Saturday, October 4, 2008

Road Trippin

Flagstaff backdrop, originally uploaded by jfilliol1.

I've done a few road trips in my time... mostly for training camps in southern locations. Ontario to Florida a bunch of times, Ontario to Texas, and now living in the west, Victoria to Palm Desert, Tucson, and Flagstaff Arizona for camps. This time, there was no training camp at the destination, at least not one of my camps, so I set off on the road trip to spend some time on my own, get away from the usual routine and check out some favorite training destinations and also some new ones along the way.

I started out in Penticton, BC. Its one of my favorite places for training and I place I could see living one day. I was able to catch up with Tom Evans, as well as Jill Savege and Jordan Rapp before they head south for the winter. There are many great roads with long climbs, a variety of trails for running and riding the dirt bike, and lakes for swimming. I didn't get up to Apex, but there are some nice runs up there at a moderate altitude, not to mention a solid climb on the way up.

Next stop, the tri mecca of Boulder, CO. I'd heard a lot about Boulder of course, but had never been there. While in town I took in a few of the classic running trails around the Rez, the wonderland lake trails, and magnolia road up over 8000'. All great stuff. I did some rides over the the Lee Hill road and out to Lyons, and even a couple swims (rare for me), to check out the pools. Overall I really liked Boulder and can see why so many endurance athletes call this place home. Easy access to great training right out the door and a great endurance/outdoor sports community.

After Boulder I drove down to Las Cruces, NM, and joined the Paulo, Jonnyo and the PS Triathlon crew who were doing a training camp. Great weather (too hot for Napoleon however), and great company got me out the door for a real training camp, with swims, bikes and runs most days. Very different from Boulder, but a good location for winter camps, and a great swimming facility with Danny running the NMSU pool.

My next stop was supposed to be Las Vegas for the Interbike Show. I decided to spent a night in Flagstaff on the way, and once I got to Flag, and did a run on one of my favorite routes out the urban trail and up sinclair wash, I bailed on vegas and instead spend the week in Flag doing my caveman training camp. I'm glad I did, as I had a great week exploring some trails I wasn't able to do last time we were here with the amount of snow that was still up in the hills. I rode my cross bike over shultz pass, did the bagel run, got a tour from local legend Paul Brinkman, and did an epic run in the trails behind the airport where I just followed my nose and eventually found the car. I also got a chance with catch up with Jack Daniels again. Jack acts as the director of the High Altitude Training Centre in Flagstaff. I've been meeting with Jack a few times over the last couple years as part of a mentorship project with the COC and he's had some valuable insight into training and also some great stories. Torbjorn Sinballe was also in town training prior to departing for Kona. I had a great chat over dinner with Torbjorn, Canadian expat Rob Krar and Paul. We traded ideas about training/racing in heat, altitude, and similarities between the Danish and Canadian high performance training systems and approaches.

Finally I am now back in Penticton, and will head over to Kona in a few days. I am looking forward to going to Kona this year purely as a spectator and observer. I am staying with Shawn Frack of Nunn, and his wife Tracy Robertson (and fellow Canuck), who is racing pro for the first time, and also the infamous duo "The Sergio" and "Jonnyo" Should be a great time. We are right next to Lava Java, so anyone who wants to shoot the shit about training, racing, coaching, etc, drop me a note.

1 comment:

  1. Jealous about the flag part of the trip. Gonna get there at some point.

    have fun kona