Here's an update with where I am in my training for the Leadville Trail 100.
Since moving to San Francisco I feel like I've fallen off the strict workout schedule set by my trainer at Carmichael Training Systems. It's hard to tell if my fitness is improving or declining. I've been under a lot more stress with the move and new job, even though I've managed to find time to put in some good miles and hours during the week.
One of the key ingredients to gaining fitness is to allow your body to recover after each effort. Lately I feel like I've been riding recreationally, which there's nothing wrong with that, but my focus is just somewhere else, mainly my job. I get up a lot earlier than I'm used to, and work pretty hard during the day, not to mention commuting to and from work. So by the end of the day I'm completely wiped out. I keep telling myself things will get back to normal, but that normal is so different now.
At the very least some buddies I ride with have ridden Leadville and have passed along some good advice. The Marin Headlands are a perfect place to train, despite being at sea level. I remember my first time riding up those hills thinking OMG. Now I don't even think about it. At least it's a sign I'm trained mentally in regards climbing.