View Poll Results: Should I go to Leadville even with Asthma?

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  • Go to Leadville

    7 77.78%
  • Don't go to Leadville

    2 22.22%
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Got a lottery spot for Leadville at WW100, I got Asthma (pollen) Should I go?

    Hi, I'm new to the forum.

    I was going to turn it down when Rebecca Rusch told me she got Asthma too and I should do it. So I'm thinking about it. Ken Chlouber told me I should do it too.

    Last year I did La Marmotte (175km, 15,000ft) in France (I'm mainly a Roadie, please don't hold it against me ) and on Galibier which is about 9,000 ft I had trouble. My heart rate was really low and my cadence just dropped.

    I have allergies to Tree Pollen, Grass, Ragweed. I may have a bit of exercise induce asthma too. So basically the whole cycling season I got asthma.

    Luckily (?) it only affects me when I exert myself at the highest level, climbing. On the high speed flats, I can usually keep up with elite racers in my group ride. except near the end of a 115km ride (or we hit a hill).

    This past weekend at Wilmington it was okay for me allergy wise. I got 6:24. I think I would have gotten under 6hrs except my left egg beater pedal broke before the halfway point in Blueberry Trails and I rode the spindle to the crewing area at the bottom of Jay Mtn Rd where Hiram, the support guy for Kases Corner team was kind enough to lend me a flat pedal to finish on, otherwise my time would be a lot worse. Kudos to Hiram and Kases Corner Team!

    So, have anyone with Asthma and allergies done Leadville and how was it? What's the pollen count in early August around Leadville. Do you think I should go?

    Needless to say, it's expensive and a large time commitment to go to Leadville. I think I would need to spend 2 weeks out there before the race, $$ and travel cost $. I not sure about going if I can't even make the time limit.

    I'll do LQS WW100 again next year and my goal is 5:45 next year. I did La Marmotte in 10 hrs, which is a Silver certificate in my age group, for a Gold certificate I believe I need to knock about 45mins off (which is doable if I breathe well on Galibier and other climbs). I'm taking my inhaler more regularly now and I'm better than last year.

  2. #2
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    Allergies shouldn't be a problem. By August it is usually pretty dry, and half the race is above the timberline, so no pollen issues up there. The altitude is kind of a wild card, no one knows how it will affect them until they get there. Two weeks may be ideal, but isn't necessary.
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  3. #3
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    I don't know about Leadville, but I rode La Marmotte in 1987. That was an ass-kicker of a road ride. I was in France with my bike and didn't even know anything about it until I went out to climb Alp D'Huez and saw all these bikes going up and down the hill. I got up to the top and saw a registration table. It turned out that La Marmotte was going on the next day. Being young and dumb at the time, I forked over my 100 francs or whatever it was and signed up. My frame number was something like 4278. So at 7 the next morning, I am in a queue of over 4,000 cyclists headed out for a 112 mile ride through the alps. I did not finish. Made it back to Bourge D'Oisans in about 10 hours or so and just didn't have enough left to head back up to the top of the Alpe. But it was a heck of a ride. If I ever go back, I need more than a 42 x 26 low gear.

    Sorry to hijack your thread.
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  4. #4
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    No way to know how your asthma will affect you until you try.

    If you really want to race Leadville, go for it and deal with the challenges as they come. Realize maybe your asthma will flare up and that dropping out might be a reality.

    If you don't want to do it, I'm sure there are 100's of people who would jump to take your spot.

  5. #5
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    There is plenty of support on the course, so there won't be any problems bailing out if you have to. Most of the fun of the event is hanging out in Leadville all week, so regardless of whether or not you finish, it should be an enjoyable event. Particularly if you have to abandon due to something beyond your control, rather than inadequate training.
    Are we putting air in the tires today?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBrider View Post
    Allergies shouldn't be a problem. By August it is usually pretty dry, and half the race is above the timberline, so no pollen issues up there. The altitude is kind of a wild card, no one knows how it will affect them until they get there. Two weeks may be ideal, but isn't necessary.

