Before I moved here full time I visited from Chicago to climb Grays and Torreys. My routine was to fly into Denver, hang out at 5000' that day (actually went to Six Flags and a Rockies game). Then the next day hiked around Red Rocks park and drove up to Silverthorne (9000') where I stayed the night. Then did a 2 day hike of Grays and Torreys via Chihuahua Gulch, where I packed in to 11k and camped and summited the next day, stayed that night in Silverthorne again before driving back to Denver and flying home.
That routine worked well for me, I did feel the altitude a bit going up Torreys, but felt great on Grays and was fully recovered back at 9k, but if I had it to do over, I would have just day hiked the mountains, avoiding the heavier pack. Sounds like a similar routine could work for you, spend a day in Denver, drive up to Leadville, and make the attempt on Elbert on Day 3 as a day hike.