So after three straight weeks of racing, including the biggie in San Fran, it's nice to finally have a weekend off and just be concentrating on logging some good training miles.
Unfortunately I only managed one day off of work on the long weekend, that being today, but I have still managed to do almost 10,000 feet of climbing since yesterday while running and biking on The North Shore. I am absolutely loving this place as I have never lived in such a 'balanced' environment before. I have always resided in mountain towns, and loved every second of it, but each of those locations were heavily slanted towards the outdoor lifestyle and lacking somewhat in terms of availability of work and amenities. Each day I seem to find something new that is well within walking distance for me and my friends are constantly laughing at my very simple observations of where I now live,
-Hey a grocery store, three minutes from my house!
-A park, two blocks away!
-The ocean, four minutes down the street!
-A brothel, just a hop, skip and a jump away...this place rocks!!
This week of training was all about listening to my body and ensuring that I was fully recovered and without injury before pursuing anything big. I am happy to report that all seems to be good and I have been able to start exploring my new back yard to the fullest extent.
The day after the MOMAR I got dragged out for a 2.5hr run...with a pretty damn good hangover I might add. We ran a beautiful trail leading out to 'Norvan Falls' and although I enjoyed this run it was the trailhead map at the falls that really got my blood pumping...new running routes EVERYWHERE!! Very accessible 'adventure runs' just up the street, with little to no need to improvise a circular route to add on hours...this summer is going to KICK ASS!!
It's all about the bike for me right now with The 67km Test Of Metal on June 14th and the seven day mtn bike stage race known as B.C. Bike Race just two weeks later from June 28th-July 4th. While the focus was on Miwok for so long the bike fell by the way side for a few weeks, so it's felt great to get back in the saddle again. The road bike has seen more action this week then the entire year combined as there are so many choices for routes down here. In Squamish we were basically limited to a few vallie's and the highway, but of course the flip side to this was that we were surrounded by single track mtn biking heaven!
This weekend has finally brought out the sunshine and warm temps that we've all been dying for out here and I noticed 31 degrees on the big clock up the street yesterday. I had to work 9:30-5:30 but managed a great 1hr ride through Stanley Park before work and even stood in the ocean on a simply incredible morning before heading to North Shore Athletics for the day. As soon as I was finished work I hopped back on the road bike again and climbed up to the top (well the parking area 'top' not the peak) of one of the three local North Shore mountains, Mount Seymour. A 1.5hr return ride took me from sea level to almost 3,000 feet above and I was presented with a spectacular sunset view out over Vancouver and Mount Baker, which is just across the border in Washington State.
This morning I was up early and linked up with the local Knee Knacker training group. Even though I got shut out of the lottery for this race it is still amazing to hit up the trails with so many familiar faces and good friends. A 2.5 hr loop took us from the Grouse parking area out to 'mountain highway' where we ran switchback climbs for about 11km to the top of Grouse. Again, amazing views awaited us before we bombed down a trail called BCMC and back to our starting point. I was truly amazed at how well I climbed and how great I felt. After stopping off for lunch I got home just in time to watch Canada lose to Russia in overtime at The World Championships, which was all the fuel I needed to knock down the third climb of my weekend. I again grabbed my road bike, rode through West Vancouver, which is right along the waterfront and a beautiful ride in and of itself, to Horseshoe bay. From here I hit the highway before taking The Cypress exit and starting in on a 15km climb that again gains 3,000 feet in elevation. I managed to be five full minutes quicker than when I rode this for the first time in February as I'm sure the heat and sun was allowing me to push myself a bit harder than the rain and fog that I tackled a few months back.
I was just 2km from home when I 'blew up'! The last climb, which wouldn't even quantify as a climb in comparison to anything that I tackled this weekend, left me wanting to pull out my cell phone and call a taxi. I sucked it up and glided home in 2.5hr to log a solid 5hr training day...my first stop, NSA to grab a few cans of this crazy caffeine drink that we had at our last racing event as there at seven of us heading out to see a DJ by the name of Kaskade at The Commodore (apparently a stellar venue to see any show in Vancouver)tonight...balance, balance, balance, man I truly love this place!!!