessing at least 100 people pass me. Not that I care about the placing so much, but the first climb can turn into a clusterfuck at the back since a lot of the not-so-strong riders choose to push instead of ride their bikes. Luckily it wasn't too bad and by the time I get to the top of the climb I caught back up with John. He soon passed me back when messing with my GU flask on the downhill paved section around Turquoise Lake (he would have caught me anyway - that dude can fly on the descents).

The climb up Sugarloaf was pretty straight forward - even though I passed 3 dudes who were blowing chunks on the side of the trail. Seemed a little early in the race to be pushing that hard from mid-pack. Whatever.

The ride down Powerline was loose and rutted as always but I was able to pass a good 30 people there (probably the same ones who blew doors on me on the previous climb). I saw John up ahead again but was not able to catch him before I had to stop and pee - again. Then we hit the long flat section to the Pipeline check point, which I didn't stop at. I was feeling ok all the way to Twin Lakes, where Jen and Tammy were waiting to crew. Swapped bottles, GU flask took some Sport Legs and started the climb up to Columbine Mine at 12,400'. I already know that this is a 2 hour climb so I just accept this horrible fact and take my time. Getting close tree line, Lance and Dave Wiens are on the return leg to Leadville and come flying past going the opposite direction. I'm looking for Todd, Casey, Dan and a few other guys that I know should be close to the front. Getting close to the top, above tree line, the trail gets pretty tough and it's more hiking than biking - fine with me because I'm getting pretty tired. Just near the turn around John is 10 minutes ahead of me - he's doing really well for only his second mountain bike race and he's on a pretty crappy bike too.........AND he's doing to 100 mile running race the following weekend! Also at the turn-around I see that Bruce is only about 5 minutes behind me - yes, that's 71 year old Bruce Murray - that guy is awesome. Also right behind me at the turn-around was Dan Fillipi and a little further back was Chris cruising along thinking "I'll bet there's wild beers in those woods.......and dammit, I'm thirsty."

At the top there is a short flat section and I'm riding some dude's wheel and all of the sudden he cocks his head to the side and pukes - almost like it's no big deal and he does it all the time. It was a serious "vomit launch" and I almost ride right into the line of fire. The guy does not even slow down and just keeps riding. Wow.

The ride down Columbine back to Twin Lakes is fast - even faster than I remember - maybe due to the recent rains. No problem for the wimpy tires I'm riding (Hutchison Python NG) and I pass probably another 30 or so people (again, probably the same ones who passed me on the climb). Back at Twin Lakes it's time for my secret weapon - I planned on stopping here for at least 5 minutes to wolf down some pepperoni and Jalapeno pizza. That was a good choice....lots of salt and fat and now my stomach will not bitch at me for eating space food (GU, Blocks, Bars) all day. I also downed another 5 Sport Legs.

From that point to the base of the Powerline climb I'm only feeling so-so and I'm just waiting for the pizza to kick in. Bruce finally passed me during this section - he is having a really good day after DNFing the past 2 or 3 Leadville's. We get to the base of Powerline and I'm starting to feel good.....I mean REALLY good. Once the hike-a-bike lower section of that climb is over I'm on riding and passing lots of carnage - people are bonking big-time. I pass another puker.....and then it starts raining. The sky is BLACK and it does not look good. I stopped, put on my rain jacket and luckily only 5 minutes later it's all over.....but now everything is mud and hail. That's ok, I still feel good hauling ass up sugarloaf and down and up St. Keven's and down and finally the long gentle climb back into town. I turn the corner and there's John.... jeez-us, I finally caught him and he looks "done". I felt bad as I cruised pass him. 15 minutes later I'm crossing the finish in 11:20 for the day. About as good as I thought I'd do... considering.

I never did catch up to these dudes: Lance Armstrong and Dave Weins way out front. Dave took the win, beating Lance (2nd place) by about 2 minutes.

Dan Knight kicks some serious ass coming in at 8:25, 55th overall

Todd finished in about 8:35 (65th overall) lovin' that sweet race number he drew.

Our old (young) bud, Casey Puntenney knew he had some beers to drink that night so saved his energy and finished at around 9:30 (167th overall). Casey was nice enough to have us over for a few PBRs and deviled eggs after the race

Here's me looking WAY too serious. Unfortunately, I forgot to suck in my gut for this shot

John looking strong and looking forward to his 100 run the following weekend. Not.

Unfortunately Jen couldn't get a picture of Bruce, Dan F. Chris and also our old friend Bryan Anderson. Bruce finished about 10 minutes ahead of me and now holds the record as the oldest finisher of this race. Yes I got my ass kicked by a 71 year old dude.....ya, and so did about 400 other people. Fortunately Bruce is one of the coolest guys I know, so I have no problems losing to him. Dan F. had a great race but DNF'd with shifting issues at about mile 80 and Chris was found hallucinating about giant beers and didn't make the cut-off at the Pipeline station (about mile 70). Still an awesome ride by those guys. Bryan finished in about 10:15, which is seriously bad ass. Last time I saw Bryan he was riding the most old school mountain bike ever. I'm talking like 70 lbs of 70's era sweetness. Luckily he upgraded for the race........he just needs to upgrade that stupid 70's era helmet that he still wears ......on THE SIDE of his head.

The following day Jen, Barb, John and Tammy ran in the Leadville the rain. Tammy ran the 100 mile run the following weekend to finish in 29:59:30....only 30 seconds before the 30 hour cut-off time. Amazing.

Jen burning up the course - coming in with a smile

Barb comes in smiling too.......shit, running must be EASY

Tammy is thinking about the following weekend and the 100 mile run and wondering WTF she got herself into