Rarefied @ Brainard Lake - XTERRA Tune Up

Well, it has certainly been a while since I've posted a workout or race result. If you read my previous entry, then you're more or less be up to speed. This entry finds me both excited and anxious! Excited because I'll finally get to do what I love, racing! It'll be the first time doing so since my little injury/set back in May. Anxious because of the challenging course that awaits.

On Sunday, July 22nd, I'll be racing the XTERRA Mountain Championships at the Beaver Creek Resort in Avon, Colorado. Being that it's in Colorado, one would assume I would have an altitude advantage, well... "Au contraire mon frere!" Boulder, where I live/train is nestled at a breathable 5,500 feet of elevation. Meanwhile, this race will start somewhere between 8,000 & 9,000 feet. Yup, you read it right, "START" at that elevation. I don't quite have all the details yet, but I've heard that it may climb north of 11,000 feet at some point during the race. If that should happen, well then my fellow readers, it has been nice knowing you! I can only assume I'll graze my head on a low flying plane or worse yet, get altitude sickness, become disoriented, forget who I'm and finally have to call that mountain my (new) home. 

All kidding aside, I'm looking forward to the challenge ahead. I'm writing this to provide a sneak peak into my training. Below is a workout we filmed on Tuesday. I decided to mimic (or shock my system) the pending altitude that I'll face on Sunday. My good mates: Jordan Schware  and Ironman Champion Paul Ambrose accompanied me to the rarefied air at Brainard Lake for a suicide missio... I mean hard workout. Jordan manned both the bike and the camera while Paul soloed the trails in preparation for his upcoming races. I took to the roads with one goal in mind, and that was to comfortably hurt (oxymoron much?). I wanted to experience both physiologically and psychologically what running hard at nearly 2 miles above sea level would do to me. The views (and again, thin air) were breathtaking. 

I'm pleased to say that the workout went well. I hope my fitness continues to improve now that I'm finally injury free. My goal for this weekend? Simple, to get out there and compete again. I missed training the 2nd half of May and didn't race at all during June while I was getting back to 100% fitness. I'm now happy to report that although this isn't a "COMEBACK" per say, that I'm BACK to full health. Now I've just been slowly working on the fitness end and enjoying the process. So, without further delay, enjoy the video and I look forward to reporting a positive experience after this weekend's race.