Monday, July 15, 2013

Crest Trail Anyone?

This week I had an awesome training week, full of so many of my favorite kinds of workouts and 5 of the last 9 days I spent in Park City took me in one way or another to the Crest Trail.  The Crest Trail runs along the top of the ridge of mountains that separate Salt Lake from Park City.  The views are beautiful and right now the wildflowers are out and we have gotten some rain, so trails are in super shape.  I ran parts of this trail 2 times, biked it twice and hiked it once with my Mom, so I have really made the most of my favorite trail before heading to Alaska for women's camp.

Views from one of my most recent runs coming off the Crest Trail on my way home.

Another view from the trails.  I am so lucky, I am so lucky, I am so lucky.

It was Alex's 35th birthday last week and in the afternoon I went over to his house to hang out with the girls.  Charlie, his 4 year old daughter and I worked on this beautiful chalk sign for him to come home to.  I wrote the "Happy Birthday", Charlie wrote the "Dad" and of course did all of the flower/weed decorations that really took it over the top.

And then she made sure I wrote this.

This is the view I wake up to most mornings here in Utah.  Not too shabby, eh?  Beautiful sunrises these days especially with the rain clouds hanging around a bit more than usual.  Makes for really good training weather.

Noah and I also did some treadmill testing this week.  Here I am VO2 Max Testing.  We breath sea level air for this test, which is what is filling those balloons in the back round.  This gives us better numbers, as your body can work harder at sea level, letting your heart rate get higher and allowing you to reach your full max.

We also do a double pole max test, which is what I am doing here.  It's really good for me to test every so often, because though I still get so nervous I don't sleep the night before, whether I have a good test or a bad one, I learn things about where I am both physically and mentally in the preparation phase of my training.  I place tremendous value in my mental state and approach to training, so this test tells me as much about where I am mentally as it does about how well I am absorbing training.  I found myself constantly inspired this week.  I was inspired by my Mom running 7 minute mile pace intervals on the Alter-G.  I was inspired by the plank competition I heard about the Women's Alpine Tech Team (slalom and GS is called "tech") doing in which one of the girls held a plank for 26 minutes!  The day we were testing on the treadmill, we had almost every alpine skier on the USST in the gym cheering between their sets of 450 pound squats.  I read my teammates blogs and I get psyched.  I am inspired by the people around me in the gym, on the trails, in my life and all week I have just found myself getting more goosebumps because of hearing about or watching somebody do something incredible.

And then I showed up at the airport yesterday evening and learned I had been upgraded to first class for the first time ever!!  Here is dinner, and yes, it is as nice as you think it is.

Alex and I enjoying our first class experience together.  It's always better when you can share your excitement with someone else.

Kikkan is also fun to share an experience with.  Look how psyched she is in real life too!
(Photo courtesy of Jessie Diggins)

Alaska Women's Camp has officially begun.  This year we have a rocking crew of North Americans as well as Astrid Jacobsen of Norway and Bettina Gruber of Switzerland.  Oh, and a big welcome to our massage therapist, Norma, who came down from Fairbanks on her own dime to help us out this week!

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