Fall is here in FULL FORCE here in Alaska. The past five weeks of my life have been consumed by school and training here in Alaska. As the days start to get shorter, and the mornings start to feel cooler; the feeling of winter and racing is truly coming. I have also been fully engulfed in studies for the past five weeks... so life is at its busiest! In order to give a little catch up on my past month, I am going to give you a little glimpse into my 10 favorite workouts of this fall.
1. SNOW DAY- September 23 I woke up, pulled the blinds in my room to find a snow storm. It was crazy to see the snow so early, but I was more than excited since it had been 40 degrees and freezing rain for the past month. So the answer- Jo and I jumped in my two wheel drive Toyota Matrix and drove to the highest point of access in Anchorage. After the third attempt on the final steep climb to the parking lot... my car managed to maneuver through the 5 inches of snow covering the road. We headed up to the top of Bear Valley and hiked into the storm. By the top it was nearly a foot deep and blowing like crazy. Even though it was September, it was fun to jump around in the snow and get a fun reminder that the season is in fact approaching quickly!
2. OD (over-distance) BIKING- This fall, I finally made my very first bike purchase. I was given an old road bike from a friend of mine that I have been using for the past two years. It is brand-less, three sizes too large for me- and I learned midway through the summer the welds were coming apart on the frame. After choosing to no longer take on the danger, I spent a week searching around Anchorage for what to get. I eventually came across Chain Reaction, who did a great job of finding a bike perfect for me. After a great deal of adjusting, and setting it to not hurt my back; I came away with an awesome bike! I have been putting it to great use this past month. Rosie and I have been adventuring everyone in Anchorage. From new neighborhoods in some of the highest points of the hillside, to our favorite street "Klatt" with hidden beautiful airstrips. It has been tons of fun to see new areas of Anchorage while training! With so much rain, the second it becomes dry, you have to jump at the opportunity!
|Even Rosie is stoked about my new bike!|
|Keeping a bike safe in the ski house means keeping it on the ceiling!|
|On top of the mountains!|
3. Kincaid Moose Hatchery- I have also been spending some time getting to know the mountain bike trails at Kincaid. This is the first year I have used my mountain bike in the four years I have been in Anchorage- and my favorite place to go is Kincaid. The trails are awesome and weave in and out of the winter nordic trails. The only problem is you have to fight the moose along the way. Not to mention, this is the time of year the bull moose are trying to collect their female companions... so everyone just gets a little crazy. One day we ran into 6 moose in 2 hours... all of which forced us to go running and biking as hard as we could in the opposite direction. Never a dull moment at Kincaid Moose Hatchery!
|Taking a break from Kincaid Moose Hatchery for a ride up to the top of Powerline Pass|
4. Bounding Intervals- I am happy to say I am finally getting to do some bounding intervals! Having skipped them for a year, I have been having a ball getting back into some of our classic APU interval courses. One of my favorite- backwards spencer up at Hillside.
|Keeping my feet healthy every day with ice-cold combination!|
5. Team Distance Sessions- Some of my favorite distance sessions this year have been the trek from the ocean up to the hills. We have been getting some good work climbing, and nothing makes it better than a group of 6 girls working together and having fun in the daily rain training!
|Thanks Finnsisu for keeping me safe with new wheels! Getting some k's!|
|Skiing with the ladies- Rob Whitney photo|
6. Tuesday Night Races- 1000 participants showing up for the weekly Tuesday Night races! I love the excitement and athletic community of Anchorage. What a place to grow up in!
7. Biking with my buddies- I have been spending lots of time with the little kiddies that I have been babysitting for the past four years. They are starting to turn into quite the little bikers, so nothing is better than cruising around the coastal trail with these little guys!
8. Healthy Futures Jamborees- Yesterday I helped warm up all the k-6 graders that participated in the South Anchorage Jamboree. There was 1300 little children that showed up! I couldn't believe how many kids were involved. The race was broken into 6 different races for various age groups and genders. Ten minutes before each race we would warm up the kids with lots of fun dancing, jumping and stretching. For one of the last races, I got to join a young boy around the course for a unique experience. Ryan is a fifth grader, and had a stroke when he was 1 year old. He was determine to participate, and made his way around the 1/2 mile course full of rocks and hills with his walker. As he crossed the finish line, and the crowd screamed and encouraged him on, I started to choke up. This young boy reminded me of some important things that are easy to forget. As he worked around the course with a huge smile and a determine heart- it made me think about how he had gotten there. He obviously had some wonderful parents that taught him even though he wasn't handed the same deck of cards as everyone else- he was going to live life to the fullest. It was just incredible to see how much heart this young boy had! I came away from my walk with Ryan with a great reminder that the glass is not half empty, but half full! Many times we go to these events to be role models in teaching young children to be healthy; but I came away from this event with a reminder myself! So thank you Ryan for showing me just how much heart everyone has! And thank you mom and dad for being great role-models to me, teaching me how to appreciate each and every day!
9. Lap Swimming- with all the rain this past month- sometimes you have to just switch things up and stay indoors. I generally divide this between lap swimming and stationary biking. I have been enjoying swimming though- it is bringing back some good memories from my younger years.
|Rosie making indoor biking manageable|
|creative indoor activities- training Jo while training myself :)|
10. Time Trials- We have only had one time trial this fall- but it is always nice to break up your tough training with a "real life" training. In other words, remember how to warm up for a race. Remember how to put your mind in the frame of a race; and remember how to find that extra gear you don't always reach in training.
|Keeping it exciting!|
|Mixing it up!|
These ten training days have described what I have mostly been up to for the past five weeks! Busy as ever- I am looking forward to my next coming block of training. On tuesday I head to Park City for our final National Team Training Camp and altitude training block! I can't wait to meet up with all my teammates and have some group training and hopefully a little less moisture!