Monday, July 20, 2009

Block #2: Golden Baby!

Sometimes you have to go away from home to appreciate what you have in your own backyard...

A weekend getaway was planned as Liza was competing in Race the Rockies (adventure race) in Golden, BC. I took the opportunity to tag along to cheer her on, and to do a bit of running of my own.
With training mode back in full swing, I was eager to get out and explore the trails...

Day 1 - 2h45 run and 1,150m in elev gain...

Nothing very exciting...just a quick glimpse of my interval workout.

Almost at the top: The run up to the summit of KHR was a long 10km grind made even harder with 5 X 4min intervals.

The 'Eagle's Nest' at the summit of Kicking Horse Resort

I think this deer had to go really bad (crossing legs) - Not very scared of humans either...

Not so much downhill mtn bike traffic today - so good for me! I used the fun single-track descents as my own downhill running training to build up leg/quad strength.

Day 2 - 4hr run, 900m of elev gain...and 34C!

A short sleep and back up to the resort to get Liza on the start line for 6am...After sending her off, I returned back to our host's pad to watch Le Tour and drink copious amounts of coffee. By 10am I was all wired and ready to tackle the day!

The morning came up fast with a 4:20am wake up call to get Liza to the start line - ouch!

Race the Rockies racers getting lining up for the gondola ride to the summit and they're 6am start

I drove down to Nicholson and parked the car at the end of Canyon Creek Rd, which would eventually see the AR participants exit and transition to their paddling section - but why sit and wait, when I can run up and meet them! As part of the Moonracker trail system, the Canyon Creek trail makes for a spectacular run along some very steep cliffs. The grade is just steep enough to test your legs, but gives you enough respite to enjoy the views. About 20min into my run, the first team (Cafe Express) came barrelling down the track enjoying a good lead on Team Wild Rose (which was about 20min back). The top solo competitor, Bryon Howard (my real estate agent!) came through with a big smile as he was sitting in second overall, splitting both teams.

Good timing...Liza riding on Talus Creek Rd - She was sitting 1st woman, 2nd solo and 4th overall!

As the grade eased off, I hit Talus Creek Rd which marks the top of the Moonracker trail system. Liza soon appeared around the corner so I did U-turn and tried to race her back down the hill. I didn't last very long. As I neared the base of Canyon Creek (again), I met up with GMac and turned around yet again to run back up for another round. But this time we continued on the Moonracker trails, enjoying the nice single-track throughout the area.

The blazing heat gradually took its toll and I can't say I was too disappointed to wrap up the run at the 4hr mark...A refreshing dip in Canyon Creek and I felt like a new man again...ready to chase Liza up Mount Seven to see how she was doing.

Canyon Creek trail offered some amazing views and great uphill running terrain.

Nothing like sluggin' back some Chef Boyardee in a can 10hrs into your race! Liza takin' on some fuel halfway up Mount Seven.

At the finish line - ready to drink a beer...or two! Congrats on your victory!

Day 3 - 3h45 run (split workout) and 900m elev gain

Another day, another run...

I don't spend a lot of time running on road, but I figured that the run up to Kicking Horse Resort would be a good option for the day. Leaving Mr. Sparks' abode on the East end of town I saw this tall gangly man with white hair disappearing into the bush in front of me..."Is that Dag?" I wondered... As I sped up to catch up to him, I realized that it was in fact, Dag Aabye (click the link - this is worth a read!) a legendary multi-disciplined skier and friend I had met years ago in Silver Star Resort. We chatted as he shuffled along the tracks - catching up on old times. He mentioned he was in Golden to visit his family but more importantly, training for the upcoming Death Race - to defend his 60-69 age class title for a (hopefully) 7th year in a row...Wow.

We parted ways at the 7-Eleven as we were headed in different directions...He was going to tackle Mount Seven today - He had already run up to the summit of Kicking Horse Resort the previous day...Good luck Dag!

Back home...

I wrapped up the weekend with a final run back on home turf in Canmore. In a matter of minutes I was surrounded by forest, running free on the 'Orange Man' track at the nordic centre. The cool evening air felt great and the body was still happy. Golden was fun...but it's hard to beat trail running in Canmore when it's this easy and so good!

1 comment:

Derrick said...

Nice block of training Phil! And great photos.

Looking forward to checking out some of those trails in October.