I'd like to say that I have been killing it out there for the last couple weekends....I'd like to say that...but I can't. It has been a grind, both physically and mentally.
Over the last month (or so) I have put in the most aggressive training block that I have ever attempted: big volume, while still putting in some high quality sessions. I came up with this plan based on what I did last year at this time...but just going bigger this time around. On paper, my plan seemed reasonable; tough but mathematically doable. I have pushed myself right to my limits for over a month, and cracks have definitely started to form. But isn't that the whole point of training??
Thrown in at the end of the mix were two races over two weekends; Survival of the Fittest (Coast Mountain Trail Series) on May 30, and 5Peaks Alice Lake on June 6. I wasn't under any delusions about having heroic performances at either of them, but it still stings to get your ass kicked and to feel so damn flat. With that said though, I love to race, and it's really tough to mimic that type of effort in training. I just have to keep reminding myself that it was part of my big plan.
Without any doubt, the best part of the last two weeks has been having my family with me at both events. My girls took part in both the kids races (SOTF and 5Peaks), and we had an amazing weekend of camping at Alice lake. Unfortunately, Grace tripped before the start of the 5Peaks kids 3km, and really scraped up her knee...then she fell again during the race. She's so tough, but she was in a lot of pain and didn't finish. Charlie was on fire though! It made me so proud to see her running hard and having so much fun (it definitely made up for my rough performance). When you add in a lot of family bike riding and hiking, and some campfire hot dogs, I don't know if a weekend can get much better!
This week I have started to pull things back a bit...not quite tapering, but more like 'normal' training. I have my fingers crossed that the cracks will disappear, and that my foundation will be stronger than ever. My next two races are big ones for me; Knee Knacker (July 11), and Squamish50 (Aug 22/23). I had a lot of success at both of those events last year, and I really want to build on both of those performances.
Thankfully, I am a believer that the journey can easily be as rewarding as the destination. I have really enjoyed pushing my limits, and the process has been its own reward. With that said though, I'm ready for all the hard work to start to pay off !