Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Sitting here in the ice bath after a hard run. @$*! that is cold. It's not too bad once you get past the first 2 minutes and everything goes numb. There's some debate about the physiological benefit of ice baths but all I know is nothing feels better after a hard effort than sitting in a tub of ice.

It's been a hard week of training capped off with a couple of run races and a long brick this weekend. Being a full-time athlete means that "weekends" and "holidays" don't mean much, usually it's just another training day for me, so I figured I would take advantage of the glut of run races being held this weekend. I often find it hard to get in the high-end threshold training at altitude, so I like to use races to tap into that extra gear you can always find in a race (plus i am ultra-competitive so I need my fix). I headed up to Palmer Lake, CO on the 4th to run a 4 mile race on one of my favourite trails. It was point-to-point with a slight downhill the whole way (the fact that it was at 7000ft and on gravel trail kind of evens out any downhill advantage). I won the race and then turned around and ran back up to the start to get in some more mileage.

Cliff and I had a little fun too - we marked the 4th by having some friends around for the requisite 4th of July BBQ. (As Canadians living in the US, Cliff and I don't really have a reason to celebrate Independence Day, but also, being Canadians, we'll take any reason to drink beer and set off fireworks).

A six hour brick on Saturday, mainly spent trying to hold the wheel of a hammerhead cyclist friend of mine, then another trail race on Sunday. This one was a little tougher - 8 miles, with 1000ft of climbing on some pretty solid trails. Plus I ran an hour from our house over to the start in order to get in a 2 hour run total. The race was just my style - 4 miles up, 4 miles down. I think my legs are way more beat up from the fast downhill than from the rest of the weekend combined. I won the women's race in a new course record, and more importantly, toughened up the legs for the pounding they are going to get over the next couple of months.

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