Classic Ski 2:43:00  25.46 mi (6:24 / mi)
Leadville Loppet 44km. I think it was a good race, so hard to tell with little to compare to. The field was much weaker than last year. Off the start, for the first km, I thought I'd might take the whole thing, but on the climbs it was clear that skaters were quicker. My guess is that about 6 pulled away, the next classic skier was way behind. I would hang behind some, be passed by some, pass some back. The tracks in the first part were perfect (though some some snow blew into them), but at the hair pin at about 10km in, the track were crap as they failed to till when setting so they were just two vague grooves in busted up snow chunks. My HRM was not reading well most of the race, so the reported values are after tossing out bad data, perhaps a quarter of it. The effort was controlled and felt very manageable, so perhaps I wasn't going hard enough. I felt very good at the end, which even if I wasn't going fast, is a good thing. I DPed very hard the last half hour, which was a mix of DP and tuck. HR certainly didn't drop off as it can when I get tired, HR was still in the 160s mostly at the end, but some in the 170-180s. I was certainly tired and was getting hungry at the end (only had 2/3 of a water bottle whole race - again a good thing not needing much food), but I think I could have gone harder. Weather was upper teens at start, finishing at lower 30s, under suit was tights and thin top, which was perfect probably as it was just a touch warm at times. Breakfast was 1.5 cinnamon rolls and a half green machine. Right before the start had 3 baby foods, I estimate it was about 1000 cal combined. Used the Redlines with matrix red, seemed quite fast. Kick was chola-toko green-super blue base (left from last year's clandestine Birkie prep) with Ski-Go HF blue, a touch of purple under foot. Kick was good/great, but my kick timing was a touch late as I kept leaning forward, had to make sure I kept my weight in the middle. Elbow gave out at about 22 km, but was able to straight arm pole and do the "marathoners" squat DP which didn't hurt the elbow and were effective.
Chatted with a dude from Denver after the race who I see-sawed with, he used the phrase "turning out some serious watts" when referring to when I was DPing hard, he also asked if Greeley had a nordic center. Talked to multi-world champion Sharon Crawford after the race (at least I think multi...).
Skate Ski 20:00  2.35 mi (8:31 / mi)
A very tired, short skate ski. It was such a nice day and the trails are really great, so why not.