    Thanks EBrider, I've been trying to look at historical pollen data for August specifically for Leadville. What I've been able to find for Colorado Springs is there can be lots of Ragweed Pollen at that time (at least in Colorado Springs.

    I think I've read from Rebecca Rusch, one week acclimatization is the death zone, too little. If you can't do 2 weeks, come in the morning of and hopefully you can fool your body about the high attitude.

  7. #7
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    What has your Doc said?

  8. #8
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    I live in Colorado, have raced the LT100, and have asthma. It wasnt an issue, but I would consult your doc. Everyone is different - and all asthma is not the same.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GarfieldCat View Post
    Thanks EBrider, I've been trying to look at historical pollen data for August specifically for Leadville. What I've been able to find for Colorado Springs is there can be lots of Ragweed Pollen at that time (at least in Colorado Springs.

    I think I've read from Rebecca Rusch, one week acclimatization is the death zone, too little. If you can't do 2 weeks, come in the morning of and hopefully you can fool your body about the high attitude.
    You can do some research on your own, but most of what I have read found that your fitness level returns to what it was when you arrived at altitude in about 6 days. So if you arrive the weekend before, fitness should at least be where it was when you showed up. The effects of hypoxia/altitude sickness fall over time. So in theory, if you get there a week ahead, your fitness shouldn't be any worse and it will give you time to deal with hypoxia before the race. If I race below 10,000 ft, I figure hypoxia isn't an issue and try to arrive right before the race.

    Two weeks ahead is certainly better and three weeks is better still, but unless you are a professional bike racer that could be hard to manage. Leadville usually starts to get busy around Wed, which is probably a bad time to show up.
    Are we putting air in the tires today?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    I don't know about Leadville, but I rode La Marmotte in 1987. That was an ass-kicker of a road ride. I was in France with my bike and didn't even know anything about it until I went out to climb Alp D'Huez and saw all these bikes going up and down the hill. I got up to the top and saw a registration table. It turned out that La Marmotte was going on the next day. Being young and dumb at the time, I forked over my 100 francs or whatever it was and signed up. My frame number was something like 4278. So at 7 the next morning, I am in a queue of over 4,000 cyclists headed out for a 112 mile ride through the alps. I did not finish. Made it back to Bourge D'Oisans in about 10 hours or so and just didn't have enough left to head back up to the top of the Alpe. But it was a heck of a ride. If I ever go back, I need more than a 42 x 26 low gear.

    Sorry to hijack your thread.
    I have fond memories of La Marmotte, painful but fond.

    I learnt how to climb longer standing up because sitting down was too painful!

    The scenery on each climb is amazing. The scenery in France is amazing. It's really a great place to visit. The food was good everywhere. Every one drove at a higher level than in North American.

    This is where I first heard about La Marmotte, it's a great read:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/19/sp...V/VClI09g&_r=0

    I used LQS WW100 last year to train for La Marmotte. I went down to Whiteface 6 times in one year period to train. Going up and down Whiteface since it is the closest big mountain to where I live (people have died on La Marmotte). I also pre rode parts of the LQS WW100 course too (so I know it well now). I also went there a seventh time to ski in the winter. I just love it around Wilmington/Lake Placid area. I think the area between Style Brooks climb and Jay Mountain Rd is really pretty.

    Thanks mikeridesabike for sharing your experience back in 1987. You must have been one of the few non European doing the race then.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLine View Post
    I live in Colorado, have raced the LT100, and have asthma. It wasnt an issue, but I would consult your doc. Everyone is different - and all asthma is not the same.

    My Doc is concerned with my previous experience at altitude in France on Galibier. That was early July in France vs early Aug in Colorado. Who knows the difference in the pollen. Also, we did not acclimatize for the high altitude in France either.

    Yes, all asthma is not the same and every one is different. Very true.

    I just hope when I go to Leadville, I'm not negatively affected much.

  12. #12
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    Go! I have asthma and rode leadville 2 years ago and am riding this year as well. Get on a preventive inhaler- I use Alvesco. Keeps the flare-ups from happening in the first place. The bring your rescue inhaler just in case. Pollen shouldn't be a problem then. I think all of the pollen has blown off in the last 2 weeks- I live in Vail.

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