Following Boulder 70.3, and a lighter regroup week, I've started to focus in on IM Tahoe on September 22nd. Prior to Boulder 70.3, I traveled out to Lake Tahoe to do some training and course recon. One of the nice things about traveling out to a race venue to train is that you actually have some time to enjoy the location. Even though I had some solid training sessions, I was still able to stop and have a look around from time to time. I had never been to the Lake Tahoe area before and I mostly knew it as a ski/snowboard destination. Back in my winter sports days, I would dream about going west and riding in Squaw, Heavenly, Kirkwood, Northstar and all the other resorts peppered throughout the Sierras. I had similar dreams about Queenstown, NZ and the surrounding resorts.
And yet, I've found myself in both locations in the summer and for entirely different reasons. Maybe one day I can return for other reasons, but for now, it's for racing.
Since starting the recent training block, Cliff and I have been incorporating plenty of climbing on the bike and some high altitude running. If you look on my homepage, you can find my strava account which has some of the sessions I have been doing. It doesn't have all of them, particularly with running, since I do most runs without a Garmin, but you can still have a look at some of the work I have been doing.
One day/week, I have been heading out on my road bike to do some steeper climbing with a lot of dirt roads. It often makes me think about the sessions Brad Kearns would do out of Auburn, Ca in the 1990s. I remember reading his book "Can you make a living doing that?" in college where he talked about his weekly 'death ride' as being a core part of his training. It was a Tuesday (I think( workout where they rode around 200K (I think) and got in 20,000 feet of climbing (I think). I don't approach those numbers on my Tuesday rides, but I like the sentiment of putting together challenging routes that only require showing up to gain the benefit from them.
Another session I've done a couple times this year is running an out-and-back on a dirt road from Rollinsville, Co that dead ends next to a railroad tunnel (built in the 1920s). The elevation starts around 8500 feet and gradually climbs over 8 miles to 9250 feet or so (about 16 miles in total distance). I like to call this route the "New Magnolia" as it seems to be the new high altitude running hot spot on the weekends, replacing Magnolia Road or 'Mags." I suspect that the appeal of the Rollinsvillle run is that the terrain is much easier than Mags, which may or may not be a good thing when running up there. Regardless of which route has a superior benefit, they are both really nice places to run, particularly when it's warming up in the valley below. However, I could do without the headwinds I have been getting up there...
I'm closing in the final couple weeks of training, and while no build is ever perfect, the workouts and fitness have been trending in the right direction. This weekend I'll get a chance to race a 2.4 mile open water swim in the Boulder Reservoir and I might race a short sprint tri the following weekend to get me in the racing spirit.