Less than four weeks to go until my marathon of racing. First up is the U.S. Mountain Running Championships in Lincoln, New Hampshire on July 6th. Then, two weeks later, the NACAC Mountain Running Championships in Ajijic, Mexico July 20th. Then, two weeks later, the Jupiter Peak Steeple chase in Park City, Utah on August 2nd. Then, one week later, the Angels Staircase 35k in Carlton, Washington on August 10th. (This race is pending, dependent upon fatigue, physical ailments or just plain tired of traveling, but it is one of the epic events put on by Rainshadow Running and just a few hours’ drive away.)
|My Chuckanut workout elevation profile.|
|Trying not to fall off the bench.|
I am healthy and fit. This makes me excited and nervous and sometimes I find myself holding my breath because I am scared of the imminent disaster that is to afflict me days before I board the plane to New Hampshire. My mid-week workouts have been solid, alternating between hill climbs and shorter tempos. The big ball-buster workout is, starting at the bottom of Fragrance Lake Trail, running 4 minutes hard up then jogging 90 seconds down until I make it to the top of Cypress Gates Overlook.
Tonia continues to work me hard at Terrain Gym. We have been doing an intense mix of core, strength and work capactiy which includes step-ups, elevated planks and Mr. Spectacular's with a 25# vest.
Now that Tad is back running again, we have been able to take a couple day trips to explore new trails. Finally, we were able to check out Orcas Island. We hopped on the 7:15am ferry and in an hour were running around the Mountain Lake Loop in Moran State Park. After an over-priced and under-fed lunch, we took a hike up to Mount Constitution to see Vancouver Island, Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier in the distance with limited crowds to obstruct our views. By 5:30pm we were back in Bellingham making dinner.
A second adventure was to North Vancouver, another picturesque part of the world that looks like it came out of a page of The Lord of the Rings. We went over to Deep Cove where there is a 15km and 21km trail race in a couple weeks called the Buckin’ Hell. The name should have been an omen as to what was to come, but I didn’t think anything of it because this was supposed to be an easy recovery day for me. We printed off the course map, laminated it and were confident that we would be able to follow along. Well, to make a long story short: we never did find the course despite our map; the trail we ran was unrunnable due to snow and massive rocks and steep climbs; I cried 3 times. I guess that’s why you call it an adventure.
|One of the many well-maintained bridge crossings on the Mountain Lake Loop on Orcas Island.|
After that disaster and a ho-hum lunch, we went to Porteau CoveProvincial Park, which is along the coast on the way to Whistler. We pulled some mats out of the car and napped. This was the best part of the day; our trip was salvaged. As Carrie Snow said, “No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.”
|My mom said I looked like a beached mermaid.|
I feel very lucky that I have access to so many beautiful places. In a couple hours we can be at the most remote locations and still be home for dinner.
The Bellingham Distance Project (BDP) was excited to have a cheer section for the spring Girls on the Run 5k. Girls on the Run is such an awesome program, empowering girls and teaching them how to be confident, strong young women. The BDP represented in the best way we know how—as wieners and condiments.
|The BDP: Alyson Klein, Courtney Olsen, Amber Morrison, Me|
|Honored to be representing U.S.A. in Mexico.|
The support I have received during this intensive training phase has been overwhelming. For anyone who has sent an encouraging message, said hello as we passed on the trails or sent good luck wishes-- please know that it really means a lot to me. I have worked as hard as my body allows without risking injury or sickness. With all of the traveling and racing coming up, my goal is to roll with the flow and to try not to get worked up and stressed out over factors that are beyond my control. Rather, I will focus on being thankful for the opportunities that I have and enjoying the experience. Isn't that what this is all about anyways?
I will do my best and we shall see what happens.