Friday, August 31, 2007

TransRockies Countdown

Only 2 weeks to go until the start of TransRockies Run -

I must admit that I'm getting a wee bit nervous. My preparation in the past 2 weeks hasn't been the best due to excessive work during the TransRockies Challenge which finished last week. I knew going into the event that I would be busy, and figured I would at least be able to squeeze in maintenance runs every day or so, but once the event got rolling, it was non-stop action right up to the finish!

Despite the lack of specific training, I did manage to keep my body 'moving' by running around the various host sites instead of walking - first off, I hate simply takes too long to get from point A to B - so running is always an easy solution. Plus, as soon as the event started, I was on 'damage control' duty non-stop which provided many running opportunities. I did manage to sneak in a speed workout as I was waiting for the leaders to come in one day at Nipika. I ran backwards on the course until I met the United Cycle Team riders coming in, then I tucked in behind and followed them back as they raced to the finish line - the intensity probably only lasted 10min, but I was going balls to the wall to try and maintain their pace on the canyon single track - not sure if annoyed the rider I was following by hanging out so close behind but either way, I didn't really care as I needed him as a pacemaker - besides, they won by a huge margin that day.

Here's a recap of my travels in the past 2 weeks...

  • August 12-18: TransRockies Challenge (Panorama, BC to Fernie, BC)
  • Aug 19: Spent night in 5-ton Budget truck just outside Longview after it broke down on the way out of town in Fernie
  • Aug 20: Drove directly to TR office for a full day of work, arrived back home at 8pm - to bed by 10:30pm as I had to...

  • Aug 21: ...Get up at 2:30am to write Salomon Nordic Marketing proposal

  • Aug 21: Drive to airport at 3:30am

  • Aug 21: Fly to Toronto to meet Salomon Canada to discuss Program for 2007-08 year

  • Aug 22: Fly back to Calgary, drive home to Canmore

  • Aug 23: Slept 15hours

  • Aug 24: Drive to the Okanagan for a short weekend getaway

  • Aug 25: Run up a local mountain in blistering heat - finally, a decent long run!

  • Aug 26: Pit-stop in Vernon to train with Glenn Bond - Silver Star Mountain Nordic Manager - great mountain run to the top of Silver Star Mountain + core workout

  • Aug 27: 3+hr run on BX trail from Vernon townsite to the top of Silver Star Mountain (1,500m of elevation - beautiful run)

  • Aug 28-29: Back in TR office to prep for TR-run starting on Sept 16th

  • Aug 30: Sleep in own bed

So here I am, back at my desk, drinking cup after cup of Kicking Horse Coffee to get my creative (jittery) juices flowing - it's not really working. I've got one week left of quality training at home before I hope back in my truck with Chris Manhard, our team therapist for the week, and start the drive to Colorado to get acclimatized with the altitude in Vail. As I'm still on contract with TR, I'll help the TR crew with some final event preparations up until race day. The plan is to arrive on the 10th in Denver to pick up my partner Dom Repta who is flying in from Vancouver - from there we will head to Vail for our final prep training. If you're curious to check out the stage profiles, go to: You will quickly understand why it's so important to get there early...the altitude on some stages will top out at over 3,500m (12,000 feet)!! This is quite honestly insane. Typically, I've done pretty well at adapting to high terrain, so I'm not too worried, but regardless of where you are coming from, everyone will feel the burn at these altitudes. I'm planning a couple of hard intensity workouts as soon as we arrive on site to help speed up the acclimatization process - we'll see how it works out.

Despite the circumstances, I'm psyched to run again - especially after receiving my shipment of new Salomon shoes today! I'll be rotating 3 pairs of shoes during the event to keep them as 'fresh' as possible - Check it out:

Salomon shoe line-up - from bottom to top: Speed Cross, Trail Comp 2, XA Pro 3D and Trail Comp 2

Over the next few days, I'll hammer out a 3 long volume sessions and test out the shoes and get them broken in for the race - If anything, it will be a great excuse to just to get away from all the tourists in town this long weekend! By next week, my body will be rested, my confidence will be back - and I'll have 5 incredible days in the high Colorado mountains to look forward to...I can't wait!

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