Summer ended on a high note for this bird as I took off for Europe to do some racing in Belgium for three weeks! This was my first time traveling outside of the US and you can read more about my experiences there if you like: here. After those travels I took some much needed time off which consisted of Tahoe trips and hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail with my sidekick, Finnegan, my dog. But by September 25, I was back to work and road tripping to Flagstaff, Arizona with my teammates to get some hardcore training in. At 7000 feet and numerous running trails, this mountain town is any runner’s dream. As my time here comes to an end, I thought I’d update you on some of the highlights!
In the first few days of our time here in Flagstaff, a couple of the girls and I decided to go to the Grand Canyon for the day. I had never been, and let me tell you, it is a must! We got on the road bright and early with the intention of watching the sunrise over the canyon. The sight was spectacular, almost spiritual. It was absolutely breathtaking standing in silence with the colors changing moment to moment. If you have never had the pleasure, please go and take pics so I can swoon over them later!
Speed Development at NAU
Speed Development days are one of my favorite days of the week! Every runner needs to get some max velocity work in. Yes, even the distance ladies. My training group touches this by sprinting all out for 60 meters six to eight times. Sprinting at altitude is very, very different. You definitely run faster in thin air, but your body disagrees with what you are trying to accomplish. The sprints left me with my hands on my knees between reps and it took a bit longer to recover between reps.
Fartlek Workout at Fort Tuthill
Fartleks…oh fartleks! Really any continuous effort is hard for me. We all have strengths and weaknesses and it is important to work on both equally. This was my first continuous effort at altitude. 4 x 2 minutes on (90 seconds off), then 1 minute on (one minute off), followed by 4 x 200m at mile effort. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this workout went. It got hard, just like every workout does, but having my teammates suffering through the gasps for air with me gave it purpose. I wasn’t alone.
Bagel Run at Biff’s Bagels
Flagstaff has a HUGE running community. Every Thursday this running community gathers for the weekly Bagel Run at Biff’s Bagels. It. Is. Awesome. Elites, clubs, locals… anyone and everyone are welcome. You never have to worry about running alone and you get to enjoy a nice warm bagel when you are finished! This is also where I met badass teammate and marathon mom Steph Bruce! If you are ever in Flag on a Thursday, do yourself a favor and stop by.
Follow Lauren as she races next at the Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning at 7:35am pst.